Direct selling is a retail channel used by top global brands and smaller, entrepreneurial companies to market products and services to consumers. Companies market all types of goods and services, including jewelry, cookware, nutritionals, cosmetics, housewares, energy and insurance, and much more.
The direct selling channel differs from broader retail in an important way. It isn’t only about getting great products and services into consumers’ hands. It’s also an avenue where entrepreneurial-minded people can work independently to build a business with low start-up and overhead costs.
Direct selling consultants work on their own, but affiliate with a company that uses the channel, retaining the freedom to run a business on their own terms. Consultants forge strong personal relationships with prospective customers, primarily through face-to-face discussions and demonstrations. In this age of social networking, direct selling is a go-to market strategy that, for many companies and product lines, may be more effective than traditional advertising or securing premium shelf space.
Millions of people around the world choose to become involved in direct selling because they enjoy a company’s products or services and want to purchase them at a discount. Some decide to market these offerings to friends, family and others and earn commissions from their sales. The most successful consultants may decide to expand their business by building a network of direct sellers
Direct selling offers important benefits to people who want an opportunity to earn income and build a business of their own, to consumers as an alternative to retail stores, and a cost effective way for business to bring products to market.
Consumers benefit from direct selling because of the convenience and service it provides, including personal demonstration and explanation of products, home delivery, and generous satisfaction guarantees.
Direct selling offers an alternative to traditional employment for those wanting a flexible opportunity to supplement household income, or whose circumstances don’t allow regular employment. Direct selling opportunities can develop into a fulfilling career for those who achieve success and choose to pursue their independent direct selling business on a full time basis. Start-up costs in direct selling are typically low. Usually, a modestly priced sales kit is all that’s needed to get started, and there is little or no inventory or other cash commitment to begin. This stands in contrast to other businesses with the cost and risk associated with larger outlays.
Direct selling offers a distribution channel for businesses with innovative or distinctive products that for cost or other reasons are not suited to other retailing.
As the external Socio-Economic Impact Studies for the various markets show, direct selling is a positive benefit to the economies and people where direct selling companies operate and serves consumers with a convenient source of quality products.
Independent direct selling consultants earn commissions on sales but work for themselves. They set their own hours, create their own marketing plans, determine whether to build a sales team and how to mentor those within it and how to serve their customers.
Millions of independent direct sellers see advantages in working for themselves. The most obvious is the chance to build and grow their own business and run it how they see fit. The freedom and flexibility to set their own working hours draws all types of people to direct selling, including parents with young children, students, caregivers, retirees, military spouses and many more.
Start-up costs for most direct selling companies are a few hundred dollars or less because direct selling isn’t reliant on overhead like real estate, facilities and equipment or traditional advertising that can cost tens- or even hundreds-of-thousands of dollars.
According to the bulletin of the World Federation Direct Selling Association dated June 01, 2019.
- The total output of this industry in the world approached $ 193 billion, an increase of 1.2% compared to 2018;
- The United States of America and China hold the largest proportion of the global market, by an equal percentage of 18%;
- The number of IRs in the world exceeded 118 million marketers, an increase of nearly 1.7% over 2018;
- Morocco leads the African countries with more than 295,000 marketers, with a turnover of more than 127 million dollars, an increase of 3% over the previous year.
- The United Arab Emirates leads the Middle East countries with more than 863,000 marketers. Indonesia leads the world in terms of marketers, with more than 19 million marketers;
- The United States leads the world in terms of turnover of more than 35 billion dollars;
- The volume of sales in Africa and the Middle East does not exceed 1% of the global total. The question arises here
- Africa and the Middle East are the most underdeveloped countries in the world in the direct selling industry. The share of the whole Middle East + Africa (not only North Africa) is only 1% of the global direct selling market.