Another Year of Steady Global Growth


We are pleased each year to provide you with analysis of the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations’ global sales data. Writer Beth Douglass Silcox identifies the 24 global markets with retail sales of $1 billion or more from direct selling. She also digs into the 2018 numbers to not only extract the economic impact our industry is having on economies around the world but also reveals some insights about the future:

  • $192.9 billion (constant U.S. dollars) in estimated retail sales globally—a 1.2 percent increase over 2017
  • Estimated retail sales in China barely eclipsed those of the United States, prompting WFDSA to announce a tie for the top spot for now, with the chance of being restated later in 2019 as actual sales data becomes available.
  • The industry’s global sales force reached 118.4 million, up 1.6 percent over 2017. Since 2015, more than 13.8 million more individuals have joined the ranks.
  • Emerging markets made up 42.7 percent of the global sales total.

In the July issue, I mentioned that each month we will be talking about a separate Core Principle—elements that make the difference between direct selling companies that thrive and those that struggle. Last month we talked about building a distinct, emotionally connected BRAND. While you don’t have control over how your customers interpret what your brand means to them, you create and control the messages that reinforce your brand. This month we are focusing on creating a relevant, simple and repeatable MESSAGE that will stand out. And for these messages to work, they need to be rooted in the belief that customers and distributors are the main characters in your story.

This month we catch up with two iconic companies to see what they have been up to lately. The first is Morinda, who exploded onto the health and wellness scene in the late 1990s, introducing the industry to the superfruit noni. Today, the company has established a new home within the New Age Beverage family of healthy beverage companies.

Next is Mary Kay, an icon in both the beauty and network marketing industries, which has been focused on empowering women since its inception in 1963—long before female empowerment was mainstream news.

And finally, be sure and drop me an email to let us know how we are doing and how we can better serve you. If you have ideas that would be helpful to our readers please send them my way.