Statistics & Research

Industry Statistics & Research

Each year, direct selling companies provide data to the WFDSA (World Federation of Direct Selling Association) and local associations such as DSA (Direct Selling Australia).

This data includes sales figures, product categories and the demographic information of independent sales people (ISP) performance all used to identify and map the health of the industry.

Find below a summary of the survey results undertaken by the WFDSA and Direct Selling Australia for 2021.


Global Statistics

  • In 2021, the direct selling industry generated over $186.1B USD annually to the global economy.
  • From 2018-2021, direct selling generated a compound annual growth rate of +3.8%.
  • In 2021, 42% of sales were made in the Asia-Pacific, 36% in Americas and 21% in Europe.
  • Over 128 million Independent Sales Persons (ISPs) are involved in direct selling worldwide. 55% are located in Asia, 27% in Americas and 12% in Europe.
  • The direct selling industry generally operates with independent salespeople contracted to these direct selling companies to market and sell their goods and services, being remunerated by reselling margins or commissions on the sales made.
  • The 2 top-selling product categories for 2021 were – Wellness & Cosmetics/Personal Care
  • In 2021, 74% of independent salespeople were women and 26% were men.
  • Independent salespeople in direct selling are small and micro-businesspeople seeking supplementary income for their families and flexibility in the way they earn this income.

Australian Statistics

  • There are approximately 399,000 people involved in direct selling with member companies in Australia.
  • 42,000 are full-time, business builders, 140,000 are part time, business builders and 216,000 include those who have recently joined; that either love the product and want a discounted rate or others who have never become active.
  • In 2021, the gross revenue of DSA member companies totaled $1.2 billion AUD.
  • In 2021, 168,000 new people joined a DSA member company.
  • Direct selling provides opportunities to female entrepreneurs. In 2021, 77% of independent salespeople were women.
  • In 2021, the top categories of products sold include wellness (39%) and cosmetics (26%).
  • Australia is ranked 24 globally for retail sales in direct selling.

About DSA

  • DSA was established in 1967 and is the recognised trade body for direct selling companies in Australia.
  • DSA is the industry association that represents approximately 50 member companies that utilise direct selling to market and sell goods and services directly to consumers.
  • DSA members commit to our Code of Practice which promotes high standards of consumer protection, professionalism and ethics.
  • Direct selling isn’t about buying boats or bigger houses, our stories come from real people across all parts of Australia earning additional income that contributes to school fees, weekly groceries, saving for a holiday and bills. 

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