It’s surely not going to be a ‘OMG What!’ moment if I tell you that smartphone users will continue to increase and hit 4.3 billion by 2023.
Current reports suggest that the global phone case market will likely grow with a CAGR of 5.4% between 2021 and 2027. This suggests that the market for phone cases is exceedingly large. If you are planning to sell phone cases online, there has never been a better time.
Once you find a niche, you can go online with zero inventory and minimum setup costs using print-on-demand services. To thrive in the competitive market, you can enable product customization in your store. This guide aims to help you build and grow your business.
Bring your creativity and entrepreneurial abilities to the table while we bring our technical expertise. And let’s find out how to sell phone cases.
How to start a phone case business: An Overview
- Conduct a Market Research
- Create a Business Plan
- Clear all The Legal Aspects of Starting a Phone Case Business
- Find Designs for Your Phone Cases
- Define Your Brand identity
- Take Your Store Online
- Choose Printing Method
- Launch and Promote Your Store
1. Conduct a Market Research
Successful business owners always start their journey with diligent research. Whatever it takes – talking with 50 people in the industry, reading every article available online, etc.; to gather as much information as possible. Here’s what your research plan must include:
Leaders of the Market – this includes studying a brand, company, or group that has the highest percentage of total revenue of the phone cases market. Study everything – what are they selling? How are they selling? what’s their marketing strategy, etc.
Market Size – this means finding out the number of people who might be interested in purchasing from you. This will help you create effective strategies that will help you in the long run.
Target market – you should have a clear idea about who you want to sell the phone cases to. Think about the groups that are most likely to purchase from you. For instance, teenagers might be your ideal customers looking for superhero cases. A working professional might look for a practical, and minimalist case design. Identifying a target customer base will help you take further decisions like choosing the design for the cover, design of the website, marketing strategy, etc.
Expert Tip: The key to sell phone cases online successfully is to identify a gap in the market. Look for potential customer pain points and introduce your product as a solution to those problems. That way, your brand will get noticed.
For this, you can start by identifying your competition and then analyze their strengths and weaknesses. This will give you a good idea of what you need (skills, ideas, strategies) to be successful.
2. Create a Business Plan
The previous step was all about gathering essentials. This part is where you will jump into the water to win the game. A business plan will help you give direction to your ideas. Here, you have to make some important decisions like choosing the type of phone case, naming your brand, setting a financial strategy.
1. Phone Models
Before choosing the type of phone cover you want to sell, you need to decide what phone models you want to support. For this, you need to see which phones are popular in your region. The best phone for 2021 includes iPhone12, Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, Samsung Galaxy Note 20, and the OnePlus 9. There is no shortage of resources online that will help decide the right model.
You can even do keyword research to find out what people are demanding. Tools like Google’s Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, Keywords Everywhere, or KWFinder enable you to track the search volume.
(Do a Keyword Research to Get An Idea About What’s in Demand)
2. Types of Phone Cases
There are a host of options for types of phone cases. Some are tough cases which provide great protection while some are visually appealing. Here’s a list of popular types:
- Silicon/Gel Black Cover – lightweight transparent or gel cover that you can customize with designs. These cases are flexible and provide good protection.
- Folio Case – wallet-like cover which appeals to a certain age-group.
- Plastic Case – budget-friendly and long-lasting cover that comes with a smooth glossy or matte finish.
- Fabric Case – this cover is pleasant with style and suits fashion preferences. It’s lightweight, available in different colors and offers a firm grip.
- Rubber Cover– rubber is resistant against scratching and provides a good grip. It’s cost-effective and comes in different designs and colors.
- Metal Case – the classic metal cover which offers complete protection and looks good too.
Once you create a list of different types of phone cases, you can find out what’s trending right now using tools like Google Trends, which lets you compare the search volume of different queries.
(Tools like Google Trends Helps You Find Trending Phone Cases)
Platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, etc., are a great place to check what kinds of phone cases are getting the most attention.
Trending products with an added USP of product customization can be a deadly combo. Sell phone cases online using a product designer tool where your customers can customize their cases and covers. See how it will work with your store here.
3. Naming Your Brand
You might have already started thinking about this. Now it’s time to finalize the name. We suggest you choose a name that conveys the values and goals of your company. Make sure it is short, easy to pronounce, and, most importantly, unique. With the help of domain generators like GoDaddy, you can check the availability of the desired domain.
4. Planning your Budget
Budgeting is crucial to avoid early financial disasters. Having a financial plan will be of huge help when you are applying for a loan, hiring an employee, or promoting your business.
The overall cost of starting a phone case business depends on the business model you decide. However, a budget plan for a startup includes startup costs like infrastructure, fixed costs like web hosting fees, business insurance, variable expenses like shipping charges, transportation, raw materials, and so on.
If you do not want to build a website the traditional way, you have an option to make your phone case business live at a minimum cost with a web-to-print storefront. At Brush Your Ideas, we provide a ready-to-sell B2B & B2C Web-to-Print Storefront that comes with all the features you need to start selling.
Our W2P solution comes with
- Industry themes to customize the front end
- Fully functional product designer tool for enabling great shopping experiences
- ERP tools like inventory manager, order manager, print job manager, and more
- CRM integration for better customer relationship management
- Variety of marketing tools
A sneak peek into how a product page of your phone case business might look:
(Take Your Phone Case Business Online With us)
Curious to know more? Share with us your requirements, and we will show you a personalized demo that suits your business logic.
Expert Tip: It is always a good idea to look at what others are doing. Check guides, free templates and samples, and other resources available online to help you get the business planning process off the ground.
Clear all The Legal Aspects of Starting a Phone Case Business
We know it’s very tempting to jump straight into selling products. But spend some time to make your online business legal to avoid any civil complications. Following are the essential business licenses if you wish to operate your business legally:
- Business Operation License – it allows you to conduct business in your city, country, or state.
- Sales Tax Registration – in most regions, retail operators need to collect sales tax, and this license will help you obtain a tax permit.
- Employer Identification Number (EIN)– a tax ID number that identifies your business as a distinct tax entity.
- Seller’s Permit – a license to sell goods online.
Expert Tip: If you are not sure that you can manage these legalities yourself, seek advice from a lawyer, accountant, or local economic development agency. They will help you identify all permits and licenses that apply to your business.
Find Designs for Your Phone Cases
If you have an artistic flair, you can create your designs using Photoshop, Caseapp, or mockup generator websites. The second option is to reach out to professional designers on platforms like Dribbble or Fiver.
Apart from ready-made designs, you can even let your shoppers design your products by integrating a product designer tool. Let customizable phone cases be your biggest differentiator. Integrate a product designer tool to enable shoppers to design their phone cases.
(Full-functional Phone Case Designer Tool That is Compatible with All eCommerce Platforms)
Expert Tip: If you are going to create designs yourself before you finalize designs, it’s good to get feedback by posting your designs on platforms like Reddit, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
Define Your Brand identity
As Jeff Bezos says, “Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” A strong brand identity is crucial for establishing who you are.
Here are 4 key benefits of branding:
Customer recognition – while shopping, if shoppers find something that is eye-catching, whether it’s typography, logo, or color, they are likely to stop scrolling and explore what you have to offer.
Customer loyalty – a strong name or logo will keep your company in the mind of customers. The more they remember/recognize you, the more often they will come back.
Improves credibility – having a strong brand identity will create your image as an established business, both with the customers and within the industry.
Differentiation – as somebody who is just starting, brand identity will help you stand out from your competitors.
What to include in your brand identity strategy?
- A simple memorable logo that goes on your website, social media handles, and packaging.
- Typography that is classic, clean, and timeless.
- Symbols and photographs that set well with the vision of your brand.
- Choose a color that reflects what you do. Because remember, colors are powerful and people have psychological ties with every color.
Expert Tip: Before you begin with this step, be very clear with your brand’s story, vision, values, and personality. Once you have that sorted, you can easily build an identity for the customers.
Take Your Store Online
You can take your business online with minimum setup costs and zero inventory by choosing a print-on-demand business model. Here’s how it works:
If you want to sell phone covers online using print on demand, you need to build an eCommerce website. Popular eCommerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, BigCommerce, etc., will allow you to manage online sales operations.
Today, these eCommerce platforms go way beyond buying and selling online. Cloud-based platforms integrate both front-end and back-end to provide scalable and customizable functionality to your store. The choice of the platform will depend on your budget and requirements. But make sure you do proper research before making a choice.
Related Content: How to Start Print-on-demand Business
Once you establish a store online, your goal will be to attract customers. This is a tough task; we know that. And therefore, we suggest that you offer personalization. Businesses online are offering a personalized experience where customers can buy products customized for them.
One way to offer a customized experience is by giving your customers the freedom to design their phone cases. You can do this by integrating a product design tool to your eCommerce Store.
With the help of multiple features of the tool, customers can craft creative designs on the mobile cover. You can even charge a premium price for this. Following are the benefits you can expect by integrating a design tool:
- Millennials comprise a huge portion of online shoppers and they love customized products. You will see a massive crowd of young buyers in your store if you give users the liberty to design.
- Shoppers get more attached to personalized products. Therefore, they are likely to return to you. This way you increase sales.
- You are likely to get a boost in Google rankings and gain a strong online presence.
Mobile Cover Design Software Features:
- Background Color Management
- Multiple Design Areas
- Image Masking
- Custom Templates
- 10,000+ Customizable Clipart
- Custom Image Upload
- Image Effects/Editing
Not just your customers, as a business, you equally enjoy the benefits of using our designer software. You can set custom pricing, manage printing methods, add warning messages, control editing, and more. Know more about how a designer software can benefit your business.
Expert Tip: 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customers feel about the treatment the brand provides. Product personalization has that potential to provide a unique experience. Make sure your business has something unique to offer.
Choose Printing Method
Printing method depends on both design type and quantity. If the design involves many images, colors, and patterns, you will need a method which can accommodate the details. Moreover, if you are going to print in bulk, choose a method that is suitable for bulk printing. Checkout the types of phone case printing:
Suitable Phone Case Material
– Hard Plastic
|– High-volume orders
– Good quality
– Bright colors
|– Less durable
– Slow production time
– Not ideal for small quantities
Digital UV printing
|– Faster production speed
– Budget friendly
– High-quality print
– Offers creative possibilities
|– Not durable|
|– Polyurethane (PU) Leather||– Cost effective
– Quick turnaround time
– Consistent quality
|– No images
– No colors
– Suitable only for malleable materials
– Leather Polyurethane
|– Print complex designs
– Cost-effective for small orders
|– Slow production speed
– Not suitable for bulk orders
|– Suitable for printing complex patterns
– Gives a matte/glossy finish
|– Less durable|
Expert Tip: Before you finalize a printing method, look at some samples and pay attention to every detail. Always double check the final print to ensure it’s right for you.
Finding a Manufacturer
If you are new to the phone case industry, you might find it difficult to hunt a manufacturer. So, we have made your task easy by giving you some options. (a) You can find possible manufacturers from searchable directories like Thomasnet.com, (b) check online directories like Alibaba, (c) do what everybody does – Google.
Things to keep in mind while choosing a manufacturer:
- Product– choose a manufacturer who is willing to provide the type of products you want and not the one who tricks you into buying what they have.
- Quality – there is no need to explain how important quality is. Go through information on material type and process before signing a contract.
- Price – make sure you are paying the amount that is standard in the market.
- Timing – ask your manufacturer about the lead time and manufacturing time. This will give you a clear idea about when to place your order.
- Minimum Order Policy – check with the manufacturer if they have any such policy. Most manufacturers do not accept an order less than the prescribed quantity.
- Sample Price – check with the manufacturer if you will get a free sample or you have to pay any amount.
This procedure could be time consuming but is worth it. Contact potential manufacturers personally and ask every question you have. Once you have a list of preferred manufacturers, prioritize based on the above metrics.
Expert Tip: Always have one manufacturer as a backup. So, if something goes wrong, your business will keep going.
Dropshipping for your business
One of the easiest ways to source your products is dropshipping. Dropshipping is where you choose a manufacturer, and they will ship your phone cases directly to your customers on your behalf.
Whether you choose the dropshipping business model or build a website from scratch, you can offer an added USP of customized phone cases with the help of the Brush Your Ideas product designer tool.
Launch and Promote
Now that you have the product, manufacturer, and an online store, it’s time to launch and market your business.
Here are some popular marketing methods that you need to know:
1. Search Engine Marketing
This is the practice of using SEO or paid advertisements to appear on search engine result pages. SEO is all about earning the top position in the search results by creating relevant content for a keyword. While paid ads give you the opportunity to put your ad in front of the customer who is looking to buy a phone cover.
2. Social Media Marketing
Here you use social media platforms to connect with your customers and promote your brand and products. The strategy to effectively use social media includes focusing on one or two platforms that you think your target audience is active on. In your case, we suggest Instagram and Pinterest as they are popular among Millennials. Also, these two platforms are highly visual. So, phone case designs would work well here. Secondly, create a social media posting plan which includes information on the type of content you wish to share – promotional, informative, entertaining, etc.
3. Influencer Marketing
Customers consider reviews and ratings from people with popularity and authority. 40% of people say they’ve purchased an item online after seeing it used by an influencer on Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube. To begin with, you can have an influencer share your product or write a post.
Expert Tip: The best way to keep your business going is to provide exceptional customer service. Satisfied customers are your brand ambassadors. Once they have a positive experience, they will spread the word.
Are You Ready to Start?
Building a business around phone cases is comparatively easy as compared to other products. But like any business that has fewer barriers to entry, competition ought to be higher. If you feel you need help to manage everything, feel free to get in touch with us.
We have helped businesses like yours build their dream store with our offerings like a product designer tool, Print ERP, mobile to print designer app, and more. Tell us about your project, and we will get back to you.
All product and company names are trademarks™, registered® or copyright© trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.