Updated October 2018
This is the 2018 Sex Toys Market Performance Report.
We’ve produced this report so that industry leaders in the sex toy market can better understand how they fit within their digital landscape and how they measure up to competitors in the field.
Looking at the performance in nine key metrics year-on-year, the report ranks the top websites in this sector against each other. Scores are qualitative and analyse areas such as Brand Reach, SEO Visibility and Link Authority among others. This gives a top-line view of the Sex Toys Market in more detail, for your reference.
Although we only include information and data gathered about the best performers in the industry, we do collate data from the whole market to produce these reports. So, if you can’t find your brand name on the list, don’t worry. Just ask, and we’ll send the data that’s most relevant to you, including your company.
We wouldn’t be doing our job if we collected the data but didn’t read into it ourselves. We identify key takeaways of the report and market highlights. We’ve put together a series of highlights, but we’d still recommend downloading the report yourself to get the best overall view of the sex toys industry.
One of the main improvements everyone strives to make year on year is an increase in organic visibility.
Using Search Metrics, we track huge keyword sets to see the historical performance of online brands and discover who has made wins or losses for SEO in the past year.
It looks to have been a difficult year for the Sex Toys market with more than half of the top ten retailers stagnating or losing visibility.
Ann Summers remains the market leader despite a 3% drop in their visibility.
Love Honey has stagnated, keeping them in second place.
Bondara has also held onto their third-place position after losing 36% of their visibility.
Sextoys.co.uk has lost 6% of their visibility.
Finishing off the top five is Honour who has managed to gain a 32% visibility increase.
The rest of the top ten looks more positive:
Well done to Carvaka who have gone from position 25 to position ten in a year!
The sex toys industry is a fast-growing market online. With online department stores such as Amazon selling the products, it can be difficult for brands to reach those top spots on Google.
Love Honey is ranking in position one for the highest competition keyword ‘sex toys’. They also have an ad at the top of the page with sitelinks to popular categories.
They are performing well across most keywords, both competition and opportunity.
Fleshlight is ranking in position one for the highest opportunity keyword which is also ‘fleshlight’.
However, Love Honey is also taking positions two and three for this term and ranking with both the brand page and the category page.
Other brands like Uberkinky are also performing well for specific terms, but as we’re not an adult site, we won’t go into those too much.
Most of the keywords are related to specific products so you would imagine that the intent is mainly to purchase.
But some of the keywords are much more driven towards education and advice on this subject.
Even seemingly commercial terms bring up listicles about the best ones to buy and articles about how to use them.
Well done again to Love Honey who is ranking in position one for the term ‘best sex toys’ with a top ten shoppable guide. They’ve beaten the likes of Cosmopolitan and the Independent to get to the top spot.
Providing supportive guides to your potential customers is not only a great way to earn their trust and custom, but it’s also one of the top-ranking factors for Google at the moment.
Their recent EAT Update wants sites to focus on producing authoritative, reliable content that serves the user intent.
Ann Summers produces guides which fulfil the user intent by providing rich, informative content that is written by experts in the field and contains links to products with designs that don’t force a sale but keep it integrated well.
Links are still the primary ranking factor within Google. The best way of attracting them is by having a strong content marketing campaign. Doing this well can be difficult in this kind of market, as there is sometimes a stigma attached. People, therefore, tend not to stick around on sex toy or adult market sites for longer than they have to.
Harmony is topping the link charts, gaining a good number of links per month of high quality.
We’re impressed to see that most of their highest linked-to content (aside from product images) consists of blog posts.
These range from “What is a…?” style posts to “how-to’s” and listicles.
It’s great that they’re already gaining links. And, judging by the titles, they are covering a lot of subjects. But we think they could enhance this blog even further.
Here are some ways they could turn this from a standard blog into a fantastic digital magazine:
These are some very basic initial fixes but should boost the rankings of these posts which will also add towards link building.
Love Honey is also gaining ample links of very high quality – the highest of all the brands.
We can see that in the past they’ve had competitions like ‘design a sex toy’ which gained a lot of links and coverage. This kind of thing is perfect for outreach, especially within the sex toys market. The competition gained a link from Erotic Trade Only, the UK’s leading erotic industry magazine.
Their historical content is the stuff gaining the most links, including an interview with a famous adult actor which has gained over 250 links.
We love their ‘How To Choose Your First Sex Toy’ buyers guide which has a video, helpful tables, product images and shoppable content to engage with.
Something we shouted about in our last version of this report was Lelo’s Orgasm Survey 2017.
This gained links from the likes of Maxim, Refinery29, Buzzfeed and Time.
Surveys and unique data pieces are perfect for outreach because they give journalists a bed of content to construct an article out of. And people love hearing statistics.
Nowadays, a strong social presence can make or break your brand. Social media channels are the online spaces to gain new audiences and, hopefully, turn them into customers.
We’ve looked at who has the best brand reach across the sector by comparing search volume and effectiveness of content performance across social channels.
Ann Summers is topping the social charts with the highest number of brand searches and a high owned social score.
They use their social channels well, posting content relevant for each account.
Their Facebook account includes promotional images, links to their articles and tutorial videos on styling.
They also post seasonal and event-based posts including Halloween.
Their Instagram is much more tailored towards product images and short promotional videos.
However, they aren’t using the shoppable hotspot image feature which allows users to click and buy products. Enabling this could increase sales and revenue.
Love Honey is also performing well in social.
They have an extremely high number of brand searches, but this is not reflected in their owned social score.
Their Facebook feed is full of links to their articles, product promotions and links to other helpful content.
They also post competitions – a fantastic way to gain more engagement on your social channels.
Their Twitter feed includes branded hashtags and engaging facts as well as links to their YouTube videos.
They make great use of Instagram Stories which provides one-click access to a wealth of knowledge on specific subjects. These guys also aren’t using hotspot imagery which we would definitely recommend.
It’s unclear why their owned social score is low, but if they continue in this way, it’s sure to increase.
We keep banging on about using shoppable content on Instagram because we think it’s essential.
Previously, URLs or links of any kind did not work unless they were in the account bio – hence the often quoted ‘shop link in bio’.
Now, however, customers can click and be taken directly to the URL in question.
With an estimated 85% of millennials using their phones to make purchases before any other device and a membership of over 500 million, it opens up another vast audience who can click and buy in an instant.
Instagram is the perfect place to advertise your products, give customers an insight into your brand and provide them with the option to purchase straight from the app.
If you want to know more about this market or want to see where you fit in, download the report or speak to us.