Meeting customers' needs through the Internet
An Amway case study

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Page 1: Amway

Founded in the USA in 1959, Amway is a global business with 6,000 corporate employees worldwide. It is one of the world's largest direct sales companies that services and supplies over 3.3 million IBOs in more than 80 countries and territories in Asia, Africa, East and Western Europe and the Americas.

The critical relationship between Amway and the seller, or IBO, is at the heart of Amway's approach to direct selling. This form of selling allows each IBO to focus upon individual consumers and their needs, with the IBO delivering direct to the consumer rather than the consumer having to visit a shop. Because Amway manufacturers its own branded products and distributes these through 'direct selling', its operation differs from that of more traditional distribution channels.

Having signed a contract to work within Amway's Rules of Conduct and Code of Ethics(best practice), IBOs are self employed and the Amway business gives them the flexibility to work where and when they want.

They sell to people they know or meet, introduce others to the Amway business and form their own sales group. The personal contact and care they provide is an important element in direct selling. To do this they need support, and rely on having ready access to a quick, efficient supply chainso that they can meet customer needs.

Increasing use of the Internet has created real potential for businesses to develop different types of business models and to try out new approaches to reach users directly and quickly in their homes. Amway was well placed to make such a move.

With high levels of Internet use within the UK and Europe, market research showed that IBOs were Internet-ready, and that the time was ripe for Amway to develop ecommerce opportunities that would offer the 24 hour/7 day service its customers were wanting.

Having received supporting merchandising materials, literature and training so that they know the best way to promote the features and benefits of Amway products, IBOs order the product direct from Amway having taken an order from their customer.

Most operate their business part time from home, as many have full time jobs and want a flexible working pattern with Amway. They want to work at a time convenient for them, which can be any hour of the day or night, with an organisation they can rely on. The Internet offers the opportunity to meet these needs.

Amway | Meeting customers' needs through the Internet