Direct selling experienced a challenging time in the last five years, not only because of more product options being available to consumers from other channels, but also because direct selling attracted fewer part-time and full-time distributors. To manage the supply side of the equation, direct selling is trying to find relevance in the new economy, where there are an increasing number of self-employed workers.
With increasing competition from various channels, many direct selling companies are developing new product lines to differentiate from their peers and attract more customers with unique product offerings. Cosmetics and skin care companies are more proactive in terms of product development, as consumers are always interested in effective products with fast results.
The Direct Sellers Association created a five-year strategic plan, with the goal of promoting brand awareness, communications, community engagement, ethics, government relations and member benefits in direct selling in Canada. The primary short-term goal is to raise awareness of brands by launching new community websites and increasing the social media and public presence.
Consumer health holds a strong position in direct selling and continues to adapt to meet consumers’ needs. Similarly, beauty and personal care is another strong category within direct selling.
Some companies promote beauty and wellness products as a lifestyle choice. For instance, starting as a skin care and make-up company, Arbonne International now also offers hair care, body care and nutrition lines, building comprehensive product lines that cater to every need in consumers’ daily lives.
To expand their businesses more effectively, direct sellers in Canada are making stronger efforts to build growing categories. New Avon is focusing on fewer but stronger brands, as well as picking up relevant innovations in the US and marketing them locally.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Retailing market research database.