Sex Toys

By the time the 2023 numbers are finished being crunched, an estimated 20.8% of retail purchases for the year will be shown to have taken place online, according to Forbes – thanks not only to convenience but to consumers’ desire for privacy, as well. Enter sex.

The online sex toys market size is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.45% between 2022 and 2027, according to Technavio, a global market research company in Elmhurst, IL. The market’s size is forecast to increase by $13.4 billion.

The growing LGBTQ population in developed countries “is notably driving market growth,” the firm reported. This population is “a major part of the entire population in developed countries. Such a community is the primary user of sexual wellness products, including sex toys.” In fact, the rising LGBTQ population is also supported by mainstream news media in the U.S. “Goldman Sachs, Google, Morgan Stanley, and Coca-Cola were some of the mainstream players that were part of this initiative.”

The availability of sex toys through e-commerce platforms like company websites and dedicated e-commerce sites “is serving the objective in terms of meeting the growing demand for sex toys among the LGBTQ population.”

Innovative products and discrete product packaging of sex toys are attracting many LGBTQ individuals to adopt these new products. That growing LGBTQ base, especially in developed countries, is projected to drive the growth of the online sex toys market during the forecast period.

The researchers found that rebranding and repositioning of sex toys is an emerging trend shaping the market growth. Societal inhibitions are one of the main reasons for the growth of the market, as the perception of these products has often been stereotypical. Taboos associated with sex toys have prevented vendors from venturing into this space.

Vendors today are mainly emphasizing product promotion and display and innovative packaging, which is helping change the levels of perception among individuals. Beyond that, the overall sex toys industry is changing its marketing strategies.

Interestingly, Technavio noted in a release, sex toys are proposed to be used for therapeutic use, as well. It is considered a favorable option to create a new breed of visual imagery within the sextoy marketplace that is progressive, inclusive, positive, socially conscious, and approachable by all segments of society. The rebranding and repositioning of sex toys should help boost the growth of the online sex toys market during the forecast period.

Significant Challenges
Among the significant challenges hindering market growth is the difficulty in marketing sex toys.

In countries like India, the collected information showed, societal norms related to intimacy discourage consumers from openly buying sex toys. Educating them and creating awareness about these products is a challenge for vendors. They are likely to focus on target marketing to customer acceptance, especially in emerging countries, which is more difficult for online retailers, Technavio suggested, particularly in regions with severe internet laws and regulations. Also, counterfeit sex toys are often packaged under the brand names of original products and sold on large online retail sites like eBay and Amazon.

Beyond this, counterfeit BDSM sex toys are said to be increasing significantly in the market. Such products can have side effects, as they contain polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics with a high concentration of phthalates, which can negatively affect the health of individuals who use them.

Viewing the online sex toys market by product, the adult vibrators segment is increasing in terms of both market size and product offerings, the firm found. Different technological innovations in the sex toys industry, which were contributed by start-up companies and pivotal vendors to remain competitive in the market, have led to many product offerings and the introduction of new products in the market.

Due to the availability of low-cost vibrators, several manufacturers are engaged in the production of so-called insertion vibrators, especially in China, which has a large market for these products. Nevertheless, since the launch of rabbit or dual-purpose vibrators, the growth of the insertion vibrator market has been hampered. These factors are expected to increase the growth of the adult vibrators segment.

Female Segment
The marketshare growth of the female segment will be significant during the forecast period, Technavio pointed out.

“Female sex toys are used to enhance sexual pleasure, and some of the types of female sex toys are vibrators, dildos, strap-ons, masturbators, and anal toys,” the firm noted. “Online platforms are a major distribution channel for selling female sex toys.” Indeed, the female segment is said to be the largest. The growing popularity of female sex toys “has encouraged many vendors to expand their product offerings with new variants of their products,” the release pointed out.

Some vendors and government organizations are making efforts to increase awareness of sexual wellness and health among endusers through sexual wellness initiatives, also contributing to market growth, Technavio found. These are also expected to augment the sales of female sex toys, which should further fuel the growth of the online sex toys market during the forecast period.