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Where to Find the Best Indie Brands for Dropshipping

Indie brands are exploding onto the beauty and fashion scene. While they may start small, some grow to be worth billions of dollars

It’s no wonder as statistics show that about 93% of Indie companies are owned by women and 90% of shopping for personal care products is done by women. Indie makeup brands and other types of indie brands are uniquely positioned with their finger on the pulse of the industry. They know what their customers want and are savvy enough to give it to them.

So what are Indie clothing and beauty brands and what is interesting about their products for a dropshipping business? Let’s find out.

What Does Indie Mean?

Wait, let’s back up a second, what is an Indie brand, anyway? While Indie brands are as diverse as the people who found them, there are a few qualities that define them as a company. Let’s look at them here.

Funded Independently

Indie brands start out by funding themselves independently. The founders put up the capital needed to get their business off the ground or come up with creative methods of obtaining said capital. This can range from methods like pre-sales, crowdfunding, or nurturing valuable partnerships.

Though they are often left scrambling and hanging on by their fingernails, this approach also works well with consumers. People these days prefer to support small businesses making a go of it over large mega-companies. 

Passionate Purpose 

Indie brands are often headed by one founder (or pair of co-founders) with a passionate purpose. They build their brand around products that they believe will help people and provide value — not just products with which they can make a quick sale.

A Focus on Design

Back in the old days, shoes, clothes, and many other products were crafted by artisans highly skilled in their craft. Indie brands are reminiscent of this. They focus on quality and that includes not just their products but also their marketing and right down to the design of their packaging.

Small Quantities

An Indie brand is different from a tech startup or software company in that they sell a physical product. However, because of their limited resources, they can’t mass produce their products. This gives them an exclusive feel that also appeals to their customer base.

This also means they can be more nimble with their production. If a certain product isn’t appealing to their audience, they can scrap it and go in a different direction without having to dispose of a large inventory. 

Innovative Marketing

Indie brands can’t afford to blast advertisements across television or radio. Instead, they turn to more inexpensive methods like content marketing and social media to market their products to a more niche audience. 

This also allows them to connect with their audience in a unique way. Through social media, brands can actually ask customers what they think about a product or what they want to see in a new product and customers can answer. This gives them a unique edge over big companies trying to please everyone — which ultimately pleases no one. 

Why Should You Sell Indie Products?

Indie brands connect with today’s consumers in a unique way. Millennials, in particular, are looking for an experience, not just a product. 

indie clothing

Just browse YouTube and you’ll see loads of videos of people unboxing products they’ve bought from an Indie brand. YouTube personalities enthusiastically promote their favorite brands, gushing over the lovely packaging and delighting in the personal touches that the maker added to the product. 

And since Indie brands make products for a highly niche audience, there is literally something for everyone. For example, Indie makeup brands that specialize in products for women of color. Or Indie clothing brands that focus on hipster clothing or another particular look that won’t necessarily be found in a big clothing store. 

Additionally, the uniqueness of Indie products appeals to consumers. People don’t like the idea of their clothing or cosmetics being the same as everyone else’s. They want to buy unique products. 

The success of Etsy shops shows this. Small businesses can handmake or create just about anything and sell their artistry on this online marketplace — and customers are eating it up. 

There really isn’t any good reason not to be selling indie products in this day and age.

How to Add Indie Products to Your Dropshipping Business 

For eCommerce business owners looking to stock their e-shelves with Indie products, Modalyst is a great place to start. It is one of the only marketplaces out there from which it is easy to source Indie products for an online store.

They have a specific Independent Brands Marketplace which makes searching for dropshipping products a breeze. All suppliers are thoroughly vetted and they take care of commissions, shipping, and returns policies so everything is uniform. 

All the suppliers are based in the U.S. or Europe, rather than China or India. This means shipped products arrive within a few days rather than a few weeks. This, as you know, is key for a dropshipping business. Today’s consumers expect to see their orders in a timely fashion.

Hingeto is another platform where business owners may have some luck connecting with Indie brands for dropshipping.

handmade for dropshipping

There are a number of other marketplaces that work with Indie brands, but most of them sell wholesale to business owners. These include 

  • Faire: which prides itself on connecting retailers to the makers
  • EcoCult: which will only accept ethical brands as part of their commitment to sustainability
  • The Indé Project: facilitates connecting Indie designers with retailers and helping them grow their businesses

Getting Started with Dropshipping Indie Products

For business owners looking to expand their eCommerce stores, adding Indie products is a great way to do it. Customers are looking for unique products and unique experiences. By connecting with Indie brands, businesses can do both. 

So give it a try today and don’t forget to let us know how it goes.

Email Marketing: How to Use It to Promote Your Dropshipping Business

Dropshipping is just like any other business and like all businesses, it’s got its specific needs when it comes to marketing and growth. It needs to take advantage of all marketing channels, in order to nurture leads and create something worthwhile.

Email marketing is one of these marketing channels, and a highly effective at that. This is why there are plenty of SaaS platforms dealing with email marketing and marketing automation like Moosend, eCommerce and the dropshipping business as well.

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No business would like to miss out on that ROI.

But crafting an email campaign that will set you apart in a full inbox can be tricky. How are you going to make email marketing work for your dropshipping business?

Well, keep reading!

Who Are You and Why Do You Need It?

You are the middle man, the person that brings retailers and customers together. You have no inventory, you just purchase and resell.

This means that you need to be on top of your online game constantly, seeing as you’ve got no brick-and-mortar store or an online store dedicated to your brand and that alone, that people can benefit from.

You need email marketing because it’s a great medium that can help you communicate with customers on a one-on-one basis and boost your lead generation efforts, even more so than Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms can do.

It goes without saying of course, that you’ll need to have a super-strong presence on these platforms as well.

Understand the Funnel First

In order to use email marketing properly for your dropshipping business, you need to understand your sales funnel first and craft your email marketing campaign based on that.

For example, when a prospect signs up, they’re almost expecting a welcome email. You’ll need to craft that one first. But this is not the only way one may end up in your email list.

They could’ve abandoned their cart, signed up for a newsletter or a discount code, they could’ve been nominated by a friend or family member, in order for them to get something in exchange, delving into affiliate marketing, you name it.

The point here is that each method of opting in is one email in your sequence.

So, after the welcome email, comes the abandoned cart email. And the post-purchase email. And perhaps the re-activation and engagement email. You’ll see below.

The most important thing in this step is understanding your sales funnel and using proper tools, like Finteza -a great alternative of Google analytics- that allows building sales funnels.

Just promote a discount coupon or code on your Facebook and Instagram posts. This is the hook, through which, many will be convinced.

However, they’ll need to sign up to receive the discounts. And this is where the fun part begins!

Your Welcome Emails

First impressions count both in real life and in email marketing and this is why you need a welcome email, to begin with.

Those are the emails that will go out the moment someone agrees to become a part of your mailing list, no matter where they came from and how they ended up signing up.

This message needs to be crafted in a way that will make your brand’s tone more prominent and will help it be heard and be memorable as well.

So, simply begin with a great subject line and a thank you, written in a branded, memorable way. That will catch your audience’s attention.

Providing information is the second thing your welcome email can contain to make sure that your prospect doesn’t lose interest. Make it personalized enough to keep their interest intact and, if you’ve promised it, offer a freebie or a discount code.

If you want to take this to the next level, you can offer a freebie or discount code and some extra incentive to the ones that will refer a friend. This marketing tactic is bound to help your dropshipping business’ growth efforts.

Your Abandoned Cart Emails

Cart abandonment is a very real and ever-present threat for pretty much any and all online businesses, but only if you don’t take advantage of it.

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Create cart abandonment emails and shoot them out every time a user leaves an item into their cart. This won’t just help your revenue, it will also help you understand the thought process behind their actions.

But yes, it will help your revenue as well, seeing as cart abandonment emails can save the lost revenue and help you make quite some money in return:

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You can either create a series of emails for your abandoners, or you can just send one email that will nudge them in the right direction.

In this (or these) email(s), you can include a discount code or some free shipping for X hours after the prospect opens the email. If this works, you’ll know what they found of benefit and, by extension, what could’ve been the reason behind the abandonment.

Your Post-Purchase Emails

By scoring the sale, your quest does not end, seeing as you need to nurture your leads further and further and not keep tracking down new customers all the time. Mainly because new customers are riskier and more expensive for your dropshipping business.

A post-purchase email that will be saying “thank you for your purchase” can prove to be very beneficial to your dropshipping company.

It will make you more memorable amongst your prospects. Not to mention that it will make them think that they’re valued and much needed.

This practice will reduce friction amongst your customers, it will increase their trust and it will help with customer retention and lifetime value increase.

You can begin with a subject line as small and discreet as that one:

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You can also include similar products for your prospects to purchase or some kind of upgrade or extension, making your post-purchase email into the perfect upsell and/or cross-sell opportunity.

Your Re-Activation and Engagement Emails

Leaving your prospects to their own devices isn’t something you want to do, as much as you don’t want to stuff them with emails and wear them out.

There are a number of emails that you can send, without being pushy and ending up making your prospects loving you.

You can, for example, send a happy birthday email on your prospects’ birthdays or you could send them a “Thank you for your trust” email on their first, second, XYZ anniversary as a customer.

You can also include a special discount coupon, while we’re at it.

This discount coupon can prove to be golden for you if your goal is to win back your prospects. You can offer a “Hey, welcome back!” discount. It will definitely boost engagement.

And the discount can be used on your replenishment emails as well, which would make a good addition to your overall dropshipping email scheme.

Takeaway

All in all, email marketing is a perfect way to promote any business and make all businesses grow and thrive.

The only condition for that is for email marketing to be used correctly and for your dropshipping business to make sure not to swarm the customers’ inbox with emails-otherwise, they’ll hit the “unsubscribe” button, and this won’t benefit you at all in the long run.

Oh, and one last hint before I go: Engage with your customers by using gamification to amp the whole experience.

The simplest way to do it is to make things seem like a “treasure hunt”, using a QR code generator and clever copy.

Author Bio:

Téa Liarokapi is a content writer working for email marketing software company Moosend and an obsessive writer in general. In her free time, she tries to find new ways to stuff more books in her bookcase and content ideas-and cats-to play with.

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