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February 08, 2012

U.S. News

Good News for Direct Sellers: Channel Growth in Online Retail

Euromonitor International, a world leader in strategy research for consumer markets, recently reported global online retail sales were up in 2011. This is good news for direct sellers who are utilizing multiple channels to sell their products and services.

According to Jon Wright, head of global retailing research at Euromonitor, Internet retailing was the engine of growth at the retailing level, with all regions of the world experiencing strong growth in 2011. “The Internet was the driving force behind global retailing market growth. Most retailers augmented their physical stores with online sales, which drove further growth for the Internet channel.”

Double-digit sales were recorded in all regions, with the Asia-Pacific region seeing the biggest gain—a retail value growth reaching 25 percent. Online sales were augmented by smartphones and tablets that further drove growth at the channel level. In comparison, traditional brick and mortar businesses continued to lose market share, with both store-based grocery and non-grocery retailing seeing growth of only 1 percent in constant terms in 2011.

In other news, Euromonitor recently identified the Top 10 consumer trends for 2012, which could have a direct impact of direct sellers:

  1. City living reigns: Swelling masses of urbanites with lifestyles to suit—style, tech and convenience-savvy—soak up new cultural influences that are blending with fresh brand experience-led approaches.
  2. Consumer vigilantes speak up: On and offline protest is in the spotlight, pressuring brands towards greater accountability and genuine innovation.
  3. DIY life: Consumers are reveling in their ability to track and control their health, identity, communication and buying habits.
  4. Emerging market shoppers: Consumers are enjoying spending and coming to a place near you!
  5. Future imperfect – youth: Young consumers facing up to a different, less predictable reality in terms of purchasing aspirations, work, living set-ups and role models.
  6. Green thrift: While frugality is celebrating all the tech-led innovations at its disposal, its marriage with sustainability is thriving.
  7. Reality culture and consumers: With scripted reality and celebrities living the dream, consumers are gripped, sharing views and being moved to change their purchasing behavior.
  8. Smartphone universe: Displacing computers worldwide, and in 2012, smartphones are reaching out to the lower end of the mass market, so expect apps to suit.
  9. Tech lifestyles versus slow living and the best of both: Some consumers are embracing an “always-on” lifestyle while others are trying to disengage.
  10. Weight as a hot topic/health kick: Are we what we eat? More consumers, health experts and government bodies seem to think so.

For more information, visit the Euromonitor International site at www.euromonitor.com.