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Product bundling ideas to boost your average order value

Jessica Farelly
By Jessica Farrelly

Product bundling is an effective merchandising strategy for cross-selling complementary products and enticing shoppers to spend more when they visit your ecommerce site.

When it comes to bundling, retailers can look to an unlikely source for inspiration: the restaurant industry. Lunch specials, prix fixe meals, and even Happy Meals are ubiquitous examples of product bundling. They combine dishes that go well together, and that would otherwise be sold a la carte, as a package. By offering meal “bundles” at exclusive times or at slightly discounted prices, restaurants succeed in getting diners to order more than just the entree they originally had in mind.

So, how can ecommerce retailers use these bundling techniques to their advantage? This article will fill you in on exactly what product bundling is and why you should be doing it. 

What is product bundling?

Product bundling is a cross-selling technique that sells complementary products together instead of individually. 

For the retail industry, product bundling could mean packaging a bike, helmet, and tire pump together instead of selling a bike on its own and hoping that customers will also buy their accessories from you. 

Why should you bundle complementary products?

Bundling is an effective sales technique for several reasons. 

First, product bundling helps you generate more revenue. Why? Because it’s a cross-selling technique that encourages customers to buy more items than they may have originally planned. According to Shopify, product bundling is responsible for between 10 and 30% of ecommerce sales. 

Think about it: you’re making the shopping experience more convenient by showing customers what products they might need in addition to the one they’re primarily shopping for. For example, by selling sheets, a duvet cover, a duvet, pillow inserts, and a quilt together as a package instead of separately, you’re making it easier for customers to get everything they need in one order.

Product bundling can also prevent customers from going to the competition. Your shoppers may not realize that you sell accessories for the item that they’re looking for unless you make it very obvious through bundling. When you show customers that you’re a one-stop shop, they’ll be more likely to buy their intended item and complementary products from you, instead of going to competitors.

How the experts do online merchandising

how the experts do ecommerce merchandising

7 foolproof product bundling ideas

Without further ado, here are seven of our top ideas for product bundling. 

1. Study analytics to build your bundles

Use data, rather than a gut feeling, to group products that your customers often buy together. Look at your ecommerce site’s reporting features to discover product combinations you may not have thought of. 

You can also use a solution like Searchspring’s personalized recommendations to dynamically recommend complementary products to customers based on their browsing history, or based on your own set of rules.

2. Offer a discount on bundles

When you give a discount on bundles, you make it a no-brainer for customers to buy all of their products at once and from you.

Athletic apparel brand Fabletics sells its apparel both as outfits and individually, but incentivizes shoppers to buy more by offering discounts on outfits.

ecommerce product bundling

3. Uspell your bundles

While product bundling is a cross-selling technique, there’s no reason why you can’t also use it to upsell by creating bundles with upgraded options. 

A jewelry store might, for example, offer a necklace, bracelet, and earring bundle and let customers upgrade gemstones. Using marketing language like “basic” for the cheapest bundle and “deluxe” for the premium bundle will encourage customers to want to go for the “better” (read: more expensive) option.

4. Give your bundles a theme

Build kits out of products that fulfill a specific need or stick to a theme. 

This product bundling technique is particularly popular in the cosmetics industry. Many companies create skincare sets that address specific areas of concern, like acne or anti-aging, or feature a certain type of scent or ingredient, like lavender or clay.

5. Create holiday gift bundles

Research shows that people spend more during the holidays when shopping for gifts.  

Take advantage of shoppers’ generosity during the season of giving and create seasonal bundles to cross-sell products. You can make the bundles festive by using holiday-themed packaging or throwing in a greeting card that shoppers can fill out before gifting to friends.

6. Create scarcity

When customers feel like they have all the time in the world to make a purchase, they may abandon their carts and fail to convert. According to Psychology Today, limited-time offers are an effective purchase trigger. 

Generate a sense of urgency and scarcity that compels shoppers to buy the products they’ve been eyeing by creating limited-edition or limited-time-only bundles. Use email marketing and on-page, inline banners to advertise these fleeting promotions.

7. Use product bundling to clear out your inventory

Having trouble getting rid of clearance items? Grouping them together and offering a deeper discount will get your stock moving and make customers feel like they’re getting a great deal. 

Try bundling final sale products with some of this season’s best sellers to increase their visibility and incentivize shoppers to buy slightly older accessories alongside this season’s in-demand little black dress, for example.  

Product bundling: The ecommerce retailer’s secret to success

If you currently only sell products individually on your ecommerce store, it’s time to upgrade your bundling game. Use data to combine complementary products, offer discounts, take advantage of scarcity, and leverage holiday generosity to reap the rewards of this clever merchandising tactic.

Ready for more actionable tactics to enhance the online shopping experience? Check out our in-depth guide to ecommerce merchandising