These days, practically everyone relies on their mobile phone, and they have become an essential part of our daily lives. From kids to grandparents, it’s hard to find someone who isn’t checking their mobile phones every once in a while–if not all the time.
Because of this, a phone case is something that hardly any mobile phone owner can get by without. So for those keen to explore this popular market, the following guide will offer a step-by-step breakdown of what you need to know in order to start your own phone case business.
Why start a phone case business?
Financial concern is listed as one of the top three, if not the number one challenge that a new startup may encounter. As such, some may suggest holding out till one’s finances are in order before starting a business. But there are low-risk and low-cost ventures that aspiring entrepreneurs can use to gain experience, and the phone case business is just such an endeavor.
Depending on the target audience and target models to focus on, the inventory cost can be flexible and easy to control since it is generally not a high-cost item, and given its small size and light weight, both shipping and inventory maintenance costs are also relatively lower.
The comparably lower barrier to entry in the phone case market is however in stark contrast to its high potential growth, led by ever-increasing global mobile phone sales. Almost 80% of the world’s population used smartphones at of the end of 2020, and better yet, a survey revealed that people tend to upgrade or change their mobile phones approximately once in a two-year time window.
Aside from the financial factors, however, perhaps the most alluring part of a phone case business is the personalization and custom design opportunities that come with it. Thanks to advances in software and printing technologies, one can virtually incorporate any design inspirations into one’s product range. And this customizable approach leads to products that can be marketed easily over social media and websites, which allows multiple sales channels–including both online and offline–to boost one’s reach and appeal.
What to consider before launching the business
In terms of how to start a phone case business, there are certain preparations one must make before jumping into the design and production phases.
The first step is a business plan that should act as a guideline for the business, covering an executive summary of the business, business/company structure, and budgetary and marketing plans. This should include a business name, the organizational structure, and a business model even if it is only a sideline project as a start.
The business plan should also include a marketing strategy with action plans on sales and marketing channels. A well-thought-out business plan may also cover the necessary legal requirements if any.
In addition to this, two specific considerations for a phone case business are the case materials and phone models to focus on. This requires market research, which should help to pinpoint the target audience and market gaps, in accordance with the particular niche market that one aspires to appeal to.
For example, in terms of material, as a general rule of thumb, the lighter the material, the easier and faster it is to get printed. This translates to faster production and easier stocking. Meanwhile, on decisions regarding which mobile phone brands and models to concentrate on, global mobile phone market statistics offers insights into which brands and models may be worth focusing on.
In short, thinking through all of these points before launching your own phone case business will ensure that you are entering the market in a well-prepared and focused manner, which will significantly improve your chances of success.
Sourcing the right products
Cost is an important factor when deciding on a business supplier. In fact, sourcing well priced products may be what makes or breaks your business model, depending on one’s price or the promotion strategy. For instance, a low-cost transparent phone case, as shown in the picture below, could be a great choice for anyone who is launching a phone case business that prides itself on offering good bargain products, rather than designs or specialty.
And of course, despite being highly cost-conscious and emphasizing affordable cases, one can still add more varieties in stock choices by providing some bright colored and highly affordable TPU phone cases, instead of the totally transparent sample mentioned above. Some of these colorful low price mobile phone cases come with price tags similar to their transparent counterparts.
A quick point on materials: TPU and silicone are both popular choices, with silicone feeling soft and rubbery, while TPU is a type of plastic. TPU does contains some soft elements though, which make it highly elastic as well, and there are many flexible soft TPU phone cases available on the market. On the other hand, in terms of cost, TPU is slightly cheaper than silicone, while both are generally recognized as easy to maintain with a long lifespan.
For those who are aiming to establish a sustainable, trustworthy, and long-term brand with a high return on investment in mind, a quality-oriented inventory policy may be the best approach. In the phone case business, the definition of quality is hugely centered around the protection a phone case can provide, on top offering a high-quality design, build, and finish.
The above is an example of a protective case. This type of phone case normally comes with elaborated protective features. For example, this luxury shockproof mobile phone case comes with a built-in cushioning airbag and a full-rounded non-slip design. On top of being shockproof, some of these elegantly designed mobile phone covers also go the extra mile to provide waterproof and magnetic support.
Also, a sophisticated-looking package may help to enhance the aesthetic aspect of the goods and further boost sales for those who aim to sell phone covers in the premium, high-quality market segment.
Supplier sourcing for phone cases may be the most straightforward for anyone who does not think about their product’s marketing position from a price or quality perspective but instead with some striking, creative design ideas in mind. Instead of ordering pre-made or widely printed phone cases that are readily available on the market, people with their own business ideas can either check out phone cases that allow customizable designs or look into DIY printing possibilities, especially the popular sublimation printing technology.
The invention of sublimation printing is a game changer for the design world. It is a printing technique that uses heat and ink, allowing the designs to be quickly transferred to almost any clean and clear surface with sublimation coatings. The simple process basically requires the design to be first printed onto a sublimation paper (acting as a transfer paper) and once it is heated, inks are converted to gas and then embedded on the ready-to-receive sublimation coated surface.
For this approach one may need to look up sublimation printers, which fortunately come with great wholesale level prices nowadays, as well as sourcing sublimation-ready phone cases that are suitable to be printed on directly. In addition to being blank cases that are DIY printing-capable, these sublimation phone cases are often equipped with quick online design tools that allow the wholesalers to create some previews for their designs. Before committing to any bulk orders, wholesalers may also request some sample cases with their desired designs printed to get a feel for the material and printing quality.
Mobile phones have become an essential part of our everyday lives. As this happens, the accompanying accessories, such as chargers and phone cases, have become indispensable too. Price, quality, and design are the three key factors to consider for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to enter this market. And by leveraging the vast collection of phone cases available on Alibaba.com, interested business owners may capitalize on the steadily increasing demand for mobile phones to build a target-driven, one-of-a-kind phone case business that appeals to customers worldwide.