Guest Post: Packaging For Retail Startups

Today's guest post is for all of you online or brick-and-mortar retailers that must package your tangible products before giving or sending them off to your customers. I hope the information below can help businesses better brand themselves and create more value in the eyes of their customers.

If you’re in the process of starting up a retail business and have just got to the point of trying to figure out how to get your packaging done on budget and on time, it’s a lot easier than it looks. Modern packaging suppliers can achieve miracles with graphics and presentation across a huge range of options from basic shopping bags to the tough, indestructible jute bags and the glitzy but beautiful upmarket shopping bags.

When you’re starting up, you really do need to set up a whole range of ongoing supply functions as well, and for retailers, packaging is one of those operations. The business need is to lock in a reliable supplier with good products in a healthy price range for your bottom line. This process, however, requires a bit of thought.

There are several issues you need to address with your packaging:

Types of packaging: You may want a range of things like shopping bags, eco-friendly bags, bags with your logo, or even bags with promotional messages, etc.

  • Specialty packaging: Many retailers prefer to have special bags for special purposes and particular goods, particularly luxury goods.
  • Task-specific bags: If you’re carrying a range of special stock, especially things like electronics or things that need good solid carry bags, these are essential.
  • Promotional bags: The promo bags are much more useful than most people realize. If they’re well presented, they’re “reading material”, and it’s possible to fit a lot of information on a basic paper bag with good printing.
  • Presentation bags: These are the upmarket trademark shopping bags, and they’re really works of art. They’re also excellent visual presence for your business, and they look fantastic.
  • Eco-friendly bags: These bags have gone well beyond the gimmick stage into being parts of people’s shopping equipment. They’re very useful things, and they tend to be kept and reused regularly.

Setting up your own retail packaging

The idea of getting a whole new line of packaging may seem a little daunting at first, if you haven’t done it before.

The basic process is easy enough:
Decide what you need in terms of packaging in general terms.
Set a budget figure in line with your business plan.
Talk to a professional packaging supplier about your options.

These are the essential setup requirements. From this point you can discuss:

  • Types of bags and packaging materials
  • Specific issues with merchandise
  • Design issues and style
  • Production requirements (Setting up a supply)
  • Technical issues
  • Short run promotional packaging issues

The next stage will be an upfront quote with variable rates per thousand units and other options to help manage your outlays. The good thing about ordering in this way is that you can get professional assistance from a business perspective, as well as a supplier perspective, and explore good options. The packaging suppliers are experts, and they can walk you through the possibilities and different ranges of packaging products.

You’ll be astonished what you can do with your retail bags and other types of packaging. Your new business will have a great look from day one.