Masks have become an integral part of our lives today. Gone are the days when people without masks outnumbered those wearing masks. COVID-19 pandemic is still raging, and we have additional concerns such as rising pollution to deal with. Masks are probably going to be a part of our outfits for some time to come.
As we all know, opportunities lie in the problems. If you are looking to start a new business, selling masks online is certainly one of the options to consider. Before you begin, it does make sense to think if it is worth it. After all, there are probably enough mask sellers online.
Here’s our ultimate guide to selling masks online. We will take a look at the market size numbers and then cover some actionable tips to get started selling masks online.
Market size and opportunities
Masks have been selling everywhere, from local stores to medical shops and of course, online. It is hence hard to arrive at a proper figure. Reports show that the mask market was valued at $66 million (INR 488 Cr) in 2020, and is projected to grow 11% annually till 2025.
Most states still have laws that make it mandatory to wear masks in public. Even in the absence of laws, people choose to wear masks to protect themselves from germs. The mutating nature of the Covid-19 virus is also a cause for concern, which makes the mask requirements change.
All these factors tell us that the industry is certainly set to grow. A lot of consumers look to find good masks that can also reduce the discomfort they face every day.
The mask market is also quite fragmented, with a range of suppliers ranging from large MNCs to MSMEs and even local cooperatives engaged in mask making. But most of these masks still face concerns regarding reusability, comfort, and safety. Still, there is an opportunity in the market for smart businesses to gain from.
How to get started on selling masks online?
So, we know there is a demand. But how should you approach this? What are some of the things to consider before you get started? Let’s take a look.
Check if selling masks online is profitable and sustainable
It is important to consider if the idea of selling masks online is profitable and sustainable. A few things you need to consider are:
- Business model: Think about the model you will follow and the costs involved in the process.
- Pricing: Masks are also price-sensitive items and are only reusable up to a limit. So pricing them too high might not work unless you have great features to offer.
- Cost of production: Having an idea of costs will also help you decide if this is sustainable in the longer run.
Hence, creating a solid business model will help you a lot here. Think about various factors and come up with a business model that will work for you and can be scaled up in the future as the demand for your product grows.
Manufacture or resell?
The next aspect to consider is about manufacturing masks yourself or reselling them under your brand after procuring from other vendors. If you have some special features in mind or want a differentiated product, manufacturing it yourself may be a good option. You can also look at contract manufacturing.
Procuring from vendors and reselling under your brand is, on the other hand, a faster option. You don’t need as much investment as compared to setting up a manufacturing unit.
However, there are other issues to consider, such as quality and timely delivery of products. You may not have direct control, but if you have trust in the vendor, this can be the right way to start selling masks online.
Get into the financials for selling masks online
Here’s the hard part.
You need to do proper financial planning before you get started. Think about your sources of capital.
Will you be doing this on your own? Or will you be doing it with a partner? Once this is clarified, get into some financial projections with the help of a professional to see what you should be doing.
How much can you invest? How much capital will you need? How many resources will you need to hire?
The answers to all these questions can help you make the next step forward.
Select a brand name
Your brand name is a critical part of the process. So, choose a name that reflects the product and also gives your product a distinct identity.
A good brand name is crucial especially in a market such as this where a lot of products are locally manufactured. An identifiable brand name will help you establish a stronger connection with your customers.
There are a variety of masks already available in the market. Having a strong distinction will be important to succeed in selling masks online.
Get the legalities sorted
The next step is to get your company registered and to have the necessary licenses. You will also need to get your GST number and other necessary financial documents to complete the process.
Take the help of a tax professional here. There are several grants and other benefits you can avail yourself of as a business owner, and an experienced professional will help you get this right.
You May Also Like to Read: How to Register Your Business Online for GST?
Do you need a website to start selling masks online?
If you are thinking why is it even a question, think again. A website design takes time and money. You will also have to keep reforming the site and engage the users. Hence, you can also consider alternate options like retail channels, other e-commerce platforms, or even social selling.
On the other hand, opening and managing an online store is a lot easier and simpler. You can create a page for your business on Instagram and Facebook, add a catalog on the page, sell and even market your products. You can also communicate with customers on the same platform. You can definitely try to explore these options well before deciding on building a website.
To enable payments while selling masks online without a website, you can use payment links. These links are easy to generate and you can share them with your customers via email, SMS, or messaging apps to ask for payments online.
Still thinking that you need a website? If you do, there are options to consider. Think about how much you can invest in creating a website. Then figure out ways to get started using platforms like Shopify or WordPress.
These platforms will give you ready-to-use tools that are necessary for an e-commerce website. You can set up a website all on your own or with the help of a professional will make it easier.
Finalize the payment gateway
A payment gateway is necessary to make sure that your customers can transact on your website. There are many payment gateways available today. Make sure that the payment gateway you choose is fast, reliable, easy to use, and above all, safe.
Trust Paytm Payment Gateway – a popular choice amongst the merchants in India for its wide array of payment options and secure, fast checkouts. It is easy to integrate and works smoothly across various platforms.
Look at the delivery fulfillment
Delivery fulfillment is another important piece of the puzzle. Fast and reliable deliveries are necessary to build credibility for your brand and also to convert customers to repeat buyers.
There are quite a few options available for deliveries to start selling masks online. Choose a partner who can cover all the geographical locations you want to target and can ensure the timely and safe delivery of your masks.
Additional tips to selling masks online
Clarify all policies
You need to ensure that all the necessary terms and conditions are mentioned clearly on your website. Since masks are personal use items, returns and refunds may not be ideal. Hence, you need to make the terms clear to avoid issues later.
Don’t make false claims
Having authentic and credible information on the site is vital. Making false claims may give a temporary boost. But if you are unable to deliver what you promise, you will have a lot of unhappy customers to deal with.
Invest in your marketing
Marketing your product is as important as anything else. Invest wisely in marketing your masks across various channels. Use social media effectively, as it is one of the most popular channels for e-commerce sales.
Recommended Read: How to Select Payment Gateway for E-Commerce Business
Selling masks online is an attractive opportunity. The demand is likely to continue due to the pandemic, as well as factors such as increasing pollution. Having a quality product is the key to long-term success, so spend the most time here, to begin with.
Find ways in which your mask can be differentiated from other products in the market. Focus on relevant problems that mask users face today, and address them to start selling masks online.
If you want to build your website, look at platforms like Shopify or WordPress that will help you get started quicker. Focus on the user experience on your site which will help drive conversions. Through a smooth process from discovery to checkout to payment to delivery, you can attract and convert users effectively and sustainably.