Your Shopping Bag: To Customize or Not to Customize…That Is the Question

Your Shopping Bag: To Customize or Not to Customize…That Is the Question

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Whether you’re just beginning a new business venture, or if you’re just looking for a way to boost profits and buzz, you’ve probably wondered if branded custom shopping bags are a good investment. It’s a valid question. Let us break down the custom shopping bag debate for you.

If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not investing marketing dollars toward your packaging will pay off, a recent eCommerce Packaging Survey of U.S. consumers may convince you that customized packaging is worth its weight in consumer-gold.

The survey shows that up to 52% of consumers say they’ll be loyal to a brand that uses premium packaging.

But what defines ‘premium packaging’ you ask? Premium packaging is defined as ‘unique branded bags, tissues, and/or boxes.’

Still not convinced? The same survey also shows that retailers who invest in premium packaging have seen as much as a 30% gain in business.

If you were on the fence before, you should be ready to jump over to the “I’m a believer” side of it by now.

Still, deciding whether or not to purchase custom retail bags depends on many different factors, whether they be financial, branding, or creative ones. Here, we’ll outline when you should, and when you should not, upgrade to customizable shopping bags.

The Financial Side of Things

We all know that protecting your bottom line comes first in business. Whether or not you decide to purchase branded packaging may come down to what’s in your business’ bank account. If you’re just starting out or are in the red, there are ways to get a customized feel without the higher cost of more elaborate customization.

For example, consider:bags_varnish_stripe.jpg

  • purchasing paper shopping bags in your brand’s colors
  • branding solid premium colored tissue paper
  • stocking up on a few rolls of customized ribbon to tie up your unadorned bags

If you have plans to eventually purchase fully customized shopping bags, but just can’t commit to it financially right now, these are great ways to get that custom feel without breaking the bank. Placing a smaller order of “stock” bags (an industry term for plain, non-customized bags) in the beginning and using customized accents is a great route to take.  

Of course, keep in mind that custom shopping bags are and should be seen as an investment into your business. Examine your advertising budget and ask yourself how much of it can be dedicated towards your packaging. Since custom branded bags are basically like walking advertisements for your business (your customers are likely carrying them around town and potentially showing them off on their social media accounts), you may be able to cut down on the money you spend placing ads in local newspapers or on other forms of largely ineffective marketing.

If your business is especially profitable, now may be the time to consider purchasing and customizing reusable canvas, jute, cotton or non-woven bags. Not only will customers enjoy the bags and get the sense of how well your store is doing, they’ll also be far more likely to carry them around town.

Your Bag Is Your Brand

Have you recently redesigned your logo and are worried that customers won’t associate your brand with its new design? Customized bags can help to build brand continuity and recognition – clients just need to see the new logo in as many places as possible, bags included. (HOT TIP: Don’t forget to update all your social media accounts with your new logo!)

It’s important we point out…if you’re not happy with your business’ logo or branding, now may not be the time to place an order for custom retail bags. You don’t want to spend money on them knowing you’re going to want to change in a few months – after all, rebranding too often isn’t great for brand recognition. Instead, wait until your design is finalized, you love it, and then you can focus on creating fabulous window displays, building your store’s website, and tapping into the local market with your customized bags and packaging.

The Creative Angle

If you’re the only store in your industry serving your area, you may not feel the need to order custom bags to edge out your competition. However, if you’re not going to customize, we do suggest going with a beautiful, high-end stock shopping bag so your customers don’t think you’re just settling on the cheapest option.

But the reality is, if you’re facing lots of local competition, you’ll need to find a way to elevate your customers’ shopping experience from start to finish. One way to do this? By packaging your products in stunning and unexpected custom bags. Not only will you be showcasing your business’ creativity, you’ll also communicate to customers that you’re taking the entire experience of buying from your store into consideration.

We know that deciding whether or not to customize your bags can feel a bit overwhelming. But remember, the most important thing is what you as a store owner want to communicate to your current and potential customers. No matter what route you take, your business’ mission and brand will shine through in your products and on the faces of your customers.





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