As the person responsible for your brand’s packaging, you may find it hard to get guidance on packaging procurement – especially when it comes to the components themselves. Take custom packaging bags, for example. Regardless of your business model, you likely need them, however, you will want to do some research before pulling the trigger on a hefty order. Google search results, populated with brands trying to sell you their product, lead you no closer to answering: whether you can design custom packaging bags, how to get them, and whether custom packaging bags and mailers are actually worth it.
Retail packaging costs add up, and with the risk of supply chain disruptions and constant industry changes, the partner you pick can make all the difference. Read on as we discuss what custom packaging bags are, the types you can choose from, and different tactics to take yours to the next level.
When it comes to custom packaging bags, there are many different types to choose from, and the kind you choose will vary depending on your needs. Brick-and-mortar stores, for instance, will typically opt for the standard shopping tote, whereas eCommerce retailers may need mailer bags.
Mailer bags are a great shipping option for online orders. These are ideal for flexible or small items that do not need to have a rigid layer of protection, such as a shipping box, around them. Things like clothes, cosmetics, men’s grooming products, food and grocery items, jewelry, and more can be shipped in mailer bags.
The type of product you are sending will dictate the type of bags you choose. Here are some of the different types of mailer bags out there and tactics that you can use to create yours:
These lightweight packaging components can be made from compostable/biodegradable and recycled/recyclable materials. You can print different designs through a wide range of printing tactics, including offset lithography, LED printing, hot stamping, UV printing, and more. Because they are not rigid, poly mailers are a good option for products inside boxes such as jewelry, non-fragile items like art, prints, accessories, and shoes, or soft goods like apparel. You can also use bubble and flat poly bags to protect and separate your products inside of the poly mailer.
Hard- or soft-shell bubble mailers have a layer of bubble wrap on their interior. Hard-shell bubble mailers are more rigid than their soft-shell counterparts. You can see the texture of the bubbles on the mailer’s exterior since the bubble wrap is fused to the exterior material.
Bubble mailers can be made from kraft paper and recycled or recyclable plastics. If you want to ramp up your sustainability efforts, print your bubble mailers with soy or water-based ink and use sustainable adhesive for the peel-and-seal flap closure.
These shipping bags are a great option if you want to protect your products and cut out the extra step (and costs) of manually wrapping them in bubble wrap or filling them with void fill. Beauty, cosmetic, and men’s grooming products that need extra cushioning are ideal to ship in this component.
There are different types of kraft and paper mailers you can choose from, and each has its own benefits. Flexible kraft mailers are a great option for products that do not need a rigid protective layer during shipping, for example, soft goods like clothes. Rigid kraft mailers are more sturdy and stiff than flexible ones and are ideal for shipping flat items like cards, photos, important papers, and small lightweight items and apparel.
Paper-padded mailers use shredded, macerated paper to cushion the products inside, and fluted paper-padded mailers have a layer of corrugated paper. Both are made entirely of paper for easy recycling. These are typically sealed with a peel-and-seal flap and can be made from recycled or recyclable materials. They also can be printed with standard or eco-friendly ink, using different options such as flexography, screen printing, rotogravure printing, and more.
Tyvek mailer bags are made from a synthetic material made from polyethylene (plastic) fibers. It is highly durable, lightweight, and designed using the offset lithography printing method. These mailers can be made from mixed recycled content and with eco-friendly adhesive on its peel-and-seal flap closure.
Stand-Up Pouches and Mailer Bags
Stand-up pouches have a wide, gusseted base that tapers to a resealable lip tape closure at the top. Since these pouches are closed using a heat seal, a rip notch makes them easy to open. This component allows you to preserve your product’s freshness and protect it from moisture, pests, and odors.
From metallic to matte to glossy, and beyond, mailer bags can be customized with a wide range of finishes. Playing with different-textured finishes elevates your bag’s design and catches the eye of your consumer. You can also print designs on the exterior of your mailer bags to elevate their aesthetic – from abstract shapes to vibrant colors to intricate designs, the options are endless. Increase convenience by including die-cut handles on your stand-up pouches and poly mailers. Always incorporate your logo and brand name to boost brand awareness.
Paper shoppers are the bag of choice for most retailers, however, they can have details that go beyond your typical, run-of-the-mill paper shopping bag. Biodegradable and recyclable materials, kraft paper, and dyed cardboard are all ideal material options for your paper shopping bags. You can opt for many different shapes and choose to make your paper shopper structured so it stands strong against wear and tear. You can even combine form and function by making gift boxes or shoe boxes with handles to eliminate the need for an extra bag with purchase.
You can also choose from different bag styles, such as serrated top, J & T cut handle, slip-through turn knot, and four-knot handles. Elevate the experience further by adding ribbon handles with a ribbon-tie closure. You will want to include your brand colors, brand name, and logo on your bag’s exterior.
Now more than ever, sustainability is in. Reusable fabric shoppers, drawstring bags, and totes are a great way to appeal to this trend while making consumers feel like they are getting a free gift with purchase. Take your eco-friendly packaging efforts a step further by creating reusable bags with cotton, jute, burlap, washable paper, or RPET. You can also make reusable bags out of PVC, vinyl, canvas, non-woven polypropylene, polyester… the list goes on. Incorporate die-cut handles or handles made of rope, or keep the handle material the same as the rest of the bag. Switch up the closure by adding a zipper, slide top or making it peel and seal. Foil stamping and screen printing are the ideal printing options you will want to use for these bags.
With reusable totes, you want to stay away from the standard to truly stand out. Always make your reusable bags durable to provide a great consumer experience. In addition, you want to make sure the visual elements – from your logo and brand name to the bag’s colors and patterns – are aligned with your brand standards.
With consumer desires, industry changes, and a highly competitive industry landscape, brands have quickly realized that retail packaging is a touchpoint they need to approach with forethought. Start your custom retail packaging journey off on the right foot by choosing the right packaging partner.
At Edge2Edge, we are dedicated to helping you NAVIGATE through the ins and outs of packaging procurement. We pride ourselves on high-touch relationship management, innovative capabilities, and world-class operations, which enable us to deliver the best results for our clients and their consumers.
Contact us today to take a step toward retail packaging success.