Don’t we all wish we had a crystal ball to predict the coming year? That would make planning and strategy so much easier for us all. What we do have is insight into key trends that are picking up pace into the new year.
The direct selling industry, known for its adaptability, is gearing up for transformative changes in 2024. The traditional face of direct selling is changing. Embracing innovation and agility is becoming crucial as companies respond to evolving consumer behaviors and technological advancements. Corporate executives need to stay ahead of these shifts to drive growth and retain a competitive edge. Let’s delve into the key trends reshaping the landscape:
Affiliate Programs Revolutionizing Sales
More than 35% of existing direct selling companies are anticipated to incorporate affiliate programs, emphasizing straightforward selling, and offering attractive commissions ranging from 15% to 40%. Start-up companies have adopted this approach right from inception, acknowledging the appeal of simple, high-commission structures.
This allows the direct sales industry to compete with the retail industry. More than 80% of retail brands use Affiliate Marketing programs. And 80% of advertisers set aside approximately 10% of their marketing budget for these projects. Why? Because it helps businesses reach more people, drive leads, and boost sales, all without spending much money on hiring a marketing company.
The affiliate program offers an appealing alternate avenue to generate revenue for companies with the Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z, who may have no interest in team building but will promote and sell products they believe in. Plus, it allows the affiliate to sell multiple products from different companies with no conflict of interest.
Attraction of Different Generations
Affiliate marketing is drawing in younger generations like Millennials and Gen Zers who are adept at social selling. The ease and familiarity of affiliate-based models resonate with these demographics, influencing their engagement within the direct selling space. Research shows that this type of model is in tune with bloggers, influencers, university students, and young parents who are searching for an avenue of additional income stream that is time flexible.
Payout Frequency and Adaptability
To get ahead in the race for attracting talent amongst the growing gig economy, direct selling companies need to pay attention to the evolving preferences of their field. A recent study conducted by Dr. Robert A. Peterson and John T. Fleming and sponsored by PayQuicker found that 83% of gig workers cite the importance of being paid immediately for performance when looking for a new gig (The Future of Work: Insights into the 2023 Gig Economy Workforce). Companies that offer flexible payment options and safe, secure, speedy payments—usually on the same day—provide a better experience; improve attrition rates; and become more attractive to those entrepreneurs looking for a side or full-time home business to join. Instant payments build loyalty, trust, and engagement. This, in turn, creates a desire to grow their businesses and the desire to increase income. This adaptation aims to retain talent and remain competitive in the dynamic market.
Global Expansion and Localization
With the world becoming increasingly interconnected, direct selling companies will focus even more on global expansion. However, localization will be critical for success. Executives understand the diverse market nuances, adapting strategies accordingly, and establishing strong local networks and partnerships. We know the world is smaller because of our ability to communicate face to face via technology like Zoom, Teams, etc. It can be as simple as speaking in the country’s native tongue vs English, (with a translator if necessary), or even ease of commissions transferred to the local currency.
AI Integration for Enhanced Efficiency
AI, including chat-based technologies like ChatGPT, is becoming a staple both in corporate operations and field activities. Field leaders are leveraging AI-driven posts to support and guide their downlines, streamlining operations and enhancing productivity. In 2024, more companies will also utilize AI to support their leaders in the field and keep costs down.
Amplified Social Media Support
Field members now expect an array of social media posts—up to 20 different choices per week—to amplify their online presence and reach. Providing diverse content options empowers distributors and fuels their social selling strategies. Their posts need to give the potential consumer a reason to buy through them vs someone else. The objective is to gain traffic and convert that traffic into customers and sales; companies that are supporting this will see more traction than ever before in this space. By being diverse, it generates more traffic to their business and will far outreach their personal circle of influence. This, in turn, opens opportunities to reach the right people.
Resurgence of Live Events and Recognition
Regional and annual/bi-annual conventions are experiencing a resurgence, significantly impacting company growth, and fostering brand loyalty. On-stage recognition at these events is imperative, driving motivation and engagement among field members. There is nothing like receiving an award or walking on stage in front of peers. In the past, before the world was on lock-down, most direct sales companies focused on driving their team members to live events regionally monthly, quarterly, bi-annually and annually, knowing that this increased retention with the field and belief in the company. With the lock down, companies got very comfortable with Zoom and Team events, and while it has become a fantastic add on to businesses, and cost effective, it does not replace live events. More and more companies that did return to live events in 2023 are promoting more live events in 2024 than ever.
Incentives and Travel Programs Driving Engagement
Companies are elevating incentives and incentive travel programs, incorporating both sales and recruitment criteria. This dual-pronged approach not only motivates sales but also fosters team building and network expansion.
In summary, the direct selling industry in 2024 is undergoing a profound transformation driven by affiliate programs, AI integration, increased social media support, and a renewed focus on live events and incentives. Corporate executives are embracing these trends to navigate the evolving landscape, foster innovation, and maintain a competitive edge in this dynamic sector. Adaptability and responsiveness will be key in seizing the opportunities presented by these industry shifts.
Here’s to an exceptional 2024 for the industry!
PayQuicker is a leading provider of financial transaction and treasury management technology and innovation for a wide range of industries requiring mass payouts to their participants. Our cloud-based and regulatory-compliant BaaS software stack offers custom-branded global treasury solutions that power clients to seamlessly deliver secure, instant payouts and digital wallets to millions of consumers, independent contractors, distributors, influencers, and affiliates around the globe. Schedule a free demo to learn more about the PayQuicker global treasury management solution.