With organizations like Tupperware, Amway, Avon and Oriflame, to name just a few, growing rapidly, direct selling has come into its own.
Direct selling is the marketing and selling of products directly to consumers away from a fixed retail location. A textbook definition is: ‘The direct personal presentation, demonstration, and sale of products and services to consumers, usually in their homes or at their jobs.’
Industry representative, the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA), reports that its 59 regional member associations accounted for more than US$114 Billion in retail sales in 2007, through the activities of more than 62 million independent sales representatives.
Consumers benefit from direct selling because of the convenience and service it provides, including personal demonstration and explanation of products, home delivery, and generous satisfaction guarantees. This mode of marketing benefits both the marketer and the consumer immensely.
It provides one on one contact with the consumer, thus enabling the marketer to thoroughly understand the psyche of the consumer. Products for beauty, wellness, kitchen appliances, medicines, etc, are very popular with direct selling companies.
In fact, the health and wellness segment, currently contributes 40 per cent to the Rs 5,230-crore direct selling market in India, and is likely to account for 50-60 per cent in the next couple of years, according to the Indian direct selling industry’s (IDSA) annual survey report.
Direct selling and big data are inherently linked. Data provides the power base that independent sales representatives use to gather customers. Also, the goal of these sales representatives is not just to gather customers but fellow sales representatives. The more representatives in a chain, the more profit to the one who started it.
From basic data gathering on a micro level, these sales representatives are able to augment their own commissions as well. Another interesting fact is that these companies, like any other organization, need to take a more granular look at their business.
While many companies understand the growth of their sales regions or territories, they need to be able to slice and dice data into hundreds of micro markets to see which counties or zip codes haven’t been tapped or are unlikely to grow. Organizations can use business analytics to link internal and external data sets from a variety of data sources in multiple formats to build “opportunity maps” of potential hot spots.
They can further use data analytics to comprehend sales and peculiarities of each product in each regional market. Big data provides a vast scope for the development of these organizations. Companies are able to not only use data for operations, but also for its predictive power.
We at IntelligenceNODE believe that big data, especially in direct marketing, promises to enable a new era of perfectly targeted messaging for the modern, connected consumer.