We regularly benchmark the direct selling industry. This spring, as coronavirus arrived, we began doing increased research into industry trends. Our interaction with consumers during the early months of the pandemic taught us a lot about why so many more consumers were buying from social sellers. We also learned a lot about why people were joining direct selling companies in record numbers.
The second wave of COVID-19 cases has hit much of the country over the past two weeks, and we are seeing the start of another wave of people becoming social sellers. Recent research provides some interesting insights into why the direct selling industry is surging as the next wave of coronavirus cases has hit.
Direct selling is the established work from home business model. Since David McConnell launched the forerunner of Avon more than 100 years ago, the direct selling channel has been developing and enhancing opportunities to work from home. For decades, companies in this channel have offered representatives the freedom to choose when, where, and how they work. Opportunities in what has become a broader social selling channel blossomed as social media emerged and fast, reliable home delivery reached all areas of the country.
Over the past two weeks, we have found that many individuals engaged in social selling have ramped up their personal businesses. New distributors have once again flocked to direct selling companies that align with their interests and passions. People tell us that working their social selling business is the one thing they can control right now, when everything else seems uncertain. They can work as much as they like, and earn what they need as they have faced layoffs, furloughs, and salary cuts in their “day jobs.” The ability to control their destiny seems to be an overwhelming driver of social selling activity right now. Unlike other gig economy side-hustles like Lyft and Uber, non-one is going to terminate you from your social selling “job” because you failed to pick up enough customers yesterday. No major social selling company imposes fixed sales quotas or sales minimums. Management is not going to announce a 20% reduction to your pay tomorrow – social selling companies have time-tested compensation plans that rarely see major changes.
Social selling companies have work from home models that were seemingly built for times like these. Reliable income from a personal business, where you are in control. Many people we talked to are working through their anxiety about the state of coronavirus – and the state of the country – by putting their energy into their social selling businesses. With uncertainty the new norm and the holidays approaching, the number of new social sellers is going to once again grow dramatically.