— August 13, 2018
Have you ever upgraded to a large popcorn or drink at the movies, merely because the helpful clerk pointed out that it’s “only 25 cents more?”
Have you ever grabbed the shampoo and conditioner combo that was cellophane-wrapped together, because it was simpler than sorting through all the options on the shelf?
Maybe you bought more toothpaste or deodorant than you really needed because of a “buy two, get one free” deal?
You too can employ upselling and product bundling, both of which are very powerful techniques that can help you move stalled inventory or grow your sales revenue. These techniques are popular with customers and merchants alike and can make a big impact in the competitive and price-conscious world of online sales.
Here is an overview of how product bundling can help your business, as well as some top tips for implementing it successfully.
The Benefits of Bundling
Product bundling means selling multiple products as a package deal, usually at a slight discount.
Some of the benefits of this tactic include:
- Customer Value: Bundles increase customers’ perception of value and makes them feel like they got a good deal.
- Convenience: It decreases decision fatigue by presenting convenient, prepackaged options.
- Merchant Profit: Bundling is a proven way to increase average cart value.
- Trust: Curated recommendations can enhance the relationship between the merchant and customer. Research suggests that 80% of consumers appreciate customized offers and are more likely to make a purchase as a result.
- Inventory management: It can help sellers clear out overstock or slow-selling products.
How to Implement Bundling Successfully
We tend to think of product bundling in conjunction with brick-and-mortar sales. But it can be just as (or even more) effective in e-commerce.
Research suggests that a whopping 10-to-30 percent of e-commerce revenue results from upsells and cross-sells.
What is the key to getting these kinds of results? Be very strategic.
- Put useful products together: Save your customers time by pointing them to the accessories or other items they’re likely to need with their purchase. Consumers are often grateful when you guide them to complementary or related goods.
- Offer real value: Buyers will see through it immediately if there are no real savings. This will hurt your credibility with your audience. Make sure whatever bundle you offer will actually save them some money.
- Keep choices simple: To be effective, bundles have to be convenient and easy to understand. Too many options can overwhelm buyers, causing them to abandon their carts.
- Look for patterns in your sales data: Look to past sales to find out what your customers tend to buy together. Those items are great candidates for bundled deals.
- Bundle overstock with popular items at an attractive price: A great way to get slow-moving goods off your shelves before they become dead stock is to pair them with hot sellers.
- Use intelligent software to personalize your bundles: Online stores have a lot of advantages over typical retailers when it comes to marketing. E-commerce businesses often have an astonishing amount of information about prospective buyers, from demographic details to their browsing histories and past purchases. You can use this data to customize landing pages and personalize bundles, presenting different deals to different customers.
- Scout the competition: Do a little competitor analysis by visiting other business’ sites and seeing what happens when you put an item that you both sell in your cart.
- Do A/B tests to find the most appealing pairings: You will be better able to figure out what customers want by testing different product combinations to see how they perform.
- Let consumers create their own bundles: You can offer incentives for additional purchases in a variety of ways. For example, let customers choose multiple items from a group of products for a discount. Or you can set a spending threshold beyond which they get free shipping or a percentage off their total purchase price.
- Bundle your products with goods from another company: Partnering with a business that sells related products can benefit both of you, potentially doubling the number of consumers who see your offer. Just be sure to draft a clear agreement beforehand.
- Don’t mix cheap items with expensive ones: Make sure you combine items of similar quality or value. The products don’t have to be the same price, especially if you are pairing accessories with a costly item (e.g. phones and phone cases, or digital cameras and SD cards). But they should be of comparable brand status. Otherwise, you risk diminishing the perceived value of the whole bundle.
- Advertise your bundles: You can promote your offers any number of ways – email, social media, promotions on your website, traditional media – but be sure to spread the word.
Setting Yourself Up for Success
When advertising and promoting your bundles, think about your packaging. You can send subtle psychological signals to buyers by showing items packaged as a unit, suggesting that they are meant to go together.
If you expect to sell a lot of a particular bundle, you can save a lot of time on the fulfillment end of the process by prepackaging the bundle in advance.
Be careful also not to complicate your accounting and inventory practices by selling the same item at different price points for different configurations.
Make sure your software and tracking protocols are up to the task. Test your website regularly for speed and glitches. Review customer service calls for any problems.
Lastly, constantly test new offers and combinations. Amazon is probably the best example of an e-commerce retailer that is constantly evolving and improving, trying new things, and looking for growth opportunities in its sales data.
Your business may not be the in the same league as Amazon with respect to company size, but smaller enterprises are more nimble and can adapt much faster to changing customer preferences.