One of the hidden drivers of the sales industry is the retail sector for direct sales. Direct selling is exactly how it sounds – a salesperson takes a product and markets it directly to the consumer. In 2012, the total amount of sales generated from these efforts exceeded $31 billion.
The Sales Industry Facts and Statistics
The number of people involved in direct selling in the United States is 15.9 million.
There are a number of ways that direct selling can help both the sales person and the customers. The largest targeted area for products in this field of sales is health and wellness, which is quickly followed by home and family care items. Combined these two specific areas make up over half of the total sales that occur in this part of the sales industry.
3 Fast Facts to Consider
1. Person-to-person sales make up two-thirds of the direct selling successes that are seen in this part of the industry. Groups, parties, and classes make up the vast majority of other sales that occur.
2. Leisure and educational products make up just 2% of the total industry.
3. When the recession hit in 2008-2009, direct sales positions increased by 6.6% over the previous year. 2012 totals have almost matched the highs experienced at the end of 2009.
Takeaway: Direct sales has always been one of those fallback jobs that people can do when they have no other current employment alternative. The costs of starting a home-based business are rather low. Many of today’s products only require an investment into samples instead of having to run inventory levels in order to make money, which makes the sales process much easier as well. Best of all, it’s easy to get out of if a more lucrative job offer comes along!
Other Facts to Consider About This Industry
1. By the end of 2014, it is expected that 36% of the total direct sales workforce will be compromised of millennials or members of Generation Y.
2. Worldwide there are over 60 million sales consultants that contribute over $114 billion in sales to the global economy.
3. Over 80% of direct sales representatives in the United States are women.
4. The annual turnover rate for a direct sales position is consistently above 50%, which means 1 out of every 2 people working in the field today will be working elsewhere in the next 12 months.
5. 82% of direct sellers have been with their representative organization for over 12 months, which indicates the high turnover rate is in new sales representatives that are starting.
6. Less than 9% of US direct sales representatives work full time.
Takeaway: The evidence in this part of the sales industry is pretty clear: anyone can give this kind of sales a go and many of those who do end up finding a lot of success. There’s a lot of flexibility in this kind of career because you can work a lot of your own hours, be social while doing it, and earn the supplemental income that is needed. The average direct sales rep doesn’t earn a lot of cash though – the average part-time workers makes less than $2,000 per year.