For most people, retail stores were the way people purchased items. Different from direct sales as the store is there all the time, and sales are not dependent on throwing a party or making a special sales call. Direct selling (DSA) also typically happened on a much smaller scale and it focused on a more personal shopping experience that revolves around one particular brand of goods by selling a product or service in either a person-to-person or party plan method. It also involves developing a personal relationship with the customer.
In the past, direct selling moved the selling floor to the consumer, rather than making the consumer come to a particular location to buy. Then along came ecommerce and changed the way direct sellers can easily increase their sales. Here are a few ways direct sales have changed to keep up with digital age.
- Branding and Product Promotion. Regardless of whether you are a retail seller, ecommerce business owner or direct sales representative, the Internet is key to brand recognition. The reality is that many consumers use the Internet to browse and buy products, including direct sales products. Direct sales companies, and beauty product icons, such as Avon and Mary Kay have full taken advantage of this. They understand that marketing is vital to the sales of any product.
- Recruitment of Associates. The best way to advertise success is on the Internet. Brand recognition is also important in the recruitment of new associates in direct sales. People want to work for companies that are relevant and are making money. Keeping up a website is important to deliver a message of relevancy for those interested in becoming a DSA partner.
- Virtual Parties. The Internet has made it easier than ever to host virtual product parties from almost anywhere via the Internet. Direct sellers can now easily host these virtual parties anytime and with a much larger group.
- Social Media. Direct sales has also greatly benefited from social media to keep brand recognition alive. It is an also an excellent source to get invaluable and often brutally honest feedback from customers. The Internet has become the new age word of mouth for most brands.
DSA and Fulfillment of Products
In addition to the Internet, ecommerce has also shaped how DSA fulfills its product sales. As ecommerce has relied more on fulfillment centers, so has direct sales. They have seen the benefits of having fulfillment centers take care of deliveries to local as well as global customers.
Although maintaining personal relationships with customer is vital in direct sales, the Internet has added a valuable dimension to DSA. The Internet has helped direct sales partners stay competitive in the digital age, either through brand recognition or a wider access to interactions with customers. And in the end it is this constant communication with customers that has always been an important factor in DSA sales.