Product bundling, or selling different products together as a set, has nothing but benefits for retailers, from unloading unwanted inventory to introducing new products to earning customer loyalty through better specials. There are some slight drawbacks, like tracking stock levels, but what’s really holding retailers back is inexperience.
In this quick guide, we run through everything you need to know about product bundling, including some of the best tips for doing it yourself. Let’s start with a simple explanation: what is product bundling?
What Is Product Bundling?
Product bundling is when you sell two or more different products as one unit, like a curated box of sample bottles, or an electronic device with a separate pack of batteries. Don’t get product bundles confused with multipacks, which comprise only the same product. Product bundles are closer to subscription boxes, in that the customer receives a variety of items.
How to Use Product Bundling: Strategy and Examples
The real question isn’t what is product bundling, but how do you use it. Product bundles have been around long before ecommerce and can fulfill quite a few different needs depending on how you use them.
Take a look at these worthwhile product bundling strategies:
Promotions and Seasonal Marketing
You never have to look far to find bundle ideas. You can rotate special deals into your promotional campaigns whenever you need to, even under the pretense of a seasonal, monthly, or weekly campaign event. We even recommended product bundling as one of our recent spring marketing ideas.
Sometimes products don’t sell because shoppers don’t know about them or how useful they can be. Product bundling is a natural way to get those products in your customer’s hands. You can even match products to their best customer group by strategically choosing what you pair them with, for example, pairing an unknown dog toy with a popular bag of dog food to target pet owners.
Upselling and Cross-Selling
Every online retailer should know how to upsell in ecommerce. Product bundling makes it easy by using price breaks on groups to add incentives or by making more expensive products more attractive with bonuses.
Unsold inventory isn’t just the cost of missed sales — you also have to pay for storage and any extra time spent on marketing. These hard-to-move products make great add-ons or “free gifts” in more popular bundles, perfect for liquidating excess inventory.
Common Product Bundling Examples
Need some inspiration? Check out these 5 common approaches to product bundling:
- Popular & Unknown — Perfect for raising product awareness, as mentioned above. Make sure the two products are related so the target customer is the same.
- Best Sellers & Slow Movers — Unlike popular & unknown pairs, you can tack on slow-movers to any best-seller. The goal is to unload your inventory, not necessarily get your customers to fall in love with them, so in this case, they’re more like a promotional gift.
- Used Together — Customers appreciate it when you make their lives easier. It saves them time if you bundle together products that are used together, like socks with a shoe purchase or chargers/batteries with electronics. This works well with upselling and cross-selling, as you can bundle them with higher-priced supplies, i.e., the “good” chargers.
- Thematic — Thematic bundling, like “seasonal” or “skincare,” works great for promotions, and can be hand-tailored to suit specific types of customers if you want to hone in on a specific niche.
- Mix-and-Match — Finally, you can give your shopper the choice of what products go into a bundle, like a DIY kit. This is a popular technique in the food industry (think donuts), but can be equally effective online.
Choosing what to put together can make or break the success of your product bundles, so don’t take it lightly. You also want to consider markups and any shipping concerns like weight.
How to Market Product Bundles
Marketing for product bundles follows similar guidelines as your other products, but with a few unique twists. Here’s a quick list of sales tips that can help your bundles sell themselves.
Share the Actual Value
Part of the appeal of product bundles is the price break, so draw more attention to it by listing the actual value. This standard retail technique works especially well with bundles as long as the customer is getting a deal.
Why not feature your product bundles as you would any individual item? Put your bundles front-and-center in your product recommendations, best-sellers page, and even your store home page. The more attention you give them, the more they appeal to shoppers.
Offer Them Regularly
Offering regular product bundles, like per season or per month, builds up anticipation and enthusiasm among your repeat customers. This technique pairs well with deadlines, and the urgency will increase sales if the shopper knows it’s a limited-time offer.
New Tech Revives Old Technique
Although product bundling has been around as long as commerce itself, doing it online can be problematic because of inventory tracking. How do you track the stock levels of individual products if you’re using a separate SKU for the bundle? This is doubly crucial if you’re using multichannel selling, where you’d have to redo stock levels on each individual channel every time you make a sale.
Luckily, technology can rectify this problem, as long as you know where to look. Our inventory management software not only seamlessly integrates product bundling into your stock-keeping and analytics but also updates stock levels on all your channels automatically. You don’t have to lift a finger.
With ecomdash, you can bundle together any products you want without concern for stock levels or updating pages. You can even test their success directly with our built-in analytics. Try it now for 15 days free to see what we mean — no credit card required.
Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published June 2014 and was updated in April 2021 to reflect more accurate and relevant information.