In the cell phone accessory and repair business, an industry where so many business owners are struggling to find a competitive advantage, it can be very difficult to set yourself apart. Here are 8 definitive ways to beat the competition and stand out from the crowd.
In most regions of the United States, the cell phone accessory and repair business has reached a point of saturation. With more than a handful of phone case kiosks in every major mall across the country in addition to stand-alone retail locations, the challenge at hand for business owners is how to create a sustainable competitive advantage in the cell phone accessory and repair industry. Here’s how.
8 Ways to Differentiate Your Cell Phone Accessory and Repair Business
1. Unique Phone Case Offerings: How common is it that you walk through your local mall and look at the different cell phone case kiosks and you feel like you’re seeing the same products over and over again? The number one, most effective way to beat your competition is by being different. Business is all about creating your sustainable competitive advantage, the reason that customers will want to come to you over your competitors. Offer something that your competitors don’t have. Think outside of the box and go beyond your local phone case wholesaler and discover something that’ll truly make your business different from the rest. Search for new phone case companies online and contact them about being a wholesaler in your area. Think long-term and look at where the trends are going. Our clients have been having incredible success with offering custom phone cases to their clients by purchasing our Startup Kit.
2. Having Superior Products: If the phone cases you offer are better than those of your competitors, this will give you a huge leg up on your competition. When consumers are actively spending $200 – $800 on the latest iPhone or Samsung smartphone, it makes sense that they’re willing to pay $20 – $60 or more for a cool, protective phone case that will make sure they don’t break their phone if it’s dropped. The rapid success of the Life Proof case has demonstrated that consumers are readily willing to pay $90 for a case that’ll protect their device from water damage, in addition to making it shock proof. In the end you have to remain competitive, so if someone else near you is offering a similar phone case, you’re forced to be competitive on price.
3. Competitive Prices: This is probably the first thing that most cell phone accessory business owners think of when they think of how they can compete. Be competitive on price, but do so in a unique way that no one else is. Instead of slashing your prices across the board and hoping for increased volume on your smaller margins, offer an incentive for a customer to buy multiple cases or want to grab their friend and get them to buy one too. The 1 for $25 or 2 for $40 deal is legendary for a reason, it’s very successful at increasing your transaction value. Be willing to take a risk and try something your competition wouldn’t do.
4. Creative Marketing and Store Design: So many business owners in the cell phone accessory industry make the mistake of thinking their business has to be a boring one based on just selling high volumes of phone cases with low margins. That’s simply not true. The way you present your business and display it to potential customers is just as important as the products you’re offering. Take Apple for example, they owe much of their success in to how seriously the company takes their marketing, brand image, store layout, business processes, and every little detail down to how fine-tuned the customer’s experience is when visiting an Apple Store. By making their business cool to the consumer, they win over countless customers and convince them to pay considerably higher prices for comparable products they could get in many other places. Make your cell phone accessory business cool and you’ll instantly attract more interested customers.
5. Adding New Selling Channels: Finding new ways and places to sell your cell phone accessories or repair services can mean the difference of life or death in this industry. By simply finding local fairs, craft shows, gift shows, swap meets, or pop-up shops that are a good fit for you to enter into, you’ll be able to increase your revenue and move higher volumes of cases, especially if you’re offering unique cases. During the month of September 2013, Case Escape had a team at the LA County Fair where we generated over $16,000 in additional revenues that we otherwise would not have had. That’s an average of $4,000 per week in revenue, on top of the business we were already doing at the time. By picking up spots at local swap meets and craft fairs, you’ll be able to experience some of the same results or better.
6. High Margins: Selling only products that give you high margins is obviously preferred to selling those which have lower margins and you need to sell more of to even make your money back. Don’t just settle for what your local case wholesale supplier is offering you in terms of price and product offering, negotiate with them, buy in larger quantities to get price breaks, or find different phone cases to sell to your customers. Case Escape clients are buying cases from us at wholesale for $5.00 – $6.00/ea & less and selling their custom phone cases at retail for $20 – $30, netting them an average of a 400% Margin on each case sale. Compared to normal phone case wholesale prices that are 2 – 4 times more expensive and don’t offer anything truly unique to your customers, this is a truly unique opportunity.
7. Selling Phone Cases Online: Selling phone cases online is no new concept, and businesses have been doing this since the emergence of this industry. While it’s difficult to compete on price with manufacturers that are selling their cases direct-to-consumer on eBay or Amazon for just a few dollars, there are incredible opportunities to reach consumers with unique case offerings through social media eCommerce websites the likes of Pinterest, Fancy.com, and Etsy.com that favor a highly photo-centric and artsy products. There’s an art in how to sell phone cases online, and you’ll find that consumers are willing to pay much more for a product that is perceived as cool and socially popular. Click here to learn how I increased product sales by over 2,000% by selling phone cases on Fancy.com.
8. Don’t Join a Franchise: Joining a phone case franchise is a quick way to get locked into unreasonably high wholesale prices, non-compete clauses, and restrictive business practices. Sure there are definitely some legitimate benefits such as easy access to already formatted marketing materials, signage, branding, a recognizable name, and training – all things that’ll save you time and effort in the short term. But the most important part of owning your own business, the ability to be unique and make yourself different from your competitors is completely eliminated once you buy into a phone accessory franchise. You lose the ability to sell anything other than the standard product offering that our franchisor puts on the menu, and most importantly you get locked into prices the likes of $10 – $15 per case at wholesale. You won’t have to spend your time looking for phone case suppliers to stock your shelves, but you will be paying a heavy premium for this by being in a franchise. End the end, this route leaves you with crappy margins that you can only hope to sell high volumes on to even make your money back.
Customized phone cases are growing in popularity every day, be a part of the future and get in on this market before it’s too late. Click below to check out Case Escape’s Startup Kit Information Guide and pick up your $15.00 Sample Pack today.