Beauty giant Avon has reported a massive increase in the amount of sales representative (rep) sign-ups to its social selling platform during lockdown. From March 23 – June 7, the company saw a 114 per cent increase in new joiners amid fears of a job crisis brought on by the pandemic and lockdown restrictions.
Since lockdown began, beauty services in England have been under strict closure measures, most of which have disproportionately effected women who are at the forefront of the sector. The spike in sign-ups comes as the UN predicts that women will be hardest hit by the economic impact of covid-19, reversing decades of progress and bringing on the threat of a ‘pink collar recession’.
CEO of Avon, Angela Cretu, said: “As the recession tightens its grasp on communities in the wake of covid-19, people are looking for new ways to earn. We are ready for a tidal wave of new sign ups and hope our rep recruitment drive will help female entrepreneurs break through these difficult times.”
The social selling platform has already seen double the number of new reps signing up across the UK since lockdown began, signalling that many are now looking for flexible opportunities to work and generate income as the fear of a rise in unemployment looms.
The company, which has five million sale reps globally, allows women to sell products directly to friends, family and neighbours using their social networks and digital tools, whilst allowing them to work in a flexible way around a full-time job or other life commitments.
Moving with the times, unlike the ‘Avon ladies’ we knew and loved in decades past, the reps of today are modern business entrepreneurs, and harness online platforms and social media to create selling opportunities – a perfect supplement to working during current lockdown measures.
Cretu adds, “Avon has been providing an opportunity for our reps to earn and learn by selling through their social networks for nearly 135 years, and we’ve reinvented our model of social selling for the next era.”
“Helping our community of Avon reps to embrace online opportunities, we have supported them with video workshops on building their business online, as well as tips and insights on how to make the most of social media.”
Being a rep for the brand comes with the opportunity of becoming a full-time beauty entrepreneur, as an independent Sales Leader for Avon. In this role, Leaders recruit and train a team of other reps. In 2019, Avon’s global independent Sales Leaders, which make up 4 per cent of the rep base, collectively earned $273.5m, demonstrating the earning potential available to women in these roles.