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Micro-brand shopping becomes more popular with Amazon, social media

Posted at 2:40 PM, Oct 05, 2018

Whether you’re scrolling through social media or shopping on Amazon Prime, you’ve more than likely been exposed to ads for clothing brands you’ve never heard of before. They’re called micro-brands.

Is the trend worth trying?

For one online shopper, it’s convenient.

“I hate shopping malls,” says Amber Johnson. “I think they are crowded."  

Johnson isn’t alone. According to CPC Strategy, an ecommerce statistic website, 96 percent of Americans shop online out of convenience.

"The nice thing about shopping on Amazon, one, I can just be like, ‘OK, I want to find dresses with flowers on it’ or ‘I want to find dresses that are three-quarter length sleeves’ or anything like that,” explains Johnson. “So, I can find a wide gamut of things."  

Amazon carries several micro-brands.  

Darrin Duber-Smith, a marketing professor at MSU Denver, says micro-brands can't survive solely on their own.  

"People are less brand loyal online than they are anywhere else,” says Duber-Smith. “So, it's very difficult for tiny brands to get any distribution without partnering with a company like Amazon."   

As a school teacher, Johnson’s on a budget, but she doesn't want to shop at places like Walmart or Target.

“I’m a teacher, so I end up wearing the same clothes my students are wearing and that's weird for me," Johnson says.   

Although Amazon's prices are low, Johnson says so it the quality.   

“Generally, everything I buy is under $18 or so, and because it’s so cheap, the quality is not great,” she says. “But I'm OK if it lasts me for 6 months or an entire school year, great."  

Johnson also notes the sizing is way off.   

"Typically, I'm at a large in most stores, sometimes a medium, but I'm buying XXL," she says.  

Marketing professor Duber-Smith says that's exactly why physical stores won't go completely extinct.  

"The idea of brick and mortar shopping is being able to touch the goods to feel the goods and try something on,” Duber-Smith says. “I really do believe there are limitations to buying certain categories of goods on the internet."  

Aside from Amazon, micro-brands are also popping up as ads on social media feeds, putting them right at your fingertips.