How to Open an Online Adult Toy Store on Shopify?

- 12 mins read

Curious entrepreneurs! As you know, with the adult industry flourishing and e-commerce platforms like Shopify at your fingertips, claiming your share of the market has never been easier.

But, before diving into the lucrative world of selling adult products online, let’s cover the essentials. This guide will walk you through every step of launching your own online adult toy store on Shopify—from legal considerations and planning to effective marketing strategies for growth.

So, without any further ado, let’s make your adult toy store the talk of the town!

Why Shopify for Your Adult Toy Store?

First things first – why choose Shopify? Well, Shopify is one of the most user-friendly and versatile e-commerce platforms out there.

It’s perfect for beginners and experienced entrepreneurs alike. Here are a few reasons why opening an adult toy shop on Shopify is a great choice:

  • Ease of Use – Shopify is renowned for its user-friendly interface, making it simple for anyone to set up and manage an online store, even without technical expertise.
  • Customizability – With a wide range of themes and customization options, you can create a unique and branded storefront that reflects the identity of your adult toy business.
  • Security and Compliance – Shopify takes care of security measures and compliance with industry standards, crucial when dealing with sensitive products like adult toys.
  • Limitless Performance – Shopify offers unlimited bandwidth, secure hosting, and protection against hacking and instability, ensuring your e-commerce store runs smoothly and safely.
  • Integrated Payments – Shopify integrates with multiple payment gateways, allowing you to accept payments securely and conveniently, essential for adult product transactions.
  • Marketing Tools – Shopify provides built-in marketing tools and apps to help you promote your adult toy store, attract customers, and drive sales.
  • Customer Support – Shopify offers 24/7 customer support to assist you with any technical or operational issues, ensuring your store runs smoothly.

Now that we’ve covered why Shopify is a solid choice, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of setting up your adult toy store.

How to Open an Online Adult Toy Store on Shopify? 

Following are some key steps for opening an online adult toy store on Shopify:

Step 1: Planning Your Adult Toy Store

You need to do some planning before you open sex toy business on Shopify . This step is crucial for the success of your business, so don’t skip it!

Defining Your Niche and Target Audience

Before you open an adult toy shop on Shopify, it’s crucial to pinpoint your niche and understand your target audience. The adult toy market is vast, with various segments like vibrators, BDSM gear, lingerie, and wellness products. 

Ask yourself:

  • What specific products do you want to offer?
  • Who are your ideal customers?

Consider factors such as:

    • Gender identity (e.g., male, female, non-binary)
    • Sexual orientation (e.g., heterosexual, LGBTQ+)
    • Relationship status (e.g., singles, couples)
  • Consider demographics, preferences, and behaviors. Are they beginners or experienced users? What are their age ranges, interests, and purchasing habits?

Conducting Market Research

Thorough market research will give you insights into industry trends, customer preferences, and competition. 

Here’s how to get started:

  • Check out the top adult toy stores, both online and offline. Note their product offerings, pricing, website design, and customer reviews.
  • Use surveys or social media polls to gather opinions on what adult products they want and their shopping habits.
  • Look into industry reports, forums, and blogs to understand emerging trends and customer demands.

Creating a Business Plan

Yes, it might sound boring, but a solid business plan is crucial to start an online adult toy store on Shopify. It should outline your business goals, strategies, and financial projections.

Key components include:

  • A snapshot of your business idea and objectives.
  • Insights from your research, including target market and competitive landscape.
  • How you plan to attract and retain customers. Consider social media, SEO, content marketing, and influencer partnerships.
  • Budget, funding requirements, pricing strategy, and sales forecasts. Include startup costs, ongoing expenses, and revenue projections.

Choosing a Business Name and Domain

Selecting the right name and domain is essential for brand identity and online visibility. 

Here’s how to choose wisely:

  • Pick a name that is catchy, memorable, easy to spell and relevant to your niche. Remember, you’re selling adult products, so you might want to keep it classy but not too explicit.
  • Use domain registration sites like GoDaddy or Namecheap or Shopify itself to find and register a domain that matches your business name. Opt for a .com or .store extension for a professional touch.
  • Include relevant keywords in your domain name to boost your search engine ranking.

With these foundational steps in place, you’re ready to move on to setting up your Shopify store and bringing your adult toy business to life!

Step 2: Legal Considerations

Now, let’s talk about the not-so-fun but absolutely necessary part – legal stuff. Selling adult products comes with its own set of challenges, so it’s important to cover all your bases.

Age Verification Requirements

You’ll need to implement a robust age verification system to ensure that only adults can access and purchase from your store. 

Shopify has many apps that can help with this, like the BlueCheck Age Verification. This app allows you to set up age gates on your homepage and product pages, ensuring that minors can’t access your adult content.

Shopify App Store
Source: Shopify App Store

Make sure to choose an age verification app that complies with local laws. The  BlueCheck Age Verification, for example, offers various verification methods like date of birth entry, ID scanning, and SMS verification to meet different legal requirements.

Product Restrictions and Regulations

Different countries and even states have varying laws regarding adult products. Research the regulations in your area and the areas you plan to ship to. Some products might be illegal in certain places, so be aware of these restrictions.

Adult Payment Processors

Many traditional payment processors are wary of adult businesses. You’ll need to find adult-friendly payment gateways.

Some options include CCBill, Verotel, and NETbilling. Shopify Payments unfortunately doesn’t support adult products, so you’ll need to use a third-party processor.

When choosing a payment gateway to sell adult toys on Shopify make sure it’s compatible. Furthermore, many adult-friendly processors offer Shopify integrations for seamless checkout experiences. 

Shopify’s Discussion Forum
Shopify’s Discussion Forum

By addressing these legal considerations upfront, you’ll be well on your way to setting up a successful and compliant adult toy store on Shopify. 

Step 3: Setting Up Your Shopify Store

Alright, now we’re getting to the fun part – actually setting up your store!

Selecting Shopify Plans

Shopify offers several pricing plans to choose from, each with different features and capabilities. The right plan for your adult toy store will depend on factors like your expected sales volume, the number of products you’ll be offering, and the level of customization you need.

The pricing plans to open an online adult toy store on Shopify include:

Basic Shopify

  • For solo entrepreneurs
  • Price: $29 USD/month (billed once yearly)
  • Transaction Fees: 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction


  • For small teams
  • Price: $79 USD/month (billed once yearly)
  • Transaction Fees: 2.6% + 30 cents per transaction

Advanced Shopify 

  • As your business scales
  • Price: $299 USD/month (billed once yearly)
  • Transaction Fees: 2.4% + 30 cents per transaction

Shopify Plus

  • For high-volume businesses
  • Starting at: $2,300 USD/month (on a 3-year term)
  • Transaction Fees: Depending upon the customization done by the client
 Shopify’s Pricing Plans for Adult Toy Store
Shopify’s Pricing Plans for Adult Toy Store

NOTE: Shopify also offers a free 3-day trial with no credit card required, allowing you to explore the platform before making a commitment.

Customizing Your Store Theme

Your store’s appearance is the first impression customers will have, so it’s vital to choose and customize a theme that reflects your brand. 

Shopify offers both free and paid themes. Browse the theme store and select one that aligns with your brand’s style and offers the features you need. For adult toy stores, consider themes with a clean, modern look that can handle high-quality images and videos.

Some popular Shopify themes that could work well for an adult toy store include:

  • Narrative – A versatile theme with a focus on visual storytelling.
  • Debut – A minimalist theme with a strong emphasis on product presentation.
  • Brooklyn – A stylish theme with advanced customization options.

“Remember, you’re selling adult products, so you want something sleek and sophisticated, not childish or overly cutesy.”

Shopify Theme Collections
Shopify’s Theme Collections

Then, customize the colors, fonts, logo and layout to match your brand identity. Ensure that your store is visually appealing, easy to navigate, and mobile-friendly.

👉 Must Read: The Top 10 Sex Toy Business Models

Configuring Privacy and Security Settings

Protecting your customers’ privacy and data is crucial, especially in the adult industry. Shopify provides various security features and settings to help you keep your sex toy business secure:

  • SSL/HTTPS Encryption – Shopify automatically provides an SSL certificate for your store, ensuring that all data transmitted between your website and visitors is encrypted.
  • PCI Compliance – Shopify is PCI-compliant, ensuring your store meets industry standards for payment card data security.
  • Two-factor Authentication – You can enable two-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security to your Shopify admin.
  • Customer Data Privacy – Shopify has robust data privacy policies and tools to help you comply with regulations like GDPR.
  • Regularly Update Software – Keep your Shopify platform, apps, and themes updated to protect against vulnerabilities and ensure optimal performance.

Step 4: Sourcing and Managing Inventory

Now that you’ve set up your Shopify store, it’s time to source products and manage your inventory. This step involves several key components:

Finding Reputable Adult Toy Suppliers

When sourcing products for your adult toy store, it’s essential to find reputable suppliers that offer high-quality products and reliable shipping. 

Here are some tips to help you find the right suppliers:

  • Look for suppliers that have a strong online presence and positive reviews from other customers.
  • Attend trade shows and industry events to network with suppliers and learn more about their products.
  • Look for suppliers that have certifications like ISO 9001 or CE, which ensure that their products meet certain quality standards.

Some popular suppliers for adult toys include:

  • Cirilla’s A well-known supplier of adult toys and lingerie.
  • LELO A high-end supplier of adult toys, including vibrators and massagers.
  • SportsheetsA supplier of adult toys & accessories, including bondage gear and lubricants.
Cirilla Sex Toy Store
Source: Cirilla’s

Dropshipping Vs. Holding Inventory

Now, onto the stocking of your store! You’ve got a couple of options here: 

  • Dropshipping – Apps like VelvetShip make it easy to import adult products and have them shipped directly to your customers. 
  • Inventory – In this, you can buy products in bulk from adult toy wholesalers. But, on the other note you have to manage the storage, packaging, and shipping of products.

Remember, whatever route you choose, make sure your products comply with Shopify’s policies and legal requirements. Quality and safety are paramount in this industry!

PRO TIP: The best fulfillment method depends on your business goals, available resources, and target market. Consider starting small and scaling up as you gain experience and understand your customer’s preferences.

Implementing Inventory Management Systems

Regardless of whether you choose to dropship or hold inventory, you’ll need to implement an inventory management system to track your products and ensure that you have enough stock on hand. 

Here are some tips for implementing an inventory management system:

  • Shopify has a built-in inventory management system that allows you to track your products and set low stock alerts.
  • There are many third-party apps available that can help you manage your inventory, such as Inventory Management by TradeGecko or Zoho Inventory.
  • If you’re holding inventory, you’ll need to set up a fulfillment center to store and ship your products.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your adult toy store is well-stocked and running smoothly.

Step 5: Product Listings and Descriptions

Creating compelling product listings is crucial for attracting and converting visitors into customers. Here’s how to optimize your product listings on Shopify:

Writing SEO-Friendly Product Descriptions

Identify relevant keywords related to adult toys using tools like Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush.

Write descriptive product titles and descriptions that highlight key features, benefits, and unique selling points (USPs). Include relevant keywords naturally to improve SEO.

Use bullet points, headers, and bold text to make the information easy to scan. Provide details on materials, dimensions, and usage instructions.

Focus on how the product enhances pleasure, improves intimacy, or solves specific needs. Appeal to emotional and practical motivations.

Using Appropriate Imagery and Videos

Use high-resolution images that showcase the product from multiple angles. Include close-ups of important features.

Create short videos demonstrating product use or highlighting features. Videos can significantly increase engagement and sales.

LoveHoney’s Couple Toys Video Demonstration
LoveHoney’s Couple Toys Video Demonstration

Ensure all imagery and videos comply with Shopify’s content policies and legal regulations regarding adult content.

Categorizing Products Effectively

Group products into categories such as vibrators, lingerie, bondage gear, etc., to help customers navigate your store easily.

Use subcategories to further refine product searches (e.g., silicone vibrators, leather restraints).

Tag products with descriptive keywords (e.g., waterproof, rechargeable) to improve searchability and enable filtering.

Include category and product keywords in URLs, meta titles, and descriptions to enhance visibility in search engine results.

Use Shopify’s collections feature to group related products (e.g., bestsellers, new arrivals, couples’ favorites).

Allow customers to filter products by price, color, size, or other relevant attributes.

LoveHoney Adult Toys Filter Set
LoveHoney’s Adult Toys Filter Set

Tips for Success

  • Maintain a consistent tone and style across all product listings to strengthen your brand identity.
  • Encourage customers to leave reviews and ratings. Positive reviews can boost credibility and sales.
  • Keep product listings updated with new arrivals, seasonal promotions, or product enhancements.
  • Use Shopify’s analytics tools to track product performance, identify top sellers, and optimize listings based on customer behavior.

Step 6: Payment and Shipping

Now, as we stated earlier in Step 2 Shopify Payments, the default payment processor, doesn’t support adult products. Therefore, you’ll need to use third-party payment gateways that are adult-friendly.

To set up a third-party payment gateway:

  1. Go to your Shopify admin panel
  • Navigate to Settings > Payments
  1. Click “Add payment provider”
  2. Choose your selected gateway and follow the setup instructions

Furthermore, set up multiple payment gateways to ensure that if one fails, customers have alternative options to complete their purchases.

Implementing Discreet Shipping Options

Use plain, unmarked packaging to ensure discretion. Avoid any branding or labels that hint at the contents.

Ensure shipping labels and return addresses do not indicate the nature of the contents. Use a neutral or unrelated business name if possible.

Provide multiple shipping options, such as standard, expedited, and international shipping. Use carriers that ensure reliable and discreet delivery.

Inform customers about your discreet shipping practices on your website, especially during checkout. Transparency builds trust and reassures customers.

To set up shipping in Shopify:

  1. Go to Settings > Shipping and delivery
  2. Set up your shipping zones and rates
  3. Consider offering free shipping over a certain order value to encourage larger purchases

Managing Returns and Exchanges

Having a clear, fair return policy is important for customer trust. Here’s how to manage returns for adult products:

Create a detailed return policy: Clearly state which items can be returned (typically only unopened products for hygiene reasons).

Set up a returns process in Shopify:

Go to Settings > Policies

Create and customize your return policy

Use Shopify’s built-in return management system:When a customer requests a return, go to Orders > Returns

Process the return according to your policy

Consider offering store credit instead of refunds for opened items.

Remember, the key to success in the adult toy industry is maintaining a balance between professionalism and discretion. Always prioritize customer privacy and satisfaction in your payment and shipping processes.

Step 7:  Marketing Your Adult Toy Store

Marketing an adult toy store requires a strategic approach to reach your target audience while adhering to platform guidelines and maintaining a professional image. Here are some effective strategies:

SEO Strategies for Adult Content

Research and use relevant keywords related to adult toys in your product descriptions, blog posts, and meta tags.

Optimize product titles, descriptions, and meta tags with targeted keywords. Ensure your content is informative and engaging.

Create SEO-optimized blog posts, guides, and articles around topics related to sexual wellness and product usage. This can drive organic traffic and improve your site’s authority.

Earn backlinks from reputable adult industry websites and blogs to improve your site’s authority and search engine ranking.

Social Media Marketing

Social media is a powerful tool for reaching and engaging with your target audience, but the adult industry comes with its own set of challenges. Here’s how to do social media marketing effectively within platform guidelines:

When choosing platforms for your adult toy store, consider X (Twitter) for its lenient policies and audience engagement, Reddit for its niche subreddits, and Instagram for brand-building. 

Share behind-the-scenes content, product teasers, and educational posts that align with your brand’s voice and values.

Use creative storytelling to convey the benefits and features of your products without violating platform policies.

LELO’s Twitter Post About Vibrator
LELO’s Twitter Post About Vibrator

Also use relevant hashtags to increase the visibility of your posts. Stay updated with trending hashtags in the adult industry and incorporate them into your content strategy. However, avoid overly explicit tags that might get your content flagged.

Interact with your audience by responding to comments, messages, and mentions. Encourage user-generated content (UGC) through contests or giveaways.

By strategically using social media, you can build a strong online presence, connect with your audience, and drive traffic to your Shopify store.

Email Marketing

Offer discounts, free guides, or exclusive content to encourage visitors to subscribe to your email list.

Segment your email list based on customer preferences and purchase history for targeted campaigns.

Use Shopify’s built-in email marketing tools or integrate with third-party platforms like Mailchimp to set up automated email sequences for welcome emails, abandoned cart reminders, and post-purchase follow-ups.

Share product updates, promotions, and educational content to keep subscribers engaged.

Affiliate Marketing and Influencer Partnerships

Set up an affiliate program to incentivize bloggers, influencers, and websites to promote your products. Platforms like Refersion and ShareASale can help manage your program.

Partner with influencers who align with your brand values and have a following interested in adult products. Negotiate sponsored posts, product reviews, or giveaways.

Work with influencers to create authentic content, such as reviews, unboxings, and tutorials of adult toys.

Like, the former Love Island contestant, Megan Barton-Hanson has collaborated with brands like Lelo and Bellesa to promote their products.

Megan Barton Hanson Collab with LELO
Megan Barton Hanson Collab with LELO

Strategies for Upselling and Cross-Selling

Use Shopify apps like Bold Upsell or ReConvert to suggest related products during the checkout process.

Create product bundles or kits that offer a discount when purchased together.

Offer additional products at a discount immediately after a purchase is made.

Implementing these marketing strategies will help you attract targeted traffic, build customer loyalty, and grow your adult toy store’s presence and sales on Shopify. Regularly analyze and optimize your campaigns based on performance metrics to maximize results.

Other Alternatives to Open Online Adult Toy Store

If you’re looking for alternatives to Shopify for opening an online adult toy store, here are some leading options tailored to the specific needs of the adult industry:

1. xMarketplace by

xMarketplace by stands out as a top Adult eCommerce Website Script, offering the flexibility to sell your own products or utilize dropshipping. Its integrated inventory source and dropship automation simplify connecting with 15+ suppliers and over 70K products. Easily manage and mark up prices through backend controls for profitable sales.



  • Industry-Specific Customization
  • Inbuilt SEO and Marketing Tools:
  • Multiple Adult-Friendly Payment Gateway 
  • Integration of ad banners with Cost Per Action (CPA) model

👉 Must Read: xMarketplace vs Shopify: Which is Best For Your Adult E-commerce Store in 2024?

2. WordPress with WooCommerce

WordPress is a versatile content management system that can be used to create an online store when combined with the WooCommerce plugin. This option offers great flexibility and customization options.



  • Highly customizable
  • Large selection of themes & plugins
  • Can be self-hosted for more control
  • Integrations available for age verification and adult-friendly payment processors

3. BigCommerce

BigCommerce is an e-commerce platform that can be used for adult products. It offers robust features and is known for its scalability.



  • Customizable themes
  • Built-in marketing tools
  • Multiple payment gateway options
  • Multi-channel selling capabilities


Well, there you have it, folks! We’ve covered all the essential steps on how to open an online adult toy store on Shopify. Remember, the key to success lies in maintaining professionalism, discretion, and a genuine connection with your target audience. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your branding and marketing efforts – after all, a little playfulness never hurt anyone! And if Shopify isn’t your cup of tea, you can always explore alternatives like xMarketplace by, WordPress with WooCommerce, or BigCommerce. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get selling!

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