Technology is an amazing thing.
Just fifty years ago, the markets of small and medium enterprises only consisted of people they could physically reach, or they had to rely on expensive mass advertising.
Today, even startups can market to the college student halfway across the world. With a simple click on their laptops or mobile phones, users can shop, interact with companies, and receive promotional offers from businesses all over the world.
We’re increasingly becoming a seamless global market, and it’s time that direct selling companies recognize the potential for embracing technology.
E-commerce is disrupting the direct selling industry
Since the boom of e-commerce giant Amazon, the direct selling industry has taken quite a hit.
Technology has allowed consumers to easily purchase online, affecting the direct-sales business model.
Because direct selling has historically been based on personal, face-to-face interactions with customers, the digital revolution that has made it easy for big brands to reach consumers directly without sales representatives has created cause for concern about its effects on direct selling.
But this doesn’t mean that direct selling is nearing its demise. Rather, it simply provides an opportunity for innovation for direct selling companies.
Without innovating, direct selling companies risk losing out to Amazon and other big retailers who have embraced technology.
It’s important for direct selling companies to stay current on technology trends and to embrace change if they want to survive in an increasingly digital world.
The direct selling companies, who embrace E-commerce and effectively blend it with their passionate sales force, will be positioned to compete and win in this virtual marketplace.
Technology as a tool for efficiency
One of the best things that technology has given us is the power to be more efficient.
Given the right tools, technology can be used by businesses to streamline processes and improve strategy.
In the end, proper application of these technological advances can help a business innovate and stay on track with their goals.
A good opportunity for streamlining is lead generation. Getting rid of the paper lists, manual reporting and ad hoc sales follow up maximizes the potential of your distributors by automating the lead generation process.
Embracing innovation for direct selling companies
If direct selling companies don’t want to get left behind, then they really have to step up and embrace technology.
There are lots of options for innovation for direct selling companies, and all of these could be leveraged even by small businesses to their advantage.
Technological advances make it easier for direct selling companies to scale their business, even without setting up physical locations around the world.
By using desktop and mobile apps, companies can set up a platform where distributors can easily manage their business, growing their company more efficiently.
More efficient communication channels
Another way that direct selling companies can innovate is through their communication channels.
Through the use of technology, direct selling companies can now facilitate easier communication with their sales representatives and distributors, as well as improve firm-to-consumer and distributor-to-consumer communication.
Innovate via social networks
In an industry where face-to-face interaction is a key component, using social media may seem illogical.
But research has shown that many consumers actually consider social media interactions as a good—sometimes even better—substitute for face-to-face interactions.
Direct selling companies need to understand the new environment brought about by technology so that they can adjust their strategy and innovate accordingly.
Direct selling companies can easily embrace mobile technology today.
Studies have shown that mobile phones are popular and widely used in the industry.
Direct selling companies need to capitalize on this and create partnerships with distributors and consumers on mobile platforms.
The future of direct selling is bright. With a little bit of innovation and technological savviness, the direct sales model can thrive in the digital revolution.