When was the last time you watched a commercial on television? If you are like many of us, you won't be able to remember the last time you actually watched a commercial you didn't skip or fast forward unless you were interested in it. Our attention spans have changed and the way products are being marketed to consumers has also changed.
Recent research from the U.S. Direct Selling Association reports unprecedented growth in network marketing, in terms of both retail sales and the number of people involved. This growth shows the vibrancy of the model as an unmatched opportunity for entrepreneurship. Customers gravitate towards the personal touch network marketing provides, Technological advancements have helped the channel to continuously evolve. This report presents some facts and reasons why network marketing has grown in a turbulent global economy and why the business model is poised for continued growth over the next several years.
1. U.S. Growth – Retail Sales
Network marketing in the U.S. experienced growth for the 6th straight year, reaching $36 billion in estimated retail sales in 2015. This is almost a 5% increase from 2014 and a new record high, outpacing the growth of both overall U.S. retail sales (1.6%) and the U.S. gross domestic product (3.5%) in 2015.
Network marketing in the U.S. experienced growth for the 6th straight year, reaching $36 billion
2. U. S. Growth – People Involved
The number of people involved in the U.S. grew from 18 million to 20 million in 2015, an 11% increase from the previous year. While network marketing continues to attract predominantly women, the business model represents every generation and is generally reflective of America’s diverse population.
The number of people involved in network marketing in the U.S. grew from 18 million to 20…
3. Global Growth – 103 Million People
Global retail sales reached $183 billion in 2015, an increase of 7.7% since 2014. In 2015, 103 million people were involved in network marketing globally, up 4.4% from 2014. A significant factor that accounts for this growth, both in sales and people involved, is the global rise of entrepreneurship.
In 2015, 103 million people were involved in network marketing globally, up 4.4% from 2014.
4. Established and Emerging Markets
The world’s top 10 countries for network marketing (accounting for 80% of global sales) are the U.S., China, Korea, Germany, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, France, Malaysia, and U. K. Six of these are “Advanced economies” and four are “Developing economies” according to the International Monetary Fund. Network marketing is thriving in both advanced and developing economies.
Network marketing is thriving in both advanced and developing economies.
5. The Rise of the Entrepreneur
The definition of an entrepreneur is a “bearer of risk”—a person who has an idea or ideas and is willing to take the risk of acting on them. Since we all face and take risks in life, we are all entrepreneurs. In the U.S. 86% of people hold positive attitudes toward entrepreneurship. Today more and more people want to be entrepreneurs, and network marketing provides the means to be in business for yourself, but not by yourself.
In the U.S. 86% of people hold positive attitudes toward entrepreneurship.
6. Riding Macro Trends
Network marketing is in prime position to capitalize on a number of macro trends in the U.S., including an aging population and the obesity epidemic. The wellness sector commands the largest share of network marketing sales. It also is the fastest growing sector.
The wellness sector commands the largest share of network marketing sales.
7. Engaging and Empowering People
Personal touch gives network marketing an advantage over buying a product off the shelves. In addition to showcasing the benefits of the products, network marketers can act as coaches, helping people stick to their resolutions and experience success in their new venture.
Personal touch gives network marketing an advantage over buying a product off the shelves
8. Social Selling and Online Team Building
When was the last time you watched a commercial? Social media has become a huge driver of business growth. The proliferation of social media platforms and online person-to-person communications has positively impacted many network marketers and empowered many former or current employees to become true entrepreneurs.
9. Technology and E-Commerce
Technological advancements and evolving e-commerce platforms have allowed network marketing companies to give their distributors tools to easily expand their business. Online ordering, 24/7 access to training, and no need for inventory are making it easier than ever for network marketers to succeed.
10. Community and Branding
Particularly in the past decade, with online social interaction and information immediately accessible, consumers are constantly seeking validation from reference groups, peer reviews, and community when identifying with a brand. Network marketing’s value proposition provides exactly that.
Network marketing has continued to experience growth due to strong macroeconomic conditions, an increasing trend toward entrepreneurship, and an ability to adapt to both consumer trends and advances in technology. The DSA expects the business sector to continue to grow in the U.S. by 3% to 5% per year for the next three years.
*The Special Report is based on WFDSA statistics and DSA Research presented in Direct Selling News by Ben Gamse.