Direct Selling in the United States 2021
The world was at a standstill when the pandemic showed us its true colors in the previous years. But direct selling as an industry fought through the hardships and survived quite fruitfully. While the world was gripping back to life and switching itself to survival mode in the year 2021, the direct sales industry set new milestones in terms of sales and direct sellers.
A deep dive into the category, demographic, retailer, and customer-wise breakdown of the direct selling scenario circa 2021.
The direct selling industry in the United States saw a groundbreaking 6.4% overall growth last year compared to the previous year. 2021 showed a record high growth in retail sales of $42.7 billion. These sales were brought in by the collective effort of 44.6 million customers. To be more precise, dividing the $42.7 billion in sales by the 7.3 million direct sellers in 2021, direct sellers averaged $5,849 in retail sales in 2021.
Post-pandemic, health, and wellness have been the top priority for people of all age groups alike. They have been investing in lifestyle modifications, self-pampering range of products, preventive medicines, fitness improvements, weight loss, and daily supplements. This drastically improved the direct sales wellness sector, covering 36% of the overall sales in the year 2021. The industry has seen steady growth in the past 10 years in the United States and the growth seems to continue.
Wellness has been as important as staying healthy in the current times where most people run a sedentary lifestyle. The growing needs of consumers for products that enhance their quality of living have expanded the health and wellness sector to a great extent and the 2021 statistics also show the same. The wellness sector has majorly contributed to the overall sales and economic growth of the direct sales industry.
The services industry came second in terms of sales in the previous year covering 26.4% of the total sales which was at a fall from the previous year. Home and family care and durables covered 17.3% whereas personal care comprised 12.2% and clothing accessories 5.4%. While the health and wellness sector covered the major part of the total sales, the least was covered by leisure and education at 2.7% which has been at the same level for the past decade.
New Faces to Newer Phases
Direct sellers anchor the direct selling industry to various dimensions. There are 7.3 million total direct sellers across the United States as of the year 2021 of which 0.5 million do network marketing as a full-time job and 6.8 million are part-timers. However, the number of direct sellers has decreased by 5.2% compared to the year 2020.
The preferred customers and discount buyers have anyway seen an increase of 7.2% overall than the year 2020. There are 35.7 million preferred customers and 8.9 million discounted buyers marking a total of 44.6 million.
Of the 50 states in the country, most countries except Texas and California are active participants in the direct selling business generating sales up to $25 million. The aforementioned states generated the least sales which is $5.02 million. However, 16.2 million people are involved in direct selling, representing every U.S. state.
In the women-empowered era, the direct sales industry is no different for 76% of its total members comprise women and the rest 24% are men. Again, showcasing the millennial impact in the direct sales industry, 48 to 50% of the total members are of the age group 35 to 54. For millennials, direct selling has been the answer to their unemployment concerns, especially during the covid era which has given rise to numerous independent start-ups off late. They took up direct selling as a supplementary source of income and also to fulfill their entrepreneurial interests.
Way Forward to Rises and Falls
The strategies that direct selling organizations have been adapting seem right while looking at statistics from the year 2020. Despite the calamities and disasters that have been happening across the world, direct selling has kept its momentum stable accelerating towards newer dimensions and success.
With the risks and uncertainty involved, the direct selling industry has also seen quite a few failures in the past year. strategies, approaches, and changing attitudes of Americans, the direct selling industry has undergone a world of changes. Integrating the right technology into the business with practical perks and structured compensation plans can only save the boat. With the increased number of fraudulent and false promises, governments have been strictly monitoring the industry with stringent rules and regulations in order to maintain the dignity and integrity of the industry and the direct selling business as a whole.
Let us hope that the years ahead show more light for the direct selling industry for businesses to begin and burgeon.