S4DS - Challenges and Trends in Direct Selling Part I


We have identified 10 challenges and trends that are currently present in the market for direct selling companies.

In this first article we will start developing the first 5 and later this week we will publish the remaining 5.

Having clear these challenges and tendencies we will be able to act and create suitable strategies that can serve as support to counteract in the best way the present situation of the direct selling market.


challenges and trends


  • Amazon case
  • Uber case
  • Age, Millennial and Centennial Generation
  • E-commerce
  • Influencers


Amazon Case




"How to compete with Amazon?" Is the question that is asked in each boardroom and presented to investors in the United States and around the world.The good news is that all of us in the direct selling industry have an answer. in the nature of who they are, everything we do has always been and must continue to be centered around people, our people and their authentic relationships with others.

People are at the heart of all our businesses, and that is what makes us different from any pure e-commerce.

The role of a direct seller goes beyond giving a simple recommendation.

Our Salesforce provides support, service, and that special connection that can

pass alone between two human beings. "


Roger Barnett


(DSA, Growth & Outlook Survey. US Direct Selling in 2017, 2017)






  • It’s disruptive and affects to some extent the current operation of direct sales.
  • Independents with the same Direct Selling profile find new opportunities to generate income
  • Projects: cars without driver that are driven alone, park themselves and even that can engage in conversations.
  • Direct selling will be the refuge of all this automation of work,
  • Use of robots in all industries.
  • Direct sales will play a very important role in the lives of many people who will be forced to move jobs
  • Direct selling will be the option to maintain your lifestyle in similar or better conditions than those that were being carried out.
  • Direct selling will be the channel to help people generate income through disruptive technological tools.


Supporting Note: "Toyota invests 500 million dollars to offer autonomous cars.

(EFE, 2018)


Supporting Note: "The American automotive General Motors pressed the accelerator on the issue of autonomous automobiles and wants to have robotic taxis circulating in the streets for 2019, this was mentioned by the company in a recent presentation in the United States.


(Universal, 2017)


Age, Millennial Generation And Centennial

  • Ages 18 - 24 that previously failed to have any participation significantly increased their participation.
  • In Brazil for example, we can see that 48% of the people involved in direct sales are part of this market.
  • Europe and the United States show more conservative data, with those from 35 to 44 years of greatest participation,
  • However, people aged 18 to 24 also play an important role in these markets and are the ones that are changing the way they look at direct sales.




Support Notes:


  • "Millennials and soon centennials will become our customers and it is essential to begin to understand their consumption habits in order to stay on top of sales" ....


  • ... "But generational changes affect not only the consumer but also the workforce. We will have new consultants who will have different interests and for that reason we must adapt to their lifestyles and offer the best to their business-person "Carlos Gallego Manager of Yanbal.




  • Dedicating time to personal topics and maintaining contact through social networks are some of the activities that make this generation happy.


  • A study conducted by Raddar and American Express, ensures that, although 87% of them have as a priority traveling and tourism abroad, instead of having a job.


  • "Happiness is directly related to the fulfillment of dreams. This is a generation that has the luxury of fulfilling what they expected, such as traveling, studying and sharing with their friends and family; that is why work is only a small part of the way, but it is not what makes them happy ", complements María Claudia Rojas, a psychologist from Universidad Javeriana.




  • Aggressive growth plan.
  • 24/7 sales
  • Flexibility for the work model of the consultants (Timetable - Place)
  • Rich in features
  • Push sales: Cross sales
  • 55% of Amway's sales: E-commerce
  • Real-time information




Electronic commerce in the United States grew 16% in 2017, and steady growth is expected in the coming years. The growth of e-commerce last year accounted for 49% of all retail sales growth compared to 42% in 2016.





Among the members of the DSA, electronic commerce is seen primarily as an opportunity.

55% of respondents from Evolving Marketplace believe that e-commerce is a huge opportunity and a third is neutral.

The companies are taking the following actions to remain Competitive:


  • 75% website improvement for consumers.
  • 73% Improving the website for independent representatives.
  • 59% Order improvement and back-end processing.
  • 41% Accelerating delivery
  • 35% by adding a preferred client program
  • 33% off free shipping offer.

(DSA, Growth & Outlook Survey. US Direct Selling in 2017, 2017)



They are the people who have the ability to influence the decisions of life and purchase of a group of people. These people see themselves as leaders, people of opinion with a high margin of credibility.

Influencers have certain characteristics:


  • They have a broad social life
  • They are always updated
  • Produce content: videos, photos, articles
  • They move actively in social networks
  • Generate news
  • They help brands to sell through:
  • Mouth to mouth Marketing
  • Social Selling
  • Recommendations (92% of consumers believe in the recommendations)






DSA. (2017). Growth & Outlook Survey. US Direct Selling in 2017.


EFE. (2018). EFE. Obtenido de https://www.efe.com/efe/espana/economia/toyota-invierte-500-millones-de-dolares-en-uber-para-ofrecer-coches-autonomos/10003-3731561#


Universal, E. (2017). El Universal. Obtenido de https://www.eluniversal.com.mx/

El trabajo no lo es todo para los Millennials. (2018). Gerente Colombia, 73.




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