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Adult Product Merchandising Guide

Before you start merchandising your sex toys and adult products you should explore and think about how you will achieve the following in your displays -
Create Excitement - You want your adult store and even online store to draw customers into your sex toy world through the merchandising you have done.
Stimulate As Many Customer Senses As You Can - A great adult store plays to sensory perception not sensory deprivation. You need to attract not only with sight, but smell (burn some candles or incense), touch - ensure you have product testing stations, sound (have a chill cd or easy listening radio station on).
Create A Successful Floor Plan - Analyze the traffic flow to your store? Do you have enough stock to enable you to create a knock-out display? Then plan what products you wish to display and where.
Know Your Shopper Demographics - Who are your customers? What are they buying? Why are they coming to your store? Knowing who you are bringing into your store and what are they are buying is going to equip you of the best types of products to use in your displays.
Be Inspired By Others - Visit other successful adult shops, lingerie shops and even stores online to help you capture the environment that will work best for you. What other stores inspire you, make you excited and why? Can you include those things into your store? What inspires you will most likely visually excite your own customers.
Once you have worked out your plan on how to achieve these points you should -
1. Change your displays monthly. Holidays and seasons only last so long, and promotional goods have a short shelf life. Feature new arrivals first. If you do not re-merchandise your whole store monthly, create a new display each month and revitalize at least one section. You will be surprised at the positive results.
If you have ordered products that are meant to go together, then keep them together. First impressions count and if you can have a bold display, making a statement about a particular line or products or brand of products it will be very effective. Do not dilute it with other things as the impact may be lost.
Remember that many items are meant to go together so that they will cross-sell themselves.
2. Show off the wants. Your customers are visiting the stores because they need something and more often than not they will purchase that product whether assisted by you or because there is a display of that product. It is more effective and profitable to make display of what they want. Often the customer do not even realize they want the product until they see your display. They will purchase the product they came for but may purchase what you have made them want now or at the very least put the seed of desire in their minds so that they will revisit the store when their mind-set has told them they need it!
For example, don't create a display of condoms or lubes as most customer put this in a need category and going to purchase them whether you have created a nifty display or not. However create a visual display with some top line vibrating cock rings near the condom shelves as the male or female customer buying the condoms may see these and want to use them in conjunction with their condom purchase.
3. Look for one thing that makes a group. Arrange by product use -- all items related to penises, for example. Or display by color -- the strongest color combinations to attract attention in retail are red, white, and black.
Try related or contrasting colors. Our eyes quickly get the point and move on, so never make a monochromatic display.
Create sections that will make is easy for the customer to find what relates to them and the similar cross-over products may create cross- sales. This can be done by brand or use. Create visual cues for customers. Create clear signage so customers can easily find what they are looking for.
Customers want to feel smart - so equipping them with an easy shopping experience is going to encourage them to buy. Help them feel that way with easy to read and understand signage and clearly defined areas.
4. Start closest to the door. First impressions count so your best visual displays should be near the front door. Just past this should be a spotlight of your top shelf and expensive items. Your most expensive items and top selling items should be between waist to shoulder height, avoid putting them too high or too low as this will decrease their sales.
Understand Your Traffic Flow
Put yourself in your customer's shoes and objectively analyze how your customers perceive your store and what could be done to improve their shopping experience...
  • Outside: Again first impressions count. Is the front of your store, clean, tidy and swept. Are the graphics on your signage clear and clean? Does your store branding ensure clarity of who and what the store is about?
  • Doorway: This is your stores "Transition Zone" - the first 2 metres or so of passing the doorway. Here your customer is taking the ambience and feel it all. They may remove their sunglasses and prepare themselves to enter.
  • Entrance: This is your stores "Strike Zone" or if you have not merchandised properly the stores first "speed bump". This is where you should have your 'kaboom' displays. Merchandising here should be done so that products 'pop out' at the customer.
  • Sidewalls: This is your stores "Money Shots". In western cultures we tend to move to the right when entering a store. This area should have your medium to high end products. This should be visual focal point and the point where customers become at ease.
  • Back of Store: Make sure the back of the store can be seen from the front. This are should be for your highest selling items. The reason for this is that it ensures that the customer has walked completely through the store prior to getting to the most popular destination point. Be aware as this is the back of the store security must be monitored at all times.
  • Walkways: Keep your aisles wide as it helps your customers roam a bit more freely through all your merchandising and displays and allows for better visibility from all points in the store.
  • Point Of Sale: Your counter should also be merchandised but the most important thing here is security. You need great visibility of all the sales floor here - especially if you are working one out and have to ensure that you are securing your merchandise from thieves and yahoo's. Avoid clutter on the counter and always have plenty of room for customers to place their purchases ready for check out. If there is clutter many customers will only bring one item instead of many as they will feel that they are invading your work space. It also limits impulse buying
5. Pig in the window. Find a totally unrelated item and put it in one of your displays. It serves as a prop. Its only purpose to grab your customer's attention. Add something that is totally irrelevant to the display. You will be surprised at how many people will notice it.
6. Showtime. Lighting makes merchandising 'pop'. Ensure that your lighting is enhancing your products and creating the right ambience.
7. Put words to it. Place short and easy to read (understand) signs. Use larger fonts. Use signage to show your customers the benefits of buying certain products together.
NEVER EVER, EVER put up signs that say DO NOT TOUCH. You might as well put up a sign that says DO NOT BUY. Displays are supposed to get messed up and that is why you create them.
8. Rotate displays. If your displays are mobile move them around every few weeks. As new product comes in create a new merchandising display showcasing them. This will ensure that the store always looks fresh and products seem new.
9. Track it. If you have a hot selling item ensure you have plenty in stock. A product that sells like wildfire today may be a white elephant in a month. If you have poor selling stock, place it on a mobile display. Move that display around the store regularly to try and quit that line for more effective products.
10. Tag it. Make sure all your products are clearly priced.
11. Encourage Interactivity. Have clearly defined testing stations. When a customer is looking at a product encourage them to feel and test it. A customer holding a product 'takes possession' of it and once they have 'possession' they are more likely to purchase it.
12. Have Places To Sit. This will encourage couples and friends to accompany a shopper in the store. Allowing them to sit down whilst their partner of friend shops.
13. Use Planograms To Develop Flow. Many adult distributors now offer planogram's and this is a cheap and economical way to merchandise products effectively. However distributor provided planogram's will limit you to the brand or line of products that are in it.
You should look at creating your own planogram that will be a 'blue-print' for the entire store. Work out where your dead spots are, where your security issues are. Planning is a roadmap to merchandising success. Keep a track of your results and share them with other locations.
14. Understand The Use of Lighting. How do your customers see your products? Lighting of course! Lighting is a key ingredient to successful product and promotional displays. Lighting falls into three basic categories -
  1. General lighting for the sales floor, usually fixed in place.
  2. Accent lighting for accentuating displays, flexible - cans, pendants or track.
  3. Task lighting is for cash wraps, display counters and work spaces.

General tools and supplies you need to carry out store merchandising - Tools and Supplies
  • planner for sale dates, holidays
  • tool box, ladder
  • hammer, nails
  • phillips and flat screwdrivers, assorted screws
  • utility knife, scissors
  • thumb tacks, straight pins, t-pins, cupboard hooks, tacks
  • monofilament thread (fishing line), twine
  • binder clips or clothespins ("just say no" to loose clothing on a mannequin form)
  • tape measurer
  • pencil
  • two faced tape, velcro
  • zip ties
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • folding board, folding table
  • spare light bulbs
  • glass cleaner, paper towels, squeegee
  • duster
  • steamer, iron and ironing board