We’re all familiar with McDonald’s extra value meal and for good reason; it’s a bargain. Product bundling is an age-old retail tactic that can increase revenue, raise average order value, and shift slow-moving stock, all while making consumers think they’re saving a buck. Yet, it’s widely underutilized in the eCommerce industry.
If you’d like to take advantage of this strategy for your business, then read on as we share the bundling best practices across Walmart, Amazon, and eBay – all for the price of one.
What is eCommerce bundling?
Product bundling in eCommerce is a sales strategy that groups products together, either at a discounted price or with added value. There are two main types of bundling:
– Pure bundling
Pure bundling is when two or more products are only available together and cannot be bought separately. For example, an HP laptop with Windows 10.
– Mixed bundling
Mixed bundling is when two or more products that can be purchased individually are also sold together. For example, an HP laptop and HP mouse.
The benefits of bundling
With clear cost benefits for consumers, you might be wondering what the benefits of bundling are for marketplace sellers. Despite being underutilized in eCommerce, there are plenty of seller benefits to bundling.
1) Moving slow-moving stock
Bundling a slow-moving item with a fast-moving product, allows you to clear your warehouse out of slow-moving stock quicker than if you sold the items separately.
2) Selling more
Product bundling encourages customers to spend more – increasing revenue without having to attract more customers. In fact, upsells and cross-sells generate 10-30% of eCommerce revenues – making these types of bundles especially profitable.
3) Subscription boxes
Product bundling also allows you to take advantage of the booming subscription box market – where bundled products such as gins, shaving equipment, baking supplies, and sweet treats have done especially well.
4) Introducing new products
Bundling is also a great way to introduce new products to the market – products that your current customers haven’t tried before or didn’t know you sold.
There’s also a huge amount of eCommerce psychology involved in bundling. Product bundles tempt the subconscious mind with:
- Value – increasing the perceived value of the items
- Ease – making shopping quicker, especially during the holidays
- Trust – 80% of customers are more likely to buy following personalized recommendations
Bundling creates a new product (or ASIN), which makes competing for the buy box and certain longtail keywords easier.
Bundling best practices across Walmart, Amazon, and eBay
So, how do you get started? Successful product bundling across Walmart, Amazon, and eBay requires much more thought than simply pairing two products together and selling them as one. To create bundles that generate sales, you need to:
1) Create the right bundle
McDonald’s doesn’t bundle a Big Mac with a steam cleaner, and you shouldn’t either. Use your customer personas and sales data to find patterns of joint purchases that you can use to create relevant and useful bundles. A top recommendation is always to bundle items of similar standing together, so as not to cheapen any products. For example, a $1,000 handbag bundled with a $4.99 purse will make consumers question the quality of the handbag.
2) Offer value
Your bundle must offer customers value either in terms of convenience, pricing, or free shipping. Importantly, it must never offer negative-value – i.e., being priced higher than buying the products individually. Not only will this be unpopular, but it could damage your reputation.
3) Increase margins
Your aim when bundling products on Walmart, Amazon, and eBay is to increase average order value. Therefore the price of your bundle must be low enough to attract customers, but high enough to maintain a profit margin. The exact formula for achieving this depends on the product, your brand, the competition, and marketing. However, four common and successful bundle pricing strategies we see are:
Small discount bundling
Offering a small discount in return for buying products together is common for:
- Add-on bundles – selling products from the same category together. For example, a laptop, keyboard, and mouse.
- Cross-selling bundles – selling products from different categories together. For example, a laptop and a laptop backpack.
- Multi-buy bundles – selling multiples of the same product together. For example, two laptops.
Heavy discount bundling
Offering substantial discounts in return for buying bundled items is common for:
- Inventory reduction – bundling a fast-moving item with a product that is not selling well
- Wholesale – selling large quantities of stock for resale
- New items – introducing new product lines and unheard-of items
Zero discount bundling
There are also opportunities to maintain product prices when bundling items together. This is frequent when selling:
- Convenience bundles – bundling popular items together purely for customer convenience. For example, selling a game console and controller
- Exclusive access bundles – bundling items together before they are available to buy individually. For example, selling a game console and a new game
- Price friction bundles – bundling a minor product that’s causing price friction with a more expensive item. For example, selling a sunglasses and case bundle for $120, rather than charging $20 for the case
Free shipping bundling
You can also use bundling as a way to offer customers free shipping, by bundling items together to meet minimum order-value thresholds. For example, Amazon Prime sellers can offer a $25 bundle to qualify non-Prime members for free shipping.
4) Choose the right category
If your bundle contains items from different categories, you need to ensure that you pick the right category to list your bundle under. Both eBay and Amazon require you to list in the category of the main (or most expensive) item.
5) Promote and highlight
Promoting your bundle is useful for increasing visibility, especially when selling items from different categories. You can promote the benefit of purchasing your bundle by:
- Optimizing your listing title and description by including the word “bundle” alongside keywords for both products
- Optimizing your listing photography using high-quality photographs of the items together and individually
- Running Amazon, Walmart and eBay advertising campaigns to target customers and highlight the savings
- Including your bundle in fast shipping programs such as Amazon Prime and Walmart 2-day delivery
6) Manage your inventory
Handling bundled item inventory, especially when selling products individually too, can be difficult. We recommend using an inventory management tool to synchronize your inventory across multiple platforms and update bundle and individual listings.
7) Perfect your shipping
And, most important of all? Perfect your shipping. It’s easy to run into errors and wasted time while picking, packing, and shipping bundled items. Ensure customer happiness and positive reviews by:
- Optimizing your in-house processes to reduce error and increase efficiency; or
- Using a multi-channel fulfillment provider experienced in fulfilling bundle orders.
Bundling best practices – final thoughts
Product bundling is beneficial for customers and sellers alike – but only when you do it properly. Create useful bundles that offer value to your customers, while increasing average order size and boosting your profits by following these handy tips. Happy bundling!