Five Direct Selling Trends for 2018


2018 is just a couple of weeks away. As such, direct selling executives need to pay close attention to direct selling trends. Keeping an eye on these developments can make a huge difference in your business.

Here are five trends that we are projecting for the next year:

Mobile Continues to Dominate

Over 90% of Internet users use handheld devices to go online.

That’s the reality now, and it’s not going to change anytime soon.

Targeting mobile platforms isn’t all about catering to the Millennials and the Gen Z crowd, though—mobile use affects current distributors as well.

Conventional training methods have always been an inconvenience for direct selling businesses. Scheduling one-on-one training for each distributor is hard, and it requires the world’s currently most expensive asset: manpower.

It’s especially tough to set up group training, considering you need to coordinate so many schedules. Beyond that, traditional training methods are becoming less effective. People’s attention spans are withering.

With mobile use, though, training materials are available 24/7. Distributors can access them anytime they need to. The content is easy to understand and consume. For the companies, mobile tools can help leverage the distributors’ time and their clients.

Also, not everyone in the sales force is a full-time distributor. Some direct sellers are part-timers who have other obligations. With all the happenings in their lives, sometimes they lose touch with a prospect or a customer.

Mobile tools prevent this from happening by keeping the distributor on track.

Mobile use tops all of the direct selling trends because it’s a big factor that no business should neglect.

Big Data and Measurements

Direct selling companies that don’t measure analytics are likely losing customers and leads.

They may even lose resellers, too.

B2C direct sellers should use analytics to improve their customer and distributor response rates. Having valuable data also presents great insights into the market.

Wouldn’t you like to know what’s your distributor retention rate at a glance?

Wouldn’t you like to keep track of customer behavior?

Analytics gives you a bird’s eye view and let you make decisions based on the whole picture, rather than just pieces.

One of the most critical direct selling trends is to use big data to inspire customer and distributor loyalty.

By understanding patterns and behaviors, direct sellers can capture the attention of their market. Through measurements, they can also guide them to a purchasing lifestyle.

Finally, analytics can tell a company which distributors are at risk of churning out, and what they can do to keep them with the company.

More Blue Ocean Shifts

The direct selling industry will continue to be massively impacted by the trends towards a wider gig economy, the coming of age of the Millennial generation, and the so-called Amazon effect.

What’s the collective impact that all this will have on the direct selling industry?

The biggest impact will be that the most innovative companies will start implementing Blue Ocean strategies.

What is a “Blue Ocean strategy”?

A Blue Ocean strategy refers to the creation of new, uncontested market space that makes competitors irrelevant. Used correctly, this strategy can help a company create market space that produces new consumer value, often while decreasing costs. This concept was first introduced by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne in their best-selling book of the same name.

Those companies who think with a Blue Ocean mindset when they create strategies for bringing in new distributors, new customers, and new sales models will be the ones who will see the most success. Those organizations that are content to compete for the same mindshare in the Red Ocean of traditional direct sales will see their market share and profitability erode.

Social Media over Traditional Marketing

Businesses should keep in mind that online marketing doesn’t replace traditional ways of advertising.

However snazzy social media is, it’s still done online, and nothing can beat in-person interactions. Don’t underestimate the power of presence.

That said, almost everyone in the world uses the Internet. A huge percentage of online users have at least one social media account, too. It’s right to use social media to advance direct selling marketing—just don’t make it your whole marketing strategy.

Direct selling companies must use social media to serve more people.

Social networks broaden the brand’s reach and target market. Having an online presence also builds a strong reputation. It establishes credibility. It showcases expertise.

After all, can you think of a single major company these days that doesn’t maintain at least a Facebook page and a Twitter account?

Direct Selling Apps Will Grow

A lot of direct selling companies now use apps to conduct business. In the next few months, more and more will follow. Again, this is for good reason.

Using an app lets direct sellers be more visible and available to distributors and customers alike.

The modern world barely tolerates slow business practices.

The Millennials are always on the go. This demographic has the most powerful purchasing ability right now, and they are not very patient. Direct selling companies should prioritize that reality—and they can do it with a good app.

A direct selling app can drastically increase your retention of direct sellers.

Through constant engagement, they’ll be reminded of what needs to be done. They’ll be pushed to strive harder. As a result, their daily activities will increase. Since this is a domino effect, improved productivity rates will also increase conversion rates.

It’s a must for direct selling companies to adopt mobile apps for the advancement of the business. In addition, using an app solidifies brand identity.

Are you a direct seller? Don’t wait for 2018 to use these trends. Give them a go now or get left behind!

Brian Palmer
Krato CEO