That’s a wrap for 2023! I am happy to present our year-in-review issue — a look back at the stories and expert contributions that documented the dynamic state of social selling within the context of a rapidly evolving technological landscape countered by challenging economic realities.
The direct selling sector witnessed formidable challenges this year, from global inflationary trends to continued regulatory targeting. Yet, despite these hurdles, network marketers demonstrated remarkable adaptability and innovation.
Companies across the channel took risks and explored novel strategies — we saw collaboration amongst competitors, retail partnerships, and an embrace of rapidly evolving AI technologies to turbocharge marketing, tools for the field, and backoffice performance.
It was also a year for victories. 2023 saw some major financial moves that injected new life into struggling companies, strategic advances into new global markets, and continued progress towards sustainability and the use of green energy.
I also count as a victory every single person and community that was touched by the philanthropic giving of the direct selling channel. Companies demonstrated their generosity and dedication to helping others throughout the year. And rounding out the year was perhaps the channel’s greatest victory — the triumph of Neora over
I am very excited to see what 2024 has in store for direct sellers. In addition to bringing you the news that directly affects your business, we look forward to bringing you insights and advice from your fellow direct sellers as well as timely reporting on new marketing platforms and advances in data analytics. We also want to share with you the continued innovation of unique and profitable partnerships that have become a hallmark of direct selling in recent years.
So, here’s to a new year filled with even more achievements, breakthroughs, and success stories. I know that I speak on behalf of my entire staff when I say THANK YOU for you for your readership and for your invaluable contributions to this publication.
I wish each of you a truly special holiday season.
Warmly, David Bland!
How to Fight the Amazon Beast
January 2023 Issue – By Travis Wilson
With the massive increase in participation from everyday people in online marketplaces such as Amazon and Walmart, direct sellers are scrambling to prevent the erosion of their brands, lowering of price expectations, and reputational risk that comes from the unauthorized sale of their products online. Companies are facing billions of dollars in losses as marketplaces continue to profit from the enablement of gray market sales.
Direct sales companies are feeling the pinch across all categories, and are scrambling to stop these sellers and remove listings. Unauthorized sellers battle with companies for consumer dollars, and customers look for the least expensive way to get the product they want on their doorstep with free two-day shipping. This severely impacts a direct seller’s bottom line and hurts the field, as they often cannot compete with the cut-rate prices found online.
“Affiliate marketing streamlines the process of increasing sales by tapping into the skills of experienced marketers and a community of product evangelists.”
With new developments in digital technologies, growth in social media influence, and changing
consumer behaviors, direct selling companies are now stepping further into the digital age where social communities and marketers are joining forces and sharing in the rewards along the way.
The direct selling business model, in general, has always been centered around a strong sense
of community. As a competitive advantage over traditional retailers, direct selling companies
focus on the more social aspects of the business world, creating deeper connections with their
customers and sellers. Because of its community-driven nature, more and more
companies in the industry are introducing affiliate systems as a means of giving their brands greater reach and
generating more opportunities for growth within those communities.