What Are Retail Bags? ( 3 Types You Can Choose From )

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Retail bags are commonly known as shopping bags. These are medium-sized bags that consumers use to haul items that they’ve bought from a retail store.

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Last Updated on December 12, 2023 by Packoi Team

Some of these bags are larger, but mostly because they’re used to carrying a lot of products from the store and back home. Given this function, it’s easy to see the potential of these bags to market your brand. Your business needs a well-designed retail bag because it gives you more marketing mileage.

In this article, you’ll discover more about retail bags and their marketing potential to grow your business. You’ll learn about the different types of bags you can choose from and how to maximize their design to help grow your business.

What Are Retail Bags?

Shopping bags

If you’ve shopped in retail stores and bought something, you’ll probably come out of the store carrying shopping bags. These bags of retail packaging are meant to help customers take purchases home conveniently.

These come in different sizes – depending on how many items have been bought. The medium size of these bags is built to carry 10 to 20 kilos of merchandise and are durable enough to avoid breaking while traveling home.

How Are Retail Bags Different?

Many shopping bags seem to be available in retail, grocery, and department stores. But don’t get confused.

Shopping bags are meant to carry items home. They’re more functional. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything more to it.

You can transform these bags into a powerful marketing tool with the right design. It can provide you with continuous brand exposure to connect with the people who can see it – even from afar.

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3 Types of Retail Bags

Before you decide on the shopping bags you’ll use for your brand, and you need to understand the different types you can use.

These are categorized based on the materials used.

1. Paper Bags

Paper shopping bags

If you want sustainable shopping bags, choose paper bags for your product. This doesn’t mean using thin brown paper bags. You have to use paper boards to create these retail bags.

Why? You want these to be durable. Remember, retail bags should be able to carry around 10 kilograms or more. If you use thin paper, it won’t hold. It’ll break before the customer reaches their destination.

So paper boards are usually the best option to use for retail bags.

2. Plastic Bags

This is probably the most cost-efficient option. Plastic shopping bags are lightweight and easy to store. The material in plastic bags is durable enough that a thin layer is enough to carry a lot of weight.

Plastic shopping bags

Of course, the issue with plastic shopping bags is that they’re not eco-friendly. They’ll take a long time to decompose, so they stay as litter for hundreds of years.

But don’t worry; there are biodegradable plastic bags that you can use. There’s also the option of using recycled plastic.

3. Tote Bags

Tote bags

These tote bags are made of cloth or fabric, which is more durable than paper and more eco-friendly than disposable bags made of plastic. While this may seem like the best option among the other bags, it’s also the most expensive.

But it’s probably acceptable because these reusable bags can market your brand repeatedly. Customers can also come back to your store to use it again, so they don’t have to get a new one. That’s very eco-friendly, even if it’ll cost you more in terms of materials.

Are Paper Shopping Bags the Best Option?

Based on the definition of the three retail bags, which of the three should you use?

Plastic merchandise bags are cheaper, lighter, and easier to store. But the problem with plastic bags is they have a negative environmental impact. Tote bags are more eco-friendly because they are reusable bags. They’re more durable, and they’ll last longer. But the problem is that they’re more expensive to produce. Small businesses might not be able to afford them.

Given these facts, paper bags may be the best option for your retail packaging needs.

If you want to have the durability of Euro totes or other plastics, you can use paper-laminate bags. Just make sure that the lamination that you choose is eco-friendly.

If you want your paper shopping bag to have a more positive environmental impact, you can opt to use kraft paper. These can be produced in bulk and can be made of recycled materials. These will turn out to be more eco-friendly and cost-efficient as well.

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7 Tips When Designing Your Retail Bags

While retail bags are meant to be functional, you still have to be careful when designing them. Remember, this can be an extension of your brand. The right design can extend your marketing reach.

Anyone who sees the bag will increase brand awareness.

Here are tips that can help you design practical retail bags.

1. Think of the Right Style

The most common style that you can use is t-shirt bags. When flattened, these bags look like sleeveless shirts. The handles extend to the top, like loops that customers can use to grip the bag. These handles are long enough to be tied so they can keep contents from spilling out.

Apart from t-shirt bags, there are other styles that you can choose from, like euro totes or even string bags. Make sure you choose the right style that’ll reflect your brand well.

2. Choose the Right Size

This will depend on the shopping behavior of your customers. Paper, fabric, or plastic shopping bags can carry heavy loads. But it has to have the right thickness so it won’t break.

Some items may look small but are pretty heavy. Other items are oversized but very lightweight. Consider the items you’re selling in your store to create the correct size.

Choose 2 to 3 sizes so customers who buy only one product don’t have to carry a big shopping bag.

Retail bags

3. Put Your Branding

If you want to use your shopping bag as a marketing tool, it has to show your brand. You can choose to include just your brand name and logo.

Or you can put an all-over print of your branding. Make the branding visible so people can easily read it. Depending on your brand image, you can be creative or minimalistic about it.

4. Pick the Right Materials

If you want to be eco-friendly with your retail bag, make sure you choose a suitable material. This doesn’t mean sticking to recycled paper or fabric bags.

While plastic isn’t the more sustainable option, there are eco-friendly alternatives. You can choose high-density polyethylene plastic. This material is recyclable, so it’s better than single-use plastic bags.

Eco-friendly plastic bags

5. Make It Reusable

Another way to create eco-friendly retail bags is to make them reusable. Don’t add to the tons of single-use plastic bags littering the Earth and harming animals and marine life.

By using reusable bags, you’re not just keeping packaging waste low. You’re also reducing your carbon footprint by eliminating the need to produce a lot of retail bags.

5. Research Trends

Although avoiding disposable bags and opting for sustainable packaging is crucial, that doesn’t mean you can’t be innovative in your retail bag design.

Do your research and search for bio-based packaging. There are new developments regarding eco-friendly bags, like seaweed or mushroom packaging.

Consider these as your options, and be innovative about them.

6. Keep It Simple

Your business needs retail packaging that’s functional and can advertise your brand. If this means creating durable packaging with one print of your brand name, that’s fine.

Sometimes, simplicity works because people will only see your brand. That’s what they’ll recall, nothing else. Of course, simplicity is different from boring. Make sure your retail bags are still eye-catching.

Are You Ready to Create Your Retail Bags? Packoi Printing Is Ready Help.

Designing your retail bags is easy. You must make it functional enough to accommodate your customer’s buying behavior while staying aligned with your brand image.

If you need expert help figuring out your options, Packoi Printing is here to help. We have several samples that you can choose from.

Give us a call so we can discuss your options. We’ll get back to you with a fair quote soon.

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Hey there, I’m Shelly!

I really enjoy the packaging and printing industry because my work makes my clients’ products more beautiful and enjoyable. If you have any questions about packaging and printing, feel free to contact me!

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