Bag Your Brand With A Reusable Shopping Bag by @SmartBags #IndieRetail

The popularity of reusable shopping bags has increased in recent years due to concerns about plastic bags and the environment. This change in consumer attitudes has created a great opportunity for retailers. A reusable bag is a great promotional tool and a well-designed shopping bag can bring a brand to life.

You don’t have to be a huge retailer to benefit from the excellent exposure reusable bags
provide. A promotional bag can add substance to your brand identity and personality – here’s how:

8 Bag Benefits for Independent Retailers:

1.       Reward customer loyalty: Reusable bags can be used to reward loyal and high spending customers. Everyone loves a free gift!

2.      Create a stream of revenue: Bags can be sold at point of purchase, creating another line of income. Supermarkets and other retailers already do this to great effect.

3.       Turn your customers into brand advocates: Your customers will want the bag in the first place, giving them a bag you will help them become brand advocates.

4.       Bags are like mini-billboards: A shopping bag acts as a low cost, moving advertisement. The better the bag design, the more the bag will be used. In turn, this will lead to your marketing messages being seen over and over again.

5.       Welcome advertising: A shopping bag provides a welcome, non aggressive form of adverting.

6.       Effective advertising: Contrary to other common advertising aids such as newspaper ads or leaflets, there are few risks of a promotional bag going directly in the bin. You can still incorporate website, logos and even QR codes on the design.

7.       A tangible product: A branded store bag provides a tangible representation of your store and brand

8.       Draw attention to your business: Beautiful, funny or colourful bags draw people’s attention and arouse their curiosity – create bag envy!

If the shopping bag looks good, then customers will be keen to wear it on their arm. In fact, they can be such popular items that customers will actively seek them out.

Taking a reusable bag to the supermarket has become a habit for many shoppers. However not everyone wants to take one of the big retailers branded bags each time, so give them an alternative!  Unique, interesting bags will catch other shoppers’ attention while waiting in a queue.

We have seen non-supermarket retailers pick up on the trend – Sports Direct, Desigual, Timberland and Pets at Home to name a few. You don’t need to be a big retailer to benefit. One thing all of our customers have in common is that they shop!

It isn’t only the super market run where customers reuse bags – they are also perfect for sports, beach and picnic bags too. So, design a great bag which customers will want to use and your shop will be advertised each time it’s reused.

I am sure you can think of even more reasons why a reusable bag could work for you. We’d love to hear how reusable shopping bags work for your business promotions.

If you want to find out how easy it is to create a made to order branded bag for your store, please visit our website

Leanne is one of the founders of Smartbags, suppliers of high-quality, bespoke promotional bags. We are passionate about the bags we supply as we know they can have a big impact with a little design and creativity. As well as our product website, we have also created the Bag Your Brand blog for information and tips on using branded bags.


About Clare Bailey

Clare Bailey, The Retail Champion (formerly Clare Rayner), is one of the most well-known and respected retail experts in the UK. With unrivalled knowledge in retail, high streets and consumer matters, she offers unbiased, independent content – whether engaged as a professional speaker, for broadcast media, or for a written feature. Clare is a business woman, entrepreneur and founder of several small businesses. Having been born into a family of successful business owners, it was inevitable that she’d eventually jump off the corporate treadmill and step out on her own! Today her brand portfolio includes The Retail Champion, The Retail Conference, the Future High Street Summit and the Support for Independent Retail campaign. In addition, she is co-founder of Mobaro Retail UK and a non-exec director of Beed Virtual Assistant Services. Having started her career as a fast-track store management trainee for McDonalds, she went on to work with leading retailers such as M&S, Dixons and Argos. She moved swiftly into management roles before being headhunted into senior consulting roles with global software giant SAP, and international management consulting brand, Accenture. Her corporate background in senior retail, consulting and technology roles, coupled with her experience of creating and running her own business, has enabled her to be equally capable whether consulting to global brands or micro businesses. This unique blend has not only positioned her as a leading expert in all things retail, but has enabled her to add meaningful commentary and insight to the debate around the future of the high street, and, how technology is driving fundamental change in the way consumers, and businesses, interact. Clare has become an influential voice in her field, which has resulted in her becoming a regular media contributor and sought-after conference speaker. Often seen on Good Morning Britain, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, and Chanel 5 (to name a few), Clare speaks on a myriad of retail, high street and consumer issues – but is particular adept when it comes to explaining the context behind retail trading results, newly released data, and government stats, in a palatable and informative manner. In addition to broadcast and conference speaking, Clare is the proud author of two best-selling business books published by Kogan Page - The Retail Champion: 10 Steps to Retail Success, published July 2012 and How to Sell to Retail: The Secrets of Getting Your Product to Market, published February 2013. She has provided contributions to various academic texts, including Retail Marketing Management (published by Pearson). With an engaging, conversational yet informative style, Clare writes for press and content agencies, providing features, articles, blogs and opinion pieces as well as contributions to white papers and reports. However, when the situation demands a more serious style, Clare can deliver - In 2016 she wrote an extensive report for a major insurance and risk law firm, as a retail expert witness, to support a public liability suit. She found that project particularly enjoyable as it played well to her strengths – assimilating large amounts of data and information, identifying the key points and articulating that in an understandable manner. When not on TV or speaking at conferences, Clare’s “day job” sees her supporting consumer-facing businesses through her consultancy services. When asked to describe what she most loves about retail consulting it is typically the opportunity to “dig deep”, getting “under the bonnet”, in order to leverage the business data to uncover the insights that lead to “lightbulb moments”. She also loves working on business change programmes that centre on improving the processes and systems to increase profitability by supporting more rapid, better informed decision making, improving the customer experience, or simply by become more efficient and streamlined. In this respect she considers herself a “business engineer” with a brain that works like a relational database! Due to her years of experience, her logical, objective approach, her quick, rational thinking, she is known for being able to cut through complexity, seeing right through to the crux of issues, finding creative solutions that others may have overlooked. As if all that wasn’t enough, Clare is a working mum, juggling a home life in rural Lincolnshire with her partner, their 5 kids, 4 cats, and geriatric Labrador! For all enquiries, contact Clare directly on 01727 238890 or email
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