Did you know?
1. Brands and retailers spend over $1 Trillion globally per year in Marketing
2. Global e-commerce cart abandon rates are over 80%
3. Mobile e-commerce cart abandon rates are over 90%
4. E-commerce accounts for less than 20% of total global retail sales
5. Online Conversion Rates average 1-5% compared to in person rates nearing 40%
6. Nearly 90% of distributors work fewer than 30 hours
7. Micro influences have 60% higher engagement than macro influencers
As our real and virtual worlds become more connected, Direct Sellers must continue to adapt to be successful. In addition to the new challenges and opportunities of the digital world, direct sellers also have age-old challenges like low distributor activity levels, low distributor retention, and high customer churn rates. So, what can we learn from the world around us, where Influencer Marketing and the gig economy are experiencing great success?
Direct Selling and Influencer Marketing were both founded on similar principles, so why does Influencer Marketing appear to be more effective outside of the direct selling channel? Similarly, if Uber or Lyft operated like many direct selling companies, their drivers would spend more time “figuring stuff out” than driving. The genius of their model is that they leverage an existing skill (driving) and provide technology that seamlessly monetizes that skill. The genius of Influencer Marketing is that many influencers focus on a single product or small number of products. In both cases, companies benefit because they understand that the goal is to maximize the use of each hour, not the quantity of hours.
Next Steps: Innovate & Simplify
There is ample evidence to prove that the following e-commerce strategies are effective and given their proliferation, downright necessary to successfully sell online:
1. Product Reviews
1. Customer Reviews
2. 360 Views (where applicable)
3. Product Videos
4. Product Recommendations (“You May Also Like”)
As e-commerce and technology have continued to close the gap between online and offline selling, new and exciting ways to engage with products, people, and brands have emerged. Almost all of the recent advancements are focused on humanizing the online experience. These solutions, depending on how they are implemented, can create a better distributor AND customer experience!
1. Shoppable videoconferencing
2. Shoppable video
3. Shoppable broadcasting
4. Augmented Reality (AR)
5. Virtual Reality (VR)
Keep in mind that not ALL of these may be right for YOUR business.
What should you do?
The answer is as old as direct selling itself: increase engagement of both distributors and consumers by making the business opportunity and purchasing journeys easier. Companies have invested considerable resources over the years to convert “passive distributors” into active ones but the ratio of passive to active distributors has hardly changed. By increasing the effectiveness of both part-time (micro influencers) and full-time distributors (macro influencers), direct selling companies will experience more orders. By implementing new livestream shopping technology, companies will see higher average order sizes and greater conversion rates.
Stop buying tech for tech’s sake. That strategy costs companies billions of dollars annually and can also overwhelm sellers. The primary goal is to maximize the effectiveness of every hour devoted to the business of selling, whether part-time or full-time.
We know that distributors already operate on social media and videoconferencing platforms like Facebook and Zoom. However, we also know that selling seamlessly on these platforms is not possible and will become increasingly more difficult, not to mention that Direct Selling organizations have little visibility or control over these platforms.
Humanizing the online experience and creating trust online are keys to e-commerce success. A new suite of livestream shopping products have emerged that have proven to be critical tools in this endeavor: shoppable videoconferencing (similar to Zoom), shoppable broadcasting (like social media “lives”), and shoppable video. Data shows that these tools become even more powerful when offered directly from distributor sites compared to the unnecessary friction of hyperlinks or maintaining separate e-commerce platforms. Companies that employ these tools are seeing their conversion rates increase by at least five times! Using technology, convenience, and a simple system, you too can create a powerful shopping experience that will transform your business.