IntroductionCustom face mask became a trend, after the first outbreak of the Coronavirus (a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus) in December 2019. We all know how the Covid-19 cases rapidly increased all over the world, and how there is currently no cure or vaccine for it.
Along the line, some measures were put in place by the World Health Organization to curb the spread of coronavirus, among which was wearing a face mask. According to them, “The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes”. Therefore, wearing a face mask was seen as a very effective way to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
Ever since then, there’s been a high demand for face masks, and businesses have indulged in its production, even big fashion businesses like Burberry, Versace, Gucci, and the likes are selling it. But if a lot of businesses are selling it, what is the way to stand out? CUSTOMIZATION!
According to an ebook on SpringerLink,
“product customization can be defined as producing a physical good or a service that is tailored to a particular customer’s requirements”.
People love things made for them, imagine giving your customers the ability to customize their face mask, to change the pattern or color, to be able to write their names on it, everyone will love that. So if you are looking for the best way to stand out in this fast-rising business, customization is the way.
Invesp says that;
“61% of online marketers understand the importance of personalizing online shopping, but about 51% of them are not sure how to implement it.”
This article will not only teach you where to get the materials for your nose mask business, how to produce your face mask, and how to set up your store.
You will also learn how to build a face mask configurator that will enable your customers to personalize their products before purchase.
In planning a custom face mask business, either online or onsite, production comes first. For production options, you can either make them yourself or buy from third-party producers. If you go with the option of making the masks yourself, you need to be conversant with how to procure resources such as fabric and filter types. Also, you need to understand various production techniques.
The first thing you need to get right is your material; no matter how perfect you know how to sew the face mask and how beautiful it comes out, the material determines the durability of the face mask.
Any material that will be used for the production must be a material that has been tested and proven to protect people from coronavirus. It will be harmful and wrong to sell beautiful face masks that protect no one! While thinking about a material that protects, breathability must be put into consideration because, if the material is suffocating no one will wear it.
According to a research published by ResearchGate;
“The best fabric for face masks are cotton t-shirts, pillowcases, or other cotton materials, all which is gotten from cotton.”
Cotton has been proven to be the best material for a face mask that protects people from coronavirus and still makes breathing easy.
Below are online stores from which you can buy quality and affordable cotton fabric that is best for a face mask. These online stores deliver to anywhere in the world!
DIFFERENT STYLES OF FACE MASK
The next step in planning your custom face mask business, after gathering all the materials you need for production, is to define the styles you want to offer. There are different types of styles and shapes of face masks but here are the most common styles;
A cloth face mask with a breathing valve is seen as the best face mask that follows the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines. A filter increases the effectiveness of a nose mask by filtering out particulates and makes breathing easier
Here is the tutorial on how to make this face mask ; How to sew a face mask that has filter
3D face mask:
The 3D face mask style is a folded style, because of the style it sits off your face giving you room to breathe and is seen as the most comfortable. And it’s also the most suitable for people who wear glasses as it prevents steam from going up to their glasses.
Here is a tutorial on how to make 3D nose mask; How to sew a 3D mask in 4 minutesThe recommended guideline for mini pleated face mask production defines pleated face mask as a face mask comprising mini pleats which are sized and configured to create a standing seam, that structurally forms a breathing chamber when the face mask is placed upon a user’s face.
Here is the tutorial on how to make the Pleated face mask ; How to sew a Quick and Easy Pleated Face Mask
Since you now know all you need to know about production, you know where to get your materials, the styles of face masks we have and how to sew them, the next step is to set up your online store
The first step to having a face mask store is setting up your WordPress site, installing the WooCommerce Plugin and activating it. It’s quite easy to set up, but if you have some difficulties, click here for a detailed tutorial.
When the store is set, the next step is to add your product, to make your product visible to the public when they visit your store. To learn how to add your product; WooCommerce – How to Add Products to your Store (with video)
The product has been added to your store, now how do your customers personalize their mask before purchase? Firstly, you need the Visual Product Customizer Plugin. After the plugin has been successfully installed the next step is to build a configurator.
This is the tool that will give your customers the ability to customize the face mask. This is where you add images to show customers all the available options, from selecting the style of nose mask they want, choosing a color or a pattern, adding their name and so on!
A Product Configurator works using a structure of layers. These layers are PNG images (images with transparent background) that represent a unique option. The combination of these PNG images are linked to an option, when this option is selected it gives an instant visual to your customers. To get this PNG images you can either;
- Hire a graphic designer to create the set of PNG files that suit your needs perfectly or
- You buy PSD mockups from creativemarket.com (or similar platforms) that consist of the layers you need. But be sure to check the mockup description before you buy it, so as to know if you can edit the color or designs. That way you will be able to give your graphic designer, to add all the different colors and designs you want!
The best option among these two will be to hire a graphic designer because you can tell him exactly what you want.
Configuration is defined as a relative arrangement of parts or elements. These parts or elements refers to the component that makes up a product.
In this illustration, the style of face mask I will be using to demonstrate is the “Face mask with filter” and the different parts it consists of are the body and the filter.
After the plugin has been installed, to build the Custom Face Mask Configurator:
- On your dashboard, go to: Product Builder > New Configuration
- Add title: Face Mask
- Under the Configuration settings click on the button; Add component.
- Then set the components names and icons
- The next step is to specify the various features of each component. To do this, click on the “Manage Options” button to have access to the next page. When you get to the next page, click on ‘Add options’
- Fill the sections for the First Component (Body);
- Do the same for the Second component – ‘Filter’
c) Adding Custom text:
Custom text is an additional feature of the Visual Product Configurator, in the form of add-ons which are sold separately. It allows the store owner to set up a text field that enables their customers to add their own text on the product. To set it up;
- Go to Plugins > Add new
- Search for Visual Product Configurator Custom Text Addon
- Download, then upload it on your site
- In order for it to work, you need a license key. Click here to know how to get one.
- After the plugin is up and running, you will see new features under the Product Builder on your dashboard
- Click on text components and set it up. Make sure the title is Face mask, you will need to link it later to the Custom text Component.
- The next thing to do is to set your font. Click on manage font and fill the sections, after you fill the sections if you want that font to work on all the prints or styles of Face mask you have to add it one by one and you have to do this for every font you want to add
- You have to set up the colours too, but for the color you don’t have to set it up one by one like the font. Once you set it, it works for all the prints or styles.
- After you have done all these , you have to go to: Product Builder > Configuration
- Where Custom Text was entered earlier, change the behaviour to text field. Initially this option would have not been available because Visual Product Configurator Custom Text Addon was not present.
- Click on manage options, go to : Text Component > choose the title of the text components that you set up earlier.
- After all this is done, click on update.
After setting up all the components features, click on publish. Then you link your configuration to the product you created earlier in Step 2.
- Go to Products, under the product name click on edit.
- On the next page, go to the Product data box and click on General; this where you select the configuration
- After you have selected the configuration, click on update so that the changes can be saved.
After all this is done, here is the result;
You can view the demo version of this custom face mask here.
After all that has been said is done and your custom face mask store is up and running, you need to choose a payment gateway, in other words the means by which the customer is supposed to pay for the product.
There are different types of payment gateway, Devathon says these are the top 10 payment gateways;
- Amazon pay
Paypal is rated as number one because you can send and receive money without providing financial information, very easy to access, amazing features, etc. It is also seen as the most popular but any payment gateway to be used by a store will totally be determined by the one that best suits the store.
After the Custom Face Mask Store has been set up and customers can customize their own face mask and pay for it, the next thing you must consider is shipping; how to deliver the products to them. Shipping the products through road or rail is only best when the customer stays in a neighbouring country or within the same country. If the customers are very far away, the best shipping methods will be;
- Air Freight – Shipping by air is usually very fast but very expensive. If you want to ship by air here is a list of Air Freight Companies.
- Sea Freight – This is the most common and cheapest shipping method but it’s quite slow, takes the longest amount of time. Here is a list of top shipping companies.
- Courier service – Courier services are everywhere, they are easily booked and paid for online but it’s majorly used for shipping small quantities. To check out some international courier services, click here.
If you read this article meticulously and follow the steps as mentioned, you will have an outstanding Custom Face Mask business in no time. With the Visual Product Configurator (VPC), building your Custom Face Mask configurator is simple and flexible.
The Visual Product Configurator works with any type of customizable products, you can check here for other examples. If you have any questions or enquiry kindly write us in the comment section.