‘Music can change the world’ – said Ludwig van Beethoven, a legendary German composer and pianist. Heinrich Heine, a German poet and writer said, “Where words leave off, music begins.” Music is like magic that can help you forget your pain for a while and cheer you up.
Some love natural music like the chirping of birds or rustling leaves, others love music in songs. Some listen to music for fun, while others listen to it for tranquility.
While you can enjoy nature’s music always around you, you have to listen to man-made music yourself. And headphones enrich that listening experience further! Since the advent of the first bulky stereo-headphones to the present-day feather-weight Apple AirPods, headphones have evolved a lot.
Thanks to the smartphones that have enabled the people to access music of their choice anywhere anytime. For that, they are always looking for good-quality headphones. As headphones let them enjoy the music in private and escape from the real-world challenges for a few moments.
According to Statista, the annual sales of headphones in the US alone is projected at $16.84 bn in 2022.
Thus, if you are thinking of starting an online business, the headphone-selling business can be a great idea for you.
Read on to know how you can make it big in an online headphone retail business.
1. Decide on the Type(s) of Headphones
There are primarily three categories of headphones – on-ear, in-ear, and over-ear in which there are several subtypes based on purpose. So, before starting your business, decide on the type(s) of headphones you would deal with. The choice of the types of headphones also depends on your budget and your target customers.
Let’s read about several in-trend headphones to help choose you the right type(s) to sell.
Note: If you are thinking of manufacturing your own headphones and selling them under your brand, it might be a far costlier idea for a startup. Hence, it is always better to sell famous branded headphones, in the beginning, to sustain your business and make profits.
→ Wireless Headphones
Wireless headphones offer users a rich, handy, and wireless experience. These headphones connect with devices (phones or tabs) generally via Bluetooth and are a common choice for a large number of customers including but not exclusive to commuters and professionals. They generally have a decent noise-canceling factor to ensure that people get to enjoy the music without getting disturbed by the noise around in crowded places or while traveling. Some of the expensive models can keep working even up to 20 feet distance from the audio source while others have shorter ranges. For those who prioritize both comfort and quality, the latest wireless headphones offer an unbeatable audio experience without the constraints of cables. The prices can vary based on the quality and brand and can go up to even $450 for some high-end models.
For instance, some headphones can have a superior noise-canceling factor and water-resistance, or some other great qualities that make their price high.
→ Sports Headphones
These are wired earphones that are light in weight and smaller in size. Sportspeople may prefer this type of headphone as they can use them while working out at the gym or jogging. Most of the models come with sweat resistance to make sure that constant perspiration doesn’t cause damage to them. The prices can vary from $25 to $250 based on the features and quality.
→ Classic Earbuds
These are the classical headphones and a popular choice for people who are looking for just a ‘set of headphones’ with no special demands. Almost all mobile manufacturer brands offer them as accessories with the handsets.
Despite their simple design and build, they never go out-of-fashion and sell like hotcakes. The reasons behind their popularity are – small size and weight, high portability, lesser prices than other types. However, they may not be a go-to option for those looking for headsets for a special purpose – like music therapy, superior noise cancellation, no sound leak, etc. The prices of these headphones can generally vary between $20 to $50.
→ In-Ear Earbuds
These types of headphones are a great choice for anyone looking to listen to high-fidelity audio at affordable prices. They are lightweight, small, and wired. They generally feature replaceable ear-tips on them and easily close in on the user’s ear canal opening to offer a decent level of noise isolation. Most of the models come with an extra set of ear-tips also. The user can easily carry them in their pocket wherever they go and listen to music as and when they want to. As they only provide noise-isolation and not complete noise-cancellation, some sharp noises like car-honks, or screeching sounds can still make their way into the ears.
→ Clip-On Headphones
These headphones are a type of in-ear headphones that are wired, small-sized, portable, and quite affordable. However, for some athletes and fitness freaks, the standard in-ear wireless headphones were unfit as they would fall out frequently from the ears during an intensive workout, running, or other rapid movements.
This led to headphone manufacturer companies thinking of a way to tackle this issue – and they came up with clip-on headphones. Since their introduction, they have always been popular among gym-goers and athletes who love to enjoy music without any hassle.
→ Behind-the-Neck Headphones
Behind-the-Neck Headphones (or neckband headphones) are the headphones in which the wires rest behind the neck and don’t dangle, unlike other variants. While some of them are in-ear, the others are on-ear. The major benefit of neckband headphones is its design. As almost all of them connect to your device via Bluetooth, you just need to take care of the two tiny cords that connect your collar to the earphones. This way, with earbuds, hanging around the neck, are only a small distance away from the ears, one doesn’t have to untangle the ‘mess’ to answer any call or listen to music. Further, as there are no cables extending from the head to the pocket, chances of the headphone cables getting stretched, snagged, or ripped/pulled out of the ears are minimal. This saves headphones from possible wear, tear, or breakage and ensures their longevity.
→ Gaming Headphones
Gaming headphones are a little costlier than some other variants. They are the best for those who love playing console games online. They help block external noises, enhance sound quality, facilitate easy communication with your gaming buddies or teammates while playing online games that require voice commands, and enrich the overall gaming experience.
The lower-end models are available below $100 while the higher end models lie in the 100$-300$ range.
2. Estimate the Budget
Based on what all types and brands of headphones you are planning to deal with, calculate your budget accurately. Remember to keep the budget a little flexible to accommodate new trends and for scaling your business in the future as and when the need arises.
Pro Tip: Don’t deal in too high-end models and a large variety of headphones in the initial phase of your business. You can always expand your offerings later once you have enough capital reserve and a well-established rapport in the industry. This is because it may cost you more to invest in expensive models in case they don’t sell well. Consequently, you may end up facing a situation of fiscal deficit and won’t be able to expand your business at any point ahead.
Once you have decided which headphone types you would sell, decide on the costs of other aspects. Whether you would sell standard traditional headphones from popular companies, or personalized headphones alongside will determine your budget.
The third cost to consider is the cost of delivery. While you can always tie-up with a delivery service provider, you can also bank on a dropshipping solution if you don’t want to incur huge upfront delivery service charges and delivery return costs. The dropshipping solution provider will take care of everything – right from delivering the order to handling delivery-related issues to delivery returns. And you can stay relaxed and focus your energy and efforts on other crucial business aspects for speedy growth.
3. Research the Market and Target Audience
To get a better idea of what is trending in the market – intensive market research is irreplaceable. Browse the stores of all your competitors who sell headphones. Note:
✔️ Common major brands the leading competitors are dealing in.
✔️ Prices they have set, discounts they offer, and patterns of the discounts and offers.
✔️ Portfolios and customers’ reviews of their products – the complaints, issues, and grievances to get insights into the areas that require special attention.
✔️ Shipping charges and methods they are using
✔️ Marketing strategies – on-site (like optimized loading speed and content) or off-site (social media, paid ads), etc.
✔️ Featured and Top-Selling Products to know which products can attract more sales in less time.
✔️ Niche customers – sportsmen, businessmen, athletes, studio workers, DJs (if any)
With all this information collected, you can easily figure out which products to invest and sell and how.
4. Registration and Licenses
Register your business with local authorities and acquire a legal business entity of a corporation, an LLC, or a DBA as per your business type. After successful registration, obtain all the licenses and permits you need for your online business. Some common licenses that you may need to obtain a seller’s permit, employer identification number, business tax certificate, etc. for the smooth running of business without any future legal issues. Check with your county clerk or visit the official site of your state government for more details on what all types of licenses and permits you may need.
5. Set Up Your Online Store
Once you have registered your business, you can set up your online headphone store. While choosing the right e-commerce platform for your business, you should consider your requirements and budget. If you build your web store right from the scratch, it can cost you more. Further, you may also need to keep your store updated to fight the competitors using leading e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce, Magento, Shopify, etc. Therefore, it is highly recommendable to choose an e-commerce platform for a cost-effective setup instead of building your ‘own’ store.
Start with retailing popular branded headphones. A few world-class headphone brands you can consider are Sony, Senneheiser, Dr. Dre, Bose, JBL, Samsung, etc. As some brands can be expensive to sell in the beginning, you should always consider starting with affordable brands.
There is also a growing trend of personalized headphones with several companies like Esty, Deluxe offering personalized headphones. If you also want to stand out and improve your customers’ shopping experience, offering personalization in headphones can be a good option. If you are not tech-savvy and don’t know how to cater to personalization demands, you can integrate an online product designer tool. This tool will enable your customers to design the headphones the way they want through a simple interactive interface and a wide range of customization options. An additional advantage would also be there – you will be able to provide exactly what your customers want.
For instance, if you provide Captain America headphones but your customers want an Iron Man logo printed on them, they can do so through an Online Product Designer Tool.
Our Brush Your Ideas Online Product Designer Tool has been a go-to option for e-store owners who are looking to provide customization freedom to customers. With the freedom to upload clipart, stock images, text, and several other features, it can help engage customers and gain higher sales.
There are sites like CustomInk, V-Moda (a popular headphone manufacturer company based in the USA) that allow for personalization of headphones.
6. Market It Well
While well-begun is half-done, it is also true that all is well that ends well. Wait, no! You don’t have to end your business! Though it may mean that in a literal sense, it metaphorically means that if you have started a business well, you should also keep it running well. And a good marketing and promotion strategy is key to keep sailing.
Here are the few key marketing strategies that you can follow to increase your brand outreach and push sales.
✔️ Digital Marketing – The term ‘digital marketing’ is an umbrella term that comprises a number of optimization strategies- on-site and off-site.
– On-Site Marketing strategies include optimizing website speed, content with relevant and high-traffic keywords, enhancing website appearance, and more. – Off-Site Optimization strategies include guest posting, social media marketing, blog commenting, Quora marketing, and several others.
As you all know that all these marketing strategies are common and applicable for any online store, let’s talk about a promotion strategy that can be of great help – especially in electronic gadgets like headphones.
That strategy is Influencer Marketing.
Influencer marketing when combined with social media promotion and content marketing can give great results.
The first step is to search for good influencers with a large fanbase who run their YouTube channels, blog sites, or social media pages. Alternatively, you can also take advantage of influencer marketing platforms to ease the process and get fast results.
Next, dig into the review videos and blogs and get the idea of what products they review and how their reviews are. In your case, it would be better to see what all brands they have reviewed and how their audience is finding those reviews through comments.
Once you have hand-picked some leading influencers, contact them via the email or contact number as it suits, and convey your intent.
Remember – Never tighten your belts beyond limits! Didn’t get the meaning?
Ok, let’s simplify it for you. It simply means that if you have decided to tap into influencer marketing, you must be ready to spend a good amount and effort. The more popular influencer you wish to collaborate with, the higher the investment will go.
If everything goes well and your brand takes off in a few years, you can even walk the extra mile and collaborate with famous celebrities too for endorsements. Yes, you heard it right! You can work out the type of endorsement deal that suits the best out of celebrity equity, revenue shares, or timely free product offers. Whatever the type of deal be, be ready to bear the costs of influencer marketing accordingly to reap the benefits ahead.
Recently, boAT, an Indian company has roped in Diljit Dosanjh, a famous actor, and singer as their new brand ambassador. There are a few more examples of various celebrities from different fields endorsing popular brands worldwide.
→ Nicki Minaj, a popular American singer, writer, performer, and actor also endorsed BeatsX.
→ Michael Phelps, the most decorated American swimmer renowned worldwide for the record 28 medals endorsed Beats Solo 3 back in 2017.
Another way out is selling ‘signed merchandise’. It is already a great trend in the apparel industry. While there have not been many examples of signed merch in the electronics industry to the best of my knowledge, you can always give it a try!
Offer only a limited number of signed headphones for a limited period to whet the customers’ interest. You can also announce a charity or fund-raising campaign alongside by announcing that a percentage of each signed headphone purchased would go for a particular cause. This way, you won’t only attract a large audience but also increase your brand reputation by supporting a noble cause.
Share these endorsed product images and reviews across all social media platforms to enhance your brand visibility and drive high traffic.
One more unique way is to list your products on some leading e-commerce sites like eBay, Amazon, Etsy, etc. This way, you can engage a large audience, make them aware of your brand, drive them to your site, and increase your bottom line.
All Set to Sell Headphones Online?
Now that you know the online headphone retail business has a huge potential, you can kick start it right away. By following the above-mentioned steps, you can hit the gold in the headphone retail business without any hassle. Get in touch with Brush Your Ideas to understand how the designer tool can make your store stand out from others.
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