SHOTS Concluding 2018 on a High Note

By on December 18, 2018
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Synergy caught up with sales dynamo Hein Schouten from SHOTS to recap the last 12 months and see what exciting new developments we can expect.

How would you recap the last 12 months for SHOTS?
The last 12 months have been a rollercoaster, in a great way! We finished a successful year in December 2017 and started again full power in 2018. Not an easy year for breaking records as 2017 was such a huge success. SHOTS Europe has created a strong foundation over time and our brands are well known and our customer base is big, loyal and still growing, which results in a very satisfying growth for 2018.

Of course with the huge expansion SHOTS has had over the last few years, doubling the turnover is not possible anymore. It is the stable factor in our organisation that gives us confidence for the future and belief that we can do the same with SHOTS America. Our American dream wasn’t always easy. The first few years we were new to the market, people had to get used to the new kid on the block, but oh what a great year we had! The loyalty and enthusiasm of the American customers has been overwhelming. They understand now that we do it a bit different to what they are used to with their current suppliers and that we are investing to stay in this market for the long term. They now recognise that for us, the only way is up.

The growth of our Australian and New Zealand markets in 2018 was also very important to us, as they have been a large influence on the expansion of SHOTS America this year. Shipping our goods out of LA or China, instead of Holland, has seen the frequency and size of the orders increase substantially. The growth of SHOTS worldwide comes from several factors. Firstly the trust that customers have in our new releases because they know that they always sell well. Then add the innovation of those same new lines to stand out from the rest of the market. Not to mention the relationships that are new and promising and friendships that go back for years. It all comes together with SHOTS.

What have been some of your highlights?
The highlights of this year are both the SHOTS parties, one in Holland and one in LA. Both parties are unique and mean a lot to us and to our customers. Then another highlight is winning ‘Company of The Year’ for 8 years in a row. This recognition is the crown on our work.

What trends and product developments can we expect to see from SHOTS in 2019?
We released many different and great selling products in 2018. In October 2018 we introduced a few brands which will hit the market in early 2019. The first one is called SEXERCISE. This rechargeable toy line is designed not only for pleasure but also has the capability, via built-in sensors, to train and measure women’s pelvic muscles. All this via a Fit Watch included with the toy that also tracks daily results. This is a super innovative and unique product and pre-sales are already showing it to be a big hit.

Also in 2019, we will launch our new brand IRRESISTIBLE.
This new line consists of 4 suction toys and is one of only two legal air suction category brands in the world. Due to the different technology that is patented, these toys are unique in their kind. They give the same orgasms as the top-selling competition air suction brands, however, as far as price/quality ratio goes they are the best deal you can get. The launch will be huge and the expectations are enormous and after working for two years on this project, we are delighted to show it to the world soon.

SHOTS has established itself as a quality manufacturer in a short period of time, what are some of the factors contributing to this success?
The SHOTS family makes us a success. Our SHOTS team is a real team. They listen to the market and they listen to each other. They mainly focus on designing and creating different products that have a story to tell and which sell well. It is not easy to always be innovative but you can guarantee that we give 100% effort to deliver that every time, and it seems to work very well.

How is the market in the Australian region reacting to SHOTS items in comparison to other regions, are there any region-specific sales trends?
At SHOTS we think the Australian-New Zealand market is overflowing with too much product that has many similar designs and much of the same packaging. So, over the last few years, we have seen with our new releases, the success is in the unique concept of the product. Luckily nowadays SHOTS works almost exclusively with these distinct ideas. For example; MANCAGE, ELECTROSHOCK, SLT, JIL, SKULLS & BONES, CRYSTALINO, and ELEGANCE are all distinct brands with unique concepts. Then we have the long-standing lines that created and continue to create brand awareness like; OUCH!, FIST-IT, GC, and LOVELINE. The price also plays a huge part! For example; the market has a lot of male pumps and many brands have the same kind of pumps. So one would say it’s very difficult to be successful with pumps. With our brand PUMPED, we increased the quality by changing the TPE parts for silicone and compared to the competition our products got much better, while still delivering at a better price in great packaging. So the concept makes sense and even when products have plenty of competition, if the different factors are right, the brand will be a success.

We’ve seen you at just about every trade show and every country, you have a heavy travel schedule, how do you balance work and private life?

We now have a worldwide sales team comprised of seven people, so we can divide ourselves over the trade shows more efficiently. Nevertheless, there are a lot of trade shows and you do have to sacrifice something of your personal life but you do get a lot in return.

For instance, the people I get to meet and bond with while growing the SHOTS brand around the world is priceless!


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