We’ve gone over many times that a store’s carts and baskets are more than merely shopping vessels — they’re marketing and branding tools as well. The shape, size, color, and logo of a business’ shopping baskets and carts say something about its brand identity in both tangible and intangible ways. This messaging ultimately has an impact on customer satisfaction, sales trends, and the business’ reputation. So, if your business has stagnated, your carts and baskets might have something to do with it. If nothing else, purchasing newer, better, brand-optimized carts and baskets can give your business the extra boost it needs to get over whatever hurdles stand in its way. In order to choose the best vessels for your location, you must consider a handful of factors related to your bottom line.
Here are four questions that you and any business owners should ask when buying shopping carts and baskets for their location(s).
What to Know Before Buying Shopping Carts
1. What Are My Customization Options?
The most powerful brands are those that clearly stand out from the competition — visual cues are a big part of this effort to set your business apart. As such, your first consideration when buying new carts and baskets should be whether and how they can be customized. Standard silver baskets and carts without a name or logo attached to them won’t grab attention or reinforce your brand in any way. On the contrary, drab shopping vessels might actually send a negative message to your customers, indicating a lack of care or confidence in your brand identity.
As you search for custom shopping baskets and carts, see if you’re able to choose from various colors and stamp your logo somewhere on these objects (ideally at multiple points). You’ll want to match the color of your business’ branding as closely as possible, as this will further emphasize and unify your identity. In addition to color and logo options, consider the size, shape, and functionality of your carts and baskets as well. Would your store and brand be better served by smaller baskets and carts? Would larger vessels make more sense? What about rolling baskets or basket carts, etc.? These decisions should be based on data regarding customer demographics and shopping patterns so you can deliver the best experience to the most customers.
2. How Prominent Will the Logo Be?
For the best basket and cart branding strategy, it’s not enough to simply stamp your name or logo on these vessels in any old way — you’ll want to make sure that your name/logo is large enough, clearly defined, and easy to see from various angles (i.e. from the front, back, both sides when nested, etc.). Look into how much space your logo can take up on a given cart or basket and whether it will be placed on one side or multiple sides. Then, think about the durability of said logo. Even if your shopping carts and baskets physically endure for a long time, they’ll become less advantageous for your bottom line if your logo disappears. Ask: will your brand name fade over time? Will it get scratched and scuffed to oblivion? Will it peel or fall right off (i.e. is it a decal/sticker, tag, or painted on)?
3. How Many Will I Need?
Branding concerns aside, you must consider how many vessels are optimal for your location before you buy shopping carts or baskets. You want to have at least enough of these items on hand for your busiest periods so no customer is left without a cart or basket. At the same time, you don’t want to overload your location with baskets and carts — they take up space, after all, and unless you have ample storage capacity an excess of shopping vessels can become an obstacle rather than a boon for your customers and bottom line. In this way, maintaining your brand reputation requires balance. Consider your store’s size, parking lot capacity, average amount of foot traffic, and storage space when calculating the optimal amount of carts and baskets for your business.
4. Are They Made in the U.S. or Elsewhere?
At first glance, it might seem practical to buy shopping baskets and carts from a manufacturer that offers the lowest price. However, while you might save some money in the short-run by purchasing these items from an overseas provider, you might suffer some long-term consequences. Simply put, buying from a faraway seller means less accountability and less transparency. The carts and baskets you receive might not be of the highest quality or accurately reflect your brand (i.e. crooked logos, incorrect coloration, etc.). And should a cart or basket break down, you might not easily be able to get repairs or replacements.
On the other hand, going with a U.S.-based manufacturer benefits your bottom line in a number of ways. For one thing, you’ll enjoy clearer communication with national manufacturers as opposed to international providers. Additionally, you’ll receive your shipment of new shopping carts and baskets much quicker and avoid excessive shipping costs. Beyond that, customers appreciate when businesses make an effort to support the local and national economy. In this way, advertising that your store’s baskets and carts are American-made helps boost your brand reputation.
It’s easy to overlook how closely your business’ shopping baskets and carts are tied to its brand identity and its bottom line. But by asking the questions above, you can approach your next purchase of carts and baskets more strategically to the benefit of your customers and your business as a whole. Good L Corporation delivers innovative shopping cart and basket solutions for retailers on a global scale. From a fleet of new custom carts to launch your store opening, to replacement baskets that supplement your existing shop supply, Good L Corp can configure the right carryall strategy to boost your retail business. Let’s get started! Contact us today for a no-pressure sales quote.