Recently, a new economic force has emerged – the YouEconomy. Companies like Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit, and AirBnB have hit the streets with a model of service that to those in the Direct Selling channel looks familiar. Customers in search of a particular service are able to directly contact a service provider, request the desired service or product, and it is delivered quickly and efficiently for a reasonable price.
Like Direct Selling, the YouEconomy, also known as the gig or share economy, offers quick, efficient service that works outside traditional brick and mortar stores and puts customers and providers in direct contact.
Like Direct Selling, the YouEconomy, also known as the gig or share economy, offers quick, efficient service that works outside traditional brick and mortar stores and puts customers and providers in direct contact. It often uses what an entrepreneur already possesses– a car in good repair or a spare room in their home – and matches that supply with a demand – a ride to the airport or a place to stay while on vacation. By providing customers something they want in an alternative form, often of higher quality and at a more competitive price than traditional models, the You Economy has, many experts say, shaken things up and forced more traditional companies to rethink how they do business.
Despite having more than 100 million members worldwide in 2015, Direct Selling remained the sleeping giant of commerce. However, that is perhaps set to change.
The advantage for Direct Selling in this new economy is that its inherent mode of operation – one-to-one – is no longer an outlier. Despite having more than 100 million members worldwide in 2015, Direct Selling remained the sleeping giant of commerce. However, that is perhaps set to change as customers can clearly see the benefit of eliminating the middleman, while gig economy workers discover new opportunities for employment.
Fueled by the advent of mobile smart devices along with specific apps for accessing their services, these new companies have sprung up and brought a host of motivated entrepreneurs with them. According to SUCCESS, a magazine targeting entrepreneurs and gig economy workers specifically, the YouEconomy allows people the freedom to create a life that suits them best:
“Folks in the YouEconomy are applying their experience in new ways, learning new skills and tapping into endless resources for training and support. They’re designing their lives, carving out time for family and building professions based on their passions.”
These are all things that Direct Selling has offered since the beginning. Like Distributors in Direct Selling, YouEconomy workers are looking for flexible schedules, supplemental income, a chance to run their own business, or even an opportunity to socialize.
The arrival of this new economy means Direct Selling is more relevant than ever, both to customers as well as those entering the field.
It also inspires innovation and frees people up from the standard work model. This new paradigm, though, isn’t just for freelancers, but for makers who sell on sites like Etsy and Craftsy. More people are engaging with each other directly to buy and sell products and services than they have perhaps since the 18th century. A recent study released by Pew Research showed that 24-percent of US adults earned money from an online employment platform in the last year. That includes ride hailing, online tasks, and cleaning/laundry, and Direct Selling.
The arrival of this new economy means Direct Selling is more relevant than ever, both to customers as well as those entering the field. Best practices for managing an independent workforce, keeping that workforce motivated and happy, regulatory issues, and handling inventory are just a few of the things that Direct Selling has been refining since Brownie Wise sent out invitations for her first Tupperware party. Such outside the box thinking is nothing new for this channel.