What is the famous “Gig” Economy?
The term has been used to describe the new era of internet-driven work contracts that are short term, like Uber and freelancer platforms. Jobs that people can perform whenever and wherever they want to, jobs that give entrepreneurs all the flexibility and the power to choose one or more activities that represent a living, or an extra income one app away without contractual obligations or traditional workplace rules.
But wait, it sounds like Direct Selling, right?
Direct Selling has been challenged
Direct Selling Industry has always been social, focused on leveraging sales abilities for Sellers to reach an income, but having a message that appeals to the greed for making short term money in the communications of a Direct Selling Company is not sustainable, and it is no longer applicable.
Direct Selling Companies are guilty of having had compensation plans that reward top-earning Sellers that have built a downline and in a few years have reached a level in which they can profit from that network residual income, which goes against the principles of today’s economy in which people want to be rewarded by their efforts, and they are very much aware that it takes dedication and delivering to make money, which is one of the premises of the Gig Economy.
Market trends have an impact in all industries, having younger more conscious and ethically caring customers have impulsed movements that demand Direct Selling Companies to respond with honesty in their products and messaging to keep customers interested and not be losing sales. Because it is Millions of People industries like Direct Selling the ones that create a huge impact for customers and consultants.
Compensation plans are changing from multilevel to single level as one of the changes the industry is facing, and that is not going to happen in the future, it has been happening for a while, and, if Direct Selling wants to represent an attractive option for Gig Economy, it can, but it has to reassess the messaging and change the game for potential Consultants and Social Sellers.
Gig Economy options have created another shift on what entrepreneurs expect from the business they promote, in Direct Selling the acquisition of a new customer used to represent a cost for both the distributor and the parent company. Today, technology can be leveraged to get a bigger reach and represent no costs for the Consultants, with the corporation taking in their hands both, the costs of generating customer acquisition practices and funding the compensation plans.
Direct Selling was once the only absolute option in Gig Economy, in which all the other options represented such an expensive starting payment that Direct Selling did not have to worry about other competitors stealing the sellers; today, if Direct Selling does not renew, it is going to keep losing distributors and with those, sales.
Direct Selling has to question how is it attracting more customers and with them more distributors? How is the compensation plan being attractive to entrepreneurs over other Gig options?
What has Direct Selling misunderstood?
Digitalizing Direct Selling is not about making technological processes inside the Companies to sustain traditional ways of selling door to door marketing, or the ladies taking to their friends houses the new catalog. Technology has to digitalize the business for the Consultants, to compete with the huge wave of E Commerce that has dramatically impacted Direct Selling Companies Sales.
It is no longer about keeping up with market trends, Direct Selling Companies have to keep up with their Consumers, their demands and requests with Customer-Centric Content scalable with Corporate Marketing and Omnichannel Sales their Consultants / Influencers use.
Shopping experiences and consumer preferences have also changed, seamless purchase experiences are no longer the answer, simplifying one or some of the interactions is not enough, Consumers want to be surprised in the purchasing process and they want to have all the Omnichannel shopping options available for them to decide in which way they are going to buy from a brand that they are going to be associated with.
As we stated in one of our previous articles “Creating Customer-Centric content to get more Social Sellers” the more Customer-Centric the Direct Selling Industry gets, the more sustainable the business plan will be, because it creates more loyal customers and with them longer staying distributors and higher engagement in the business from all levels in the network.
Business building is not sustainable unless Direct Selling Companies focus on rewarding activities for bringing new customers and new representatives, motivating veteran consultants to re-engage in the business.
Direct Selling & Gig Economy, are they related?
Many people agree that Direct Selling is a pioneer to what we call today’s Gig Economy. And the pros of working in the Gig Economy match the traditional Direct Selling speech:
Flexibility, variety of offers, easy access and easy way out, good remuneration, extra income.
The differences are what is less attractive to today’s entrepreneurs:
- Gig jobs offer very low or no starting costs,
- Payment is defined in advance to the performance of the job and sometimes it is paid in advance,
- Most of gig jobs provide a base of customers generated by corporate marketing.
Direct Selling is the next step in Gig Economy:
Direct Selling and Gig Economy represent more than 90% of the people that are part of them, an extra income, rather than a living; sticking to that messaging would make more transparent the business model for prospects interested.
Direct Selling can transform into the next aspirational step for prospects interested in Gig Economy:
- With more realistic messaging,
- Offering down to earth retribution expectations,
- Establishing clear differences in communications for their distributor’s prospects and Customers,
- Generating Customer-Centric Content to attract final customers that create the need for more distributors, closing the cycle of traditional Direct Selling practices and generating a demand that makes the business attractive for new Consultants.
- Adopting Social Selling practices and membership and affiliate programs,
- Understand retail actions and adopting Omnichannel Sales Models,
- Implementing technologies to fasten their distributors’ enrollment processes, commission payments, and sharing information with the Consultants. Turning the onboarding of representatives as easy as signing up in an app on their phones, can make Direct Selling a winner in the Gig Economy.
Direct Selling unlike other forms of Gig offers a wider variety of products to sell, more compensation plans to choose from, and the potential to cultivate business skills and relationships along with the income generation.
With the strengthening of the consultants’ social media supported by the corporate communications, Direct Selling can create communities around consultants’ Networks and offer a scalable business model they can run from the comfort of their own place, which compared to long commitment hours delivering food or driving people around offers a better quality of life.
S4DS Software, empowering sales for Omnichannel Direct Selling
We can be your strategic ally to compete and win in the Gig Economy supporting your Social Selling Omnichannel Sales:
- S4DS Timeline to share customer centric information with the Consultants’ Network to support their Social Selling.
- Manage the Consultants’ Networks, with S4DS Consultant Back Office.
- Fasten the Consultants’ Enrollment process in the responsive E Commerce and informative website.
- Manage Consultants’ Microsites with their content for community building, with S4DS Replicated Microsites.
- Manage compensation plans and commission payments with the S4DS Corporate Back Office.
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