After a dip in value sales in the previous year, direct selling returned to growth in 2021. The main reason for this was the easing of restrictions on movement and socialisation, and consumer anxiety about the pandemic fading.
The most dynamic part of the channel in 2021 was consumer health direct selling, albeit with growth exaggerated by its emergence from a comparatively low base. Consumer demand for these products has been driven by rising health concerns in the face of the pandemic, and in particular by dietary issues.
Direct selling representatives have depended on social media such as Facebook in Estonia for years, using them to demonstrate new products, solidify relationships with their customers (many of whom are already friends, family or colleagues) and strengthen their own status as a kind of small-scale influencer. Consumers are also able to click through from these social media apps to place orders with the distributor.
It will be some time before retail value sales in direct selling return to pre-pandemic levels. Direct selling faces multiple challenges to regaining momentum, including an improving in-store offer of low priced beauty and personal care products from modern grocery retailers, increasing numbers of apparel and footwear specialist outlets and the evolution of other non-store channels, above all e-commerce.
More effective digital strategies will be essential for direct sellers over the forecast period, as representatives come to resemble digital influencers more closely than traditional direct selling reps. The popularity of influencers has expanded significantly in Estonia over the review period.
Direct selling in Estonia is comparatively underdeveloped, with a limited number of product categories present. This may be an opportunity for direct sellers to build sales over the forecast period, especially in the smaller categories.
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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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