Connectivity and community have always been critical to Avon's direct-selling model as well as its corporate culture. Avon is committed to a "High Touch, High Tech" approach. When the company was founded 125 years ago, it pioneered relationship marketing, with Representatives personally marketing products to their customers - the original "social network." Today the one-on-one relationship, defined by high quality, personalized service, is still at the core of Avon's direct-selling business, including the relationship between the Sales Representatives and her customers, and between the District Sales Manager and the many Sales Representatives she manages, mentors and supports.
Starting in the 1990s, Avon faced the challenge of melding face-to-face contact with virtual interaction, adapting to new technologies in the way people connect, communicate, share and shop. By innovating the direct-selling sales channel, Avon found a way to meet both of these needs and help its Sales Representatives succeed and thrive with technology as a tool, not a replacement.
Avon offers many tools to help Representatives in their business, including:
Avon has created its own social network site – Avon Connects – which is being piloted in two countries in Europe. Avon Connects is a networking site for Representatives, Customers, Sales Leaders and all empowered women.
In addition, in 2011, Avon has 55 Facebook pages, 20 Twitter feeds and 20 YouTube channels globally - reaching a combined base of two million followers and fans.
The U.S. offers an Avon "e-Rep" program, which provides customers 24/7 shopping access via the Independent Sales Representatives' personalized e-commerce websites, merging technology with high-quality service and one-on-one attention. Each Avon e-Representative has a customized web page, which allows her to conduct and manage her business online, track customers and orders, and serve customers across time zones and geographies. The "e-Rep" program also gives a Representative the freedom to post her own specials offers and promotions to drive her business.