In an era where digitalisation and e-commerce reign supreme, Spain's direct selling market stands out as a resilient and dynamic force. Despite facing a 12.5% decline in the last year, the direct selling sector in Spain generated an impressive $725 million (€660 million) in 2022, as reported by the 'Global Annual Report on Direct Selling' by WFDSA Stats. This figure positions Spain as the fifth-largest market within the European Union, trailing behind powerhouses like Germany, France, Italy, and Poland, and as the eighth in Europe, with Russia and the United Kingdom holding the fourth and fifth spots.
This noteworthy ranking underscores the sector's significance in Spain, described by Miguel de Soria, Vice President of the Direct Selling Companies Association (AVD) of Spain, as a resilient sector, continuously evolving with a high growth potential. The direct selling market in Spain is not just about transactions; it's a story of human resilience and adaptability in the face of changing market dynamics.
The labour market dynamics in direct selling
Direct selling in Spain is more than just business; it's a substantial employment sector. With over 262,000 professionals engaged and one in five Spaniards turning to direct selling for their purchases, the sector is a vital cog in the nation’s economic machine. This market is a major contributor to female employment, with women constituting 77% of distributors. However, there's a notable shift, with a 6% increase in male participation over the last five years, now accounting for 22% of the workforce.
The sector exhibits a remarkable intergenerational mix. About 65% of distributors are aged between 35 and 54, while those over 55 years have increased by 10 percentage points in the last five years, now making up 15% of the workforce. The youth (aged 25-34) represent 11%, and there's a growing trend of seniors (over 64 years) engaging in direct selling, currently at 5%. This diversity underscores direct selling's appeal across age groups, offering entrepreneurship opportunities particularly for senior professionals.
Personal and professional development in direct selling
A noteworthy aspect of Spain's direct selling sector is its contribution to personal and professional development. According to the European report 'Direct Selling Distributors 2023' by Ipsos for Seldia, in collaboration with Direct Selling Europe (DSE), more than half (53%) of Spain's distributors have been in the business for over four years, indicating a high level of experience and commitment.
The study reveals a strong personal connection between distributors and the brands they represent. An astounding 97% of professionals feel connected to the products or services they sell, and 94% align with the purpose and values of their brand. This strong sense of affiliation is not just a testament to the products but also to the empowering nature of the business model itself.
Furthermore, 90% of Spanish distributors value the entrepreneurial opportunity direct selling provides, allowing them to be their own boss. The flexibility and adaptability of this sector make it an attractive option for those seeking additional income streams, compatible with other occupations. The sector's appeal is also reflected in the satisfaction levels among its workers, with 77% reporting satisfaction in a recent survey by the National Institute of Statistics (INE).
Spain's direct selling market is more than a sector of economic transactions; it's a vibrant community of entrepreneurs, a diverse workforce, and a platform for personal growth and development. As the fifth-largest market in the EU, Spain demonstrates not only the resilience of direct selling in the digital age but also its potential as a flourishing hub for entrepreneurial spirit and innovation. This sector is poised to continue its growth trajectory, offering opportunities and empowerment to a diverse range of individuals across the nation.
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