Ecommerce experts agree that bundling products or services together is a highly effective online sales tactic, and I’ve found that to be true in my own ecommerce experience. I’ve also had bundles completely flop, which provided valuable lessons in the strategic use of bundling to optimize online sales.
Product bundling is a very effective way to:
- Be unique & set yourself apart
- Increase value perception to shoppers
- Introduce new inventory or move stagnant inventory
- Boost the average value of orders
- Beat your competition
The top two reasons consumers opt for a bundle are value and convenience.
My own product bundling tests quickly revealed the most important key to success: know your ideal customer. Think beyond their basic profile and really get into their head. What do they need right now? What do they want? What challenges are they facing? What problems do they have? Get to know them better so you can fulfill their specific needs, resulting in increased sales. Don’t hesitate to ask them for their ideas and feedback by engaging them on social media.
TIP: Bundles are especially attractive to shoppers who are looking for gifts for your ideal customer, so don’t forget them in your target market analysis.
16 Best Selling Product Bundle Ideas
Start with the following proven bundle ideas, customize those most suitable for your business, and bring it all into a successful sales strategy. I’ve selected these ideas based on both their success rate and their suitability for multiple categories.
1. Throw in something that others exclude, such as batteries, a charger, adapter, hardware like cords, etc. Label it “everything you need” or the like, so shoppers know they won’t have to buy a power cord or wait for some other standard item that manufacturers don’t include.
2. Theme bundles can be based on the latest movies, occasions, common problems, causes, or any other theme.
- Canadian theme bundles, such as products made in Canada or services designed specifically for Canadians. Countless surveys have concluded that Canadians love to support Canadian businesses. These bundles are perfect for “limited time” Canada Day promotions too.
- Environmentally friendly, responsibly sourced, or other socially-conscious theme.
3. Bundle for convenience, such as stocking stuffers for a certain age group, host gifts, or party supplies.
4. Customized bundles, where shoppers can choose different colours, sizes, items, mix & match, and so on. Maritime Madness does this with their sauces, and as a customer I enjoyed the process of building a custom Christmas gift.
5. Kits are bundles that include everything you need to do anything, like craft kits, installation kits, or travel kits.
6. Subscription boxes have become very popular and they’re virtually the same as any other bundle, except the sales are recurring. You’ll have to come up with a theme and new contents every month, but they have a lot of potential if you’d like to give it a try.
7. Best sellers or bundled favourites provide both social proof and convenience.
8. Free stuff like company swag, bonus items, or buy-on-get-one-free (BOGO). This Estee Lauder Facebook ad offers a bonus item and it’s a tactic often used in the cosmetic industry.
9. Build a product bundle with extra consumables, such as a replacement filter for an air purifier.
10. Bundle the product with a service or warranty. Include a coupon for a free course, ebook, updates, or a related service like one-on-one customer support.
11. Gift bundles intended to address specific challenges are very successful, such as groups that are hard to buy for, age-specific bundles, or hobbies the giver doesn’t know much about. For example, I don’t know anything about gaming so I would choose related bundles for my son. I wouldn’t take the risk of choosing the wrong items, so it’s either a bundle or I don’t make a purchase.
12. Collectibles have been making sales for decades and it works the same online. From a freebie in cereal to a limited edition game controller, offering something collectible can not only make the sale but bring them back for more.
13. Upgrades and upsells work for many industries by increasing the basket size and appealing to the one-stop shopper. Florists often use this combo of bundling and upgrades, offering a larger bouquet or additions like balloons or chocolate.
14. Going, going…GONE! Create a sense of urgency by promoting stagnant inventory bundles as an “almost sold out” situation, or “once they’re gone, they’re gone forever.”
15. One stop shopping is a tempting offer for busy Canadians. You can add value to current products by adding another product, or build an entirely new bundle. For example, Staples can find and fill any back-to-school supply list for you…what a time saver!
The reason it works so well is summed up on their school tools page, “With this streamlined process, Staples makes back-to-school shopping hassle-free for parents.”
16. Even what you pack the products in can make it a bundle. For example, you could put everything into a branded shopping tote, reusable container, or provide a festive presentation in a gift basket.
Test & Track Product Bundle Sales
Testing will provide guidance for future bundling and it can reveal some surprising things.
For example, according to a Harvard study, the value of bundles is recognized by consumers as long as you also offer unbundled versions of products. They use Nintendo as an example of this phenomena. When the gaming giant offered bundles in addition to individual products sold separately, they enjoyed a substantial increase in sales. However, when they only offered bundles, sales plummeted by 20 percent.
Harvard Assistant Professor, Vineet Kumar says, “…a bundling strategy is likely to find success with a variety of products—especially where one piece of the bundle is produced at very low cost. Digital products, which have low marginal cost, are especially suitable for bundling. It also helps if the bundled products work well together.”
Test your own bundle ideas to determine which are best for your business. Practical Ecommerce has an excellent guide, How to Test Product Bundles to Boost Profits, that covers types of tests, data collection, and analysis.
More Bundling Tips
[DISCLOSURE: We may receive compensation from links to products on this website.]
- Check successful online retailers to see how they’re using bundles to increase sales and bring back customers. Don’t copy competitors – do it better.
- Don’t forget to add a coupon for the next purchase.
- Major ecommerce platforms (like Canada’s Shopify or WordPress WooCommerce) facilitate several types of bundling, automating the process so you don’t have to worry about it. Maximizing your ecommerce platform features can help offset the monthly cost of the platform.
- Promote bundles in your online marketing, especially on social media. They work well for influencer marketing too.
- Feature product bundles on related product pages and the home page.
- Bundling can help you compete in online marketplaces, such as Amazon or eBay.
- Be mindful of shipping costs. You’ll quickly go into the red if the items you bundle are too large or heavy. If it eats up the bundle benefits, there’s little point in doing it.
What types of ecommerce product bundles will you try? Please share what you learn and ask questions in the comments below, or join us in the Online Business Canada Facebook group.
7 Recession Proof Online Businesses To Start From Home
Expert help to choose, start, and run the business of your dreams!
“Almost 200 pages of pure gold…”
© CanadiansInternet.com – Content on this website may not be used elsewhere without expressed permission. Thank you for respecting the effort that we have put into our original content.
DISCLOSURE: We may receive compensation from links to products on this website. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Our content is provided for informational purposes only and does not guarantee results.
COMMENTS ARE MODERATED – Legitimate comments will be published after a short delay.
Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In 25 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and ecommerce websites. Her book, 7 Recession Proof Online Businesses to Start From Home, is available on Amazon.
Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on CanadiansInternet.com, CanadianFamily.net and AllNaturalPetCare.com, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.