Tough sell: Spending will rise, but competition from e-commerce threatens growth

IBISWorld’s Industry Market Report on Direct Selling Companies is a comprehensive guide to market size and growth prospects. Ensure due diligence in your research with our strategic analysis of the factors influencing companies, including new product developments; economic, lifestyle and demographic influences; distribution and supply chain factors; and pricing issues.


Market Share of Companies
There are no companies with a dominant market share in this industry
Industry Statistics & Market Size
Annual Growth
Annual Growth

Industry Threats & Opportunities

  • Increased competition from department stores and e-commerce has threatened the industry
  • Rising competition from external industries has further threatened direct sellers’ revenue
  • The appeal and persistence of direct selling companies will ensure industry expansion
  • Industry Analysis & Industry Trends

    While intense competition has negatively impacted the Direct Selling Companies industry in the five years to 2017, the industry has managed to achieve growth because of the strengthening economy. Increased competition from mass merchandisers, department stores and online retailers has threatened the industry by providing a wider selection of substitute products at low prices in a convenient one-stop location. However, because many industry operators have no physical locations, the price advantage competitors enjoy over many retailers is minimized, which has somewhat mitigated the loss of industry customers. Driven by improved consumer confidence and disposable income, consumer spending is anticipated to rise further in the five years to 2022.

    Industry Report - Industry Key Buyers Chapter

    The Direct Selling Companies industry is considered to have a low level of concentration, with the four-largest players estimated to account for less than 10.0% of industry revenue in 2017. The industry is highly fragmented, characterized by a large number of individually owned businesses that are small in size. These operators work within a small locality and serve a limited clientele. The vast majority of operators are individual contractors that work part time to sell industry products. About 97.0% of industry operators are considered nonemployers. In terms of employing operators, in 2016, 74.6% of total establishments were estimated to have fewer than five employees, while less than 1.0% employ more than 100 workers. Thi

    Additional Insights for the Direct Selling Companies Industry

    IBISWorld identifies 250 Key Success Factors for a business.The most important for the Direct Selling Companies Industry are

  • Receiving the benefit of word-of-mouth recommendations
  • Access to niche markets
  • Ensuring pricing policy is appropriate
  • IBISWorld analysts also discuss how external factors such as External competition for the Direct Selling Companies industry and Per capita disposable income in the Direct Selling Companies industry impact industry performance..

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    Industry Products

    What is the Direct Selling Companies Industry?

    Direct selling is the retailing of a product or service from one person to another, away from a fixed retail location. Providers are referred to as independent consultants, distributors or representatives. Sales are usually done via home parties, workplaces, trucks or wagons, street corner carts or door-to-door. Direct sellers of fuel and food for immediate consumption are excluded from this industry.

    Industry Products
    Home and family care products
    Wellness and personal care products
    Clothing and accessories
    Leisure and educational products
    Other products and services
    Industry Activities
    Direct selling of home goods
    Direct selling of coffee-break services
    Direct selling of cosmetics
    Direct selling of vitamins and nutritional supplements
    Direct selling of home delivery newspaper routes
    Direct selling of party plan merchandisers
    Direct selling of miscellaneous merchandise

    Table of Contents

    About this Industry
    Industry Definition
    Main Activities
    Similar Industries
    Additional Resources
    Industry at a Glance
    Industry Statistics Snapshot
    Industry Structure
    Executive Summary
    Industry Performance
    Executive Summary
    Key External Drivers
  • External competition for the Direct Selling Companies industry
  • Per capita disposable income
  • National unemployment rate
  • Number of adults aged 20 to 64

  • Current Performance
  • Retail market improves
  • External competition intensifies
  • Direct opportunities
  • Chart: Revenue Growth

  • Industry Outlook
  • The internet threat
  • Table: Direct Selling Companies Industry Revenue Outlook

  • Industry Life Cycle
  • Life cycle reasons
  • Chart: Benchmarking - Direct Selling Companies Industry Lifecycle vs The Economy

  • Products & Markets
    Supply Chains
    Key Buying Industries
  • Management of Companies and Enterprises
  • Religious Organizations
  • Civic, Social & Youth Organizations
  • Wedding Services
  • Consumers

  • Key Selling Industries
  • Brand Name Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
  • Cosmetic & Beauty Products Manufacturing
  • Generic Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
  • Soap & Cleaning Compound Manufacturing
  • Wholesale Trade

  • Products & Services
  • Home and family care products
  • Wellness and personal care products
  • Other products and services
  • Leisure and educational products
  • Clothing and accessories
  • Chart: Direct Selling Companies Industry Products and Services Segmentation

  • Demand Determinants
    Major Markets
  • Household consumers, person-to-person
  • Household consumers, parties and other
  • Businesses for end use
  • Wholesalers for resale
  • Retailers for resale
  • Construction, special trade contractors and other
  • Chart: Major Market Segmentation for the Direct Selling Companies Industry

  • International Trade
    Business Locations
    Chart: Business Locations by State
    Competitive Landscape
    Market Share Concentration
    Key Success Factors
    Cost Structure Benchmarks
  • Chart: Cost Structure Benchmarking – Sector vs Direct Selling Companies

  • Basis of Competition
  • Internal competition
  • External competition

  • Barriers to Entry
  • Table: Barrier to Entry Checklist for the Direct Selling Companies Industry

  • Industry Globalization
    Major Companies
    There are no major players in this industry
    Operating Conditions
    Capital Intensity
  • Chart: Level of Capital Intensity for the Direct Selling Companies Industry
  • Chart: Tools of the Trade: Growth Strategies for Success

  • Technology & Systems
    Revenue Volatility
  • Chart: Volatility vs Industry Growth

  • Regulation & Policy
    Industry Assistance
    Key Statistics
    Table: Industry Data for the Direct Selling Companies Industry
  • Industry Revenue (2008-2022)
  • Industry Gross Product (2008-2022)
  • Establishments (2008-2022)
  • Businesses (2008-2022)
  • Employment (2008-2022)
  • Wages (2008-2022)
  • Percentage of services conducted online (2008-2022)

  • Table: Annual Percentage Change for Key Industry Data
    Table: Key Ratios for Industry Key Data
    Table: Industry Financial Ratios
    Jargon & Glossary
    Big-Box Retailer
  • A retail store that is differentiated by its sheer size and large range of products, including electronics, household goods and other consumer products.
  • E-Tailer
  • A retailer that primarily sells goods and services via the internet. Many of these companies do not have brick-and-mortar locations.
  • Multilevel Marketing
  • A marketing strategy in which the sales force is compensated not only for sales they personally generate, but also for the sales of others they recruit.
  • Why buy this report?

    IBISWorld industry market research reports enable you to:
    • Find out about key industry trends
    • Identify threats and opportunities
    • Inform your decisions for marketing, strategy and planning
    • Quickly build competitive intelligence
    This report on Direct Selling Companies:
    • Provides Market Size information to assist with planning and strategic decisions.
    • Includes the necessary information to perform SWOT, PEST and STEER analysis.
    • Helps you understand market dynamics to give you a deeper understanding of industry competition and the supply chain.
    • Analyses key performance and operational metrics so that you can benchmark against your own business, that of your customers’ businesses, or your competitors’ businesses.
    The Direct Selling Companies market research report includes:
    • Historical data and analysis for the key drivers of this industry
    • A five-year forecast of the market and noted trends
    • Detailed research and segmentation for the main products and markets
    • An assessment of the competitive landscape and market shares for major companies
    • And of course, much more

    IBISWorld reports on thousands of industries around the world. Our clients rely on our information and data to stay up-to-date on industry trends across all industries. With this IBISWorld Industry Research Report on Direct Selling Companies, you can expect thoroughly researched, reliable and current information that will help you to make faster, better business decisions.

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