An In-Depth Take on Amazon Product Bundles: Are They a Yes or No?
A whopping 82% of all Amazon purchases are made through Buy Box. That means that you have to race against tons of competitors, win the pricing war, acquire an excellent seller score, and all that jazz.
And the only way to avoid going through all this headache is to have a unique product—because you’ll win the Buy Box real estate each and every time. But what if your product is not so unique and has a lot of competitors selling similar products on Amazon?
If only there was a way not to invest in manufacturing a one-of-a-kind product while making it appear unique. Oh, and if at the same time you could increase your order value, grow your revenue, and find a way to sell (read: get rid of) your lower-performing products? That would be a dream come true you could only achieve with the help of a magic wand.
Well, meet Amazon product bundles. They may solve all your seller problems, but as with any magic, they come with specific requirements and nuances, which means that before rolling up your sleeves and starting to create a bundle listing on Amazon, you have to be aware of all the pitfalls.
This post will walk you through the ins and outs of bundling products on Amazon, helping you to make the right choice—to bundle or not to bundle.
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What Is an Amazon Product Bundle?
Amazon product bundles include 2+ products that complement each other and are sold under the same listing.
For instance, if you are selling cameras, it makes sense to include a camera case, a lens cleaner, and other related items in a bundle—to help the customer get everything they want in one purchase, and…to increase your order value, of course.
Above, you can see a perfect example of an Amazon product bundle. Canon, instead of selling a single item, includes almost 20 products within one listing, increasing its order value by roughly $200 (our estimation if we just take the price of the DSLR camera).
So, what do we see here? Canon is content as it increased its order value and probably included a few standalone products that wouldn’t otherwise sell as well. Customers are happy as they don’t have to waste time looking up items they need when they buy a camera.
You may think only larger brands like Canon can ‘afford’ to create product bundles as they have the product range. But actually, third-party sellers can bundle products as they please, including items from other sellers in their product bundle.
You simply purchase the product you want in your package at a wholesale price, create a unique UPC code, and bundle them together under your brand name. It may seem all too simple—and it is, so there are a few nuances that we’ll get into further down below.
Difference Between Product Bundles and Multipacks
Looking at the image above, what do you think that is? An Amazon product bundle? No, that's a multipack.
The difference is pretty straightforward. If you’re selling the same product cloned X times—that makes a multipack. While the boxers above may look different (they have varying patterns), they are all essentially the same item, so this kind of package goes under a multipack.
Conversely, bundles are only bundles when you include complementary products within the mix. Another important aspect of a bundle—the one that distinguishes it from a kit—is that products should be under separate ASIN/UPC. If you’re listing various yet complementary items under one ASIN/UPC, that becomes a kit.
You can turn your kit into a bundle if you rewrite your product listing and put everything under a different ASIN.
How to Create a Wholesale Product Bundle
Of course, you can invest in creating, sourcing, and rolling out a shiny new label product that you’ll be selling on Amazon. Typically, this is the best way to stand out from the majority of Amazon sellers who are reselling other brands’ products.
But as you can anticipate, it requires more investment, both financial and resource-wise. That’s why a lot of sellers go wholesale.
A typical wholesale model looks like this:
- You are pinpointing a brand that has solid sales on Amazon.
- Then, you approach that brand to open up a wholesale account that resells its products on the marketplace.
- You enjoy the lack of hassle with creating a new listing or investing in product launches.
But, as we mentioned, you will find it pretty hard to get through the competition and win a Buy Box.
Bundling items, however, can help you sell wholesale products while offering a touch of uniqueness on top and solving a lot of the competition-related issues you might otherwise face.
As you can see from the image above, at least eight sellers are fighting to sell the Winsor & Newton oil paint on Amazon.
Instead of competing for the same audience with the same product—only pricing can really make a difference here—one of the sellers could create an oil paint product bundle, adding brushes, steel palettes, and other accessories into the package.
This would help to:
- Have a separate listing with no competitors. Just think about zero competition for the Buy Box!
- No set limits for the price—you can set the price tag yourself without worrying about competing promotions and other techniques that eventually lead to lowering profit margins.
- In turn, customers will appreciate the convenience and you thinking a lot of things through for them.
Finding the right products to bundle
Before we get into revealing the top strategies for finding the right products for a bundle, there are a few set Amazon rules you should know of—you cannot bundle products in the Video Games, Music, Books, DVD or Video categories. They can, however, be included in a separate bundle as a complementary product.
Now that we have that covered, let’s see which products would make a perfect bundle.
Sometimes, bundling products can come easy. Say, if you are selling a lamp, you could add bulbs or batteries and that would make a bundle. Gloves and scarfs are another obvious pairing.
But, oftentimes, you need to think outside the box to come up with a package that both follows Amazon’s “complementary” policy and makes sense for you to offer as a seller.
Here are a few tricks you can use to find related products if you cannot think of anything:
- The “frequently bought together” section within any product listing can be an invaluable source of data about products your customers might want to purchase along with a given item.
- Just enter the word ”bundle” in Amazon’s search box along with the keyword that has your product name in it and browse through the results. Chances are, other sellers have already come up with certain product bundling ideas, so you can collect them and tweak them to tailor to your own needs and wants.
- Use tools like Product Research for Amazon to get additional intel on the ‘extra’ products you see within competing bundles or even to unwrap new products that fall within your target category. You can play with the settings and filters to discover the most promising product combinations:
- Always check the product demand—the more popular items are in your bundle, the more attractive your bundle gets.
- Monitor shifts in demand—some products are seasonal in nature, so you may want to choose a product that’s popular all year round so as not to lose demand throughout the year.
You can even use the tool’s intel to create a bundle from scratch. If typical product research would require you to focus on products that have lower competition, bundle product research would counter this logic. You need to find realistic wholesale opportunities, so pick products that have a lot of sellers, as it’s a great indication of the brand’s approachability.
What is Amazon's Virtual Product Bundle Program?
Ever heard of virtual bundling on Amazon?
The program allows you to skip a lot of the hassle other sellers have to go through when creating product bundles:
- There’s no need to create a new separate listing for your bundle along with getting a new UPC. First of all, a UPC costs money, and with a new listing, you’d lose a lot of the authority and weight you’ve built with your original non-bundled listings.
- You don’t have to pre-package your bundle, which means that you can avoid all the separate packing, labeling, and shipping to FBA.
So, if you are operating in the US, sell new products, are enrolled in Amazon’s Brand Registry, and are ready to try out product bundling, this is a must-do.
The Right Way and the Wrong Way to Bundle Products on Amazon, or Just Follow Amazon’s Bundle Guidelines
As with everything Amazon, the rules of bundling are pretty strictly set and the marketplace is closely watching all sellers.
While there are a lot of details you have to be aware of to make sure you aren’t breaking any rules and won’t be flagged and removed, this is how we’d summarize the marketplace’s guidelines:
- Each item within your bundle has to be unique, meaning that all the prepackaged products have to have a separate ASIN/UPC.
- A bundle implies that you are offering products that complement each other, so you cannot create a set of random products and call it a bundle. Of course, there’s no measurement system that assesses the level of complementarity, so it can be a pretty subjective area, but packaging products that are clearly unrelated will cause problems and probably be rejected by Amazon.
- A product that serves as the ‘foundation’ for your bundle can’t come from the Video Games, Music, Books, DVD, or Video categories. It’s okay to include a vinyl record if you’re selling a gramophone, though.
You can find the entire Amazon bundle policy here.
Well, up to now, we mostly talked about your ‘responsibilities’ as a seller. Now let's move on to ‘rights’ that, in our case, will mostly point to the right approach to creating a bundle listing on Amazon:
- You can mix up products that come from different brands under a single listing. So if you are offering a bundle of products that help to treat dry hair, you can actually create a valuable set that customers will love!
- You can get smart and throw in products that aren’t that popular. But this can only pay off if the rest of the products within a bundle are in extra-high demand and shoppers will ignore one or two unnecessary products. This is a good strategy just to increase your order value without sacrificing sales.
- The concept of complementarity goes beyond Amazon’s policy. It’s an important factor that will determine whether customers will want to purchase your bundle. If they came for training shoes, they will likely need socks. But if your training shoes come with a lace bustier top, that wouldn’t sound too appealing.
To Bundle or Not to Bundle?
Now that you have a solid understanding of the ins and out of bundling products on Amazon, it’s time to actually see whether you should roll up your sleeves and get into product research and many other aspects of creating a bundle listing.
You probably have your mind set already, but instead of adding a few final words, it’s best to highlight the key benefits and drawbacks of bundling on Amazon. So consider these last few points and get to business.
Pros of selling product bundles
- One thing that will happen for sure should you choose to bundle products on Amazon is that your average order value will go up.
- Customers actually prefer getting more than paying less, and a 50% increase in quantity has the same effect on customers as offering a 33% discount.
- Bundling implies having a unique ASIN, which potentially translates into lower competition and more independent pricing.
- If you have slow-selling inventory, you can liquidate it by bundling these low-demand products with the ones that are more popular.
- You can save on shipping costs as you will be delivering multiple items for the single shipping price.
- For smaller retailers, bundles can be a life-saver as they help to expand the product catalog to the threshold level of three, which means they can finally launch sponsored brand ads. And, generally, bundles can lead to more successful PPC campaigns as you will be advertising a unique product and will have a chance to feature a popular secondary product you’d otherwise not mention in your ad.
Cons of selling product bundles
While it might seem like bundles have it all, you do have to take them with a pinch of salt. Most of the real drawbacks start when you have a problem with your bundle, so here are some instances when a bundle can lose its appeal:
- If your customer dislikes one product within your bundle, you will have to accept the return of the entire package. This means that you have to factor in a two-way shipping cost when setting up your price as it’s pricier to ship back a bundle than a single product.
- Your warranty and service plan has to cover the entire bundle, and that potentially means higher costs.
- Bundling does require some extra work from your end, from finding complementary products and opening up multiple wholesale accounts to purchasing a UPC and dealing with the packaging.
- Most importantly, you’ll have to invest your resources into finessing a brand-new product listing. This means that you have to start over—optimize your listing, earn reviews and sales history.
Over to You
While it might seem that creating a bundle listing on Amazon is a lot of work, it’s definitely worth the trouble if you approach it right.
If you manage to come up with a bundle your customers love, you will reap all the benefits and skip most of the drawbacks, enjoying higher order value, less competition, and happy returning customers.
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Go through this post to find out how to spot best-selling Amazon products and use these tips if you want to get even more creative with your product research. And since you’ll have to create a separate product listing for your shiny new product bundle, unwrap how to quickly increase your Amazon Sales Rank.