Brush Your Ideas

Starting a Phone Case Business: An 8 Step Guide with 8 Expert Tips

Starting a Phone Case Business: An 8 Step Guide with 8 Expert Tips
October 12 2020

It’s surely not going to be a ‘OMG What!’ moment if I tell you that more than 44% of the world’s population owns a smartphone. Also, did you know that in 2017, there were more mobile phones than people on earth? 

This clearly suggests that the market for phone cases is exceedingly large. If you are planning to sell phone cases online, you are in the right place.

Bring your creativity, and entrepreneurial abilities to the table while we bring our technical expertise. And let’s find out how you can sell phone cases online like hot cakes!

1. 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 a successful start of your business is competitor analysis. Begin with 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. 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.

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. This year, many new devices were introduced like Samsung Galaxy S20, OnePlus 8 Pro, iPhone SE and, most recently, the introduction of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. There are rumors that iPhone 12, OnePlus 8T and Google Pixel 5 may land before the end of the year. You can even do keyword research to find out what people are demanding. Tools like Google’s Keyword Planner or KWFinder can help you with this.

Phone case stats

Give your business a great start with everything you need to know. Our team can help in assisting throughout. To know more, let’s get in touch.

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.

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.  

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. A successful budget plan for a startup includes:

> Startup costs like infrastructure.

> Fixed costs like web hosting fees, business insurance, etc.

> Variable expenses like shipping charges, transportation, raw materials, and so on.

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.

Obtain Permits  

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 legally operate your business:

✔️ 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 then 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.

Define Your Brand

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, a brand identity will help you stand out from your competitors.   

What to include in your brand identity strategy?

> A simple memorable logo which 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

If you want to sell phone covers online, 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 a 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. 

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

Silk Screen Printing

 

We encourage you to check out the demo.

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:

BYI Phone cases

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) ask other phone case businesses about the manufacturer they work with, (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.

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:

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.      

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.

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?

Now you know everything about what it takes to sell phone cases online. If at all you feel you need help to manage everything, feel free to get in touch with us.

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Maulik Shah

After the huge success of Biztech’s other products, founder Maulik Shah ventured out to make a web-to-print software solution, and thus, Brush Your Ideas was born. His visionary ideas and innovative power have always been the cornerstone of the success of the company at every step. Maulik enjoys bird watching, playing cricket and is an avid reader.