If you're looking to start a business, selling cell phone accessories isn't such a bad way to go. The business is lucrative and can provide many benefits for you down the line - especially with profitability and scaling.
Below, we'll provide a quick picture of the Indian smartphone market and share tips on how you can begin selling mobile phone accessories:
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Today, most people who look to start businesses tend to look for lucrative areas that deliver high returns in the shortest time. To make that work, you will need a large customer base and products that are always in demand.
This is why the mobile accessories business in India is booming. Wireless telecom subscribers in India crossed 1 billion people in 2020.1 Smartphone penetration rates in the country also hit 42 percent in 2020, with estimates claiming that the levels could very well climb up to 511 percent by 2025. Along with countries like Nigeria, India is rising in terms of mobile penetration.2
For mobile phones, companies like Xiaomi, Realme, Samsung, Vivo, and Oppo are top-rated in India, thanks to their entry-level and mid-priced mobile phones. In the mobile accessory market, international brands like Samsung, Philips, Realme and Xiaomi are popular. Local brands are also emerging; the most popular are ICCON, Zebronics, Portronics, Mivi, Syska and Boat.
With so many people using mobile devices, there is a large market for cell phone accessories in India. The mobile accessories market has been growing at an annual rate of 10.5%; analysts expect it to reach a market size of USD 3.54 billion by the end of 2024.3
This is why starting a cell phone accessories business isn't such a bad idea. You can sell products to a broad customer base that has increasingly more disposable income to spend. Mobile accessories are fast becoming a fashion statement for the style-conscious young Indian consumer.
Now that you've decided to sell mobile phone accessories, here are some of the most critical steps you need to consider:
As it is with anything you're looking to sell, you've got to consider the market and the people who will be using it in the first place. Market analysis will save you a great deal as you work towards your mobile accessories business, and there's a lot to cover in this regard.
First off, you should know that there will be several competitors in the cellphone accessories business. There's always room for another player in the mobile phone accessories business, and you simply need to be careful.
Check to see what your competitors are selling and try to find something to set yourself apart. Keep on top of the latest trends and preferences by researching what people are discussing on social media. Identify the key social influencers for the mobile phone accessories business. They will give you quick insight into the latest trends and styles.
You could also distinguish yourself based on services. Consider providing after-sales services to your customers, such as installation and maintenance of these mobile accessories. Whatever you need to set yourself apart from the others, go for it.
Now that you understand what you'll sell or provide as an after-sales service, you need to move on to where you would like to set up.
The exciting thing about the location is that it doesn't necessarily need to be physical. If you open a physical store, you know you have to consider where the market will fit you the most and how you want to access your customers. However, if you would like your own store to be online, you also need to consider the same thing. Most of the time, online accessory businesses tend to serve a segment of the Indian market, but this segment tends to be at the upper end of the market. You could find platforms like Flipkart that are famous in India and list your products there.
Whatever you choose, the critical factor has to be your proximity to the market. The right location will get you more proximity to your target market. You want to get people who need these mobile accessories, so you can start selling and increase your profit margin soon enough.
Most experts will recommend opening an online store so that you can get access to a broader customer base. Many people own mobile phones in India, and data shows that the country's e-commerce market has grown significantly over the past year. Selling online is almost necessary for any business looking to scale quickly, so you might want to consider it.4
If you decide to go physical, you might want to consider opening a shop or kiosk at a mall. Shopping malls and other public places attract thousands of people daily, and there's a significant chance that one of them would like to purchase mobile accessories. So, perhaps setting up here will be the best bet for you.
Finding and nurturing capital is one of the most critical parts of starting a mobile phone accessories business. After all, you can't do anything without money. At this stage, you probably have a fair idea of how much you will need to start your business and get it off the ground. So, it's time to consider how you'll get the funds in the first place:
The first point of contact will have to be your personal savings. If you've got some money in hand, you could get it together and use it to start the business.
One of the best parts about having your own money is that it saves you from stress and obligations. You don't have to spend so much time thinking about how you'll turn a profit or what could happen if the business doesn't do as well as you expect. You also don't need to pay any interest or give up ownership of your business.
If you've got any friends or family members who believe in your vision and would like to partner with you, then you're in luck. Their input should go a long way in keeping your business afloat, and you can quickly negotiate better terms with them.
Some people might want an ownership stake in your business or simply invest in the hope of getting a return. The familiarity and speed of getting things done make this option much easier than approaching a bank or a corporate lending business.
The truth is that unless you've got a boatload of money, you won't be able to finance your cell phone accessories business on your own. Even if you decide to sell on an online platform and you don't want to open a physical store, services like Amazon, eBay, and more will require that you pay for hosting your business on their platforms.
All in all, there is a significant chance that you will need some help with capital. This is where a business loan could come in. You could approach a bank and submit paperwork to apply for a simple small business loan. While the process might take a while, you will at least get some reasonable rates. Also, tenures for paying these loans back are usually generous. So, you get benefits all around.
Credit loans are also quite impressive. They provide much quicker loan guarantees, so you can access the money you need and start selling your mobile accessories much quicker. However, interest rates on credit loans are usually higher, and their tenures are generally shorter.
If you're looking to start a cell phone accessories business, you will need a license. You need to check with government agencies and the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to know the licenses you will need to start your business.
You should also know that you might need different licenses based on your business structure. The permits for a solo business and a partnership aren't the same. However, some things need to be present nonetheless. These include:
● You will have to register your business under the Shop and Establishment Act. Note that this is only if you want to open a physical shop.
● You need to get a GSTIN if you plan to make sales of over ten lakhs annually or if you wish to make inter-state sales.
● A trader's license will also be required
● You'll need to register with the Income Tax Department to get a permanent account number (PAN)
When you have these, you can move on to considering what you need for your business. If you are new to the industry, consider getting a business consultant to help you out.
The next step will be to find an accessories supplier. This is very important - your choice of a supplier will determine how effective your accessory business is.
The first thing you need to consider when getting a supplier is their reputation. Choose a supplier known for having high-quality products at all times. This way, you know that they can be trustworthy. Remember that whatever you get from the supplier is what you will be able to sell. So, if they don't have high-quality products and your customers only get the low-quality stuff from you, there is a significant chance that your customer base will erode quickly.
Items like mobile covers and USB cables are significantly affected by this. When people buy cables from sellers and see that they are of low quality, they won't want to patronize them anymore.
You also want to consider getting a local supplier. These people can provide what you need more quickly and at low prices. So, you can increase your profit margin even more.
You need to keep in mind that the mobile market never stays the same; it is constantly evolving. The mobile phone industry continues to update regularly with new products and techniques. For instance, everyone is going wireless now, as opposed to running with cable technology. There was a time when this was thought to be almost impossible.
The point is this; consider the products that are making waves now and doing the best numbers. Invest in those and get them because they're the ones in high demand. You don't want to get stuck with a blocked inventory.
With the impact of COVID in India, consider how this is changing consumer demand for mobile accessories. Power banks were the most in-demand accessory but, today, with more people working remotely, there is less demand for power banks.
Instead, look into something else – consider mobile accessories as fashion items, people like bright colors. There is increasing demand for Bluetooth speakers and earphones, and wireless chargers.
Mobile video consumption is exploding in India.5 Thanks to Jio, the cost of data in India is lower than anywhere else globally; low-cost data has fueled the explosion in mobile video consumption. Consider mobile accessories that enhance the user experience of this growing trend. Items like mobile screen enlargers or mobile stands are very much in demand today.
Marketing is another critical aspect that you will need to focus on. No business survives without effective marketing, and you need a system to help get your name out there. If you run an online store, then there's an even greater marketing need for you.
You will need to get on social media to market yourself. India has 624 million internet users and 448 million social media users.6 The number of social media users increased by 21% between 2020 and 2021. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms have made it convenient for businesses to market themselves and get exposure. Using the power of the internet, you could connect with someone on the other side of India who needs mobile accessories. Get your products to them, and you've made a sale!
Beyond social media marketing, you can also take advantage of platforms like Google AdWords and YouTube. YouTube is the most popular social media platform in India, with 425 million monthly active users. Video is a great way to stand out from the crowd and build a brand in India.6
No, you don't. Thanks to the power of the internet and e-commerce, it is now easier to open an online store and start selling your products from the comfort of your home. Indiamart, eBay, Flipkart, Amazon, Shopify, and many more are platforms where you can sell online.
Currently, mobile phone users prefer to get earphones and chargers. However, items like pop sockets, selfie sticks, phone cases, and covers are growing in popularity. But trends and fashions change rapidly in this market; you should always try to keep on top of new trends.
There's no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Usually, the loan size will depend on how much you're looking to make and the scale of your business. Most experts will recommend that you start on a small scale and move upwards from there.
If you set up your business online, yes, you can. One of the benefits of running an online cell phone accessories business is that you can access foreign clients and get the network you need to sell to them. Everything is much easier with an online platform.
Automation is another benefit that you get when you sell online. With platforms like Shopify and Amazon, it is easy to automate your sales and get more freedom to see other parts of your business. You can set up your own website, allow the service to help you handle the sales, and achieve greater flexibility.
From the above, it seems pretty evident that selling online is the key to unlocking your potential if you have a mobile accessories business. An online store provides you with several impressive benefits, as well as the opportunity to grow and become much more flexible.
To wit, your business will benefit a great deal from having a spot on Alibaba.com. Over the years, Alibaba.com has grown to become the largest online platform for b2b businesses. With this platform, you can reach customers worldwide and get exporters to help you expand your business.
Alibaba.com will also help you with logistics and other critical parts of the supply chain, ensuring that you can run your business smoothly and get to sell to a broader customer base.