Bundles: 5 tips for determining the perfect product combos to offer
Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Cordelia Blake, CEO of Scanner Society.
Bundles are a great way to boost sales at any level. A bundle is a combination of complementary products that are sold as a single unit. It is kind of an “industry” term in the sense that customers usually think of words such as kit, set, gift basket, project, or gift box. They can be functional or gift oriented but each item should always provide added value to the customer.
A bundle can be as simple as combining two useful things such as a Philips head and slot head screw driver or as complex as an elaborate gift basket and everything in between. Here is an example of a screwdriver bundle on Amazon. One of the benefits of having a good eCommerce website is that you can give your customers the option of customizing their bundle. Here is a simple example of custom bundles on the Chinese Southern Belle’s website. If selling bundles on a marketplace such as Amazon, Jet or Walmart, make sure to read their policy and comply with both product and catalog listing requirements.
Bundles are a great way to raise average sales price per product, to serve customers with products that make their lives easier, and to leverage current products into new and different ones. They are profitable for smaller businesses as well as large ones. When researching and planning new bundles, always plan for scalability even if the first few rounds are slow and tedious. Once the winning products are determined, if they are designed well, they will be implementable on a large scale. Planning good bundle is a mix of art and science. Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Look at what customers are already buying together
Look on your own site or use marketplace data to see what customers are already buying together. Many sites will tell you exactly what customers who bought one thing also bought. This is meant for them to sell you more stuff but we can use it to strategize product bundles.
2. Use social media to conduct research
The internet has brought the ability to learn about different groups of people right to our office. Facebook groups, Instagram, blogs, Pinterest, and Reddit are just a few places to learn more about a customer group or avatar. If you want to learn about “adult coloring” for example, join and lurk (don’t participate, just read) in some Facebook groups. There are groups with over 50,000 members! See what people share. Just by seeing what customers are so proud of that they share on their own is incredibly educational. Do not try to sell in these groups, use them for learning. If you do want to sell, always ask permission from moderators.
3. Don’t sell someone a to-do list
Will your customer have to run out to the store to buy more stuff to go with what they already bought or can you combine products to give them everything in one fell swoop? Delve deep into the mind of your customer (you could even speak with a few of them) and do your best to give them everything in one easy step.
4. Look for popular items with bad websites or marketplace listings
Have you ever seen something online, that had thousands of sales and wondered why? Why would anyone buy this product with such terrible photography, awful descriptions and bad reviews? The reason is that there is likely not a better option. See if you can make a similar product or bundle and do everything right. You’ve already used the bad listing to identify the customer need, now fill it with something wonderful!
This bundle on Amazon.com comes with a photograph that is clearly unprofessional and the design that is on each item is hard to see. However, with a sub-rank of under 2K, it might be worth improving upon!
5. Read reviews!
Your competition’s and your own reviews are priceless resources. Customers will literally tell you exactly what they want or what’s missing. It’s a great way to improve any product whether or not it’s a bundle. Learn from both good and bad reviews.
This review tells you that the press is too small. Go ahead and sell a bigger one or better yet, do a bundle with a few different sizes for different sized cloves of garlic.
Here we see that they customer would benefit from a reusable bag to store the press in. Sounds like a great BUNDLE!
Cordelia is the CEO of Scanner Society, a Chamber Of Commerce style organization for Amazon and other online sellers. They provide online and in person connections and resources for e-commerce professionals. She has also successfully sold many bundles and teaches bundle strategy to sellers. Sign up for her free bundle class here.