Starting a phone case business from scratch
Are you thinking of starting a phone case business? Excellent! you are in the right place. In this A-Z guide, we’ll discuss everything that you need to know about starting an online phone case business.
Selling phone cases is a popular online business idea. Therefore, it is a competitive business niche. That means, there are a lot of sellers out there in the phone case business. So, you need some sort of a specialty to dominate this market. In this guide, we will tell you a strategy to start and run a successful phone case business
How to start a phone case business?
From making phone cases to reselling phone cases, here you will find everything that you need to know about how to start a phone case business.
- Select the most profitable target market to sell phone cases
Choose and target around 5-7 most popular mobile phone brands/types. You don’t have to sell phone cases for every phone on the earth. It won’t worth your effort.
- Find the most popular trends to make or re-sell phone cases
Find popular phone case types and designs to sell online. You have to keep up with the trends to offer the most intriguing products in your store.
- Make custom phone cases
How hard is it to make phone cases in bulk? Well, making custom phone cases is a lot easier than you think. There are plenty of online tools to get this done. We’ll talk about this in a bit.
- Find wholesale suppliers to re-sell phone cases
If you are not a good designer, maybe it is a good idea to find a Chinese wholesale supplier for phone cases and re-sell their products in your store. Also, you can start dropshipping phone cases too. If so, you don’t even need to worry about even shipping the products you sell.
- Decide what is the best place to sell phone cases online
You can build an eCommerce store, or list your products on an online marketplace to sell phone cases online. We’ll talk about the pros and cons of these two options in a bit.
- Create a failproof marketing strategy for your phone case business
Everyone can make phone cases and list them on an online store. But, only a few can develop a successful marketing strategy for their stores. Here we will discuss how to build a failproof marketing strategy for your phone case business.
Starting a phone case business – Why it makes sense?
It makes total sense to start selling phone cases. Let’s see why?
- Phone cases are super easy to source – So, you don’t have to go through the headache of struggling to find phone case suppliers. We’ll tell you how to do this without any hassles.
- Phone cases are perfect in size to sell online – The size of the phone cases make it an ideal product to sell online. When you sell phone cases online, you can get low shipping costs and can offer better pricing.
- You can use dropshipping suppliers to find low-cost phone cases – There is plenty of dropshipping suppliers for phone cases. So, you can start a phone case business without having to take many risks.
- You can use print-on-demand services to make unique phone cases designs – Do you know that you can even use print-on-demand services to sell phone cases? It is an easy and convenient way to make and sell custom designs.
- Most of the mobile phone users buy a new phone case every two years – Phone cases are almost like a consumable nowadays. Statistics show that an average buyer purchases a phone case every two years. So, it can be an excellent opportunity for you to get repeat customers.
- New phone models are released almost every single day – The mobile phone market is not going to die anywhere soon. So, by starting a phone case business, you can get access to an ever-expanding market.
The challenges of starting a phone case business
Today, starting an online business is super easy. But, surviving the market is a real challenge.
There are plenty of low-cost services and tools, which enable anyone with basic computer knowledge to build their own eCommerce business. So, many people get into eCommerce businesses every single day. But, only a few of them can survive. Most of the new startups fail to face the competition in eCommerce. The main reason for these failures is the lack of online marketing knowledge.
The Internet opens your business to billions of potential customers. So, there is always a market for you. But, you need to know how to stand above the competition and reach your potential customers first. So, the main challenge in starting a phone case business is to learn the right online marketing strategies. But, don’t worry, we got your back. In this post, we will also show you how to handle marketing for your online phone case store.
Let us start building your phone case business
All right then, how to start a phone case business? We will guide you through all the steps of starting a phone case business.
Step1- Choose and target around 5-7 mobile phone brands/types
There are thousands of different devices in the market. And, obviously, you cannot make or sell, phone cases for each of these device types. So, you need to pick the most popular devices to start a phone case business.
In eCommerce, you should never sell to everyone. If you try to sell to everyone, you will not be able to sell to anyone.
So, make sure to pick just one or two brands, with five to seven device types. For example, if you choose iPhones, you can select the most popular and latest models.
You can find the most popular smartphone brands from any keyword research tool. For example, here are the Ubersuggest‘s keyword suggestions for the “iPhone case.” If you look at this screenshot, you will notice that iPhone 6, 7, and custom made phone cases have the highest search volume. Likewise, you can pick the devices with the highest search volumes for the phone cases.
Btw, since we are here, I just want to show you another critical point.
As you can see in the above image, the search difficulties (SD) for the above keywords are incredibly high. That means, it is harder to rank-up your eCommerce site on Google for those keywords. So, we need to find other ways to promote your online store. We’ll get back to that a bit later.
Step 2- Find popular phone case types and designs
There are many different types of popular phone cases. So, when starting a phone case business, you need to have a good knowledge of such trends.
Thin flat type phone cases
Thin flats are a popular choice for print-on-demand phone cases. These phone cases are often made with PVC or rubbery silicon material. You can find thin flats for low prices, compared to the other phone case types. So, don’t forget to add these types of phone cases to your store.
Rugged phone cases
Rugged phone cases are also a good choice for an online store. These cases visually align with a dark-themed, masculine store design. Also, you can easily find the dropshipping phone case suppliers for the heavy-duty, rugged phone cases.
Bumper phone cases
Bumper cases add extra protection around the edges of the phones. The bumper cases are usually made with a shock-resistant material to absorb the socks. Some bumper cases only cover the sides of the phone, and some bumper cases are just the thin flat types with an extra protective layer at the edge.
Fabric phone cases
Fabric phone cases are also catching up in the trends lately. Those phone cases are especially popular among the eco-friendly consumer communities. Also, the fabric phone cases can be modified using embroidery designs, painting or even by printing.
Wallet phone cases
If you remember our screenshot about the search volumes for phone cases, you would have noticed that “iPhone case with wallet” had a high demand. So, wallet phone cases can be another great addition to your phone case product portfolio. There are different types of wallet phone cases. Some wallet phone cases with foldable designs and some are super minimalistic with only a set of credit-card holders.
Step 3- Choose whether to re-sell or design your phone cases
As we have mentioned in the beginning, when you start a phone case business, you can re-sell the phone cases from wholesale suppliers, or you can make phone cases to sell online.
Re-sell phone cases (Start Dropshipping)
Re-selling phone cases from the dropshipping suppliers are one of the easiest (and, cheapest) ways to start a phone case business.
Btw, what is dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a simple way to fulfill (deliver) the products that you sell on your online store. If you start dropshipping, you don’t have to purchase an inventory of the products to start selling. All you have to do is forwarding the sales orders to your suppliers. Then, they will pack and ship the products to your customers directly.
Additional reading: How to start a dropshipping business
Since you don’t have to maintain a product stock with dropshipping, you can just add or remove the products from your store to meet the trends. Also, since the dropshipping suppliers will take care of the shipping and order fulfilment, you can use your full steam on business development and marketing.
Finding dropshipping suppliers is not a hard thing to do. The easiest way is to dropship from Aliexpress. Also, if you decide to build your phone case store on Shopify, you can use Oberlo to find dropshipping products too.
But, if you like to earn more profits, you can find real wholesale suppliers for phone cases. We have a whole list of wholesale dropshipping supplier directory on Ecommercebuff. Check it out find the dropshipping suppliers for the phone cases.
Make phone cases to sell online
As you can understand, selling phone cases can be a competitive business segment. So, if you need to get some competitive advantage, you might need something to make yourself different from your competitors.
There are many online tools and services to design your own phone cases
Making phone cases is not that complicated. Now there are some print-on-demand services, which even handle the shipping and order fulfillment for you. Print-on-demand services like printful have easy-to-use phone case design tools to create your own designs and to generate mockups. The best thing is, you can even use these mockups (images) to create listings on your online phone case store without having to print a product.
Isn’t that a low-risk, and low-cost way to start a phone case business?
Here is an example of a phone case design that I made using printful’s design tools. Beautiful huh?
If you are not getting any design ideas, do not worry. Just surf around Pinterest to get plenty of design inspirations. Or, you can even hire a freelancing designer on Fiverr or UpWork to get your designs done.
Find a freelancer to design phone cases for just $10. So, you can save time to focus on developing your phone case business.
Once you come up with a design, generate the mockups using the above tools, and use social media to validate your design. Post your mockups on Facebook or Instagram and measure the amount of engagement and positive comments to get a better idea of your design.
Step 5 – Build an eCommerce store, or list your phone cases on an online marketplace
If you are running low on cash, you can start by listing your phone cases on online marketplaces like eBay. It will not cost you anything, except your time. And, on the other hand, it is the quickest way to getting your business off the ground.
However, if you are dropshipping, make sure to have a proper sales agreement with your wholesale supplier before listing your products on eBay. A lot of people just use dropshipping from Aliexpress to sell on eBay. But, if the eBay found out this process, they will suspend your account.
Apparently, dropshipping is allowed on eBay, as long as you can prove that you have a reliable supply of products. You can prove this by providing a dropshipping agreement from your supplier.
Check out our beginner’s guide start selling on eBay for more details.
If you like to build your own brand with your phone case business, creating your own eCommerce store is the best option.
There are different options to create your own eCommerce website.
The easiest way is to use an eCommerce site-building platform like Shopify. With Shopify, you can create your own eCommerce store with even a basic computer and internet skills.
But, if you like to have a bit cheaper solution, with more design flexibility, you can use a self-hosted eCommerce store, made with a package like WordPress + hosting + WooCommerce.
Here we have a good guide to learn how to start an online store for your phone case business. However, if you are not a techie person, maybe it is better to find a freelancer to make your store.
Hey, do you know that you can simply hire a freelancing eCommerce site developer to create a stunning WordPress or Shopify online store for less than $50? Just hire a freelancer and save your time to focus more on your business.
Step 6 – Create a failproof marketing strategy for your phone case business
Digital marketing is a must-have skill for any business owner. We have a list of 30 digital marketing skills that you must learn to become a successful seller. However, in this post, we’ll talk about the four most impactful marketing strategies for a phone case business.
- Paid advertising
- Using social media
- Getting organic traffic
- Influencer marketing
Paid advertising for your phone case business
To be honest, you cannot run a business without paid ads. Well, you can, but you will not be able to make enough sales.
You can run paid ads on Google and on social media platforms like Facebook. In the beginning, forget all other paid channels and just focus on advertising on Facebook.
There is a reason to focus only on Facebook ads. The paid advertising for online business has to be done very carefully. As a beginner, you will find it is hard to measure and keep track of the cost of conversions.
And, sometimes your paid ads won’t work from the very first try. Most of the time, you need to do a little bit of tweaking to make it work. If you do not understand this, your paid ad campaigns can go wild and eat up all your marketing budget without making any sales.
Trust me; I have a firsthand experience losing more than $2000 for this very reason.
So, in the beginning, only focus on a single paid channel. Facebook ads are cheaper and easy to analyse. You can start from there and later grow your paid advertising to multiple channels.
Use social media marketing to start a phone case business
2.5 billion people are waking up to social media. So, if your phone case business does not have a proper social media marketing strategy, you are basically leaving your money on the table.
Building a strong social media marketing strategy is a whole new subject. So, it worth spending a little more time understanding how to use social media to sell better. We have created a comprehensive guide to learn how to build a strong Facebook marketing strategy for your eCommerce business. Check it out.
Getting organic traffic from Google
Do you remember that I told you something about “Search difficulty” at the beginning? Now we are going to talk about it a bit more.
As you can see from the below image, it is hard to rank up on google for the direct keywords like “iPhone 7 phone case“. So, my honest opinion is that your SEO (Search engine optimisation) efforts will be wasted if you try to rank for such keywords.
But, that doesn’t mean you should forget about organic traffic from Google. Organic traffic from Google is the cheapest and most effective traffic you will get to your phone case store.
So, we are going to have a different approach here. What if we can grab the attention of our potential customers, even before they search for an “iPhone 7 phone case“?
There is a way to do this. We are living in an information age. Many people search for more background information before they decide to buy something. If you know how this new customer journeys work, you know exactly how to grab their attention with low-competitive long-tail keywords.
So, start a content marketing strategy to get organic traffic from Google. Remember, content marketing strategies are super slow. But, once you can get the traction, it will give you the cheapest conversion cost for you.
Use influencer marketing to start a phone case business
I bet you already know what influencer marketing is. Have you seen Kardashians promote products on their Instagram profiles under sponsored tags? Yes, that is influencer marketing.
But, how the heck you can hire a Kardashian to promote your phone case business? Well, you don’t have to go that far to use influencer marketing.
I tell you a more simple and straightforward way to use influencer marketing for your phone case business.
A simple way to use influencer marketing
As a new business, don’t try to hire top tier influencers to promote your products. What you can do is, try to find a girl in your friend list with a lot of followers. Then, gift her with a free phone case and ask her to help you by promoting that phone case on her account.
Trust me; she will go overboard doing this. I always use this simple strategy to promote the products in my online stores. You don’t have to limit this process to one person. You can multiply this process by reaching different people on different networks.
This strategy is similar to using influencer marketing but at the micro-level. I know that this strategy works better than any other method.
Are you ready to start a phone case business?
In this guide, we have discussed how to start a phone case business from scratch and how to sell phone cases online.
We have discussed how to select devices and phone case types to focus on your business. Then we have discussed how to find phone cases to sell, and how to design your own phone cases. Also, we have discussed where you can sell phone cases online. Then finally, we have talked about how to market your phone case business.
I genuinely believe that this article provides a comprehensive guide about how to start a phone case business.
If you find this article useful, please share it with your friends. Or else, comment and let me know what I missed about starting a phone case business.