Since the outbreak of COVID-19, our daily life has been overthrown and everybody’s life is still being affected by the epidemic. In the midst of the pandemic, the most prominent phenomenon is the intensity of “staying at home”. After being put under Alert Level 3 for nearly 45 days, finally we are welcoming loosening of some COVID restrictions. According to a survey conducted by iSurvey in July, comparing to the early stage of Level 3 COVID-19 alert, consumers are still enjoying the benefits of “working from home”, e.g. reduced commuting time and freedom of work arrangements. But in the meantime, they are suffering from less interaction with people. Apart from wearing a mask and frequently washing hands, the top 3 increased behaviors consumers do during the pandemic are cooking at home, watching TV, and online shopping. In addition, staying-at-home too long may put various stresses on people such as body shape stress due to lack of exercise, daily life stress due to need for variety of three meals in a day, and psychological stress due to staying at home for too long.
The impact of general environment has brought the change of consumers’ mindset and behaviors, as well as ups and downs in the market. As said by Winston Churchill, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” Judging from the phenomena of stay-at-home economy and working from home stress, it might be a unique opportunity for direct selling businesses to make a gorgeous turn and get to a higher level in this “unusual period”.
Observation 1: Enhanced digital support and uplifted power of Fanocracy
With the distance between people being enlarged by the epidemic, communication in the cyber world is getting more dynamic. An online shopping environment that features a smooth and easy-to-use O2O business model and charming products, that are easy to get started and meet the needs of consumers, have become basic necessities for each company.
Consumers in the digital era are used to acquire information content via the Internet. Therefore, how to “encircle” these consumers and encourage them to come frequently and stay longer each time has become relatively important for social media management. This is also the reason for transition from e-commerce to social commerce being so popular during this time.
Being the shortest path for communication between brands and consumers, social commerce is able to directly touch the heart of consumers in both online activities and product sharing. Therefore, whether at present or in the future, social commerce has a high possibility for development, which cannot be ignored. Certainly, each company needs to decide carefully on how to seek innovation and change and stick to their essence at the same time.
Observation 2: Building a personal brand starts with daily care.
At the onset of coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, the first victimized disaster area of the epidemic, “community group buying” started spreading like a wire file in the whole mainland. Products popular for community group buying have changed from fresh food and household cleaning supplies to consumer goods, such as makeup & skincare products, nutritional supplements, and 3C products ever since. The representative of each community would serve as a “group leader” to collect orders from neighbors in an active way via WeChat to buy products collectively.
In fact, many direct selling partners have implanted the concept of “group buying” in product sharing. Is it advisable to start with, by putting more effort in social network, caring about matters in fans’ daily life, such as sharing personal solutions for “stay-at-home stress”, and expanding to business promotion later on? Simultaneous online-offline operation might be a worthwhile thinking direction in this regard.
Observation 3: Taking care of the heart of regular customers with online-offline integration.
Retaining consumers is not the sole solution for social commerce. O2O commerce might as well be a breakout practice under the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, it might be advisable to put more effort on “loyal customers” and establish a physical store with “a sense of security”.
Take Shin Kong Mitsukoshi, the leading department store chain in Taiwan, as an example. With the “Regular Customers System” launched last year to integrate online transactions and offline main customer relationship management, Shin Kong Mitsukoshi has successfully re-boosted its performance from the stagnation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the Regular Customers System, service assistants can guide their main customers online and through mobile payment connection, customers can easily make the payment and have their orders directly delivered to their home. On the other hand, some fashion boutiques hold small scale new goods launce exclusively for high-end customers at their flagship store on separate time periods to manage their customer relationship so as to create a buying atmosphere, as well as relieve customers’ boredom of being confined to home for quite some time now.
With the prominence of digitalization, the demarcation line between the traditional channel and the direct selling channel has become less and less obvious. In the meantime, the competition between them is becoming more and more intense. According to the “2020 Investigation Report on Multi-level Marketing (Direct-selling) Business Development Status” published by the Fair Trade Commission, under the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, last year’s overall turnover reached NT$ 98.009 billion, increasing NT$4.468 billion (4.78%) comparing to that of 2019.
Although a record-breaking growth has given a boost to the industry, in the face of today’s wildly progressing technology and rapidly changing situation, the direct selling industry still needs to be in a state of preparation all the time. The pandemic will be past eventually. Most importantly, the question is, have we learned something from the epidemic? Are we prepared for the post-COVID-19 era? Only by making use of digital technology and precisely grasping the market trend, will we be able to achieve another wave of growth in the post-COVID-19 era.
Founded by Mr. Lee Zhong-xian five years ago in South Korea, APYLD, an e-commerce direct selling company, has just celebrated its 5th anniversary. Instead of walking the old road of traditional direct selling companies to focus on nutrition and health products, APYLD chose to enter the market with daily necessities and exquisite goods, which cover all aspects of our basic living needs. Positioning itself as a quality and high CP value company, APYLD has accumulated nearly 330 thousand members in just 5 years, demonstrating itself as a dark horse in the direct selling circle of both South Korea and Taiwan.
In addition to its advantages on the product side, APYLD launched “2021 Quantum Leap Program” this year to provide an income increase opportunity for its members by lifting bonus allocation. APYLD has also invested more in online sharing resources to help its members in their efforts to sponsor new members. In addition, in order to extend its reach, APYLD established two headquarters both in the north and south of Taiwan to expand its market in all aspects and increase its members’ income. All in all, APYLD intends to provide its members with quality products in order to help them earn satisfactory income.
According to the “2020 Global Direct Selling Industry Report” published by WFDSA in July and the “2020 Investigation Report on Multi-level Marketing Business Development” published by Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission on August 6, this year, the scale of Taiwan’s direct selling industry remains in the front-end class in the global arena and its development in domestic market also shows a stable growth.
According to WFDSA’s 2020 Global Direct Selling Industry Report, during the period between 2017 and 2020, except for the significant dropping of sales volume and number of participants in China market, the 3-year CAGR of the global direct selling industry reached 3%. The global sales volume of 2020 reached US$ 179.3 billion, among which 62% were derived from the top 2 categories: cosmetics/personal care (26.2%) and health care products (36.2%). In addition, 78% of global sales volume came from top 10 markets, with the U.S. firmly remaining the No. 1 direct selling market in the world with a sales volume of US$ 40.1 billion, followed sequentially by China, Germany, Korea, and Japan. Taiwan became the No. 10 market in the world with a sales volume of US$ 4.4 billion.
According to the results of the FTC’s investigation on 314 multi-level marketing companies in Taiwan last year, the number of participants in multi-level marketing business slightly reduced in 2020 but both the total sales and the overall bonus paid increased comparing to the previous year. The overall bonus paid in the whole year in Taiwan was NT$ 43.121 billion, increasing NT$ 3.938 billion comparing to 2019. The total sales of the year exceeded NT$ 98 billion, representing an annual growth of 4.78%, among which 65% were derived from the category of nutritional supplements and 17% from cosmetics and personal care category. Nearly 86% of multi-level marketing businesses hold an optimistic or fair attitude toward the expected sales volume in 2021.
The FTC indicated, in conclusion, that over the years, the multi-level marketing industry has made significant contribution to Taiwan’s labor force employment and overall economic development. The FTC also recognized the self-discipline and efforts made by most direct selling companies in uplifting the image of the industry. The DSA and its member companies will continue to dedicate themselves to maintaining the industrial environment and image of the direct selling industry in the hope of extending and recreating the growing prosperity of Taiwan’s multi-level marketing industry.
In view of the severity of local epidemic situation and the constant rise of workload and epidemic prevention risk encountered by the frontline medical staff, the TDSA, having focused on localization for 30 years, announced that it would donate over 3,000 medical protective clothes and 10,000 N95 masks to Bureaus and Departments of Taipei City Government and the Fire Department of New Taipei City Government in the hope of doing its bit in ensuring the health and safety of the epidemic prevention and fire rescue personnel. The TDSA also hopes that everybody can become a strong support for the frontline anti-epidemic personnel. In early July, Ms. Shaline Chang, Chairperson of the TDSA, together with Ms. Chen Shu-chen, convener of the Public Affairs Committee of the TDSA, visited the Fire Department of New Taipei City Government to deliver the donations and express their gratitude to those frontline anti-epidemic heroes. Together, they make a wish that Taiwan would pass through this epidemic soon.
Multi-level marketing is an industry that emphasizes human interaction. In the face of the severe impact of the epidemic on Taiwan, the frontline anti-epidemic personnel are even more respectable in our eyes. Therefore, The TDSA made a budget under the name of an urgent project to initiate a material donation program in the hope of making a contribution to Taiwan’s epidemic prevention efforts. After hearing about this idea, many member companies, including Amway, Nu Skin, VIVA Life , E. Excel, TOTALIFE, and Naturally Plus, willingly expressed their intention to make additional donation to purchase more anti-epidemic materials in order to enlarge the TDSA’s original intention and make the donated materials even more diversified. Over the years, the TDSA has given value to fulfilling its social responsibility and actively participated in various charity activities. Nowadays, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, upholding the belief of “One Island, One Life”, the TDSA does its bit in epidemic prevention with real actions in the hope that fair sunshine will come after rain and life in the world will return to normal as soon as possible.
The DSA’s latest activity “Today’s COE Talk” will be put online soon. The DSA invited Taipei Quyituan, a renowned domestic crosstalk troupe, to interpret the Code of Ethics in a humorous and living way. Let’s expect the excellent performance of Huang Yi-hao, dubbed “Taiwan’s best crosstalk comedian born in the 80s”, and Chen Xing-sheng, dubbed “Old Pedant of Crosstalk”, who will analyze the future of direct selling under the digital trend in an unconstrained and creative way. On the other hand, Xie Xiao-ling, dubbed “First Sister of Crosstalk” and Liu Shi-ming, dubbed “Laughing Master of Crosstalk”, will interpret the dilemma encountered by part-time distributors in the workplace in a humorous way. Search for the “Taiwan R.O.C. Direct Selling Association” on your Facebook to follow and “Like” us and leave a comment to let us know what you think, you will have the opportunity to receive a gift by drawing lots. The biggest prize is a Switch Game Console. You can also collect high-quality “COE quotes” from their performance.
A1 Technology, a wholly owned subsidiary of ATOMY, specializes in R&D and manufacturing of PTFE film masks. Upholding the entrepreneurial spirit of ATOMY and being rooted in corporate social responsibility, A1 Technology puts into practice a culture of sharing. In view that police officers always plunge themselves into various anti-epidemic tasks at the frontline, A1 Technology designed a customized police PTFE film mask that meets the CNS14755 D3 National Pandemic Prevention Standards and is able to protect against high-speed droplet spray, using navy blue material, the same color as the police uniform, and imprinting “Police” on the mask. In total, A1 Technology donated 19,000 masks to Tainan City Police Department to show their support to police officers who always expose themselves to high-risk environments when performing duties.
This year, we are celebrating Synergy’s 21st anniversary in Taiwan market. In August, we opened Synergy Taichung Business Center, our second business center in Taiwan. Located on Taiwan Boulevard, Synergy Taichung Business Center provides our members with the best and most comfortable environment for placing & picking up orders, training, and having business conversations. On the ribbon cutting ceremony held on August 18, we invited Synergy Top leaders, Office Manager, and Sales Manager to celebrate this wonderful moment with our members via live stream on Synergy Worldwide’s Facebook Fan Page.
Quality nutrition specialist HERBALIFE launched Iced Coffee Drink Mix, a healthy, nutritious, and refreshing brewed coffee, in Asia Pacific Area. HERBALIFE Iced Coffee Drink Mix features high protein and low fat, with only 80 kcal in one cup. Offering two classic flavors Latte and Mocha, HERBALIFE Iced Coffee Drink Mix is your best choice for morning or afternoon teatime.
According to market analysis, between 2020 and 2024, the global coffee market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.32%. Unlike its high calorie, fat, and sugar counterparts on the market, HERBALIFE Iced Coffee Drink Mix is particularly designed for consumers who are in favour of a fresh taste and pursue low calorie, providing them with a healthier and more nutritious drink choice. Starting from July this year, HERBALIFE Iced Coffee Drink Mix was launched successively in specific Asia Pacific markets to provide a starting point of your daily energy with delicious, fresh, and nutritious iced coffee.
Quality nutrition specialist HERBALIFE published the results of “Herbalife Nutrition Asia Pacific Young Entrepreneurs Survey 2021”. As indicated by the Survey, nearly 90% of respondents think it is better to start a business before the age of 40 and the most suitable average age for starting a business is 27.
However, merely enthusiasm and eagerness for entrepreneurship do not make one plunge into it. Most respondents think that before starting a business, at least five years of experience is required.
“Most respondents are afraid of starting a business due to lack of experience. They are worried about their lack of cost, capital, and market knowledge required for starting a business. Therefore, adequate basic business knowledge, suitable resources, and support of a mentor and a team would help a newbie entrepreneur better understand how to deal with future uncertainties,” said Mr. Stephen Conchie, senior vice president and managing director of Asia Pacific, HERBALIFE.
AIFYA’s enduring campaign “Clean Eating 30-day Slimness Challenge” is entering its 26th anniversary this year and so far has helped nearly 10 thousand challengers successfully lose weight. Under the ardent expectation and enthusiastic participation of AIFYA members, the “26th Clean Eating 30-day Slimness Challenge” has broken a record in number of participants with a compliance rate of over 50%, indicating once again that “Clean Eating 30 Slimness Diet Plan” is a proven and effective weight loss approach.
In combination with Bountiful Trinity, AIFYA’s best quality product, as well as eating advice from dietitians and moderate exercise, “Clean Eating 30 Slimness Diet Plan” has helped more people who pursue a slim and healthy body succeed in their weight-loss journey. In the future, AIFYA will continue to help even more people walk on the road to happiness by embracing health and slimness.