Attitudes toward Direct Selling: How entrepreneurs and consumers see the channel

Sep 20, 2022


Direct selling is having its moment. Consumer preferences for “buy-local”  extends to purchasing from their local independent distributors. This buy-local shift comes just as consumers are having increasingly positive attitudes about direct selling.

During the pandemic, direct selling companies emphasized the impact of their presence on local economies, showed investors the adaptability of the business model, offered displaced workers clear paths for alternative career options, and provided consumers a diversity of products for living in a post-COVID world.

“Direct sellers prove time and again to be nimble microentrepreneurs, willing and able to serve their customers and communities within a changing environment,” said DSA President and CEO Joseph N. Mariano.

Consumer Attitudes
Consumers witnessed the struggles of neighborhood businesses. Many changed their big-box retailer shopping habits to support smaller, local shops hit hard by the pandemic.

According to a Direct Selling Association/Ipsos study, consumers give positive reviews to their direct selling experiences and have a positive perception of direct selling as both an attractive entrepreneurial opportunity and as “an ideally personalized and convenient way to shop local.”

This sentiment toward direct selling isn’t new. The survey noted that over the last ten years, the perception of the channel has remained at about 80 percent positive. Most consumers feel good about and find value in supporting a small business (69 percent) as well as the personalized service that direct sellers provide (67 percent).

Looking Ahead
Direct selling is well-positioned for continued success. Attitude is everything in a crowded marketplace.

The channel’s ability to innovate and adapt has proven to entrepreneurs and consumers that it will continue to be a winning business model well into the future.

Read the full article in the Spring 2022 Direct Selling Journal here.