In the face of the growing consumer preference for online shopping, direct selling struggled to remain relevant in the changing market conditions over the review period. Most of the key players within the category now also offer online shopping, but the direct selling model remains at the heart of the business strategies of the companies operating in the channel.
Over the last five years, the most popular single product category in direct selling remained beauty and personal care, thanks largely to the channel leader – Avon. However, other direct selling accounts for a very high share of overall value sales, reflecting the success of numerous smaller companies which focus on a larger number of product categories.
Meanwhile, categories that were once popular will be a low priority for the channel. Home care and apparel and footwear will remain relatively niche in direct selling over the forecast period.
Avon Cosmetics remained the leading player in direct selling in 2018, despite an evident shift in consumer preference and stronger competition from other international players. Whilst Avon offers a wide range of products, beauty and personal care remains its key focus.
Both small and large international players focus largely on social media to connect with consumers. However, Avon has little presence on social media, and is often regarded as an old-fashioned beauty brand.
The most successful players in direct selling are proactively addressing the challenge posed by soaring internet retailing sales in the UK, with a focus on offering intuitive, mobile-optimised sites. Avon notably invested heavily in its digital strategy towards the end of the review period, launching My Avon online stores.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Retailing market research database.