Make more money with these product bundling secrets

October 18, 2019

bold-product-bundling-1

Everyone loves a great deal. 

Doesn’t seeing the product you want at a reduced price just make you want to click the "add to cart" button? There’s a reason for that. 

It lies in psychology and marketing research, which we'll get to in a bit. 

The main focus of this article is to teach you the best ecommerce product bundling strategies, and how to use them to increase your store’s revenue. 

Ready to learn how to make more money? Let’s get started!

Product bundling psychology: why it works

A great salesperson has a full tool-belt of psychological tricks. But guess what? You can use a lot of the same tools in eCommerce.

Product bundling relies on the customer's value perception. 

Value perception is a marketing concept that encompasses a customer’s impressions, awareness, and consciousness about a company's offerings. Generally speaking, most customers will be more inclined to purchase something if they see value in it. Simple enough, right?

The four main types of customer value perception are:

  • Functional value (the solution an offer provides to a customer)
  • Monetary value (the trade-off between other values and monetary costs)
  • Social value (the extent to which owning a product or engaging in a service allows the consumer to connect with others)
  • Psychological value (the extent to which a product allows consumers to express or feel better about themselves)

Remember, value should always be defined through the eyes of the consumer.

To explain what I mean, here’s an example from two smart dudes at Harvard Business School:

Timothy Derdenger and Vineet Kumar once discovered that when video game giants (such as Nintendo) used mixed bundling — the option to purchase products as a bundle — the sales of video game units went up by 100,000, and video game sales went up by more than a million.

But, when Nintendo tried pure bundling — forcing the customer to buy in a bundle instead of giving the choice to mix and match— their sales went down by 20%.

This alone resulted in fewer sales of not only video game consoles, but even video games themselves.

The secret they revealed? Product bundling works best when customers get to choose, especially when  that choice saves them money. 

Customer perception is everything, and that extends to buy one get one (BOGO) bundles as well.

When you offer a buy one get one at a percentage off — or even free — it gives shoppers the perception that they're getting something for free or for a considerable discount.

The thing is, that discount isn't actually as big on the merchant's side.

This is especially true if you're offering a smaller, complementary product with a relatively higher profit margin. Take a look at this chart.

Offer Total discount
Buy one get one free 50%
Buy one get one half off 25%
Buy one get one 40% 30%
Buy two get one free 33%
Buy three get two free 40%
Buy three get three free 50%


That means if you do a buy one get one 40%, it's very appealing to shoppers (it looks like it's almost 50% off!) but you're actually only giving a 30% discount in total. 

The discount you eat gets even smaller if your "get one" product is less expensive.

So let's say your offer is to buy a jacket and get a scarf 50% off. Your jackets are $200 and your scarves are $30. This can make purchasing the jacket much more appealing to shoppers, but you're really only giving a $15 discount off a $230 purchase — that's actually only 6.5% off the whole order.

Crunch the numbers! Maybe you can give your customers a great deal without actually cutting into your profits too much. 

Now that you understand some pricing strategies, let's look at some product bundling strategies. 

Product bundling strategies & best practices

Creating mixed product bundles will increase your average order value, and, ultimately, your sales this Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

But it’s not as simple as throwing things together and crossing your fingers. There are strategies and best practices to creating the perfect bundle that will entice your customers.

It all starts with your analytics. 

1) Use Google Analytics to find your most popular products

By using Google Analytics, you can easily see which products are getting the most traffic.

Sounds great, right? But how do you use Google Analytics to find the information you need in order to create the best product bundles?

Let’s take Google Analytics step-by-step:

  • Step one: Click “Behavior”
  • Step two: Click “Site Content” then “All Pages”
  • Step three: Look for your highest trafficked product pages

Let's take a look at the screenshot provided below from QuickZip Sheet (they’re the world’s first zip-on bed sheets — pretty cool, right?)

Quickzip sheets for popular products


After clicking “Behavior” and “All Pages,” I was able to find that their most popular product is their Luxe Starter Pack, followed by their Baby Starter Pack.

To increase their average order value, they could create a mixed product bundle and sell both their Luxe and Baby Starter Pack together, targeting parents who want to buy for their baby as well as themselves.

This works great for QuickZip, but what if your most popular products don’t make sense as a bundle, or you didn’t find any good ideas here?

Then move on to best practice #2. 

2) Bundle “main” products with related accessories

Everybody loves accessories!

And, no, we’re not just talking about the accessories you throw on to look good (like necklaces, earrings, and rings). 

We’re talking about accessories that go with the main product you sell. 

For example, let’s say you’re selling personalized diaries and you want to kick your profit margins up a bit. The easiest solution would be to find an item that coincides with the diary.

In this case, you can bundle pens with your diaries to make them look more appealing. Plus, customers will need a pen (or pencil) to fill in their diary. Why shouldn’t you also offer it to them?

The pens, in this case, act as an important accessory item. You’ve now created a bundle that makes sense for the customer. 

Look at what Sephora did for Black Friday: 

Image via: oberlo.com

In this example, Sephora has bundled products that make sense to be offered together, like lipstick and makeup, or lotion with a beach bag.  

The customer is able to see the original price these items would cost to buy separately, so they can quantify their savings. This lets them know that they are making a smart choice and saving money, while the seller sees an increase in average order value. It's a win-win! 

Here's another great example from Sony:

Screen Shot 2019-10-11 at 3.59.27 PM

Image via: techcrunch.com

Can you feel your bargain-senses tingling?

This is like the Nintendo example from earlier — offering customers the choice to mix and match bundles and save as much money as they want. 

Not only do buyers get a Playstation 4 with a controller for just $199.99, but they also get one of the hottest games of the season. If they want they can add a second (or third!) controller, or go all out and combine with a VR bundle for an extra $199.99. 

This is a great way to promote multiple bundles that could either be purchased individually or combined in mega bundle with everything you need!

3) Upsell your bundles 

By now you know the best bundles are the ones that feel most natural. 

Restaurants, for example, often upsell meals without us catching on, like the classic, "Would you like to supersize that?"

Not only does this increase the restaurant's average order value, it also brings satisfaction to customers. These bundles make customers feel like they get more value for their money. (Remember, customer value perception? Yay, psychology!)

While you may not own a restaurant, there are plenty of ways for you to upsell your product bundles to customers.

A great way to do this is by using the Bold Upsell app. 

Upsell gives you the ability to offer a customizable upsell product at the point of checkout (or anywhere else you want). 

Bold upsell app for bundling

 

When the customer goes to select a 1 LB bag of coffee, the app automatically offers them a 2 LB bag for only $3.00 more. You can never have too much coffee, right? Then once they click checkout it asks if they want a pack of filters for an additional $3.00.

For only $6.00 more than the cost of their original purchase, they are getting twice the coffee and an accessory they needed anyway. It looks like a win for both customer and merchant! 

You can offer your customers pre-selected products based on what's currently in their cart (or the dollar amount of the order).

upsell bundling


Let’s say a customer adds a camera to their cart. You can offer them a memory card and a camera bag to go along with it. Or, if they’re buying a laptop, offer them a laptop case!

bundle products in the checkout


With the “Easy Product Selector,” you’re able to pick and choose which products you’d like to sell together. Afterwards, you’re able to see how well they’re selling as well as watch the conversion rate rise!

Bold product bundles


How awesome is that? Upselling has never been easier! Check out this video to learn more:

5 awesome product bundling examples

Before we send you off to create some of your own product bundles, here are five examples to get you excited: 

1. Vinyl Records Bundle

Image via: stickfigurestore.com

Even musicians are getting in on eCommerce bundling to sell their records. Look at how American Reggae and Dub band, Stick Figure, uses Bold Bundles to offer a deal to fans who want both albums. 

When a buyer clicks on one vinyl record, the Bold Bundles app automatically offers them a lower price for both albums. This is great for the merchant — increased order value — and great for the fan who wants to buy more than one album. 

2. Death Wish Coffee Bundle

Deathwish coffee bundle

Image via: deathwishcoffee.com

Black Friday, dark roast...you get the connection. 

Death Wish Coffee is known to be the world’s most powerful cup of Joe. In fact, the creators of this deadly cup of coffee will gladly give you a refund if this doesn’t wake you up in the morning.

Both bundles include the same coffee, however the format of each coffee differs. Customers have total control over what they’re ordering!

In the first bundle, you get individual-serve coffee cups (with the original Death Wish blend, as well as a Valhalla java coffee blend). The second bundle offers the same two blends, but allows you to choose whether or not you’d like the coffee in bean or ground form. 

Wake up and smell the bundling opportunity! 

3. Black Friday Beauty Bundle 

Screen Shot 2019-10-11 at 4.09.56 PM

Image Via: youniqueproducts.com

Black Friday and beauty go hand in hand. Beauty products like those offered from Younique hold a special opportunity for product bundling. Why is that? Because they are consumable (they run out), you can never have too many of them, and people use them together so it makes sense to offer them as a bundle. 

This is a nice example of a Black Friday product bundle that offers customers a useful assortment of products for a reasonable price. Customers will see this and say to themselves, "I'm going to buy these things anyway, why not save money and buy them all together now." 

4. Wood Barrel Bar Bundle

Screen Shot 2019-10-17 at 11.26.58 AM

Image via: thecraftybartender.com

Get into the Black Friday spirit — literally! These wood barrel shot glasses from The Crafty Bartender are sure to be a hit at your next backyard party or barbecue. '

The best part? You can buy them in a bundle for a reduced price.

Don't roll the dice on your Black Friday promotions. Use Bold Bundles to sell custom bundles, buy-one-get-one (BOGO) offers, flexible discounts and more. 

Sign up now, or to get the latest version of Bold Bundles, contact the Bold Merchant Success Team for more information. 

5. The Dollar Shave Club Bundle

Dollar shave club bundle

Image via: dollarshaveclub.com

The Dollar Shave Club is one of my personal favorites. Each bundle is the same price (with free shipping), but they all differentiate in what they offer.

Not everyone needs shave butter or prep scrub and the Dollar Shave Club knows that. So, they've created bundles that cater to everyone’s needs.

Key takeaway: offer bundles of varying products, but offer them at the same price. This gives your customers customization options, which has been shown to improve conversions.

A few more quick ideas

Those examples didn't help you come up with anything? Here are a few ideas for other types of products.

Industry Products Bundle type
Apparel Hat, gloves, and scarf Group combo product
Cosmetics One cleanser and one Moisturizer Mix & Match
Nutritional supplements Protein powder, shaker cup, vitamin sample pack Buy two, get one free
Kitchenware Spatula, set of cookie cutters, cookbook. Gift set product combo


Learn how to use our Bold Bundles app to set up all these offers!

Conclusion

Now that we’ve gone over the psychology of product bundling, as well as shown examples on how you can do it more efficiently, it’s time for you to put what you’ve learned into action. 

Looking to run product bundles, BOGOs, and other exciting sales on your ecommerce store? Use Bold Bundles. It's easy to install and use, and can start making you more money instantly. What are you waiting for? 

What eCommerce product bundling tools have you used in the past? Leave a comment below!

Bill Widmer

Written by Bill Widmer

Bill is an eCommerce content marketing and SEO consultant. He's run several stores and worked with many well-known brands including A Better Lemonade Stand, SaleHoo, and Lifehack.

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