Direct sales global statistics

The global direct selling scenario - 2021

The global direct selling scenario - 2021 Vandana Rajan
14 Jul, 2022

Surviving through the most unforeseen circumstances that the world witnessed in the last few years was the toughest for every industries alike. For every professional, entrepreneur, or industrialist across all categories around the globe. The pandemic, various natural calamities, wars, and whatnot, the generations have seen it all. Despite these, the question was about the survival of the fittest, and the direct selling industry fought through these hardships. The World Federation of Direct Selling Association (WFDSA) 2021 global statistics clearly portrays how the direct selling industry attained a global high of $186,105 (USD millions) which was up 1.5% in constant 2021 USD.

Regional and Global Direct Selling Retail Sales

With the United States topping the charts in the regional as well as global markets, the industry saw new dimensions in terms of business and growth in the previous year. Regional sales-wise, when the Asia and Pacific region topped the charts with 42% of total sales, Africa and the Middle East saw the least which was 1%. Country-wise, Indonesia and Korea stood high in the Asia and Pacific region. Compared to the previous years when global retail sales went down by -4.2% in the year, the industry has put its blood and sweat into businesses to bring the growth rate back to an increasing point with 1.5% growth in the year 2021.

Retail direct selling sectors that did well in 2021

With the rising health consciousness seen alike among all age groups, the health and wellness sector in the direct selling industry has seen an upsurge in the previous years. The sudden demand for various categories of wellness products is primarily due to the post-COVID trauma that our minds and bodies have gotten into. Of the total global sales, 35% is comprised of the wellness sector in the year 2021 which clearly points out how much the current generation is impacted by the detrimental lifestyle, work stress, and odd sleeping and eating patterns. This has led to every age group relying on one wellness product or the other for their mental and physical well-being.

Direct selling cosmetics and personal care products are the second categories which constituted 25% of the global retail sales. This is another segment that has undergone a revamp post-pandemic considering how people’s lifestyles have changed over the years with working from home and global climatic conditions. The segment seems to be consistently soaring across all continents year by year indicating how beauty and self-pampering have become as vital as health and wellness for people across the globe. Cosmetics and personal care and wellness products together constitute more than 59% of category sales. Compared to the year 2020, household goods and durables went up to 16% from 14.4% whereas, clothing and accessories decreased from 4.7% to 4.5%.

Roads ahead

The direct selling industry maintained growth with a three-year compound annual growth rate of 3.8% for the 2018-2021 period excluding China sales. With the United States in the #1 position, 78% of the global sales were generated by the top 10 countries including Korea, Germany, China, Japan, Malaysia, Brazil, Mexico, France, and Taiwan - China.

Interesting direct selling statistics on companies, distributors, products and more

Millennials and Generation Z are eyeing the direct selling industry as an opportunity to pursue their passion for building their own business. This is sure to increase the scope and possibilities of the industry’s growth to newer dimensions in the years to come, considering the benefits and value that the business promises and delivers.

The report is compiled by WFDSA - World Federation of Direct Selling Association, an international, non-governmental, voluntary organization representing the global direct selling industry in more than 170 countries. The association aims at promoting greater understanding and support of direct selling worldwide.


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