What to Look for in the Perfect Shopping Bag

Shopping BagsRetailers put a lot of thought into product manufacturing, packaging, and store displays. All of these elements are an essential part of attracting consumers, making sales, and developing a loyal customer base.

What you might not initially give much thought to is the shopping bags you provide. Shopping bags, however, can contribute to the customer experience. If you have flimsy bags that aren’t sized appropriately or that are prone to breaking open, your customers will not be impressed. On the other hand, high-end bags aren’t exactly cost-effective.

Naturally, there are some considerations when it comes to these giveaway items. Should you go with paper, plastic, or reusable materials? Here are a few things to look for when it comes to providing the perfect shopping bags for your customers.


The bags you offer customers represent your brand, and they make an impression on the customers who walk out of the store with them and anyone who sees them on the street. In other words, they act as a walking advertisement.

Do you want the message you send to customers and those just encountering your brand to be that you’re cheap? In some cases, the answer may be yes.

A 99-cent store, for example, wants to convey the message that it offers affordable wares. Generic plastic or paper bags might be in keeping with this and maintain low costs for customers. You should still place your logo on bags at the very least, however, for marketing purposes.

For other retail stores, the appearance of quality and luxury is a must. In this case, thicker, sturdier paper or plastic in signature colors and bearing the store logo or other graphics is preferable. Some stores even spring for reusable bags made from canvas, jute, or recycled materials that offer high-end appearance and added value.


This is an important factor because it can have a marked impact on the customer experience. Say your customer leaves your store feeling great about a purchase. Then the bag breaks on the way to the car, spilling their wares onto the dirty pavement, perhaps causing them to break. The customer is embarrassed picking up purchases and carrying them to the car by hand.

This isn’t the last impression you want to leave with customers at the completion of a transaction. Also, many people save and reuse more durable bags, even those that are paper or plastic, further promoting your brand.


Unfortunately, the issue of cost can’t be avoided, but there are options in every price range. What you really have to ask yourself is what you’re willing to spend and whether it makes sense for your brand and your budget.

In most cases, you’ll see no direct return on investment, unless you produce, say, long-lasting canvas totes and sell them at the register. You could include durable, reusable bags in your marketing strategy. Consider giving branded totes away as a promotion (say, when customers spend a certain amount of money). Every time they use your bags, they advertise on your behalf.

When choosing shopping bags for your retail location, consider appearance, durability, and cost, but don’t forget how they contribute to the customer experience and marketing opportunities.

If you are a retailer who would like more information on Plastic and Paper Bags you can visit our website, Specialty Store Services, or if you have a question that you would like answered immediately you can Live Chat, or call us the old fashioned way by phone at 800-999-0771.