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WFDSA Conference in RioThe 14th WFDSA World Congress was held November, 2014 in the beautiful and dynamic city of Rio de Janeiro Brazil.  The meeting was entitled: “Direct Selling – The Original Social Network” and was attended by over 400 direct selling executives representing over 55 different countries.

IDSTC has several global clients and many others looking to expand internationally and this presented an opportunity that only comes around once every three years and gave us an opportunity to network and learn from executives from some of the top direct selling companies in the world.  Several topics revolved around technology and how its role in society is blurring the lines of social and business relationships.  Other discussions included the future of direct selling in a borderless world, and a call for direct sellers to be better prepared to embrace new software platforms and technology tools or they will get left behind.

One of the most impressive roundtable discussions included; Mary Kay Inc. CEO David Holl, Amway President Doug DeVos, Oriflame Cosmetics CEO and President Magnus Brannstrom, Herbalife International CEO Michael O. Johnson, Avon Products Inc. CEO Sheri McCoy and Nu Skin Enterprises CEO Truman Hunt participated in a conversation moderated by WFDSA Chairman Alessandro Carlucci. Their topic of discussion: “The Future of Direct Selling in an Increasingly Connected and Borderless World.”

Their message: Each company must choose the right technology, at the right price and right time, and then provide the right training in order to maximize the return. At the same time, it is important to remember that direct selling, at its core, is not about technology at all. It is about one person sharing a product or opportunity with another.

“One of the things that I have championed and people who have come before me, I think, have championed as well is to keep this business simple,” Holl said. “You can come up with a lot of technology. In my opinion if you let the IT department lead you down that path, it will be great technology but the sales force might not use it because it is overwhelming.”

A few general facts about the South and Central (Latin) American markets:

  • The top countries by retail sales volume representing 19% of global direct sales:
    • Brazil – $14 billion+
    • Mexico – $8 billion+
    • Columbia – $3.2 billion+
    • Argentina – $1.9 billion+
    • Peru – $1.8 billion+
    • Venezuela – $1.3 billion+
  • More than 50% of commerce is generated from the Mexico & Brazilian markets.
  • Three keys for success in these markets; women and their buying and business power, creating interrelation channels and leveraging technology tools.
  • 40% of the work force will be gen Y by 2020.
  • 85% of gen Y are technology dependent and consider technology as a tool for employment leveraging technology tools for social integration.
  • Leading product categories; Home supplies, personal care and beauty, weight loss and nutrition.

We will be posting more information about this conference in the future.