Want to run your business on the go, from the palm of your hand?
Engage your customers with compelling digital experiences like animated catalogs that bring products to life – anywhere, any time?
Welcome to today’s Amway™ business, where a couple of clicks on a mobile phone or tablet device shows the business owner everything they need to know about the state of their business in real time. Another click or two brings them to robust multimedia experiences to share with customers, or assets they can easily post to their networks.
It’s social, it’s personal, and for those who live their lives in the digital world, it can be a vastly different experience from previous generations of direct selling.
“If there’s a company that can leverage the benefits of social media for entrepreneurship, it’s Amway.” – Michael Edwards, Amway vice president of channel and service strategy
“If there’s a company that can leverage the benefits of social media for entrepreneurship, it’s Amway,” said Michael Edwards, Amway vice president of channel and service strategy. Edwards’ team is transforming the Amway™ business experience with a host of new digital tools that connect people, products and Amway itself.
“We’re re-thinking what it means to be personal today, in a business that’s all about personal relationships, in a world where people connect with their social contacts by a simple click,” said Edwards.
That’s powerful potential – but it’s also a big leap for a business built on generations of leaders used to carrying around catalogs and keeping track of their contacts on paper.
“If you’re building a new start-up in the digital space, created around today’s social and online technology, starting in just one market, your task is vastly different from an organization like Amway. We’ve been building a personal relationship business for more than 55 years – in the cultures of more than 100 countries and territories around the world,” Edwards said.
Those start-ups begin with the digital experience, Edwards explained. There is no “old” way of doing things. There’s excitement. There’s a cool factor. There’s a platform that leverages the lifestyle where the lines between work, play and social life are blurring, as they are for so many millennials.
There’s excitement. There’s a cool factor. There’s a platform that leverages the lifestyle where the lines between work, play and social life are blurring, as they are for so many millennials.
“That’s what we’re out to build for the Amway Business Owner who wants that kind of mobile and digital entrepreneurial experience,” he said.
Long-time direct selling company leaders, including Alessandro Carlucci, immediate past chairman of the World Federation of Direst Selling Associations, are convinced social media and digital tools play to the strengths of the global industry – which hit a new high of 96 million independent sales representatives, according to 2014 reports.
“Direct selling is not only prepared to play in this new society but, more than that, the foundations of our industry ensure us a privileged strategic spot in this environment,” Carlucci said in a 2014 WFDSA address. “Direct selling is the original social network.”
As more and more people see themselves as entrepreneurs, advanced digital experiences make Amway, alongside others like Uber and Etsy, a great low-risk option for starting a business without a major investment. And through Amway, business ownership is open to everyone, regardless of experience, education or financial means.
The new tools
The new Amway experience starts with the “Smart Hub” app (right) that provides access to tailored sections of the Amway Websites, the MyBiz Tool, digital catalogs with rich interactive media experiences, product recommenders and a customer management tool.
Exclusive MyBiz responsive web tool: Amway Business Owners who want to build a strong, healthy business need the ability to monitor, manage and share their business information, according to Jim McLain, manager, digital tools for Amway Business Owners.
“Amway is the only direct selling company that can provide business owners with this kind of insight into their entire business.” – Jim McLain, manager, digital tools for Amway Business Owners
“With MyBiz, an Amway Business Owner can manage their business in real time from wherever they are in the world, right from their mobile device,” said McLain. “They get actionable data from the powerful Amway data management system that enables them to counsel individuals on building their business in very specific ways.”
“Amway is the only direct selling company that can provide business owners with this kind of insight into their entire business,” McLain said. “It’s super quick, simple to learn and easy to navigate.”
MyBiz launched in October 2014 to Amway leadership levels. McLain said the response has been overwhelmingly positive, leaders’ use continues to rise and the vision is to eventually extend access to all Amway Business Owners.
Customer care: “When people contact Amway, chances are they are helped by employees who use a set of solutions that we call the Contact Management Platform (CMP),” said Michele de Velder, manager, global customer care.
One aspect of CMP is that it can capture business owners’ interactions with Amway. The team analyzes those interactions to understand the support business owners need, and to try and predict what they might need the next time they call for assistance.
“We call this the ‘360-degree view’ of our Amway Business Owners,” de Velder said. “CMP helps us focus our customer interactions and relationships on our business owners and what they need, enabling us to continuously improve how we support their success.”
“We’re putting a rich multimedia approach to the brand experience at our Amway Business Owners’ fingertips, on any screen, so they can do business wherever they are.” – Gayle Evans, manager of global digital marketing services
Brand experience: Brand-related digital properties are designed to connect Amway Business Owners and their customers with brands, and to bring the brands to life in ways they might not be able to appreciate from a static catalog page, according to Gayle Evans, manager of global digital marketing services.
“We’re putting a rich multimedia approach to the brand experience at our Amway Business Owners’ fingertips, on any screen, so they can do business wherever they are,” Evans said. The brand experience includes:
- animated digital product catalogs that present, for example, how a new Artistry™ palette can be used to create the latest look;
- assessment tools, such as Nutrilite™ diet and lifestyle assessments that help customers recognize the gaps in their nutrition and wellness habits; and
- product recommenders that aid Amway Business Owners in counseling customers on product selection.
“It lets us build in professionalism, credibility, and ‘wow’ factors,” Evans said. “Business owners don’t want to spend time searching for what they need – they want engaging brand tools and experiences that help them sell products and build their business.”
Web experience: “We’re working to make peoples’ Amway digital experience one seamless journey,” said Mike Gamaggio, channel strategy and operations manager for global digital services.
“We’re working to make peoples’ Amway digital experience one seamless journey.” – Mike Gamaggio, channel strategy and operations manager for global digital services
That seamlessness encompasses digital channels, social media, different aspects of dealing with corporate resources and the mighty undertaking of bridging geographic borders.
“We have very strong digital engagement in the regions that need to operate their own programs due to cultural differences, but we have lots of Amway Business Owners whose businesses cross country borders, especially in Europe,” Gamaggio said. Gamaggio is an Amway Germany employee on a multi-year assignment with the corporate digital services team, and is bringing first-hand regional knowledge to the program.
“We need to make sure that leaders are not exposed to different digital experiences for each country.”
The team also is focused on creating a satisfying experience around how quickly and easily business owners, prospects and customers can navigate from the websites for their specific markets (countries) into Amway corporate websites for tasks like check-out and finding sales aids.
Edwards credits success – and speed to market – to providing corporate support for local and regional markets to try new ideas, and then sharing what works with other markets.
“I’m a big believer that we cannot put a fence around innovation, especially in the digital space, if we’re going to keep our business relevant,” Edwards said.