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Huge Growth Potential

Millennials are becoming increasingly important for direct selling companies, according to Lynda Mills, director general of the Direct Selling Association Huge Growth Potential

Direct selling is a form of retail that has seen much change throughout the many years it has been in existence.

Companies such as Avon have legacies extending well over 100 years, while this year marks the 40th anniversary of another significant company in the sector, Forever Living Products. However, it’s not all about the established brands.


The industry is very much evolving, as new audiences engage with this form of retail, both as customers and representatives, and over recent years a range of new brands, such as Younique, have established themselves in the sector.

Alongside the more established players, these companies are demonstrating the potential for this form of retail to engage new, younger groups.

The millennial generation (those born between the early 1980s and early 2000s) are becoming an increasingly important group for direct selling companies and it’s estimated that under-35s now make up 27 per cent of the UK’s 425,000 or so direct sellers.

Millennials offer huge growth potential for the industry globally. The Pew Research Center reported in March that millennials are set to become the largest living adult generation in the USA by as early as 2019.

But it’s not simply the size of this audience that’s significant. Millennials have a radically different approach to work and employment and one that’s closely aligned with direct selling.

In its annual global survey of millennials, consulting firm Deloitte found that 31 per cent were ‘personally concerned’ about unemployment and the economy. It’s perhaps not surprising then that this generation is more open to making opportunities for themselves, with gig earning increasingly prevalent.


As well as developing new products specifically targeted at this age group, the sector is constantly developing its digital engagement strategies.

The classic direct selling image of the home selling party still rings true for many companies, but increasingly the option of a virtual home selling party is growing in popularity, with guests joining online from the comfort of their own living room via their tablet.

There’s no doubt that direct selling will continue to evolve as millennial audiences increasingly engage with the sector and help push the boundaries of innovation. Who knows what could be next, but for now social shopping parties from the comfort of your own sofa sound pretty good to me.

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