Iconic beauty company, Avon Justine, has reaffirmed its commitment to championing the empowerment of women by aligning its digital platforms to bolster the earning opportunity of its beauty entrepreneurs and celebrate the milestones achieved by so many of its independent representatives across its operations in southern Africa.
Avon Justine is a 130-year old company that pioneered the direct-selling model in the beauty industry.
‘The direct selling model gives expression to our drive to foster women empowerment and financial independence. Women are the primary drivers of our industry and we believe that they should be given an opportunity to reap the benefits of the growth of the beauty and cosmetics industry, and not merely confined to consumers. According to the Direct Selling Association’s latest report, the industry consists of 79 percent women and in the last financial year, they were part of the 1.3 million sales representatives in the industry who earned over R4 billion.
We share the conviction that no country truly ever flourishes if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of 51 percent of its citizens. This is more apt in the countries of southern Africa where we operate, which are battling the scourge of domestic abuse and gender-based violence. We believe that financial independence is one of the most potent tools to combat patriarchy, stimulate economic growth and empower women,’ says Mafahle Mareletse, group vice president Turkey, Middle East and Africa (TMEA).
Citing the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Mareletse said Avon Justine’s operations have a positive, ripple effect in the communities it operates in. ‘We are a global movement that transcends beauty and creates a better world for women, through women. Our business model is contributing positively to the attainment of some of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, namely achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls, providing decent work and economic growth and minimizing environmental impact,’ says Mareletse.
Nishani Singh, commercial transformation director at Avon Justine, outlined the company’s digital transformation journey and shared the milestones achieved thus far to align Avon Justine to the digital age.
She announced the introduction of Direct Deliveries earlier this year, a digital store feature for customers which gives them a complete and gratifying digital shopping experience. Direct Deliveries has a number of benefits for the-beauty entrepreneur. The can now spend less time on making deliveries and more time focusing on their core beauty business and interacting with their customers.
Direct Deliveries also improves customer experience and frees up the Sales Representatives from the agony of having to remember and track all customer orders – these can now be seamlessly managed via My Avon Store.
‘The introduction of Direct Deliveries is testament of our commitment to stand4her and support our independent Representatives with the tools required in today’s digital age. Direct Deliveries has a number of benefits for Representatives. Our beauty entrepreneurs can now earn from digital purchases without carrying the cost or effort of deliveries.
The Direct Deliveries capability represents a giant step in our quest to give our Representative a competitive edge. Through this feature, our customers can now get their delivery quicker via a courier direct to their doorstep, while our Representative’s commission earnings are sent directly to their accounts,’ says Singh.
One of the key milestones that Avon Justine achieved on its digital transformation journey is the launch of the Avon app. The app will help representatives to increase their productivity and manage their business easier and faster, whilst harnessing the power of their own networks through enhanced social sharing capabilities.
Key features include the latest product and promotion notifications, order placing, easy access to support features including frequently asked questions and a sharable link to the instant messaging brochure and a social media hub.
‘The journey is just the beginning – we will continue to pilot and launch new functionalities and innovations to help support our beauty entrepreneurs to unlock their full earnings potential. The digital interventions that we are making do not signal a change in our direct selling business model. Our customers will still be required to liaise with their Representatives when they make a purchase. While technology is critical in improving efficiencies, it will not replace the human touch that our business is based on,’ says Singh.
The highlight of the media event was the unveiling of an inaugural rewards programme, where six top performing Sales Representatives in the past quarter from across sub-Saharan Africa, who each drove away with a brand new Suzuki Celerio, each worth over R170 000. The winners are:
1. Millicent Dudu from Ermelo in Kwazulu-Natal
2. Daan Charles from Namibia
3. Kanyiso Dick, a Sales Leader from Zimbabwe
4. Mirriam Zodwaa Justine Consultant from Brakpan
5. Arthur Colette who is also from Gauteng
6. Liza Truter a Justine Business Leader from George in the Western Cape
‘Our sales representatives are the engine of our growth, and it is only fitting that we incentivize and reward them for the hard work they are doing in growing Avon Justine products and and making it the preferred beauty and cosmetics brand in South Africa. This is tangible testimony of our quest to stand for her and give her the opportunity to transform her life for the better,’ says Mikey Bicknell, sales director for Avon Justine.
He urged the media and attendees to support the forthcoming Avon Justine iThemba Walkathon, an annual initiative that raises awareness on the crusade against breast cancer.