Direct selling has continued to grow from a low base in 2018 in current value terms. Improved macroeconomic stability in 2018, after a wave of currency volatility and devaluations during 2015/2016 in which the local currency lost up to 98% of its value, has supported improved sales through direct selling.
During the review period, sales through direct selling remained relatively low in Azerbaijan, since local consumers continue to prefer buying products in store rather than from a catalogue. Furthermore, there was a lack of significant advertising activity by the leading players, with advertising limited to television advertisements on Russian channels.
Key goods distributed through direct selling in 2018 include beauty and personal care products, while a small number of consumer health products, such as dietary supplements and sports nutrition, and tissue and home care products also continue to be offered by direct sellers. Even though other products are also available through direct selling they remain negligible with cosmetics and fragrances being the most commonly sold items, with these being promoted among women as well as benefiting from their value for money claims.
Oriflame remained the most reputable, recognised and top-selling brand in direct selling in Azerbaijan over the review period, despite seeing a considerable drop in its value share. The success of the company is explained by its longstanding presence in Azerbaijan as well as its strong brand reputation with a focus on quality and value-for-money benefits in the products it distributes.
Direct selling continues to be led by international players with the presence of local players remaining negligible in 2018. Local consumers remain conscious about the lower quality of local products, especially within beauty and personal care and consumer health, which remain the key products purchased through direct selling.
During 2018, retailers within direct selling have increased their offer of products that promote a healthy lifestyle. These products include beauty and personal care, as well as consumer health products, such as meal replacement, dietary supplements, protein products, skin and hair care products and others.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Retailing market research database.