Global results, including China, resulted in a sales increase of 2.3%. The industry is growing at a healthy pace with 3-year Compound Annual Growth of 3.0% (excluding China). Global sales force is 125.4 million independent representatives/distributors, a 4.3% increase over 2019. This figure includes more than 65 million Independent Representatives who are actively working to build their direct selling businesses either as a full-time career or part-time to earn supplemental income.
During 2020 the global pandemic, direct selling experienced the increased use of online tools and video meetings and welcomed social interaction for customers during the isolation due to countrywide lockdowns. These changes were instrumental in helping direct selling representatives adapt and respond to the challenges of the pandemic, and were a key driver of increased sales and representative growth.
China was particularly challenged during 2020 by the pandemic, since the market was still recovering from the unrelated government restrictions on meetings during the first part of 2019, when COVID-19 hit with another major prolonged disruption. Some markets, most notably Argentina, also faced significant inflationary impact that compounded the challenges during 2020.
While some markets with more severe COVID-19 impact, and/or less developed technology or supply chain infrastructure may have been less resilient, the overall global industry growth during 2020 underscores the strength and adaptability of the industry.
Founded in 1978, the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations is the leading international, non-governmental, voluntary organization representing the global direct selling industry in more than 170 countries through more than 60 regional and local direct selling associations.