Just how did we go from having this smart idea to marketing sex toys online? We narrowed our possible endeavor down to four choices: iPhoneCases, CoffeeStop, TheSexShop and FaveFiveBoysToys. Then we measured them up against the requirements described previously mentioned. Both IphoneCases and TheSexShop pleased many of the requirements, but it was the high typical transaction (ATV) for sexual intercourse playthings that swung it for TheSexShop.for example. That accompanied by the fact that folks are incentivised to buy on the internet in order to avoid the humiliation of passers by sniggering at you as you scarper down the road with a handbag nestled into your armpit.


We chose to position yourself as merchants of higher-end, luxury electric gadgets. Using this in mind, we chosen a white-colored minimalist design just like the Apple inc web site in look and feel (indeed really). Being a elegant procedure, we created a mindful choice to possess no nudity online. We elected in order to avoid porn and concentrate solely on sexual intercourse toys.

The challenging pieces

We began with Shopify, which made getting started quite simple and really cheap. Nevertheless, we weren’t too happy based exclusively on Paypal for repayment and experienced it was one of the main reasons we were acquiring a suprisingly low conversion rate (under .5%). So we embarked on the huge ordeal of getting a merchant account and then a repayment processor on the site. This was and is still a painful experience, and my cardiovascular system bleeds for businesses determined by these procedures for his or her bread and butter.

A related discomfort point we’ve skilled is the dreaded fraud letter. Occasionally, four weeks after having a item continues to be delivered, we receive a letter from Barclaycard telling us that the credit rating card owner has signed a record to say they had never ever ordered the item – and for that reason Barclaycard is definitely not paying us the money. Of course, we have now already purchased mouse clicks and delivery the merchandise, departing us with a quite big reduction. Requesting the item back is not any use – returns aren’t sought after inside the sex-toy business. The really sickening part was the “defrauded” clients were frequently people we’d had email contact with once they purchased and prior to delivery.

The funny parts

I can’t deny which our online sex toy shop has delivered numerous a giggle inside the Wolfgang workplace. Very shortly after we place a mobile phone number on the website (simply because consumer service is master) “The Sex Line” begun to ring. Initially up was the Irish Independent, who went on to publish tips from your citizen “sexpert” Brendan Almack inside an article on sex playthings.

Hot Press known as following and TheSexShop featured within their yearly sex issue. In the middle correspondents and high breathers, we’ve experienced phone calls from individuals wanting us to satisfy all of them with their order in remote vehicle recreational areas – no thanks, pal – as well as a prank contact (hopefully) coming from a man who’d place a mini ambiance in which the sunlight doesn’t sparkle and was getting significant problems obtaining it back out.

Obviously, everybody in the workplace has created an encyclopaedic expertise in sex playthings. In the Dublin Web Summit an excited delegate showed me a image of the small tool and stated: “You will never ever you know what that factor is.” I responded: “Why that’s the We-Ambiance 2!”

What we should learned

1: The power of trends

Shortly after we released, the book 50 Shades of Grey had become the most talked-about newsletter in the world. This meant sex toys were suddenly extremely topical. We used this by two methods: firstly, as a PR car to have our new name outside in the press; and next, by setting up 50 Colors of Grey bondage bundles to monetise the large number of search queries for that book.

2: The value of Average Transaction Value (ATV)

Click expenses can be costly, so ATV is often the difference between a lucrative sale as well as an unprofitable sale. Impacting on ATV is key to sustaining profitability. Our 50 Colors deals allowed us to manage ATV. We expanded on this “bundles” strategy at Christmas whenever we sold the world’s initially “Sex Toy Hampers”. What a proud moment for your Wolfgang crew and our families.

3: Outlying Ireland includes a high propensity to purchase on the internet (Hi Tipperary!)

Also Glaswegians are screaming lunatics for large, “realistic” playthings. Check out our infographic on Ireland’s appetite for sex toys.

4: The value of level of item range

Initially we attempted to curate a sophisticated choice of sex toys. Based on customer concerns we rapidly realised there is no comprising preferences. Therefore we pivoted from the limited curated range tactic and we quickly broadened our carry of sexual intercourse toys to this type of degree we couldn’t start to understand how to make use of a number of the gizmos we had been flogging. Transformation price increased in parallel with product range growing.

5: Different industry, different guidelines

We found that product specific keywords and phrases, eg “jelly jammers”, didn’t transform as well as generic searches (sexual intercourse shop Ireland), which any research online marketer will tell you is extremely unusual.

6: Drop shipping is extremely-efficient

We started off keeping some stock, but eventually decided drop shipping will be the smartest choice in the event it grew to become clear fulfilment will be challenging.

7: Retail is labour intense

I don’t know how you will merchants practice it. Tracking down items, customer service, posting products, creating distinctive descriptions, pricing within a powerful marketplace. Having the fine detail right throughout a tumultuous sea of complicated routines seems to be the key to success. It should be an enormous comfort to locate trustworthy companions to shoulder the workload.

8: Marketing online is fun!

The euphoria in Wolfgang office on 20 June 2012, when our initially order arrived in, was indescribable. We’d gone from concept to initially purchase inside of 30 days! We’d just marketed a vibrator being placed in a warehouse throughout the uk to a woman in kqkhnc Clare who we’d never ever fulfilled – and in case we could do that, well, we felt we might do just about anything.

Precisely what does this mean to you personally?

In case you are a digital marketer, why not think about being your very own customer? It’s quite inexpensive and simple to set up a website on Shopify and find a decrease shipper. It’s actually an extremely useful exercise in belly button gazing, you’ll be a great deal much more empathetic using the discomfort factors your customers feel and you’ll use a much deeper knowledge of which of their wishes you can satisfy (pun designed).

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