Direct selling was one of the hardest hit retail channels by the pandemic. For several months at the beginning of the lockdown, the distribution capacity of this channel was effectively shut down, and consumer concern about infection have made the return of the face-to-face sales model hard to rebuild.
Supply and logistic problems and a lack of access to customers continue to be the key issues in 2021. However, other factors played a less direct role in restricting recovery.
Direct selling companies that specialise in health-related products including Comercial Miclar SRL, the distributor of Herbalife Ltd or Omnilife de Bolivia SA, suffered a sharp drop in sales during the pandemic as a of logistical difficulties and problems relating to the sales model as a result of lockdown.
The pandemic has seen many direct selling companies caught short by being almost entirely dependent on their sales distributors to generate sales. Restrictions on movement and socialization stopped this model in its tracks.
During the pandemic, a number of direct sellers that primarily focussed on cosmetics were forced to reinvent themselves, launching antibacterial gels and soaps in response to the overnight change in consumer demands, as well pushing harder at vitamins and supplements. This growth in health concerns may have marked a more permanent shift in offer, and could offer opportunity.
Over the forecast period, the number of sales representatives in direct selling is forecast to grow, as a consequence of the rising unemployment rate. Although Bolivia is emerging from recession more quickly than expected, household incomes continue to suffer, especially among lower income households where informal employment is the norm.
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Direct selling is the marketing of consumer goods directly to consumers, generally in their homes or the homes of others, at their workplace, and other places away from permanent retail locations. Direct selling occurs in two primary ways: On a one-to-one basis (usually by prior arrangement a demonstration is given by a direct seller to a customer) or on a party-plan basis (selling through explanation and demonstration of products to a group of prospective customers by a direct seller usually in the home of a host(ess) who invites other persons for this purpose). Avon stands as a prime example of a direct seller using one-to-one selling, whereas Tupperware is famous for its party-plan method. Direct selling of services - such as insurance, telecoms, other utilities, and financial services - are excluded.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Direct Selling research and analysis database.
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