Seldia, the European direct selling association, has recently published the results of its European survey with a detailed analysis of direct selling across eleven European markets, including the UK. It’s a positive read with some interesting insights into skills, ways of selling, as well as the motivations and experiences of those involved in the network marketing industry.
Women continue to lead the way in network marketing
Network marketing continues to be a female dominated industry with 88% of those running a network marketing business being women. The spread is quite even across three of the age-groups, 26% being in the age range 35-44, closely followed by 24% aged 25-34 and 23% aged 45-54.
On average those surveyed have been involved in the industry for six years and combine it with full-time work, dispelling reports that around 50% leave the industry within a year. 27% work their business exclusively with no other work activity and 21% combine it with other part-time work. Above all, a real affinity and love of the products is what motivates people to start and continue in their business activity, along with the financial benefits. Around a third use it as a long-term supplement to an existing income and almost a fifth (19%) say it is a long-term career.
Spreading the word
Of those surveyed, 58% spend less than eight hours a week ‘working their business’ and while face-to-face networking is still the most popular way of connecting with potential new customers (53%), social media has become an increasingly important way of reaching out to new customers (44%).
How do people purchase in network marketing?
Product demonstrations and home parties are still the most popular way of selling products to existing customers (84%) but there is an increasing trend in hosting online customer events using platforms such as Facebook Live and Skype, allowing customers to interact and shop from the comfort of their homes. The UK is leading the way in network marketing with 41% receiving orders via social media compared with the European average of 28%.
A happy industry
As well as it being a good way to earn an additional income (81%), many business owners cite how important the personal development is to them and say the training and support from the parent company equips them with new and important skills, as well as developing their self-esteem (72%). The vast majority (90%) have strong feelings of loyalty towards their existing network marketing company.
When asked to describe the network marketing industry, the most common responses included the terms ‘freedom’, ‘independence’ and ‘flexibility’, as well as ‘fun’ and ‘rewarding’, while for some it was ‘challenging’. Business owners report a positive experience with 78% saying that they were satisfied with their overall experience and that running a network marketing business either met or exceeded their expectations (69%).
You can read the survey in full here.