Direct selling describes the sale of products or services directly to consumers by independent sales representatives, a method which eliminates middlemen such as wholesalers and retailers.
According to data published by Euromonitor, the direct selling market is a major global retail channel worth US$134.2 billion in 2016 and is expected to experience a resurgence over the next few years to reach US$163.1 billion by 2020 with a CAGR of 4.9%.
World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA) elaborates that the United States is the largest direct selling market, valued at US$35.5 billion in 2016, while China takes the 2nd place at US$33.9 billion.
A wide variety of sectors use the direct selling approach. Coresight Research reported that, Wellness is the largest product category in direct selling, generating US$63.5 billion in revenues in 2016, up 40.1% from 2013.
Cosmetics and personal care follows as the second-largest product category, valued at US$48.3 billion in 2016. The success of direct selling in these two categories can largely be attributed to the personalized service provided by sales representatives.