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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2005

Dennis L. Duffy

The paper aims to describe the application of direct selling, the process of selling a consumer product or service from one person to another, in an environment that is…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to describe the application of direct selling, the process of selling a consumer product or service from one person to another, in an environment that is not a permanent retail location.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper explores the application of direct selling from the perspective of companies that have built their business around direct selling and those who are evolving into direct selling. The paper focuses the examination on three companies participating in the direct selling category: The Longaberger Company, The Pampered Chef and The Tupperware Corporation.

Findings

The paper finds that direct selling is an increasingly important component of the marketing mix for many traditional, successful companies and presents some keys to success.

Originality/value

Successful direct selling companies in the future will help to maximize growth and optimize customer loyalty at all levels.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

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Book part
Publication date: 6 September 2019

Victoria L. Crittenden and Kimberly Harris Bliton

Direct selling was founded on the philosophy of coaching people on how to successfully build a business from the ground up, and women comprise a large percentage of these…

Abstract

Direct selling was founded on the philosophy of coaching people on how to successfully build a business from the ground up, and women comprise a large percentage of these direct selling entrepreneurs. In this chapter, we highlight the empowering benefits of direct selling. First, we focus on women micro-entrepreneurs who want to build their own small businesses, but on a limited scale while maintaining flexible schedules and work-life satisfaction. These women can benefit from the direct selling opportunity in terms of capitalization, formal structures, mentoring, income, self-efficacy, social capital, and life skills. Second, we profile women entrepreneurs who are building their own product organizations and have chosen direct selling as a go-to-market strategy for access to consumers. Three consistent attributes observed across these women are authenticity, affective commitment, and passion.

Details

Go-to-Market Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-289-4

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Abstract

Details

Ultimate Gig
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-860-7

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2015

Charles B. Ragland, Lance Eliot Brouthers and Scott M. Widmier

– The purpose of this paper is to use a theoretical framework (institutional theory) to predict international market selection (IMS) for the direct selling industry.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to use a theoretical framework (institutional theory) to predict international market selection (IMS) for the direct selling industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use independent variables taken from institutional theory to predict IMS for the direct selling industry, allowing the authors to show the relationship between institutional theory – defined independent variables and the relative attractiveness of international markets. The model is applied to a broad sample of 51 developed and emerging nations that comprise 91 percent of worldwide GDP.

Findings

The authors found that the hypotheses were confirmed. Institutional theory – defined independent variables did a good job of predicting the relative attractiveness of international markets.

Research limitations/implications

The authors used cross sectional country level data to validate their model. One major implication: institutional theory appears to do an excellent job of predicting IMS in contrast to geographic proximity or cultural similarity for the direct selling industry.

Practical implications

Managers should consider formal and informal aspects of the institutional environment, when selecting new international markets.

Originality/Value

In contrast to most IMS papers, the authors apply a theory to predict IMS outcomes, helping to provide greater potential generalizability. The authors show that selected dimensions of institutional theory do a good job of predicting IMS for the direct selling industry. Future efforts may wish to apply institutional theory to new IMS contexts. The authors conclude with managerial implications.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

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Article
Publication date: 13 May 2014

William W. Keep and Peter J. Vander Nat

This paper aims to analyze the evolution of direct selling – a retail channel that successfully sold products ranging from cosmetics to radios to automobiles – to…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyze the evolution of direct selling – a retail channel that successfully sold products ranging from cosmetics to radios to automobiles – to multilevel marketing (MLM), an industry now apparently heavily reliant on selling to itself. As the courts have found some MLM companies to be pyramid schemes, the analysis includes the overlap between the legal MLM model and an illegal pyramid scheme.

Design/methodology/approach

The development of direct selling in the USA was examined, followed by the factors contributing to the design and growth of the MLM model and its non-commission-based compensation structure. Then, the key legal decisions regarding illegal pyramid schemes operating under the guise of MLM, the relative stagnation of direct selling and the state of the MLM industry were examined.

Findings

As the MLM model operates on the dual premise of retailing through a network of distributors and recruiting new distributors to do the same, it was found that federal regulators and the courts consistently focus on the “retail question” – the existence and extent of sales to consumers external to the distributor network. The authors argue that without a significant external customer base, internal consumption by an ever-churning base of participants resembles neither employee purchases nor a buying club.

Social implications

As the MLM model facilitated the growth of pyramid scheme fraud, creating victims rather than customers, this research highlights successful efforts to regulate this type of consumer fraud.

Originality/value

Few papers have been written on MLM and pyramids schemes, and none thus far has taken an historical perspective.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

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Article
Publication date: 13 March 2017

Patrick Poon, Gerald Albaum and Cheng-Yue Yin

The purpose of this paper is to examine the dimensions of interpersonal trust which would affect the buyer-salesperson relationship in a direct selling situation. It also…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the dimensions of interpersonal trust which would affect the buyer-salesperson relationship in a direct selling situation. It also investigates consumers’ perceived risk and advantages of direct selling.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire survey of consumers (and also non-consumers) of direct selling companies in Hong Kong was performed by means of mall-intercept interview. The major measurements were perceived risk, perceived advantages, trust dimensions, and repurchase intention.

Findings

The results show that there are six dimensions of interpersonal trust in the buyer-seller relationship in direct selling, but only one dimension (i.e. honesty) has a significant relationship with repurchase intention. The ability to shop at home is found to have the highest advantage rating of direct selling. In addition, direct selling is perceived to have a lower level of risk than unsolicited telephone call such as telemarketing.

Originality/value

This is the first study to investigate the effects of different dimensions of interpersonal trust on consumer buying behavior under a direct selling situation in Asia. The study also serves as a foundation for studying the applicability and usefulness of all trust measures in other western or non-western cultures/nations.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 45 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1990

Gordon Wills, Sherril H. Kennedy, John Cheese and Angela Rushton

To achieve a full understanding of the role ofmarketing from plan to profit requires a knowledgeof the basic building blocks. This textbookintroduces the key concepts in…

Abstract

To achieve a full understanding of the role of marketing from plan to profit requires a knowledge of the basic building blocks. This textbook introduces the key concepts in the art or science of marketing to practising managers. Understanding your customers and consumers, the 4 Ps (Product, Place, Price and Promotion) provides the basic tools for effective marketing. Deploying your resources and informing your managerial decision making is dealt with in Unit VII introducing marketing intelligence, competition, budgeting and organisational issues. The logical conclusion of this effort is achieving sales and the particular techniques involved are explored in the final section.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 27 July 2012

Patrick Poon, Gerald Albaum and Peter Shiu‐Fai Chan

The purpose of this paper is to investigate trust in salespersons of direct selling companies. The major purpose of the study is to examine three alternative measures of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate trust in salespersons of direct selling companies. The major purpose of the study is to examine three alternative measures of trust and to assess the effects of consumer trust in the direct selling salesperson on intended purchase behavior in a non‐Western culture, Hong Kong.

Design/methodology/approach

The research was designed as a personal interview survey of purchasers and non‐purchasers of product from direct selling companies in Hong Kong. A street‐intercept method of personal interview was used in three major shopping areas. The major measurement was of three different measures of trust in buying behavior from direct selling companies.

Findings

Survey results show that the measures of trust are not equally significant in being related to intention to repurchase. Only one measure, “Affect Trust”, is statistically correlated to repurchase intention. This measure is based on emotions which are affective in nature.

Originality/value

Gaining trust is crucial to all salespeople, industrial and consumer alike, as trust facilitates an exchange relationship while mistrust hinders it. Consequently, having valid measures of trust is essential to ensuring that exchange relations are positive. The research to date has been in the context of Western cultures and is dated (ten or more years ago). The paper examines trust in a non‐Western culture. In addition, the sales relationships studied in the past have been non‐direct selling. The paper expands this domain as it looks at direct selling to consumers in a non‐fixed business location.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 30 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2004

John Stanworth, Stewart Brodie, Thomas Wotruba and David Purdy

The past two decades have witnessed little, if any, growth in the numbers of small firms with employees in the UK. At the same time, a substantial growth in the numbers of…

Abstract

The past two decades have witnessed little, if any, growth in the numbers of small firms with employees in the UK. At the same time, a substantial growth in the numbers of self‐employed without employees as a component of the UK national labour force has been witnessed. The current article reports on a recent study into direct selling that accounts for around 500,000 “independent contractors” at any one time, albeit, in this case, operating often as part of an invisible economy, though linked with household‐name direct selling companies. With the advent of more large companies, such as the recently privatised utilities, using direct selling as a distribution format, there is a strong case for achieving a wider understanding of the dynamics of this system.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1995

Richard A. Kustin and Robert A. Jones

Direct selling as a type of non‐store retailing continues toincrease internationally and in Australia in its use and popularity. Onenon‐store retailing method, multilevel…

Abstract

Direct selling as a type of non‐store retailing continues to increase internationally and in Australia in its use and popularity. One non‐store retailing method, multilevel marketing or network marketing, has recently incurred a degree of consumer suspicion and negative perceptions. A study was developed to investigate consumer perceptions and concerns in New South Wales and Victoria. Consumers were surveyed to determine their perception of direct selling and its relationship to consumer purchasing decisions. Responses indicate consumers had a negative perception towards network marketing, while holding a low positive view of direct selling. There appears to be no influence of network marketing on consumer purchase decisions.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 12 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Keywords

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