After researching to find the best practices in product bundling, we realized the work of combining different products into one bundle is just like cooking a meal. With the same components and ingredients, the taste can be completely different depending on each cooker. That’s why everyone knows about product bundling, everyone uses it but only a few are successful with it.
Cooking and product bundling both require more sophisticated skills than just mixing things together. However, creating the right bundle is so much easier to become a chef. We’re not going to teach you how to cook like a chef, but we’ve made a cooking recipe to help you create not only just-right bundles but also bundles that customers can’t say no to.
Before jumping into the recipe, let’s spend a few minutes to see why you need bundling products.
A right product bundle must benefit both sellers and buyers
There is one thing that online sellers should learn from chefs. To keep customers coming back, chefs must care about their dinner’s satisfaction. And the customer’s satisfaction is decided right after the first taste. Therefore, they can’t afford to serve low-qualified dishes.
Some online sellers only focus on selling as many as possible but forget the only thing that matters is customer’s satisfaction. Product bundling, of course, is a sales strategy. But it must benefit customers first. When customers are happy with the value they are provided, they will be more willing to spend their money.
When product bundles are made with the customer-oriented mindset, buyers are served with many benefits.
1. Receive more value than expectation
The main dish makes you full, but the side dishes enhance your appetite for the meal. When customers visit your site, they are looking for a solution to their issues or a pleasure to make their life better. Bundling products is a way to offer them a complete solution or a greater pleasure and bring them what they even haven’t thought about.
2. Improve the shopping experience
When products are tied together as a package, customers can buy multiple items at once without spending their time finding them elsewhere. It’d be a big plus if customers are able to remove one item from your bundle and make it more affordable for them.
3. Save shipping fee
As a buyer, have you ever completed an order then found you want to buy one more? But you didn’t want to pay twice for the shipping fee so you just decided not to buy. If you had found what you want sooner, you’d have probably ordered them all. That’s how product bundling helps saving shipping fee for your customers, simply put, having more items in one order instead of buying them separately and paying the doubled shipping fee.
4. Get a good deal
Many sellers choose to add a small discount to their bundles to motivate customers to spend more than they first intend to. This, of course, also benefit customers. They can buy a pack of multiple products at a more affordable price and save some money.
For online sellers
Some may simply think product bundling is just a way to increase sales volume. It is, but not all. Besides making more sales, product bundling can benefit you more than that.
1. Sell more without cutting profit
Big brands don’t trade off profit for more orders. Instead of giving discounts, they increase their AOV with product bundles. Best Buy, one of the biggest retailers, offers multiple complementary products at every product page.
The additional items are ones that perfectly use with the product customers are viewing. By bundling one main product with 2-3 complementary items, they have easily increased the value of each order.
The key point here is knowing what products should be combined together. We will discuss more on this later.
2. Clear slow-moving inventory
When tying multiple products together, you’re boosting impressions of all the bundled items. This is extremely helpful when you want to clear slow-moving stocks. By attaching with high-traffic or best-seller product, slow-mover will get more attention so probably be bought more.
3. Promote new products at the least cost
There are several reasons that make product bundling is a great way to promote a new product.
Promoting a new product is always difficult because customers are not sure if your new product is good enough to try. It can even be considered as a risk. However, you can take advantage of the authenticity of your existing products to lower the risk. By bundling a new product with a best seller, you are telling customers that your new product is as qualified as the other.
By doing so, you can show up your new product in front of many potential customers. If they’re interested in it, they’ll more likely click the product to learn more information about it. Such a smart way to drive traffic to a new product, right?
A cooking recipe to make product bundles
The image of a chef carefully choosing each ingredient, cooking them at exact portions, temperature, etc. to make a perfect meal is inspiring for anyone who sees it. That’s just how online sellers should do product bundling. Being inspired by that, this recipe is to help you create product bundles in the way a chef cooks a meal. Now, it’s time to jump into the recipe.
Step 1: Choose “ingredients” for your product bundles
Just like cooking, you need to the right “ingredients” for your bundles first. There are 5 types of product bundles and depending on the type you choose, the bundled items will be different:
- Complementary product bundles
This is the most common and easiest bundle type for any online stores to use. Complementary product bundles contain products that can be used together. Side products are added to help customers to fully use the main one.
The additional products that you’re going to add to your bundle would decide how much your customers will love your bundle. This is the time when you think of how to deliver more value than the customer’s expectation.
The bundle below from Best Buy’s has 3 side items: a magnetic charging cable, a screen protector and a sports band. They are perfectly matched with the being viewed Apple Watch.
Another example, Downlite Bedding bundles pillows with pillow protectors, making a perfect match to increase order value. Customers only have to pay 10 dollars more to keep their pillows clean. With that bundle, the brand successfully increases their order value and earn $45k+ more.
Note: If you are a data-driven decision maker, you can create your bundles based on the insights from your order history. From old orders, check if there are any products that are usually bought together. Then you can simply create bundles of those items.
2. Products that have the same theme
In cooking, all the dishes which are served in the same meal should follow the same theme (foods from the same region for example). This rule is also applicable to product bundling.
This type of bundle is quite similar to the previous one. However, it’s not just about products that can be used together, but products that would give a specific result when they come together. This type of bundle is ideal for cosmetic and fashion brands where the products need to be combined well to have a beautiful makeup look or outfit.
To better understand, take a look at Kylie’s VMAS Makeup Bundle below:
It includes 4 products that Kylie had used in her VMAS event. It set the expectation that buyers can have the same makeup look like Kylie’s. This bundle fastens the decision-making process because it’s already a complete set for a specific makeup look. Customers won’t need to select one by one or worry if their choices go well together.
Outdoor Voices is also doing the same to offer its customers a complete outfit. But they don’t tie 4 products into 1 fixed bundle like Kylie Cosmetic. Instead, they give suggestions at the bottom of the product page and allow customers to add any of the additional items. This way, their bundles are more flexible. In case customers don’t want any of them, they can easily deselect it.
Source: Outdoor Voices
3. More of the same/similar products
Some times, there are products that can only be used alone. For this type of products, you can simply create a bundle of 2-3 similar items.
Source: Crush Case
If you are selling low-priced products like phone cases, this type of bundle is perfect for you to increase your order value. You can add different variants of a product into one bundle to suggest customers to buy all of them at once.
Another interesting bundle from Poo~pourri, they pack 5 pocket-sized bottles into 1 box so that customers can try all their scents with a much more affordable price.
4. Bundles with gift cards
Bundling physical products with a gift card is used commonly in holiday seasons when the demand for buying gifts is high. This type of bundle is a no-brainer option and work for any product.
Or, you can even bundle multiple gift cards in one as well.
Source: Appalachia Guild of Healing Arts
5. Incentivized bundles
The four types above show you different ways to make a valuable bundle for customers and sell more without cutting profit. But if you can make your bundle a great deal, you can even make a boost in sales. Customers love a great deal!
For example, Tyfoto is offering a discount of $15 for those who buy 3 lens filters at once. This can be considered as a quantity discount as well.
By adding a slow-mover in the same bundle with a popular one and add a small discount, you can increase AOV and clear your stock at the same time. Or you can also create buy-one-get-one bundles where samples of new products are given for free so that you can promote new products directly to most potential customers.
Step 2: Calculate each ingredient, don’t overdo!
A common mistake of most online sellers when creating doing product bundling is they focus only on the total price. Some add too much to their bundles and make it pricey for their customers. Remember that the purpose of bundling products is to bring more value to customers, not to sell them everything you have. Your bundle’s price shouldn’t be too much higher than customers’ budgets. 25% higher than your current AOV is a good start so that you can be sure your customers can afford your bundle.
If you are selling products with different price ranges, don’t pair cheap items with premium products or services. The 2 types of products target 2 groups of shoppers. By mixing them together, the value of the premium item can be lowered but the whole bundle is still expensive for the other group of shoppers.
Step 3: Turn on your cooker, mix it up!
In our example above, there are 2 ways to display your product bundles:
- Create a new product which contains smaller items inside. Customer can buy your bundle just like they buy a normal product.
- Offer side-products when customers view the main one.
If you choose the first way, from your store backend, add a new product as you normally do. The product description should be clear about elements that are packed together inside. The price will be the sum of each element product. This way, you don’t need any tools or apps to create your bundles.
We highly recommend you choose the second option, just like the way Best Buy is doing. By profiling your bundle when customers view each element product, it will get more attention, compared with the first way. More importantly, shoppers are able to deselect 1 or more items from your bundle to make it more affordable and suitable for their needs.
Best Buy has a technical team to code and customize their bundles. But you don’t need a whole team for that. An upselling app like Boost Sales can be as helpful as Best Buy’s team.
The cross-sell offer feature in Boost Sales app allows you to create a bundle in 3 steps:
- Add an offer’s name and message (the message will show along with your bundle. Make it as much appealing as you can).
- Choose products to add to your cross-sell offer
- Add a discount price (optional)
By saving the offer, you are successfully creating a bundle and ready to serve your customers your well-done “meal”.
Step 4: Receive customers’ responses and make it better
It’s understandable if your bundles don’t work immediately. But you can make it better over time.
First, to see if customers respond positively with your bundle, you can analyze its conversion rate and compare with your other bundle. If you use Boost Sales for your product bundles, you can watch the conversion rate of each bundle from your app dashboard.
Second, A/B test to find which type of bundle works best for your customers. Things that you should A/B test are:
- The message of your bundle
- The number of side-products in your bundle (You can also test with the same main product, which side-product is best to combine with)
- Types of discount (percentage discount or fixed price discount)
Over to you
That’s the end of our “cooking recipe”. Product bundling is not just a sales strategy but it’s a way to tell your customers how professional you are and how much you care about them. This also distinguishes yourself from your competitors and other brands. The more value customers get from you, the more they will remember and return.
Think of yourself as a chef who always tries to create the best dishes. This way, you can bring more happiness to your customers and so, make more sales.