4 Tips to Make Your Shopping Bags Promotional

Are your shopping bags keepers?

Do you encourage fashionable bag ladies?

Before the image of an elegant homeless person with their hand out comes to mind, let me clarify that I’m talking about shopping bags.

My grandmother was the original shopping bag collector. She never went anywhere without a shopping bag. And Grandma’s bag carrying habit wasn’t limited to shopping for food and other necessities.

For example:

My grandmother carried a small gold Godiva shopping bag to Lincoln Center to hold her out-of-fashion gloves. While some might have considered my grandparents’ shopping bag recycling eccentric, in today’s environmentally friendly world they’d be right in style.

How do you ensure your customers take notice of  and use your shopping bags?

4 Tips to Make Your Shopping Bags Promotional

Beyond green-oriented tactics, use your shopping bags to extend your promotional bud

Reusable Shopping Bag from Knitty City

A favorite promo bag from NYC’s Knitty City

get. Even better, when you do so, your customers help to promote your business.

Use these 4 suggestions to extend the life of your shopping bags.

1. Make your bag into a keeper

Among my favorites are reusable lightweight ones that can be folded into a computer bag or backpack. These bags are created with the intention that shoppers will keep them. Sometimes there’s a nominal fee to pay.

For example, my knitting buddies use the bags from their favorite stores and carry them to various knitting events. It’s free promotion.

Loop Yarn Reusable Tote

Loop Yarn chose a non-woven recyclable tote

2. Make your reusable bag stand out in a crowd

Use bold graphics, color or materials to make your shopping bag stand out when your customers use them again and again.

Of course, keep it in line with your brand.

Remember, even small shops have brands!

3. Give your shopping bag another life

Think outside of the bag!

Or answer the question:
When is a shopping bag not a shopping bag?

One of the variety of reusable totes sold by Whole Foods converts into a party hat to celebrate its 30th birthday.

Whole Foods Reusable Bag Into a Hat

What can you do to encourage your customers to keep using your shopping bag?

Most marketers don’t give much thought to this opportunity.

4. Encourage your shoppers to be green

At a minimum, suggest that shoppers recycle your shopping bags. It costs very little to provide some reuse/recycle tips and print the recyclable logo on your bags.Trader Joe's Paper Shopping Bag

Shopping Bag Conclusion

Every retailer needs some form of shopping bags. And in today’s environmentally friendly world, they must not be plastic.

While the cost-conscious may opt for the plain brown version, I recommend spending a little extra.

A well branded bag can act as a portable mini-billboard for your establishment wherever your customers go.

And let me tell you, my grandmother would be happy you made the effort.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Editor’s Note: This article was first published on October 22, 2010. It was extensively updated and republished on August 21, 2021.

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