Door-to-door beauty specialist retailer Avon has launched a social networking site to connect its sales people with new and existing customers.

The retailer says the move will transform its business model, which relies on building relationships between its representatives and customers, for the digital age.

The retailer -which already has an e-commerce site - said that customers on the social network, Avon Connects, will be able to order products and get advice via the representatives on the network.

Avon Connects opened to customers last week and head of e-commerce Emma Lowry said it has around 60,000 members at present, with about a quarter of its representatives signed up.

“Avon has always been very community focused and this is a logical step for us,” said Lowry. “The representatives are at the heart of our business and we want the right online tools to support that.”

She added that representatives will be able to get new business by engaging with new customers, as well as strengthening relationships with existing consumers. The network will also publish video and editorial content in an attempt to engage customers.