Provide a stylish final touch with gift wrap and packaging

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A unique package ends the shopping experience on a high note for customers and leaves a last impression that encourages future visits. Consider the iconic packaging in the retail market, such as Victoria's Secret classic pink striped bag or Bloomingdale's various sizes of brown bags that have spawned off into a cottage industry of totes and other replicas. These bags are synonymous with the brands that provide them to customers and increase loyalty much more than would a generic plastic bag. Small retailers can tap into this ancillary part of visual merchandising that makes one of the biggest impacts on customers. After all, the bag that a customer leaves with not only gets carried home, it's also seen by friends and family and even gifted to others.

Another aspect of packaging that businesses should consider is gift wrap. Offering a gift wrap service to customers will help a business become recognized as a place that can provide everything that goes along with a gift, not only what comes inside the package. This value-added service can be offered as a courtesy to customers or for a small fee, depending on the particular circumstances of the local area, the business, the merchandise involved and the clientele. Either way, having this option available makes a business stand out from the local competition and generates a reputation for taking care of customer needs.

Keeping customers engaged and happy
No matter how a business decides to incorporate gift wrap and bags into its operations, the important thing to remember is that these relatively small investments help a business distinguish itself in the local marketplace. Having these options on hand allows a retailer to offer something that its competitors don't. This is an effective method of branding and, significantly, one where a retailer develops its reputation outside the confines of its store.

Using some but not all of these concepts is acceptable, as they're meant to be adapted and changed to best meet the needs of a retailer. Some businesses may find that packaging every purchase in a gift bag with tissue paper and a unique tag is a great use of a merchandising budget, while others may decide to focus more on providing a gift wrap service or offering gift boxes. No matter how a retailer decides to incorporate these functions, they can improve their reputations by providing at least one of these services.

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