Subscriptions & Direct Selling

Direct selling and subscription services are two different business models that frequently go hand in hand. Direct selling refers to selling to the consumer without the use of third parties, which allows manufacturers to get to market faster, while subscription service translates to customers paying a recurring fee in order to access or receive an item or service.

On a worldwide scale, direct selling and subscription services are more common in specific regions. Additionally, consumers tend to use each of these options more for specific goods and services. Wellness, cosmetics, personal care products, household goods and durables are some of the more usual products provided by direct sellers, while examples of popular subscription items include food or meal kits, beauty, or hobby material boxes.

Retail sales of the direct selling industry in Europe
37.9bn USD
Leading direct selling company in the world in terms of revenue
Number of households not subscribing to traditional TV services in the U.S.

Market size

Direct selling & subscriptions worldwide
Number of salespeople of the leading direct sales companies in the United States in 2020 (in 1,000's)
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The subscription strategy for goods and services has been adopted by many companies and subscribers can be found all over the world. In contrast, the concept of direct selling, which is also an international one, is much more prevalent in specific parts of the world. For example, the United States is by far the leading direct sales market, followed by China. On the continent of Europe, Germany takes the top spot.

Number of people involved in direct selling in the U.S.
Value of the subscription service market in Japan
Share of printed newspaper subscribers in Norway

Direct selling market segment

Number of direct sales independent representatives in Latin America and the Caribbean from 2014 to 2020 (in millions)
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The direct-to-consumer business model refers to companies and enterprises selling to the end customer directly, without the use of a third-party retailer or any other type of middleman. This strategy is quite popular among manufacturers, as it gives the creator of a product or service a few advantages, including more control over the brand, fewer retail delays or interruptions, and more direct interaction with customers.

Leading direct selling markets worldwide
Direct selling retail sales in the U.S.
Direct-to-consumer sales share of Nike's total brand revenue

Subscription market segment

The subscription business model
Leading categories of subscription boxes shoppers buy in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2020
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On the flip side of the coin, the subscription-based business model refers to businesses selling a product or a service on a monthly or yearly basis, for which consumers pay a recurring fee. Some examples of common subscriptions include meal kit delivery services, pay TV, subscription boxes, among other things.

Beauty boxes in the U.S.
COVID-19 impact on meal kit delivery services in the U.S.
Share of consumers likely to cancel their pay TV subscription in the U.S.

Industry leaders

Front runners of the D2C & subscriptions market
Revenue of HelloFresh worldwide from 2013 to 2020 (in million euros)
Further details: Visit original statistic

One of the most successful direct sellers worldwide is Amway, which is a multi-level marketing company that focuses on selling health, beauty, and similar goods. Other high rollers include Avon Products, Herbalife International, and Nu Skin Enterprises. While there are many subscription-based companies in various industries, some examples of renowned and up-and-coming enterprises are Casper, HelloFresh, Dirty Lemon, and Harry’s.

Revenue & loss of D2C mattress company Casper
Amway's sales revenue worldwide
Number of DirecTV video subscribers in the U.S.

Industry definition

The subscriptions & direct selling category provides data and insights on various products, services, and enterprises in both sub-branches. For direct selling, Statista offers the latest statistics, dossiers, and reports that deal with topics, such as direct sales figures, independent sales representatives, and what companies are leading the market. In terms of subscriptions, interesting data on leading subscription-based services, global subscriber counts, and consumer behavior, etc. can be found here.

More interesting topics from the industry "Subscriptions & Direct Selling"


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