The pandemic has revived the direct selling category and led to companies establishing new ways of marketing and selling their products, namely via video and phone calls. In fact, the use of Microsoft Teams and Zoom proliferated amongst direct sellers in 2020.
During the pandemic, big differences have been noted between the success of direct selling companies in Norway based on the product category. For example, Eqology, which specialises in vitamins and immunity products, registered particularly strong sales growth during Q1 of 2020 as consumers were looking to protect themselves against COVID-19.
The line between e-commerce and direct selling is increasingly blurring. Whilst new customers need to pass through a selling agent to register an account, many companies are now ensuring that direct purchases are available online for existing customers.
From 2022 onwards, direct selling is set to return to moderate current retail value growth, which will slightly slow over the forecast period. The category still has healthy days ahead and is set to keep e-commerce competition (from both pure e-commerce players and physical stores with digital presence) at bay through launching its own e-commerce offerings.
Health food and supplements were already the main driver of growth pre-pandemic, with the emergence of COVID-19 only reinforcing this trend. Such products are set to continue being in high demand, especially vitamins and dietary supplements, as they will continue to be seen as a convenient way to improve one’s health and protect one’s immune system.
Beauty and personal care direct selling is set to post a weaker performance in the forecast period with a gradually declining share anticipated. Competition from e-commerce, as well as the wide availability of advice through social media influencers and vloggers, will continue to reduce the traditional competitive advantage of beauty and personal care direct sellers.
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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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