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Stand out in a crowded e-commerce marketplace by bundling effectively and creatively.
20th November 2012

There is saying 'Sell the sizzle, not the steak'. This could now be amended to 'sell the package not the product'. Bundling has now become a necessity for e-commerce as many buyers are not looking for a single product but a whole deal with benefits and all.

Bundling / packaging can help with buying decisions.

In a tough economy buying decisions are taken more reluctantly and need a strong motivation to purchase, hence the bundle. Bundling products has three advantages over single product sales

  • It tends to show vendor ingenuity
  • It provides more food for thought for the buyer
  • It sways buyers who might be on the fence regarding the purchase.

How to bundle tends to vary from industry to industry and the nature of the products but some common elements of bundling are

  • Perceived freebies along with the product
  • Beneficial add-ons with the product either through knowledge or features
  • Promise on extra special after sales support
  • Promise of being slotted as a special customer

Creating high value long term bundles.

Bundling for the long term might also be a good strategy where the value is provided over a longer period. This not only ensures loyalty but also provides an opportunity for repeat sales. Think of selling bundles of 3 months, 6 months and yearly duration which could create a fantastic long term relationship with the customer. Of course, care has to be taken that your margins and profits are not jeopardized. Make sure there is cash flowing throughout this period.

Bundling allows you to reduce overall products and focus on the more profitable ones.

Stuck in the red ocean of dozens of me-too websites? The more innovative your bundling and the more perceived value for the buyer the better you stand out from competitors. You can also reduce the number of products on offer and focus on innovative offers through bundling thus bringing a sharper focus to your site.

In a way bundling is a variation of marketing strategy and should be approached such.

Looking at bundling from a purely product stand point would be a waste. Bundling can be part of an very effective marketing strategy and as such should be approached as party of the marketing plan. A well designed bundle can provide you with tons of copy and selling points which you can use in your e-brochures, banners, mailers etc.

Basically good bundles give you something to trumpet about rather than the old boring product related spiel.

Just a small item in the package / bundle could sway the buying decision.

You don't really know what people are looking for and even a small item in your package can sway the buying decision. So add a lot of small sweeteners to your bundle. Make it multi-dimensional so that it appeals to a wider audience. This especially helps when the buyer is comparing products between you and your competitor. The extra 1% helps.

Put some thought into your bundles, don't be lazy about it.

The normal thinking goes like this: instead of selling each product individually, lets group them and sell at a discount. That's just plain lazy. There is no wow factor in that, so you are giving a discount ? boring! Each bundle should have something unique in it. Some twist on the product offering. It won't come to you easily. You will require to brainstorm and think about it. And even after you get the idea you need to work on it's marketability.

In the endless e-commerce clones out there, people are now basing their buying decisions on price as they are not able to differentiate on value. You could change that. Your bundling / packaging could show value so that price becomes immaterial. That's the challenge!

Cheers,
Ron

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