85% of direct sellers in Europe are women

Happy, experienced and upskilled: Seldia and Direct Selling Europe unveil 2023 Ipsos survey results on European Direct Sellers.

The 2023 results[1] reveal that 85% of direct sellers in Europe are women and three in five respondents are within the 45+ age category. Almost half (49%) have been engaged in direct selling for seven years or more, indicating a high level of experience and dedication. The survey findings indicate a strong sense of personal affiliation among direct sellers: 85% feeling connected to the products or services they offer and 82% aligning themselves with the brand values and company's purpose. 68% of all European direct sellers pursue direct selling alongside another occupation, showcasing the flexibility and adaptability of this activity.

The survey shows that direct in-person contact between sellers and consumers continues to be the cornerstone of European direct selling. Face-to-face meetings and in-person home parties or product demonstrations remain the primary channels through which orders are received. However, sellers under the age of 45 are more likely to recognise social media as an effective method for selling to both new and existing customers, as well as for customer retention.

A remarkable 78% of direct sellers expressed satisfaction with their overall experience, with only 5% reporting dissatisfaction. Furthermore, 72% stated that their experience in direct selling met or exceeded their initial expectations.

Education levels among European direct sellers varied, with 44% completing their secondary education (high school), 12% remaining below primary or lower secondary levels, 19% holding a Bachelor's degree or equivalent, and 20% possessing a Master's degree or equivalent.

In addition to financial gains, European direct sellers acknowledged significant personal growth resulting from their direct selling activities. A majority of respondents affirmed that direct selling has helped them improve their interpersonal skills (77%), self-esteem and confidence (74%), and business, management, and sales skills (72%).

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About Seldia

Seldia, The European Direct Selling Association was founded in 1968 and gathers 25 European Direct Selling Associations, 14 Direct Selling companies and service providers to the direct selling sector. Direct selling is the marketing and sale of consumer goods and services directly to consumers on a person-to-person basis, traditionally in their home or the home of others, or any other places away from permanent retail premises, and now increasingly digitally. Direct selling typically occurs through explanation or demonstration by independent sales salespersons as direct sellers. 


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About DSE

Direct Selling Europe (DSE) is a federation of trade associations and renowned companies founded in 2007 to represent the interests of the European direct selling industry in the European Union. DSE gathers member associations in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Switzerland and 10 Corporate members. DSE member companies and national direct selling associations together represent about half of the direct selling industry in the European Union in terms of turnover.

About this study

Seldia, the European Direct Selling Association in collaboration with Direct Selling Europe (DSE) contracted Ipsos to carry out an online survey of European Direct Sellers between 27 March and 21 April 2023. The exercise spanned across 12 EU countries (Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, and Sweden) and gathered 25,896 completed surveys.


[1] The 2023 Report sought to update findings obtained in the last available study of this kind, conducted by Ipsos Mori for Seldia in 2018. Comparisons with findings from the 2018 results are included in the 2023 report where feasible.

Consumer & Shopper