Results from consumer research conducted by the Direct Sellers Association (DSA) of Canada show the potential for growth in the “side-hustle” world, particularly for direct sellers.
A key finding was that, over the next year, almost 4 in 10 Canadians will look to make additional money outside of their direct employment. The research showed that 37 percent of Canadians are seeking extra earning opportunities and that among those aged 18–29, this number jumps to 56 percent. The age-group showing the lowest interest in earning additional income, at 20 percent, were those aged 60 and over.
According to Peter Maddox, president of the DSA Canada, the research reflects the realities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as general economic uncertainty experienced by many across the country. In particular, from April to June, 32 percent of Canadians reported experiencing a decline in or a total loss of their income.
“The study results are also borne out by a recent rise in sales and enrolments for direct selling businesses,” said Maddox. “For example, DSA Canada member company MONAT saw a 200 percent increase in new independent sales consultant enrolments in the first three months of the pandemic.”
When questioned specifically about direct selling, 22 percent of survey respondents considered it a realistic opportunity for earning additional income. This rose to around a third for respondents under the age of 44. Somewhat unexpectedly, men were slightly more likely to be open to a direct sales opportunity at 24 percent, 3 percent more than for women.
The survey also delved into respondents’ overall impression of the direct selling industry. It was found that 33 percent of the population had a positive impression, 35 percent negative, while 32 percent didn’t know enough to have an impression one way or another. A positive impression was more common among younger age groups and for those with a high school education or less.
The 32 percent of the population who did not have any impression of direct selling might provide an interesting opportunity for the industry and the DSA to create positive awareness. It could be possible to help fill an apparent knowledge vacuum in the community through media outreach, public relations activities and other initiatives.
The survey was conducted with 1,500 Canadian adults from July 13 to 16, 2020, and was completed on behalf of the DSA by Abacus Data.