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Interview about

Shots Goes Wild

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Our own event in the wild!

Let's start with a short review: it can be assumed that you were more than satisfied with your 'SHOTS Goes Wild' event at the end of May?
Yes we were. It all came together and the responses of both our customers and participating brands was overwhelming, really confirming , accepting and appreciating the new strategy of Shots. The unique location was of course amazing but also the time we had to represent the brands, dedicated time with customers , have fun but also learn and understand products and brands more was so precious and appreciated. So yes, it was a big success, huge.

 Now you have recently announced your new strategy regarding trade shows. Can you explain to our readers exactly what this strategy looks like?
Shots is changing as is the market, changes are sometimes scary, necessary or exciting  but often needed to remain on top of your game and keep evolving. We want to be closer to the customer and spent time with them,  in their or our office and discuss for hours and hours with our sales and marketing team together with the customers buying and marketing team the opportunities and possibilities we have and what we can do for them! Dedicated time, one on one, understand the needs, their stores and their wishes, and to grow our brands and our distribution brands even more. This approach takes time and resources. So we need to focus on this stratgey and cannot do it all.

What were the reasons for this step?
We see that if we sit down with the customer and have the right people at the table we can work magic. We have a super talented Sales and Marketing team that are supported by an Amazon Design team. And if combine all forces  we can create amazing things for the customer that not only look and sound really good but it will drive sales to an even higher level. Shots is a powerhouse of power brands, and to create that awareness we need to do whatever is needed in the region our customer is located. The customers knows their own region, cliental  the best. We know the brands. Together that’s gold.

But we need to take time and effort first to listen, discuss and then create.

To what extent has the success of your own events - especially SHOTS Goes Wild at the end of May - played a role in your decision to change your strategy with regard to trade shows? Or to put it another way: what advantages do you see in your own events compared to third-party trade shows?
The Shots Goes Wild results are a confirmation of the strategy we set already in 2022. We just wanted to be sure that we could deliver what thought we could do. And we did!

We still and always respect every tradeshow in the world. And we will still attend the show as visitor this year. Further we will participate in one tradeshow, other that our own, once in the 2 year, somewhere in Europe. 

SHOTS has a considerable output of new products - both in the area of own brands and third-party brands. Is one event - be it your own or a third-party trade show - per year at all sufficient to keep your customers informed?
We will release quality over quantity,  products that make sense. Our focus in to be a full assortment distributor. We do not need uncountable vibrator brands and unlimited bondage gear, we will release products in one of our hero brands where we feel and hear  a demand is missing in our assortment. That means quality over quantity. We will launch these new releases on either our own show or the other year at the third party show and of course via our sales and marketing team using our own platforms.

We are launching a new website in January 2024, a complete new B2B platform where new releases also will been shown.  Further the new strategy means a lot more travelling for our sales and marketing team. They will then bring our new releases with them. So when we are in the office of the customer we can talk about current sales and marketing plans  while holding the latest releases in our hands. An affective and engaging way for both our distri brands and our own.

As a result of your new strategy, SHOTS will not be attending eroFame this year. Now one could argue that SHOTS, as one of the market-leading companies, cannot afford not to be at eroFame. What do you reply?
The goal is to see the customers and sit down with them and make a plan and work together on that to build the brand/business and profitability. We will make sure to accomplish that promise. That is our focus, to have more dedicated time for our customers. SO for next year, we will be back at Erofame. Still because we believe it is a great way to see a big part of our industry in just 3 days of show.

But because of the focus, we cannot do it all at once.  So this year we invested in travelling to sit down with the customers in their own stores and offices and we did our own tradeshow (Shots Goes Wild) and for next year we will participate in a third party show again.

How did your customers react to the announcement of the new strategy? And were there other reactions, for example from your suppliers, some of whose brands you market exclusively in Europe?
For our suppliers, it was not a surprise. They have seen the focus and change in strategy for some time now and appreciate it.  They also see the advantages when a distributor gives the commitment to a brand like we do, we treat them like they are our own, the same amount of time and dedication for all. And there is a big trust that goes both ways, a true partnership and there is also trust in us with this decision.

The same  holds for our  customers, they see the value when we visit them and they see the value of a customized sales and marketing plan. Dedication and focus is something that is highly appreciate and we are happy we can deliver on both. So there is a lot of understanding, understanding we cannot do it all at the same time and in the best interest of the customer.

The announcement of your strategy change talks about the years 2023 up to and including 2025, after which you will re-evaluate the situation?
We believe in this strategy and it is not a decision made in a day. We are confident that the direction we take bring our partners, suppliers, customers and us to a higher level. But of course in a quickly changing market like we are in you never know and even though you set out a new course you must never forget how to adapt swiftly.

With eroFame and EroSpain, we now have two trade shows in Europe and then there are the distributor/wholesaler events. Do you see the danger that all this is too much and the events will cannibalize each other?
Too many shows a year takes too much time and effort away from the real goals and targets we have. The Shots party is not new at all, we already do this for 15+ years so people are used to this and during covid really missed it. The concept we have created is something spectacular so this we will keep once a 2 years for sure.

And then we choose 1 other show the other year. A decision made with our new strategy in mind and we feel very comfortable with.

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