Direct selling is a retail channel used by some top global brands and many smaller, entrepreneurial companies to market products and services to consumers. All types of goods and services, including jewelry, cookware, nutritionals, cosmetics, housewares, energy and insurance are being marketed under this method.
The direct selling channel differs from broader retail. Direct selling is done through entrepreneurial-minded people, who work independently to build a sales business with low start-up and overhead costs. Direct selling consultants or sales persons work on their own, for a company that uses the channel, retaining the freedom to run a business on their own terms. They forge strong personal relationships with prospective customers, primarily through face-to-face discussions and demonstrations. Direct selling is a go-to market strategy that many companies are effectively utilizing compared to traditional advertising and premium shelf space.
Millions of people around the world choose to become involved in direct selling and offer the products to friends, family and others and earn commissions from their sales. The most successful consultants expand their business by building a network of direct sellers and guiding them in the business.
Direct selling is person-to-person retail. In this business model people sell products directly to other people to earn extra income.
Direct selling offers accessible entrepreneurship to anyone to start a business with little startup costs. In direct selling, salespersons or distributors earn income by selling to customer networks, either in-person or online. They can also recruit others to join their sales team to sell more products and increase their income potential.
In 2016, 107 million people around the world were involved with direct selling, driving more than US $182.6 billion in direct retail sales. Based on 2016 revenues, Amway, Avon, Herbalife, Vorwerk and Mary Kay are the top five global direct selling companies.
In India FICCI, a leading chamber of commerce is supporting direct sales.
Government of India has issued guidelines for orderly conduct of direct selling.