Personalized phone cases - how to manage variety and reduce returns

Christoph Clermont
 | 
9/22/2022

Huge demand, simple product - selling mobile phone cases means playing it safe if you are using the right solution. Read more about how flexible documents will help you to manage a vast number of layouts and how you will solve the troublesome text issue with a solution that shows text in the browser exactly the way it´s printed.

Did you know that there are more mobile device connections on the globe than actual people? A total of 8.65 billion in 2021 is certainly a staggering number! Billions of mobile phones mean billions of users and for the vast majority of them their smart phone is by far their most important electronic device.

Selling mobile phone cases sounds like a safe bet. There´s demand. They are easy to source. And thanks to their small size they are also easy to stock and ship. In addition, they provide great upselling potential through personalization with customer photos and individual layouts. Last but not least, new business is almost guaranteed. 46% of US smart phone users upgrade to a new model at least every two years.

Personalized phone cases

In this experience users will be able to configure a number of phone case designs with their own photos and text messages or create their own layouts from scratch. By selecting a smart phone model all designs will automatically adapt to the respective sizes.
Try out phone case sample

A wide range is key but also comes at a cost

A web shop for phone cases may look like a simple business but the devil is, as always, in the details. Smart phones come in an abundant variety of sizes. Each new generation will not only slightly differ in width and height, but also the position and size of the camera changes. With a fully-fledged phone case business, you will have to deal with dozens and dozens of case shapes including regular updates.

And that is just half the challenge. To set yourself apart from the competition customer choice is crucial. There are vendors that sell a thousand different models, each with a different design. Next up, you will have to cater for all the layout elements that can be personalized by the customer such as photos and fonts.

Flexible documents can do the trick

As you can imagine you will end up with a huge number of documents that need to be displayed online, altered by the customer and made available for print. That´s why you should definitely look out for a solution with excellent resource management. Some of the available systems actually offer a good solution for the variety problem. They give you the ability to introduce adaptable documents that automatically fit the size of multiple products. This can greatly relieve the pressure on designers who will no longer have to cater for hundreds of documents and can instead focus on creating more great layouts. Of course, these kinds of flexible documents will not only help you when it comes to phone cases but also with all products with multiple aspect ratios.

Phone case configured online

Solving the text issue helps to reduce returns

Returns remain a big challenge for any online business. There are, of course, a multitude of reasons why customers may be unhappy. For personalized gift vendors there is one especially delicate issue. If the design that a customer has created on the web does not match the look of the shipped product disappointment is almost guaranteed. Text has proven to be the biggest reason for complaints because the fonts usually look different in the browser and on the printed product.

That is why many vendors have resorted to a dedicated approval process and ask customers to confirm a PDF preview of the print document. Usually, typical online shoppers tend to be sloppy, simply click without noticing and then show up at your customer service anyhow when the product arrives and doesn´t match what they have seen in the shop. Of course, no one can afford an unhappy customer and a bad review.

So even with an approval method in place there will still be many returns. Unless… you are using a solution that shows text in the browser exactly the way it is printed on the product. Printess has indeed this capability! And speaking of print output, with Printess you will also be using a solution that supports spot colors and color management. That will save you and your printer a couple of additional worries.

Samples included The sample template you find on this page is also part of the Printess license. You may use it as a simple basis to develop your own products, or as an inspiration for your designers.

Learn more, get in touch Find out more about Printess - your solution for design, publishing, configuration and production of personalized gifts. Call us at +49 337 66 469 886, send an e-mail, or register for our free trial right away.