Cellphones have systematically embedded themselves within the very fabric of our daily life. OuterBox reported that over 230 million Americans own a smartphone. (Keep in mind, that is only Americans.) Globally, TechJury states there are currently over 2.71 billion smartphone users in 2019. Cellular technology continues to advance to provide us with security, continual connection to the outside world, and entertainment. Throughout the cellphone’s usefulness, it has transcended mere technology and become a part of our identities. Which phone a person chooses, what apps they download, and the device’s appearance is indicative of the individual’s personality.
Fortunately, for an entrepreneur to log into the cellphone market, they don’t have to worry about creating their own device. Instead, entering the online phone case market is far easier and more beneficial.
Here is a complete guide to starting an online phone case business; from the epiphany to payday, and beyond!
Why start a phone case business?
Online phone case businesses are booming and with the rise of artisans, trends, and need, the market is exponential. After all, cellphones continue to advance daily. With each advancement, phones hold more and more intrinsic value. The greater the value phones hold, both monetary and otherwise, the higher the need is to protect that device. However, with so much creativity surrounding us, there is no reason that phone cases cannot serve a dual purpose of protection and character.
That, ultimately, is why you should start a phone case business. Yet, the market size, the potential for growth, and the revolving need are far more specific. Check it out!
Cell Phone Market Size
The rise of the internet has made the world a lot smaller, but it has made the phone case market extraordinary. The phone case businesses transcend the type, make, and model of the market. If someone has a cellphone, they are going to want to get a case to protect it. That means that you have the potential to attract their business.
Allied Market Research released a report in April 2018 that predicts the market for global mobile phone accessories will reach $255,149 million by 2023. Protective phone cases are a strong and steady constant on that list.
This is a global market that is continuously growing with the need and advancement of the phones that need protecting.
Plus, it is an inexpensive and highly customizable product. That means that function is not the only or even the main draw of a phone case. The function is a necessity if the person wants to keep their phone for any length of time. The customization is up to the customer and the possibilities for that are nearly endless.
Potential for Growth
The potential for growth depends on the cell phone market, which continues to rise. Pew Research Center illustrated this by publishing a graph in 2019, revealing 98% of China’s population owns a mobile phone. Additionally, China was not alone in the high rate of adults per country who owned a mobile device. The study also revealed their global median findings to be that 92% of the world’s population owned a mobile device. For entrepreneurs who are interested in opening an online phone case business, that should equate to a lot of cases.
While the one-off statistics are impressive on their own, it is obvious a cellphone is not a one-off product. The cellphone is an interesting product because, even though smartphones continue to rise in value, according to Statista, 51% of iPhone users and 40% of Android users update their phone every two years. For online phone case businesses, that means that their customers are returning for a new case every two years too.
Selecting a sub-niche within phone cases
It is extremely important to select a sub-niche when starting an online phone case business. Even though a new entrepreneur might think it is best to appeal to as many people as possible, that is wrong. It is through sub-niches or micro-niches, that businesses thrive. As the saying goes, the riches are in the niches. This sub-niche will help narrow down your target audience and lay the foundation for your brand; both of which are essential for success. Here are some questions to help guide you in the direction of your ideal sub-niche.
What is Your Motivation?
Actors struggle with motivation outwardly. Yet, as an aspiring online entrepreneur, it is an important question to ask yourself too. The fact that you are gravitating toward selling online phone cases gives you a clue about your motivation. Obviously, you have some interest in phones and technology. While you might not want to immerse yourself in the technical aspects of cellular innovation, you are attracted to it. That’s great!
The next step is to figure out why:
- Do you want to find a better way for a common, useful item to perform?
- Are you attracted to cool, geeky, cute, or unique phone cases yourself?
- Do you see a lack of a particularly useful phone case? (For example, do you want to supply sturdier, more durable, glow in the dark, or print-on-demand cases to customers?)
Essentially, pinpointing the problem you wish to solve within a specific market helps develop your brand and your niche.
Who is your target market?
Every business has a target market. This is the business’ perfect customer. To accurately identify your business’ target market, you are going to have to learn everything about the individual. After all, the phone inside the case says a lot about the person using it. Thus, the case must also tell a story about that person.
- How old are they?
- What are their interests?
- Where do they live?
- What do they do for a living?
- What do they do in their spare time?
Developing answers to these questions will help you decide that target audience’s buying habits. This includes:
- Where do they shop?
- How often do they buy new phones?
- How often do they buy new phone cases?
- What is their ideal price point?
- What is important to them in a phone case? (As a quick example: Is it more important for their phone case to be inexpensive and cute? Or would they rather pay for quality and the promise of durability?)
Types of Phone Cases
Globalization has made the types of phone cases that are potentially available limited only by the seller’s imagination. If you have an idea for a phone case, there are ways to make your idea come to fruition. However, there are plenty of other ways to find already created phone cases and bring them into your market. Here are the most popular types of phone cases:
Personalized cases appeal to the buyer’s personal preferences. This could mean a specific color, design, entertainment reference, or the creation of personal photos as a design. This is the type of phone case with the most individual options. The only guidance entrepreneurs have that can help them select the appropriate form of personalization is their own brand restrictions.
*That is why it is so important to know your target niche and target audience before selecting products.
When starting an online phone case business (or any business, really) the owner needs to appeal to the public with strong ideals. You need to know EXACTLY what you are selling and who you are selling to. Otherwise, you come across as unorganized.
Durability is another feature of phone cases that is popular. These phone cases have a higher price tag because they should be lasting and protect the cellphone they encase. Choosing to base your company’s phone type on durability is going to make the aesthetics of the phone secondary. The target audience still wants a nice phone case, obviously. Yet, they are far more concerned with the protection the phone case provides.
Functionality is another main feature of phone case. The wheels of innovation are always turning and for phone cases, functionality is where it most commonly manifests. Here are some of the most popular functionality-driven phone cases:
- Wallet Phone Cases
- Keyboard Cases
- Camera Lens Cases
- Battery Pack Cases
- Earphone Holder Cases
- Tool-Holder Cases
Without the right product distribution model, there is no business. While there are many solid, product distribution servicing options, it is essential that you understand each model. Comprehension of each product distribution choice is the only way to ensure your shop is running with the highest level of efficiency. Here are the most popular product distribution methods, with a high rate of success when connected with the right business:
Drop Shipping is an interesting business model, through which the entrepreneur becomes the middle-person. This model involves businesses connecting wholesalers or other retailers to customers through your brand. When your business receives the order, it is filled by the original retailer.
Pros of Drop Shipping:
- It is a low-risk business model.
- There is limited overhead.
- Start up cost is extremely low.
- Entrepreneurs do not have to store or ship products.
Cons of Drop Shipping:
- Liability issues are possible: The supplier’s issues are automatically your issues.
- It is more difficult to build a brand.
- The competition is fierce.
- Profit margins are lower with dropshipping than when stocking the product yourself
Who is Drop Shipping Best For?
Drop Shipping is often best suited for entrepreneurs that already have a successful brand. The reason is that business owners understand market research and business ethics. Therefore, they know what is acceptable and they understand how to find the best wholesalers to accompany their brand. (Plus, they are not building a brand, from the foundation up, on the merit of various other suppliers.)
How to start Drop Shipping?
While there are many wholesalers that, to some degree offer dropshipping Oberlo is the most well-known and respected wholesale platform. This platform is set up specifically for Drop Shipping. Plus, they are the most affordable, up front. While there are different tiers of paid plans, Oberlo offers a free tier which allows the business to offer 500 of their products free before needing an upgraded plan.
Regardless of the wholesaler you choose to work with, here are a few pointers to keep in mind:
- Know how much you are paying them before you connect them to your shop.
- Understand your own profit margin and how many products you need to sell to make that goal monthly.
- Do not invest more than necessary. After all, you are still on a budget.
- Check EACH supplier’s reviews and make sure they are trustworthy.
- Make sure the wholesaler platform is completely compatible with your website.
Private Labelling is using one company to sell another branded item. Amazon is probably the most obvious example of a private labeling retailer but there are plenty more. For instance, when you go to any retail store and decide between two different brands of jeans, you are choosing a private label. In this scenario, the local grocery store is the retailer and the two brands of jeans are the Private Labels.
As you can see, private label brands are popular both online and offline. Private labeling is fueled entirely by branding and the success that your name has over competitors. The question remains, though, is it beneficial for your online phone case business to become a Private Label? Here are the pros and cons of becoming a private label:
Pros of Private Labelling:
- Building a popular brand creates a strong foundation of customer loyalty.
- You have complete control over the quality of each product.
- You have control over your profit margin.
- The customer experience, from advertisement to package and delivery, in addition to the product itself, is under your control.
- You can often provide a better deal and a lower price to your customers, while still maintaining quality.
- Product modification is possible, which helps you keep in good standing with your customers.
Cons of Private Labelling:
- Your word is your bond. Issues that name your private label can ruin your reputation, which will destroy your brand; whether the issue is your fault or not.
- Private labels are at the mercy of their manufacturers. Even if you have a lot of freedom with your manufacturer, the supply and demand can overtake brands. This can be an issue if the brand has no sales, or gets too big, too fast.
- It takes years to establish a brand. There is a lot of upfront costs, between the creation of the product and the branding of the product. The rise to the top with a private label might be more monetary difficult than the brand can currently withstand.
Who is Private Labelling Best For?
Private Labels are great for businesses that have a unique solution to their target market’s problem. That way, you have something to offer customers that no other private label offers. Of course, if that means that you must start your brand alongside other private labels, then so be it. If your private label is truly superior, it will eventually take off. Ultimately, it is important for quality products to have the cash flow necessary to build their brand.
How to start Private Labeling?
Starting a Private Label business is much more than simply creating a shop that sells phone cases (or anything else); it is the opportunity to start a legacy. After all, every widely popular brand started out as a private label. Yet, that brand had something to offer that customers recognized, which enabled it to become an international name. These are the initial steps to make your brand become a private label:
Step One: Decide what you want to sell. With a shortlist of ideas, do some market research to figure out your target audience and the startup funds required. Do not overlook the fact that branding is a key element to private labeling.
Step Two: Plan out the expenses that your research uncovered. Figure out how much you are going to need, long-term, to maintain your business until the name gains traction. Then figure out how to maintain that cost.
Step Three: Decide on what it is that makes your product unique. How does this private label help the target market more than any other with similar products? What is the deciding factor? Put that unique quality into words. Make it the cornerstone of your evolving private label.
Step Four: Design the look and feel of your private label. Design your logo and remember it is going to be on every product under your label. This step is creating the presence of your private label. This is your ownership, your promise of quality and the visual representation of your essence. Own it and be proud of what you are building.
All businesses aim to solve a problem for their target audience. However, custom manufacturing is a much more individualized form of customization. Custom manufacturing takes a product that either could or couldn’t be industrialized and customizes it for the specific customer. This specification can be differences in size, color, personalization, and cost. The most important aspect of custom manufacturing, though, is that the customer is involved in the customization. (For instance, they are picking the color(s), style(s), and/or personalization of the item.)
Pros of Custom Manufacturing:
- Having more to offer clients provides more opportunities for repeat customers.
- Higher price points available, due to customization.
- Reduction in overhead costs due to the quick and efficient sales model.
Cons of Custom Manufacturing:
- Wide range of options makes planning difficult.
- Machinery costs can be high. Additionally, machinery maintenance needs to be considered.
- Customization takes time and precision that can be overwhelming when delays arise.
Who is Custom Manufacturing Best For?
Custom Manufacturing is most successful when the business can afford to offer products exclusively; meaning that the products they offer are all customized or, at least, the products are all the same. Additionally, having a niche market is extremely helpful for custom manufacturing products. (This is why a well-developed and branded online phone case business is perfect custom manufacturing.)
How to start Custom Manufacturing?
Custom Manufacturing your online phone case business takes a little bit of ingenuity. Fortunately, most of the process will require the type of creativity that many entrepreneurs crave. Here are the basic steps to starting a custom manufacturing online phone case business:
Step One: Hire a designer. For this, you can hire someone that you know, or you can explore online options. A few of these options include Fiver, Freelancer.com, Upwork, and Guru. Be careful who you hire, though. Make sure the person has good reviews and has a portfolio of work, throughout different subsets of your niche. After all, you are going to need at least ten designs, available in different colors and compatible with different phones.
Step Two: Find a printer. While it is possible to buy the equipment yourself, that is taking on a lot of extra costs, as well as the potential for errors and delays. Therefore, it is usually a better option, when starting out, to find a printer that you can work with online.
Step Three: With the information you have, figure out exactly what you want to customize. Are you going to customize size and color or are you going to be a fully customizable shop? Being fully customizable means that extra steps, price-points, and partnerships are necessary.
Step Four: Design and launch your products. There is no time like the present and customization of all kinds is big right now. There is a lot of potential. You don’t want to miss out getting in on what is still largely considered the ground floor of online custom manufacturing.
Print on Demand
Print on demand has become increasingly popular throughout a plethora of different industries. There are print on demand (POD) books, t-shirts, hats, mugs, water bottles, and basically any type of SWAG imaginable. Print on demand is getting your designs printed on different merchandise. This can be a business name, or it can be any type of design you wish. If you want to come up with funny sayings, print on demand it. For graphic designers and other artists, print on demand is an awesome outlet. This is especially true when you want to start an online phone case business.
Pros of Print on Demand:
- There is a very low starting cost.
- There is no overhead.
- Room for exponential growth even extends internationally.
- Entrepreneurs can test new products with little monetary risk.
Cons of Print on Demand:
- The profit margin is low.
- Entrepreneurs are at the mercy of suppliers.
- Since print on demand is so affordable, the market is flooded.
- Products could end up being too expensive to become popular.
Who is Print on Demand best for?
Print on demand is best suited for entrepreneurs who wish to add something to their already popular market. However, artists, graphic designers, and other talented individuals can have success with Print on Demand stores. This usually depends on the quality of the designs and the success of the store’s marketing efforts.
How to start a Print on Demand business?
There are a few different resources to help you start a successful Print on Demand online phone case business. Printify, Zazzle, and Printful are just a sample of the many different options that allow users to upload their own designs. After creating your specific POD designs, entrepreneurs can integrate their designs directly into their own online store. Once that is all said and done, you can add your own description and set your desired price. There is not much more than to start your marketing efforts and start collecting on your designs.
However, remember to do your research when choosing your printers. Each printer has its own pricing tiers and specifications. It is important to take all of that into consideration when picking your POD production company.
*Additionally, entrepreneurs should keep in mind that sometimes, the types of business models featured above might overlap at times. For example, some drop shipping models might also include print on demand items. Always keep in mind that your business needs to evolve in its own way. For as close of an eye as you keep on your business, it could surprise you. There are times when the combination of two or more methods might make sense. Use your judgment, of course, but do not discount it. After all, creativity is what makes all these business models work.
Finding your suppliers is essential to set up a trustworthy brand. Fortunately, there are plenty of suppliers that can help you achieve your online phone case business goals.
Every day new suppliers are creeping closer to dominating the market. The more you know about your suppliers and their opponents, the easier it will be to make that crucial decision for your business. Here are some tips for finding the perfect supplier for your product:
Price: While price isn’t everything, money keeps the free market flowing. Thus, it is an essential consideration when researching suppliers. The price-point of the supplier must fall in line with what your customers will pay. Even if you understand the value, it doesn’t mean that value translates easily to your customers. That is why the price of each product, from each supplier, needs to fit into your business plan.
Adversely, that does not mean you should pick the lowest price and offer your customers cheap and efficient products. Rather, this needs to be avoided at all costs; because no amount of money or deal can buy back a reputation.
Quality: This is where the quality of the suppliers comes in. A supplier’s quality Is assessed with the same research methods as the individual product. Use the sales information provided and the testimonials from products to figure out if each supplier is right for you.
You are Not Owned by Suppliers: One of the greatest aspects of working for yourself is that you are not owned by anyone. While you want to create alliances with certain suppliers, you have no obligation to you. Therefore, if they do something you do not like, you can stop using them. It is completely your decision because there are always other options.
Each product selection method has good and bad providers. As the store owner, it is your responsibility to research the product’s manufacturers. Customers are counting on you to offer them only the best and most reliable products. Here are the best ways to ensure you are only selecting the best products for your online phone case business:
Reviews: In this digital world, the best way to gather information about potential products is to study the reviews. Make sure the seller of each of your products is reliable and their quality is commendable. If there are any negative reviews, take them seriously. While one or two less-than-stellar reviews might not completely turn you away from the product, take the customer’s concerns into account.
Timeliness: When you are just starting out, you want to limit your risk. Part of that is ensuring that the products you select manufactured by companies that have fulfilled a lot of orders. That way, you are not taking a chance on a new company, when you are just a new company yourself. You want to align yourself with manufacturers that have a track record of success and timeliness.
Brand Alliance: Again, circle back to the brand goals. (After all, your brand is EVERYTHING!) Understand that each product you bring into your phone case business must align nicely with your brand. If the product does not work with your brand or is irrelevant to your target audience, it is useless to you. In fact, it might even hurt you, because it will confuse customers.
*Shopping online is supposed to be fun. If there is anything about your shop that makes the customer doubt you, even your brand alliance preferences, it will stop them from having fun. That will make them closer to leaving your shop without buying anything.
Creating Your Brand
The creation of your brand is an ongoing evolution. Much like personal relationships, the creation of a brand is never finished. There are always new ideas, promotions, and even core changes that might be good for your business. What is and is not appropriate for your business is completely up to you.
Now, a complete brand overhaul is usually not the best idea, but always be aware of what is available. If you are always looking for ways to improve your initial target audience’s experience and interaction, you are evolving. Change is scary and sometimes detrimental, but evolution and adaptation are essential to survival.
However, that is food for thought as your business grows. Essentially, creating your brand is an exciting process. There are many essential steps to creating your brand that are necessary to take before opening. These steps are important because they solidify your business as legitimate and help protect it
Choosing a domain name
Choosing a domain name can be difficult. Narrowing an entire company down to a few words and then ensuring those words are original can be a harrowing task. Fortunately, if you do some research along the way, you can save yourself a big headache. Here are the steps to choosing a domain name:
Step 1: Choosing a Name:
Choosing the right name for your company can solve a lot of issues later in the brand creation process. There is nothing worse than having to recreate multiple portions of your brand because you couldn’t find a domain name that was compatible with your brand name. Therefore, it is important to choose your business’ name by backing your decision with your domain (and social network) name in mind.
The best way to do this to come up with a shortlist of names that are appealing to your brand identity and your target audience. Narrowing down a list of five to ten names to research should be good.
Here are some qualities of good names:
- The name is short.
- The name is easy to say.
- The name is visually appealing.
Once you have a shortlist, check to see if there are domains and social networks available for each name. A few reliable tools for this search are:
Step 2: Check Name Meaning:
This is usually a rare problem, but it is better to be sure than sorry. Once you know which names are available where, it is time to ensure there is not an undesirable reason. There are a lot of strange meanings out there. It is important to understand the slang and double meanings your name may evoke. Know what you are dealing with and what your customers might think of when they see your name.
Language is also important since an online phone case business can be international. The last thing you want is your name to translate badly in an international market that you are pursuing.
Step 3: Google Search Your Name:
This is another search that should be conducted before you settle on a name for a business. It is a good idea to search the name to see what comes up. Likely, there will be a lot of random results that show up, especially if there is not a public entity. Fortunately, there is nothing wrong with that, if there is nothing offensive or otherwise derogatory. This should not take long but it is important.
Congratulations! You have found a Domain Name! Now, it is time to register your company.
Registering your company
Registering a company such as an online phone case business is usually a simple task. Even though filling out the paperwork can be daunting and sometimes time-consuming, the business creation process is straightforward. Depending on where you live, however, there are different stipulations. Thankfully, this reference guide from SBA explains the process of opening a business.
What if I already have a company?
Serial entrepreneurs are people who maintain more than one business. Sometimes, that means investing in different niches and sometimes, each business has something to do with another. Regardless, if you already have a company, then you are likely venturing into being a serial entrepreneur.
Luckily, if you already have a company, it is likely that you do not have to create another company for your online phone case business. Sometimes, you can have a company that is a subsidiary of another company. This means that your current company will become the parent company for your new online phone case business. However, it is important to understand the legality, as it pertains specifically to your business.
It is important to note, that being a subsidiary company does not lessen the value or success of the company. In fact, there are some companies with parent companies that most of us have never heard of.
Fun Fact: Google has a parent company. Google is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. Even though the parent company’s name is nearly unrecognizable, it is still the brand with the highest global value.
Choosing a Logo
McDonald’s. Apple. BMW. Google.
Chances are, the brand design that comes to mind with these super-successful brands is their associated logo. The reason for this is that the human brain process images 60,000 times faster than it processes words. That is why a logo is more often depicting a picture, rather than relying on a written sentiment to be recognizable.
A logo is the face of the business. Even though the name is important, the pictorial logo is what will likely introduce customers to the brand. Thus, the logo needs to be appealing to the business’ target market. Here are some tips for creating a working, reliable and sustainable logo:
- Your logo should be the embodiment of your brand. That means that even after only a short glance, the logo should impart feelings about your brand and the ideals your brand holds dear.
- Uniqueness and cleverness go a long way. Whether you use a logo-maker program or come up with a logo yourself, uniqueness is important. Yet, you want to make sure that the point is getting across with ease. Thus, you need to be careful of how much you try to cram into a logo.
- Keep it simple and people will respond well. Having a logo that is too busy, colorful, or out there gives off an unorganized vibe. Trying to pack too much meaning and entendre into a logo will turn people off and make the company look desperate. Clean-cut and easy to understand logos are always the best.
- Balance the weight of creativity and simplicity. While there does need to be an element of detail in your logo, adding too much will only make the logo look overwhelming.
Here are a few sites that can help you craft a logo for free:
Creating the website - I'll be using affiliate links here for Shopify
There is one thing that you absolutely cannot forgo when you start an online phone case business and that is creating a website. Fortunately, that no longer requires coding skills of any kind. In fact, Shopify has already most of the work done for you.
Shopify is the leading online retailing platform. The drag and drop, ready-made e-commerce options, it is not hard to understand how it gained its notoriety.
Plus, Shopify is affordable; with the necessities to start an online phone case business pricing out at just $44 per month. This price includes the Shopify monthly price (after a 14-day free trial) and the other essential apps to kickstart a buyer-friendly shop.
Check out the different plans for Shopify to figure out how you want to start your store.
Selecting a premium Shopify theme (affiliate link to premium Shopify themes)
The themes available on Shopify are created to fit any niche. Picking the perfect theme is fun and engaging. Plus, the themes are created in a way that makes them highly customizable. Therefore, if there is something that you do not like about your chosen theme, you are able to recreate it through the user dashboard.
Pick out the perfect theme to start your online phone business today!
Shopify is More than an Online Store
Often, multi-faceted areas of digital businesses seem to come a la carte. This is extremely frustrating, especially for the new entrepreneur. Many digital hosts offer websites but not the online store in the same basic package. Yet, Shopify is different. The whole Shopify brand revolves around helping entrepreneurs create stores for their business. Thus, each tier of their plans includes a robust online store option and website. This includes all the normal pages and functions of a traditional website, with a store and a blog.
Basically, Shopify’s tiered packages are a ready-made system, just waiting for your products and branding.
Buying a Domain Name
Remember that domain name you worked so hard to perfect? Once you set up your Shopify store, it is time to claim that domain and bring it out into the light. This process is quick and easy, with domains being available through Shopify for 14.99 for the year.
However, if you already own your preferred domain, you can simply transfer it over to your Shopify site. The platform makes either option simple and painless.
Why should you get a domain?
When you open a store on Shopify, you will be given a Shopify URL that you can use to access your site. Realistically, you can use this free domain as your domain. If that is what you choose, it will look something like this: https://your-shop-name/myshopify.com
Here are the reasons that you could use it, but you shouldn’t:
Unprofessional: Often, with businesses, especially with new businesses, trust is built in small ways. Investing small amount in a company URL is one of those important ways. Without a normal URL, unencumbered by another company, the business gives off an air of untrustworthiness. The URL is the one thing that the public will see. If you only use the free Shopify URL, your customers will notice and that is never a good thing. After all, if you are unwilling to invest in a professional presentation, why should they invest in your business?
Brand Sharing: Brand sharing in this manner moves your business out of the customer’s field of importance. This is because the customer knows Shopify, they do not know your brand. Therefore, their mind will automatically attach to the brand they already know.
It is one thing to collaborate with a company like Shopify. However, when a business leaves the “myshopify.com” tag on their URL it makes the company look inferior.
It’s Hard to Remember: After working so hard on your name, the last thing you want to do is make your domain name difficult to remember. Shopify-given URLs create long domains, with a lot of abnormal characters. Plus, having a free, randomly generated URL cheapens your brand’s reputation before you have even had a chance to introduce it. For many customers, regardless of what you have to offer, this bad introduction will be the only one they need.
Don’t hinder your band by bogging it down with a sloppy, generic domain name. Take the time to add authority, independence, and brand personality to your URL. The integrity of your brand will thank you.
Marketing and Promotion
Creating your brand and choosing your products is only the first step to start an online phone case business. Once you have decided your brand and settled on your products, it is time to focus on your marketing and promotion strategy.
This is where all your hard work pays off! Remember that person you decided was your ideal target audience? Now, you are going to seek them out. The best way to do that is to be loud and proud with the announcement of your new business. However, there is a method to marketing and promoting, just like there is a method to everything else. These are the main factors you want to consider before launching your brand to the public:
Brand Continuity: It is important to make sure your brand is recognizable throughout each different platform. This means that the name, the logo and the message must flow with undeniable similarity. It would be great to be able to write that the name, especially, should be the same across each platform, to the letter. Although that is ideal, that is not often realistic. While an entrepreneur should try to project their name accurately. When it comes to handles on different social media sites, though, that is not always possible. Therefore, it is important to set the main part of your name as a handle with your full name displayed on the profile page. By doing this, potential customers can find your brand across many different mediums.
A good way to ensure continuity is to have the exact same profile picture on each medium, even if it needs to be resized. Here are a few different online resources to help you resize your logo for different social outlets:
Brand History: While being a new brand is helpful in certain marketing campaigns, you don’t want the business to appear too green. That is why before launching, you want to create some history across your social media platforms and website. Here are the best ways to accomplish this:
Backdate blog posts: Even as a new company, you want to come across as an authority in the field of online phone cases. That is why you want to create some history with your phone case blogs. Write a few blog posts that are backdated a few months. This will give the blog a consistent, reliable feel.
Fill social media profiles and brand feeds: Before launching, make sure you post to your business’ social networks. Adding posts give the audience that will be looking at your profile an introduction of what to expect. Being an online phone case business, your posts are prime real estate through which your product shines. Therefore, the posts must be engaging and enticing. They are the sharable introduction to your brand, so make them shine!
Now that the continuity and history of your brand are solidified, it is time to launch!
There are many ways to launch your store. After all, it is your store and therefore, the opportunities are endless.
Yes, it seems counter-productive, to open a shop only to give items away. However, if you think about it, all shops offer promotions. Even the big box stores have giveaways, coupons and free offers every once and a while. The reason is the relationship you have with your potential customers is give and take; like any other relationship. Offering something, even if it is small, helps your new shop gain traffic.
Sure, people are taking advantage of your deal but the whole shop isn’t free. Offering a few small free items draws people in but that doesn’t mean that is all they are going to buy. This is a great way to upsell products. If someone sees products they like on your store, since they are getting free merchandise anyway, it is easier to convince them to buy something too.
Then, when your quality is good, the person will come back to find more treasures; Thus, you have a returning customer.
The Secret to Giveaways: The secret to giveaways is that you don’t need to actually “giveaway” anything, especially when it comes to goods. While you might not make money on your giveaway, you want to minimize the amount you spend on your giveaway. That is where this secret comes in-require people to pay shipping on all your free products. That way your cost is covered.
Although, this secret is twofold. If you want to truly get the true value of your giveaway, you want to set shipping parameters. Thankfully, Shopify allows for this right in their seller dashboard. Change the pounds of the different free items to reflect a weight-based shipping parameter. For instance, replace the zero-pound weight that is standard with one-pound for all your free items. Then, set the shipping parameters accordingly. That way, customers cannot order all the free phones for one shipping price.
Pro Tip: To sell this tactic even further, make sure that all your paid merchandise is set to free shipping. That way, the tactic is hidden a little and you are not over-charging the customers who choose to buy a product in addition to taking advantage of your store’s promotion.
Social marketing is essential for building a successful online phone case business. Yet, there are so many different social media outlets, it can be difficult to choose which is the best for your company. Here are the three main social media networks to get involved with:
Instagram: For a business that sells aesthetically pleasing goods, Instagram is the most important social network to keep up on. Not only is this the place where people communicate through pictures, influencers are everywhere!
Pro Tip: Contact Influencers in your business’ niche and negotiate terms for them to share a post. This is important because it can help people find your brand, from a source they trust. Plus, this type of exposure will likely result in ROI (return on investment) within minutes of the posting.
Facebook: Facebook is still a great platform for businesses, because of the different tools it offers users. The healthy maintenance of a Facebook page offers validity to online businesses. Yet, it also gives the business another platform to showcase and share its merchandise. If done correctly, Facebook is an invaluable tool for the start of an online phone case business.
Initial success is great. Of course, an entrepreneur needs to kickstart their success before they can seek out a horizon that includes a happy, successful business. However, eventually, a long-term plan is going to be needed. A great start is only building the foundation of success. With an online phone case business, some maintenance is required to keep building your brand’s empire. Here are some parting tips to keep in mind as you continue your entrepreneurial journey:
- Remain true to your brand and your customer community.
- Be consistent with posts, promises, and new releases.
- Maintain a give and take relationship with your customers.
Good luck with starting an online phone case business. It is an amazing journey with endless possibilities.
One thing you can think about after running your business for a period of time is selling it. Flipping Websites is a great resource on flipping online businesses.