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Design By Humans
Published On: Fri, Nov 29th, 2019

THE SEX FILES: Interview With Irene Chen of Hustler Hollywood

I was lucky enough to talk to Irene Chen of Hustler Hollywood. H.H. maintains a spanking-cool URL where you can buy all the adult toys you’ll ever need as she welcomes thousands to their infamous store location (soon, I’ll be telling you about the new NYC location they are opening). Along with the site, there is a sex toy guide resource page they want visitors to know about (go here) where adults can learn more, share tips and generally get good information on all that Hustler sells. Irene gave me some insight of what Hustler has learned through this page and in selling all the wonderful toys they do.

Have you been noticing any trends in what’s being bought in stores or online lately, and are the sales different with what’s ordered online as opposed to what’s bought from customers walking into the store?

Although we’ve found that our revenue streams are often very similar, couples tend to purchase more toys in stores than online. We believe that it’s mostly because buying a couples’ toy is a dating and bonding experience, and it’s much easier to have that experience by visiting a brick-and-mortar store.

That said, there are definitely some toys that perform well across all channels. If a toy’s a bestseller, it’s usually going to be a bestseller across both physical and online stores. The most well-known toys, like Fleshlights® and Hitachi wands, get just as much interest in physical stores as they do online.

In this day and age, lots of folks are folding up brick-and-mortar locations. How do you ensure that the physical store and the online shop both show a profit and don’t compete with each other?

The fact that couples tend to buy more toys in person definitely contributes to this factor. Because the physical stores are more of an experience, we’ve found that if we really bolster that experience, more people visit the stores just to be part of that.

We’ve also recently switched over to an ERP system that allows customers to shop the same way online and in store. Customers can return online sales at their local store, receive loyalty points for all purchases both in-store and online, and use gift cards for any purchases.

This omni-channel approach has done wonders for our customer retention in both physical stores and online purchases. Many retailers know that omni-channel approaches are useful, but don’t actually put time and effort into fully realizing those approaches. We’re always looking for new opportunities to seamlessly integrate the shopping experience, and customers notice that.

What’s the future for sex toys — what haven’t we seen yet that’s surely coming?

Artificial intelligence (A.I.) toys are definitely going to make an impact in the coming years. In fact, we’re going to have the first A.I. male stroker in the next few months, distributed by Autoblow. We’re also working with a new company that’s creating a toy with responsive design. It learns what movements are most satisfying to the user, then changes its approach accordingly.

Although the concept of more fully realized sex dolls is floating around, they’ve always been out of the general shopper’s price range. These A.I. products provide a realistic experience at a more affordable price. They’re definitely much closer than some of the more futuristic A.I. concepts out there. In general, male powered products have lots of room for expansion, especially when it comes to vibrators and stimulators, moving away from the traditional “pocket pussy” concept.

Bluetooth and app control toys are of course already on the market, but there’s plenty of room to grow. Some of the most popular Bluetooth and app control devices are premium toys, but as technology progresses, the cost goes down. We’re expecting to see a lot more potential from these devices as developers get the price point down.

Is there an adult toy that has survived the test of time — something that always and forever will sell like gangbusters no matter what?

The first toy that comes to mind is definitely the Hitachi Magic Wand. Especially with the rechargeable model that allows for wireless stimulation, the Hitachi Magic Wand has been a smash hit ever since it was introduced, and we don’t see that slowing down any time.

The U-shaped We-Vibe has been around so long that it could also definitely be described as having stood the test of time. It’s been updated a few times, and every time, the new model has become a bestseller. Plus, it ties in with that Bluetooth and app control boom — We-Vibe has shown itself to be on the cutting edge with that technology, which is one of the reasons it’s so well-loved.

Of course, let’s not forget the good old dildo. Dildos have been around for millennia, and that’s because they work. Any company looking to create the next big thing should always remember to keep functionality first, then add on the bells and whistles.

Yes, let’s not forget good old dildos, I agree Irene! I want to thank Irene for her insights and I urge you to get on over to Hustler Hollywood, in person or online, for all your naughty adult toy needs. Again, see here for their online store: https://hustlerhollywood.com/ And look out NYC!

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THE SEX FILES: Interview With Irene Chen of Hustler Hollywood