Last year despite COVID-19 pandemic and national lockdown the total retail sales of direct selling industry in Estonia increased by 2.8 percent up to more than 51 million EUR (excluding VAT). Meanwhile, the number of people cooperating with direct selling companies amounted to more than 42 thousand persons.
“During 2020 the global pandemic, direct selling companies and their sellers showed resilience to the quarantine constraints and were able to move their sales to the virtual space. This allowed the industry to adapt well to the changing needs and purchasing habits of consumers, and more efficiently use the available digital tools – mobile applications, websites, social networks,”- comments Gintautas Zaleckas, General Secretary for the Baltic Direct Selling Associations.
According to G.Zaleckas, applied restrictions on live meetings and customers’ caution regarding social contacts have challenged more the companies, which are doing home demonstrations and organizing party-plan sales, however at the same time all direct selling companies and their sellers experienced the increased use of online tools and became more active in using social networks in organizing consultations and product demonstrations virtually. This provided additional opportunities not only to consult and serve existing customers, but also to find the new ones. Meanwhile, the necessity to work from home and declining regular incomes have led some people to discover direct selling as a flexible extra income or even as an opportunity for their own business. This trend was particularly noticeable in the last quarter of the year.
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, people were putting more attention to their health, so the demand and sales of wellness products increased the most between the different product categories, which are sold by the direct selling companies. This trend continues this year as well.
Comparing the Baltic countries, in 2020 the volume of direct sales in Latvia grew by 10,1%, and in Lithuania – by 9,3% and respectively amounted to 96 and 75 million Euros. The number of persons cooperating with direct selling companies increased by 1,2% in Lithuania, and by 2% in Latvia and respectively amounted to 84 and 64 thousand people.
In 2020 the total sales of direct selling industry in the Baltic States reached 222 million euro (without VAT). Meanwhile, the number of people involved in direct sales was over 191 thousand people.
According to the data of European Direct Selling Association-Seldia (Seldia), in the EU countries direct selling companies‘ total retail sales (without VAT) amounted to over 27,3 billion euros in 2020, and direct selling companies give possibility of additional earnings or individual business to more than 6,6 million people.
According to the data of Word Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA), in 2020 the global turnover of direct selling companies was 179.3 billion USD. More than 125 million people were involved in direct sales, of which 65 million people were engaged in direct sales on a part-time or full-time basis through their personal business.