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AI Interviewer in Action:
Consumer Insights About Sex Toys

Anna Kupriyanova
No, you did not misread the title. Yes, these kinds of delicate topics are tricky to navigate even for human interviewers. However!
We won't be caught dead passing on a challenge. So we set out to discover what insights can be taken away from AI-moderated conversations about sexual wellness. And to find out just how open and honest consumers in Japan and Germany would be in interactions with our AI interviewer - Yasna. Let's go!
Who participated in the study:
Men and women, 18-69 y.o., Japan and Germany
Bought and used sex toys at least once in the last year
100 in-depth chat-interviews conducted in total

Perception of sex toys is positive in both countries.
But with nuance

Pleasure, fun and enjoyment come to the minds of both German and Japanese respondents as first associations with sex toys. However, there is a note-worthy difference in the approaches to pleasure. German respondents express openness about using sex toys to enhance their sexual experiences, either alone or with a partner. Self-pleasure gets the spotlight with opinions like these coming up often:
Market research tool. Yasna AI interview.
Interview conducted in German, but translated into English for this case study by the AI interviewer
In contrast, Japanese respondents commonly associate sex toys with the idea of pleasing their partners, considering the situations in which they would use sex toys. Drawing on this discovery, our AI agent provided suggestions for potential marketing strategies:

  • Focus on promoting sex toys as a way to enhance partner satisfaction.
  • Provide ideas for different scenarios in which sex toys could be used.
Reach out to your target audience with any kind of questions via human-like conversation led by our AI auto-moderator. Get robust stories packed with insights and understand just how widespread the needs, pain points and usage occasions are.

Beyond pleasure. 3 more reasons why people use sex toys

Exploration and Variety: a common theme is the use of sex toys for exploration and variety. Respondents in both countries mentioned using sex toys to try new things, to prevent monotony in their sex life, and to make their sexual experience more diverse and intense.
Emotional Benefits: respondents in both countries highlighted emotional benefits such as stress relief, feeling satisfied, feeling attractive, and feeling love.
Practical Reasons: overwhelmingly brought up by the Japanese resps, these included preventing pregnancy, using sex toys in same-sex relationships, and even crime prevention.

What about the purchase frequency? Well…
It's Frequent-ish

The majority of sex toy users in both Germany and Japan purchase these products a few times a year. However, there is a significant minority of high-frequency buyers in both countries.
Market research tool. Yasna report.
Yasna provides quantitative reports within qualitative studies
Based on this information, our AI agent highlighted the opportunity to tap into a potential market segment for more frequent, perhaps subscription-based, sales.

The presence of low-frequency buyers and non-buyers is prominent in Japan and can be tied to the lower level of social approval, indicating a potential for market expansion through education and marketing efforts.

Online shopping is the preferred way for buying sex toys in both countries

But the offline stores are holding their ground too.

Amazon, Eis.de, Amorelie and Orion.de are the most popular online platforms for purchasing sex toys in Germany. In Japan, Amazon and Rakuten are the most mentioned online platforms, with some users also purchasing from adult websites.

Drivers for Buying Online:
  • Convenience
    Many mentioned buying sex toys online because it's easy and convenient. They can shop from the comfort of their own homes and have the products delivered directly to them.
  • Discretion
    Some respondents mentioned that they prefer to buy sex toys online because it's more discreet, less embarrassing.
  • Variety
    Online shopping offers a wider selection of products to choose from.
A significant number of users still prefer to buy sex toys offline in both countries. In Germany, respondents mentioned buying from local sex shops and stores like Rossmann. In Japan - adult goods stores, specific sex toy shops in Akihabara, and drugstores.

Drivers for Buying Offline:
  • Physical Inspection
    Some respondents prefer to buy sex toys offline because they can physically inspect the products before purchasing, which makes it easier to gauge the quality.
  • Immediate Possession
    Buying offline allows customers to have the product immediately after purchase, without having to wait for delivery.
  • Specific Stores
    Some respondents are drawn to specific offline stores like adult bookstores and drugstores.
Close to 80% of respondents in Japan and Germany are happy with the available selection of sex toys
Although the majority of respondents in both Germany and Japan are satisfied with the current selection of sex toys available in their respective countries, there are some areas for improvement. Most notably - the pricing.

Respondents from both countries often mentioned high prices as a reason why they chose not to buy.
It seems people are not ready to spend a lot of money on this product category.
Market research tool. Fastuna AI interview.
Interview conducted in Japanese, but translated into English for this case study by the AI interviewer
Other areas for improvement suggested by our AI agent included: increasing the number of sex toy stores, expanding the selection, importing more interesting sex toys from abroad, improving the colour options, and introducing more unique products. In this arena, variety is the name of the game!
Great Sexpectations:
Factors influencing the buy/no-buy decision
Besides cost-effectiveness and the ability to provide pleasure, a lot of factors come into play when choosing or purchasing a toy. Our AI agent identified the most common ones, providing a concise summary:
User Experience
A size that fits well. Appealing, user-friendly and versatile design. A quiet operation. The ability to use a toy together with a partner.
Safety and Hygiene
Respondents mentioned the importance of a sex toy being safe to use and easy to clean.
Respondents consider the material of a sex toy when choosing, with preferences for soft materials like silicone. Plastic and other hard materials are commonly avoided.
Sex toys that offer new and different experiences are attractive to the respondents.
Discreet packaging
A factor specific mostly to the Japanese users
To ensure privacy. This is important for users who experience feelings of guilt or embarrassment about using sex toys.
A factor specific mostly to the German users
Several users mentioned that they rely on reviews and ratings when choosing a sex toy.
"Was it good for you?"
Respondents' feedback on chatting with AI
Don't get us wrong - we can take criticism. But this time, let us bask in a lack thereof :D

The sweeping majority of respondents from both Germany and Japan expressed comfort during the conversation. They appreciated its relaxed, open, and straightforward nature.

In fact, several respondents from the two countries indicated a preference for discussing sexual wellness and sex toys with an AI over a real person. Reasons included feeling less embarrassed, the AI's ability to provide quick and precise responses, and avoiding the drama associated with human interactions.
Market research tool. Fastuna AI interview.
Interview conducted in Japanese, but translated into English for this case study by the AI interviewer
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