DSA’s QuickPulse, the monthly survey that provides higher-frequency direct selling tracking data on the overall US and global business impacts of the pandemic, reveals refreshed results in the August issue related to the rise of the Delta variant in the US.
New topical survey questions for this month focus on headquarters reopening status, work-from-home practices, and event and incentive trip planning.
- There was a modest 3 percentage point decrease in the number of companies to 58% citing positive business impact in the US due to the pandemic.
- 83 percent of respondents believe business in the US will “return to normal” in 2022 or beyond—that is, five or more months from now. As the Delta variant of the pandemic has emerged in the US, “return to normal” was pushed back significantly in this month’s survey (with 63% of respondents indicating return to normal would occur in five or more months).
When asked what “return to normal” means to you, here were the responses:
- 65% say getting back to in-person direct selling activities.
- 60% say levels of activities (e.g., revenue, recruiting, etc.) not impacted by COVID.
- 55% say reduction of supply chain or product shortages problems.
- The percentage of companies citing a positive impact from the pandemic to their business globally stayed roughly consistent compared to last month at 56 percent.
- An all-time high of 93 percent of respondents indicate global supply chain issues impacting their business. This is 9 percentage points higher than last month and 8 percentage points higher than the previous all-time high of 85 percent in May. The top two most-cited supply chain issues continue to be transportation delays outside the US (76%) and production delays outside the US (71%). FYI: DSA is working on establishing a supply chain roundtable/working group to discuss common supply chain challenges faced within direct selling and to potentially identify ways to collaborate to solve common industry challenges. Let DSA know if you are interested in joining this group.
- Member-requested questions were on the topics of office reopening and events/incentive trip planning. About half of respondents (56%) have fully or almost fully reopened their corporate headquarters in the US. This is a 5 percentage point increase from last month.
Regarding remote work policy, 73% of responding companies are either remote-first or hybrid (combination of remote and in-person). This is a slight decrease from last month’s 77%.
A little more than half of respondents indicated they will hold at least one in-person US-based event (55%) in the second half of 2021. Similarly, 58 percent of respondents indicated they will hold one or more incentive trip in the second half of 2021.
For the full QuickPulse results report along with cross-tabs to see how you compare to your peer groups (i.e., company size, product category, and sales strategy), make sure your company confidentially participates in this short survey fielded at the beginning of each month. As a benefit of your company’s participation, you’ll receive the comprehensive results report. For questions or to be added to the distribution list, contact DSA’s Director of Industry Insights, Ben Gamse.