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The Direct Selling Industry: A Global Perspective

MI Lifestyle Marketing

Direct Selling Industry

Introduction: What Exactly is Direct Selling?

Direct selling is the practice of promoting and selling a product or service directly to a consumer outside of a traditional retail setting (like a customer's home, place of business, etc.) through personal explanation and demonstration. It's been around for a long time and is very much like the standard retail setup for everyday items, making it one of the earliest forms of commerce.

Scope of Direct Selling: A Step Towards Global Penetration

Direct selling is a growing and innovative method of promoting goods and services to consumers. A direct salesperson's ability to explain and demonstrate a product's benefits to a consumer is a major factor in the success of direct sales. Since it is a unique distribution method that falls between wholesale and retail, it encompasses both B2B and B2C transactions.

Direct selling shares many similarities with more conventional forms of marketing consumer items, despite its unique characteristics. In either instance, the distributors or direct sellers might earn a commission on product sales, and this commission can be based either on the individual's sales or on the group's total sales, just like in traditional sales situations.

Evolution of Direct Selling Market Globally

Direct sales generally depend on the explanation and demonstration provided by an independent direct salesperson to the consumer. Direct selling started with hawkers and peddlers, who traveled great distances to sell unbranded products and services. The early direct sellers exchanged pottery, stone weapons, tools, agricultural products, and raw materials with people from other lands. They later evolved into independent salesmen who went from doo

A Runthrough of the Benefits of Direct Selling

  1. Self-employment opportunities and women empowerment:

    From around 7.9 million in 2020–21 to 8.1 million in 2021–2022, the number of distributors in the industry saw a growth of over 2.6 million.* Many people, especially women, can find work as independent contractors in this sector. The total number of active direct sellers in FY21 grew 6.32 percent to 7.9 million against 7.4 million in FY 2019-20.* "In terms of the gender ratio of Direct Sellers, the industry currently comprises 53 percent of male and 47 percent of female active Direct Sellers,"as per the report.*

  2. Increase in product reach to Tier II, III & rural areas:

    Nearly 70% of India's population lives in rural areas, but only 34% of FMCG is sold there.* As a result, many direct selling businesses are broadening their scope and penetrating Tier 2 and Tier 3 urban centers and rural areas to educate consumers about their products and services. Because of the consistent high quality and low price points, the direct selling channel has seen a rise in the volume of products sold.

  3. Sourcing from SMEs leading to growth and technology percolation:

    When producing goods in India, many direct selling organizations work with contract manufacturers who are mostly Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME). More than half of direct selling organizations' product sales in 2011 were from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).* Many times, the direct selling corporations teach the SMEs their cutting-edge production methods and technologies. Many direct sellers also put money into helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) get the machinery and tools they need to get to work.

  4. Contributions to social causes:

    About 81% of direct selling enterprises in the organized sector participated in CSR initiatives in the past year.* . Typically, businesses will donate up to 1% of their annual profits to charitable causes.

  5. Contribution to exchequer:

    Direct sales produce tax revenue at every stage of the supply chain because of the business model. Driven by the increasing share of middle income households and the potential for increasing penetration, the direct selling market in India has the potential to reach INR 645 billion by 2025.*

Direct Selling: A Global Perspective

The direct selling sector in China has experienced explosive growth since 2006 and continues to do so now.* The current rate of industrialization in China is 2%, which is twice as high as India's current rate of 0.8%. Direct sales have a far larger share of some other Asian markets, such as Indonesia, Japan, and South Korea. With 4.3%, Malaysia has the highest direct sales penetration in all of Asia. At 0.4% of retail sales, India has one of the lowest penetration rates for direct selling among comparable economies.*

Why is Direct Selling Becoming Popular Worldwide?

These are the key growth drivers that make direct selling popular across the globe:

  1. Increasing Personal Disposable Income:

    Thanks to booming economic activity, the average Indian family can expect to see their annual income double from their current earnings. Rising employment has boosted consumer spending, which has boosted sales in the direct selling sector.

  2. Urbanization and Lifestyle Changes:

    It is projected that a significant percentage of India's population will live in urban regions by the mid years of this decade. Direct selling products, such as packaged food, cosmetics, and home appliances, should see increased demand due to their convenience and ability to improve consumers' quality of life.

  3. Significant rise of women in urban workforce:

    The percentage of working urban women in India climbed exponentially with the passage of years. Having more money available to spend is a direct outcome of more women entering the labor force.

  4. The expanding scope of direct selling:

    Expanding into Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities as well as rural areas, Direct Selling companies aim to educate consumers about their products and services. Increases in the volume of products sold through the direct selling channel are a direct outcome of the company's efforts to maintain both high product quality and reasonable costs.

Conclusion: Mi Lifestyle Marketing Private Limited as a Leading Direct Selling Company in India

Creating an enabling environment for the industry, and mitigating some of the challenges it is facing today, may be necessary for the direct selling industry to reach a size of INR 645 billion by 2025,* driven by growth in consumer markets and an increase in the penetration of direct selling to globally comparable levels. The sector has been affected, and this is now seen as a major threat to expansion.

The goal of Mi Lifestyle Marketing is to provide the greatest items directly to the customers, who are the foundation of the business. Our authorized distributor networks are run by trained leaders and representatives who make sure customers get high-quality products and free business opportunities.



The data provided in the above content are based on certain reliable sources like IDSA & KPMG. However we do not take responsibility for the accuracy of the same and those are third party links which might be subject to frequent changes.

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