Mobile phones have taken over the world. Current projections are that global smartphone users will exceed 4.3 billion by 20231 (over half of the world’s population), with an estimated 8.5 billion mobile connections worldwide.2
You’ll be delighted to hear this if you plan to start a B2B mobile phone case business. Cell phone accessories sales, particularly phone cases, naturally follow mobile phone usage. So, more global users implies a larger addressable market and potentially more money in your pocket.
Reports indicate how the phone case market has grown with surging cell phone use. For instance, sales of phone cases went from 122 million in 2007 to more than 1.5 billion units in 2021,3 and the market continues to grow by 5.4% annually.4
The industry is ripe for entry, and in this guide, we’ll explain exactly how to sell mobile phone cases online profitably.
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Mobile phone cases represent a $21.8 billion opportunity in 2022.5 Expert research indicates that the market enjoys high growth potential, and its 5.6% annual growth rate implies a value in excess of $32 billion by 2029.5
While North America and Europe enjoy impressive digital penetration rates, markets in Asia are seeing greater market demand and potential. Countries like China, India, Malaysia, and Singapore are growing exponentially. India had over 1.18 billion mobile connections in 2021,5 with a local case industry growth rate of 2.6% between 2014 and 2020.6
The phone case industry is influenced by the growing demand for smartphones and other futuristic hand-held devices. Smartphones tend to be susceptible to damage from scratches, falls, and the wear and tear of daily use, so people use protective phone cases.
Additionally, smartphone prices have generally seen exponential increases within the past decade. As of 2022, the average price of a cell phone is about $200, compared to $92 in 2007.7 High-end devices like the iPhone 13 frequently cost over $1,000.8 Users employ protective phone cases to preserve their investment and prolong the life span of these devices.
Protective phone cases are not the only type in the market though. Other phone case types include:
The short answer is yes, and that’s mainly due to the self-sustaining nature of the market. Consider this: users will likely need a new case for every new phone model a manufacturer releases. Since manufacturers release new models practically every year, there’s often new business yearly.
Besides, with growing digital penetration rates globally, more people are becoming mobile yearly. Therefore, the addressable market is constantly growing, and every new phone user is one more potential client for you.
Added to this, starting an online business selling phone cases brings the following benefits:
Overall, mobile phone cases present an excellent business opportunity. Just as buyers are constantly searching for nicer and more sustainable cell phone covers, retail businesses want to be able to offer consumers better deals and products. Your B2B e-commerce store can step in to provide the products they need.
With a better appreciation of the opportunity in the phone case industry, you’re in a great position to plot a profitable entry.
Like any other business, you want to properly chart your objectives for the venture and strategies for success. Creating a business plan will help clarify core points such as your product choices, sourcing options, and selling tactics.
A business plan will also help you identify where the best opportunities lie in the industry, where to find potential customers and the likely return on your investment. Here are the most important steps and factors to consider as you begin your B2B phone case venture.
Proper market research helps lay the foundation for a successful enterprise. It is vital to learn the lay of the industry, current consumer preferences, and market prospects. This information will help shape your strategies and help you learn early if you have what it takes to succeed.
You can begin your market research by researching broad industry trends and prospects. Learn the trending products, where the major consumers live, and what your competition looks like.
For example, phone case vendors typically focus on certain phone brands due to their universal appeal. Products like Apple’s iPhone and Samsung are global products with fans worldwide. Additionally, consumers and, therefore, vendors are often partial to the latest models of these devices. So, for iPhones, you’ll frequently see greater demand for models X to 13.
Tools that can help in your market research include Google Trends, Keywords Everywhere, Ubersuggest, and industry reports. Google Trends and Keywords Everywhere will let you know what consumers are interested in, allowing you to find great product ideas.
With your market research done, you now have a better feel for the industry and are set to take the next step – product selection. The information you learned from surveying the market will let you know what gaps exist and how you might fill those gaps.
There are numerous sub-categories within the phone case industry that you can explore. For example, you might see an unmet demand for more hi-tech cases that offer greater utility than mere protection.
Or you might discover that there’s greater demand for sustainable and green phone cases. Items made of wood, biodegradable plastic, and other earth-friendly materials currently enjoy growing market share.5
Whatever you choose, be sure to specialize in a niche that offers products people want to buy and which you can sell to them.
No matter what niche you’ve chosen – whether purely protective, aesthetic, or earth-friendly cases – a great design is key. Phone case design doesn’t just relate to how the case looks. It also includes the shape, feel, and function of the product.
If you’re going with silicone gel cases, you might only need to work with a designer to create an alluring look. You’ll also want to ensure the case has a good grip and doesn’t affect the phone’s cooling ability.
But if you plan for complex cases with advanced features like extra batteries or magnetic charging, you’ll need additional technical assistance with your designs. An experienced professional, such as an electrical engineer, can inspect the model to ensure the phone works as intended.
How do you go about creating the designs? There are three broad options:
Next up is the task of manufacturing or sourcing your products.
At this stage, you’re concerned first with producing the phone cases from their base material, whether that’s plastic, silicone, rubber, leather, wood, or paper. Then you’ll move to include any special features, such as attached batteries, and conclude the process by printing visual designs on the case.
There are also several options to explore here, depending on the size and scale of your operation.
The final step is to determine where and how you wish to sell. Of course, running a B2B phone case business online means owning a digital store where you find and sell to customers. You might decide to start your store by creating an e-commerce website or opening a digital storefront on an online marketplace.
Here’s how these options compare:
You might also consider hybrid solutions in e-commerce hosting platforms. While they support you with critical backend infrastructure and engaging web designs, you’ll be responsible for copywriting and customer fulfillment.
With a B2B mobile phone case business, you’re entering into one of the hottest industries around. But achieving success still takes a lot of work. To increase your chances of thriving in this market, consider applying these tips to your business.
You have a great product and are certain that your clients (and the final consumers) will love them. But if you don’t showcase that value, no one will know. Well-written product descriptions are an excellent way to communicate the benefits of your product.
With a well-chosen title, clean product pictures, and a readable description, you’ll not only show buyers what makes your product different; you’ll get them well on the way to making a purchase.
While phone case sales offer significant margins, they’re not high ticket items. So you’ll need to rack up the considerable volume to generate more sales and higher profit. There are various ways to do this using common (and creative) marketing tactics.
For example, you can use social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn to identify and engage with businesses that would be interested in your product. Then you can employ account-based marketing to pursue and land the biggest clients for your company.
Paid ads on these sites also help present your business to potential high-value clients, increasing your chances of lucrative sales.
Consumers love freebies, and so do business clients. Incentives like discounts, free shipping, lower minimum order quantities, or free samples can help turn a skeptical lead into a paying customer.
It’s worth keeping a close eye on these incentives, though. Too many or overly generous incentives can eat into your profits and make it harder to succeed with your business. It’s best to find a sweet spot between attractive incentives that reel in customers and freebies that compromise your business.
Due to the aftershocks of COVID and enduring supply chain difficulties, business costs are evolving daily. As your fledgling phone case business finds its feet, working to reduce operational costs can give your business the room it needs to succeed.
Leverage flexible operating models like dropshipping and print-on-demand services to keep costs low and operations nimble. If you’re running a larger operation, using logistics solutions like Alibaba Freight can be a way to throttle logistics costs and drive down expenses.
Lastly, make customer satisfaction your primary objective. View your entire value chain through the lens of your clients and work to create a seamless and engaging process for them.
Provide comprehensive client support at every stage of the buyer process, from initial inquiry to final delivery and post-order procedures. B2B customers love sellers who look out for them. They will reward you with fierce loyalty when you prioritize their business needs.
Overall, the cell phone case market presents compelling opportunities for sellers who want to enter a high-growth industry. The industry provides flexible entry options, and its potentially low overheads and attractive profit margins mean sellers can get set up quickly.
Of course, one implication of the relatively low barriers to entry is the likelihood of numerous competitors. But that’s where Alibaba.com can make the difference for your business. As the world’s largest B2B marketplace, Alibaba.com is home to millions of buyers looking to connect with dependable suppliers.
With the dedicated sales tools the platform provides sellers, Alibaba.com makes it easy to attract high-quality leads and comprehensively satisfy them. Would you like to experience the benefits of a digital storefront on Alibaba.com? Then, open a seller account today!