100+ MLM Statistics You Need to Know in 2019!

100+ MLM Statistics You Need to Know in 2019!

Nikhil Ravindran
08 Jul, 2019

MLM or Multi-level Marketing industry reckoned as a booming industry from the earlier days itself, in fact, a century ago! People believe the industry as an opportunity to earn a good amount of money and how far is it true? Let’s see what happens around the industry and we will dig deep with proper data and insights.

The steady growth rate throughout these years suggests one important thing. The industry is well accepted as a global business model. The shift of paradigm in revenue income among the continents varies year after year. Let’s see some stats related to the above facts,

  • In 2018, the direct selling industry has made sales of about $192.9 billion.
  • The direct selling industry has made global sales of about $189 billion in 2017.
Country wise revenue sales
  • China becomes the global leader in retail sales with annual sales of $35.73 billion.
  • A total of $35.35 billion in revenue made in the U.S market from retail sales in 2019.
  • Korea stands to third among the retail sales list with $18.04 billion.
  • Germany and Japan hold 4th and 5th position in the list with 17.52 billion and 15.60 billion respectively.
  • Retail sales change in these countries in 2018 is China-2%, U.S-1.3%, Korea-2.4%, Germany & Japan-0.2%.
Takeaway points/insights

1.7% revenue growth indicates the influence of direct selling in the global market. And it denotes an opportunity! Distributors or organizations can use this opportunity to establish effective product selling.

For the first time in history, China has become the leading market for direct selling. The country with the highest population agrees with the business model and gives value. As per data, the U.S market didn’t let down the expectation, Korea turns out to show steady growth.

Let’s see more interesting stats about the industry.

For that, first, we must understand your knowledge about the industry. Answer the question below and see what this article is all about.

What is the purpose of enrolling in a direct selling business model?

Good! Direct selling is the best business model to increase your product sales. Read this article to know about the industry and stats based on 5 groups.

Yes, you can create more connections to your business but you must understand its purpose. Networking creates more opportunities and this article provides useful stats & insights you must know about the industry.

To proceed further, you must know about 5 different groups and their stats & insights. If you're a direct selling person, then you will love the next few sessions. The below stats & insights are most demanding source of data available in the industry.

We provide you with proper section-wise insights.We also achieved to find the marketing trends from the available stats.

We recommend you to go through each section for the best results.

Company stats & insights

Company stats & insights

If you check out the below stats and consider innovative ideas, two factors matter the most! Years of experience and out-of-the-box thinking.

Don't forget to check on how Graze, a healthy snacks company, became successful with innovative methods. You can find this at the end of this stats & insights section.

The company may have founded way back in the mid-’80s or after 2016. But if they have a good team with experience & talent then the growth or brand recognition will reflect in the sales revenue. To sustain for the present and future, a direct selling company must consider this fact. Too many home-based business kicks start every year.

  • Southwestern publishing house is considered as the oldest direct selling company launched back in 1855.
  • Mr. David McConnell recruited Mrs. P.F.E Albee as his first woman sales representative, first-ever in history.
  • They renamed later into Southwestern advantage and the revenue generated in 2018 is around $0.209 billion.
  • Alliance In Motion Global, a direct selling company founded in 2016 has made $0.238 billion annual sales income in 2018.
  • 1 out 5 home in the USA owns an Amway product.
  • Amway makes an annual revenue of about 8.8 billion USD and holds the #1 position in the top direct selling company list.
  • In 2018, Amway has made 2.3% growth annual revenue compared to that of 2017 revenue.
  • Amway has employed 3,000,000 distributors with an average revenue of $2,800 per distributor.
  • Avon makes the second position among the top MLM companies list with a revenue of 5.57 billion USD in 2018.
  • A decline rate of 2.62% in 2018 seen in Avon’s annual sales compared to the previous year’s revenue (5.72 billion USD).
  • Back in 1999, Avon appointed Andrea Jung as their first female CEO.
  • Around 5,000,000 distributors work for Avon with an average revenue of $2,080 per distributor.
  • More than 6,400 salespeople work for Avon product selling alone in the US regions.

Some more interesting stats about direct selling companies.

  • Alliance In Motion Global, a direct selling company founded in 2016 has made $0.238 billion annual sales income in 2018.
  • 3,500 salespeople work for Mary Kay in the USA.
  • 63.5% of direct selling companies use person to person selling method and find it beneficial.
  • 27.9% of direct selling companies prefer party plans, 7.5% prefer direct orders as their business models.
  • Aerus LLC, founded in 1924 has employed 5,000 distributors with an average revenue of $60,000 per distributor.
  • Primerica, founded in 1977 has employed 100,000 distributors with an average of $22,000 per distributor.
  • Somewhere in the world, a new home-based business kick starts every 10 seconds.
  • 8,493 new home-based business starts every day in the USA.
Takeaway points/insights

Amway’s influence over millions of customers gained them the top position among the top MLM companies with big revenue numbers.

The revenue stats, distributor numbers & their average commission rate, an Amway product in one home out five - Everything suggests the reasons for Amway being top in the list and its success.

Amway's growth rate and Avon’s decline rate for the fiscal year 2018 show an insight. The customers are still happy with their products but for some reason, Avon lost their mojo in the past year.

No matter how long an MLM company has been running, it’s their marketing methods that produce growth in their business. For example, the Southwestern company has been around for the past 164 years. But they only managed to generate $0.209 billion in revenue sales which is less than 0.029 billion USD of Alliance In Motion Global revenue founded in 2016.

A good ratio needs to maintain between the distributor number and distributor retention rate.

  • In 2010, there were 324,000 active members out of 2,000,000 distributors in Herbalife.

What does it mean to you? If you’re an entrepreneur or an expert in this field then such kind of stats will help you in finding a motivation factor - “Retention rate”.

As per the data, Herbalife has managed to keep 16% members and it shows trust. The distributors are making a good deal of sales. And thereby, a potential source for earning money!

Higher retention favors the company and startups, usually, startups will have this rate high. If a long-running MLM company does have a good retention rate then it’s a good sign for new distributors as well as a motivation for new startups.

About DSA

DSA, Direct Selling Association got a global presence in 1978 where 9 national DSA form the world federation. DSA is a trade association for direct selling with approximately 130 direct selling companies.

They serve to promote, protect, and control the industry. Thereby helping direct selling companies in an ethical way. More companies join the association intending to become leaders in the industry.

Top 5 company stats based on web search trends

Amway leads the top 100 MLM company list for revenue sales for the year 2018-2019. But it is not the same in case of popularity or trend. Avon stays ahead in the trending status but still, their sales volume hasn’t overtaken Amway’s lead.

There is a false belief that popularity is the only factor linked with the revenue stats. But from the data, it is clear that popularity isn’t the only factor that makes people buy their products. Vorwerk who has made 4.07 billion in revenue sales has less than 1% popularity.

The below insights generated from 2004 to the present day (2014 - present) and based on worldwide data.

  • Avon stays top in web search trends among the top 5 MLM companies with an average point of 71.
  • Natura becomes the second-most trending spot with 31 points & Amway with 22 points. Herbalife with 15 points, and finally, Vorwerk with 4 points.
  • The only MLM company to hit the most points with peak popularity is Avon. It has reached 100 points in November 2011.
  • But the popularity terms started to decline after reaching its greatest. At present, the value went down to 61.
  • Avon steals the trending deal out of every competitor's trend volume.
  • In the United States, Avon stays well ahead in popularity with 64%. Herbalife with 18%. Amway with 14%, Natura with 4%, and Vorwerk much less than 1%.

Terms used for analysis - avon, amway, herbalife, natura, vorwerk

The new trend - Couples as distributors

We do have an interesting finding while considering the top 100 earners in the direct selling industry. Couples earn a high volume of money!

Men and women, together as a couple have the ability to get leads of both genders. When the talent unites the below aspects then they hire to use couples as their distributor,

Flexible timing & good understanding

Eventually, they will make the company profitable. The distributors from companies like Nu Skin, Amway, Herbalife, etc. agree to this point with ample earners as couples.

Couple and mixed gender partnership
  • Out of top 100 lifetime earners, 44% of them are men, 13% women, 41% are couples, and 2% as mixed-gender partnerships
  • Among the list, 29.3% of couples in the list belong to Nu Skin.
  • Amway comes second in the list with 17.1%, Herbalife with 12.2%, Jeuneese with 9.8%, Forever Living with 7.3%.

Startups and entrepreneurs can make use of this opportunity to promote business by recruiting couples. The contribution of women can be improved using many training tools and features and marketing strategies. Even though 74% of people involved in direct selling belongs to women, there is something missing from their end. We’ll study deep about it in our future research and come up with a proper cause & solution paperwork.

Would you like to see how a startup increases sales using a direct selling strategy?

Graze | Snack manufacturers & their experiment in network marketing!

Case studies in network marketing prove to be an excellent way to improve your knowledge and skills in this area of expertise.

Here you go, a direct selling company that integrated an effective business model! We are talking about the UK-headquartered food manufacturing/selling company, Graze!

About Graze and the famous graze boxes!

Graze launched into the world of yummy and healthy food manufacturing in 2009. And the success rate of the “graze box” peaked up to a higher level in no time. From the available resources & references, we have found out a count of about 80,000 boxes sold over a period of 6 months. They sell a box of nutritious snacks with various combinations with a view of making people love healthy food.

Their motive and business model was perfect and offer stable growth. Graze boxes selling is not just based on offline techniques. They keep pushing the limits using different marketing channels.

On the official website, they are offering the first box in a half-price. And the only thing to perform to avail this offer is,

  • Email marketing
  • Direct/network marketing
  • Referral marketing
  • Social media marketing

Yes, email marketing still exists in 2018, and it’s a broadway to reach people around the world with just a click! They do find this method very useful.

Referral marketing goes side-by-side linked with network marketing/direct marketing. Social media is yet another tool to perform sales and reach.

Graze as a network marketing model!

The working or marketing style varies from one another. Graze as a network marketing model is entirely different from what they offer on their website. As mentioned earlier, the first box is half price and for that, the customer has to fill up the details and then subscribe to the graze box.

The subscription is for two weeks interval, a month or more and subjected to alter. After the half-price boxes, the next boxes don’t come with any price cuts.

But, when it comes to network marketing model, the first box so referred is free of cost, isn’t that interesting? The next one with a half-price and again a free-bee! The model is only provided in network marketing and not for a direct customer who enters the website and makes the regular order.

A proper plan is necessary and that’s why they have something unique in nature. The plan that attracts every health enthusiast with a graze box!

Proper use of every marketing channel, engaging with the customers is the key! Even when one gets off from the graze subscription they come up with new offers which make them a peek back at it.

A simple strategy that proposes an attractive option for worldwide customers. This case study tells how network marketing utilizes a unique idea and marketing plan. Be unique with a new plan that can revolutionize and make an impact in the world market!

They made a success story by their own effort, do you have similar innovative plans to make your marketing ideas work out well?

Distributor stats & insights

Distributor stats & insights

Distributors or salespeople in the industry have a major role to play. And they choose this role either as a career or as a secondary income source. The success of a direct selling company relies on the distributors. It’s a plain fact that they contribute a great part of it.

The industry proves worth enough, the distributor numbers, as well as the revenue, suggests it. People find the industry a good choice after the retirement period too. Education is not a barrier to marketing. But customer acquisition with a proper set of presentation ability is a must-need skill to develop. The best thing about being a distributor for an MLM company is that they can work remotely without cutting off any time from the schedule.

Distributor stats and insights representation
  • More than 60 million sales consultants work in the MLM industry.
  • 83.87% of them prefer network marketing as a part-time job and the rest 16.13% considers as a full-time opportunity.
  • 74% of people love to work with greater flexibility even after the retirement period.
  • 84% of people recommend or prefer to work remotely.
  • 99% of direct sellers are high school graduates and 52% among them are degree holders or college graduates.

Backing stats

  • 58% of direct sellers make household income greater than $50,000.
  • According to Inc.com, the median income of a distributor is about $2,400 per year.
  • A bonus check received by a distributor is more than $500 in a month.
  • A distributor who works on a full-time profile earns $55,000 per year.
Takeaway points/insights

People can earn a good income if they have a strong desire and the necessary skills combined together in equal values. MLM is a good opportunity to earn money by means of product sales as well as by means of recruiting new people into the network. Distributors can earn commissions for such instances. They can also refer to their friends & family if the product is worth enough to sell. Working remotely keeps the distributor attractive rate increased every time.

Direct sellers in the industry are well-educated and half of them even hold a degree. This provides valuable insight that education has its positive signs on any career no matter what the job is. They have gained good analytical and marketing skills from the schooling itself.

Distributors can earn a high volume of money if they are actively participating in the business. If you’re a leader of a direct selling business then motivate your team and let them active in their sales. Referral marketing is an effective method to follow for every distributor. The companies can integrate into direct marketing as a passive channel. If the primary focus of their income is direct selling then as per data, the probability to earn more income is high.

Distributor achievement statistics
  • 63% of participants join network marketing to make money by selling products to customers.
  • 25% achieves the desired profit they planned for while joining the business.
  • Out of them, 53% of people made more than 5,000 U.S dollars.
  • 39% of the people stopped being a part of the network marketing business. And the reason behind the decision is to stop pitching to family and friends.

In 2017, record-breaking statistics witnessed in the industry with 116.7 million distributors.

Takeaway points/insights

The ultimate aim of stepping into network marketing is finding an income source using proper product selling. And 1⁄4th of them have fulfilled the goal. A little over half among the distributors who achieved the desired goals could earn more than what they spend or the deserved status of income.

Distributors still have concerns about dealing with the product selling to their dearest ones. This shows a lack of trust in what they sell. What does it refer to? They are upfront distributors but haven’t become a customer of the product which they sell at first. At first, the basic fact about being a distributor is that they must be a customer of the product which they sell. And then become a distributor to gain more trust & value.

Let’s see some more interesting facts about the distributors & some motivational facts.

  • 118.4 million people worked as individual representatives in 2018, a growth rate of 1.6% when compared to 2017 stats.
  • A compound annual growth rate of 4.2% from 2015 - 2018 period.
  • Around 10.5 million people work full-time, 42.9 million people work part-time, and 64.9 million people joined recently.
  • Direct selling representatives spend an average time of 30 hours per week.
  • 59% feel motivated to become a direct seller and 61% stay because of the flexible nature of the industry.
  • 48% joins as a direct seller with a goal for long-term supplemental income and 54% continue as a direct seller.
  • 35% of people find the industry as a short-term income and get motivated to become a direct seller. Whereas 29% of people stay long in this position.
  • 41% get motivated to become a direct seller by finding income potential. And thereafter 50% continue in the industry.

Products stats & insights

Products stats & insights

The most important ingredient in the industry that connects every group is the product. After all, the meaning and the goal of this business model is to sell products. And if the product selling is not the goal then you have to take a close on it as it falls under illegal pyramid schemes.

Among the products, there exist many categories. Direct selling is the best business model to reach end-users, i.e consumers. Then the customer-distributor conversion helps product selling companies to make product distributorship revenue. A part of the revenue shared with the distributors as commissions. And bonuses depend on the marketing plan & criteria to achieve it, set by the companies.

The growth rate in sales revenue for each category display one important agenda -popularity of the product”. Companies can use the stats and customer suggestions to pull out the magnet and thereby get more customers. It's like the food processing companies use the awareness of human beings' cravings and tailor the tastes on their food products to ignite the addiction or their taste interests.

Direct products global statistics
  • In 2018-19, wellness products share 33.2% of sales contribution globally.
  • Cosmetics & personal care products contribute 31.2% in annual sales.
  • 12.8% of global sales share comes from household goods & durables.
  • Based on the 2017-18 industry overview, products included in the wellness category stay top in sales with 35.6%.
  • Cosmetics & personal care products contribute 25% in annual sales (2018)
  • 22.6% sales contribution comes from the service & related product categories.
  • In 2017, products classified under wellness alone made 24% sales in Australia.
Takeaway points/insights

Comparing the stats from 2017-2019, people’s favorites’ started to shift from one product category to another year after year. Consumers' choices can be easily resonated from the frequencies of the stats.

A 2.4% decline rate in the wellness category and an increase of 6.2% in cosmetics & personal care products produce useful insight. People care about their interests and it changes in time. The decline rate does not prompt any negative impact as the ratio of change is still reasonable.

But what about the declination in service & related product category? It’s 9.8% and a serious issue to consider for direct selling companies. Australia is good to go with the wellness category like the rest of the world with good comfort.

  • 64% of individuals find product discounts as a motivational factor to become a direct seller as well as to continue as a direct seller.
  • 53% of people get motivated to become a direct seller via product advocates and 61% of people get motivated to continue as a direct seller.

Download MLM product analysis report for precise future hypotheses.

Consumer stats & insights

Consumer stats & insights

Consumers are those end-users who ultimately use the products and rate with their reviews. If they are happy with the products then they will use it until something new comes up.

Well, it must please their needs by,

  • New offers from the competitors,
  • Finding more satisfying customers for other brands, or anything that triggers the interests.

This particular point has been constant trouble for direct selling companies. Those who have attained customer retention have survived for long. Product consistency needs to maintain throughout their existence. And customer fulfillment is a major battle to compact around.

Different age groups have different levels of criteria that make them pick a product from different available brands. The success of a business is once such age groups all together choose your brand.

If the senior citizens still argue over your product in the later period of their life in supermarkets or similar brick and mortar stores, then you can define a product as the best or evergreen product with never-ending trust.

Sales need to focus on the younger generation too as they are the future and having their trust in a product means a lot. More efforts to get younger and older generations as customers make a product world-class choice! Similar sort of actions must focus on the gender side too, a balance keeps business sturdy which lacks at present. A study to find the cause and how to overrule it as a perfect solution makes business stable for the future.

  • 36.6 million customers have bought products/services from the network marketing model.
  • A contribution of about 26% comes from the 35-44 age group and 24% from the 45-54 age group. (Same for 2017 & 18)
  • 17% of sales contribution comes from the age group between 55-64. (‘17)
  • 22% of sales contribution comes from the age group above 55 (‘18)
  • 8% of sales contribution comes from the age group between 18-24.
  • About 75% of the customer/direct sellers are women and 25% are men. ('17)
  • 74% of the new customers are women & 26% from men. (‘18)
  • In India, about 5.1 million people involved in the direct selling business which is nearly double that of the past 7 years, says global CEO, Qnet.
  • In 2016, 31% of consumers find direct selling highly favorable in the USA.
Takeaway points/insights

From the data, without any argument one thing is clear - direct selling is favorable all around the world! People find the business model accepted!

Apart from the age and gender concern, the next part to consider is the region or locality of the customers. Not every region is adaptable to every type of product category. Under favorable circumstances, products in India has found some triggering points in marketing. Also set course to attract more direct selling options. Doubling the business shows that India is now a wise land to bring more customers to the industry. The United States, call it the capital of the MLM industry is a favorable home for product selling. The future looks bright too!

Now, download customer analysis report to learn more and understand who to target and how-to!

Entrepreneur stats & insights

Entrepreneur stats & insights

The final entity or the important step in this ladder is the ‘entrepreneurs’. The entrepreneurs have to look into the system from industrial history to the consumers' reaction over the products. This particular group has to study a lot and at the end of the day, they go for industrial expert opinions and consulting.

Is that necessary? Yes, it is but to an extent this article can help you to look around the whole system without many dilemmas. The reason behind it is that the article was written based on facts and statistics. And have omitted any data that doesn’t have an accurate basement to stand for.

As an entrepreneur, you can use the data above to find and sketch a pattern that lets you dominate the business, no worries! We can help you with that part and make you clear with more facts. But there are more things you have learned before we help you come up with a solution.

Direct selling has been and will always be the best platform to do business for your products. Also, choose it as a business model for marketing them to consumers. Let’s see some interesting stats that might help you to analyze if the industry is suitable for you or not.

  • 51 lakh people found entrepreneurship opportunities in the direct selling industry.
  • 68% of Americans don’t prefer online shopping and hence an opportunity for direct sellers.
Top 10 lifetime earners & details
RankNameOrganizationCountryAnnual Income (est.)Lifetime Income (est.)
1Igor Alberts & Andreea CimbalaDagCoin - Success FactoryNetherlands & Italy$25,200,000$72,000,000
2Jenna ZwagilMyDailyChoiceUSA$12,720,000$5,850,000
3Trin & Jirawan VichaidithNu SkinNA$11,280,000$15,000,000
4Rolf KippForever LivingGermany$10,800,000$100,000,000
5Ivan & Monika TapiaiMarketsliveUSA$10,320,000$3,000,000
6Kim HuiJeunesseChina$10,200,000$51,000,000
7David ImonitieiMarketsliveUSA$7,800,000$23,000,000
8Yager Group (Dexter Yager)AmwayUSA$7,200,000$460,000,000
9Jason Brown & Matthew RosaiMarketsliveUSA$7,200,000$1,000,000
10Kristen & Travis ButlerMyDailyChoiceUSA$6,444,000$1,000,000
Takeaway points/insights

The insights driven from the above data is simple. And there are opportunities in the industry! If 51 lakh people found them then hope everyone can see them too but with proper planning.

In the era of e-commerce, there are still people who chose door-door sellers if they find them worthy. The earners understood the model and kept it as the main source of their lifetime income.

Final thoughts

Final thoughts

Now, we have come to the final edges of this piece of content. To process the final thoughts, our data scientists & research team have come down to three questions. The three questions based on the below motivational stats:

Motivational stats
  • 39% find connecting to other people (networking) as a motivational factor to become a direct seller and 47% continue as a direct seller.
  • 25% of individuals think direct selling as a recognition for their accomplishments by becoming a direct seller. And 36% continue as a direct seller.
  • 19% of people become a direct seller with a career-driven approach and 29% get motivated to continue in this role.

The three questions to raise are the following

  • Why establish a connection with other people? Why network marketing is not considered as a motivation factor? Why are network marketing companies focus shift from network marketing basics?
  • Why do people never consider direct selling as a career-driven opportunity?
  • Why is the industry not considered as a recognition for their accomplishments?

These are valuable questions to answer by direct selling companies or independent entrepreneurs. Direct selling has a synonym as network marketing but still why is networking not a motivational factor? That's the basics! You get to create a network and sell the products. But only less than half the people in the industry understand its definition or motto!

Similarly, people never love to choose it as a career over other fields. They might choose it as a full-time job in the latter part of life. But not in the first place, neither they believe it as a factor for accomplishments.

These three findings drive to one advice to opt - make people realize it as an opportunity in its true colors but not with fake promises and offers. A simple man can fall for offers and lose trust!

Direct selling companies & entrepreneurs must focus on it to gain trust. It leads to more success, don't forget one thing - never steal the trust for making short-term success.

The story told in this article backs with proper stats and the insights-driven from them is not an absolute content. Everything connected based on the data, every element has a stronger proof. As a technology-based company, Epixel has prepared this brilliant art of words to give valuable insights about the industry. And drained a lot of sweat to grind the best information for our readers as the end results.

  • In 2019, about $3,360 billion is spent on technology worldwide.
  • 570 new websites created every minute around the globe.

These two stats are well enough to propose one important message - technology is growing and is integrating into every field & industry. Direct selling is no different, so, make sure you get one too.

Take these insights into consideration! We derived a pattern that helps three groups - startups, entrepreneurs, and the direct selling companies who love to get a useful system of their choice.

Our R&D team use these stats to analyze the present business scenario and develops features to resolve issues that exists in the business. This research is one of the three key elements which we used for a technical solution.

Top 100 MLM companies, 100+ MLM statistics, and pyramid scheme study helped us to learn the MLM industry. The data from the statistics was far enough to create useful insights for our readers. Such insights are useful for all groups who are involved in the direct selling/MLM industry.

We can help you with such regular reports based on your business data through our dashboards, designed & coded to forecast your business for the present and the possible future. You can always have a look on our demo to experience such useful insights in the dashboard.

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