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How bundled products can boost your holiday sales

Written by Nicole Kohler on October 31, 2016 Blog, Holiday ideas, Managing products.

 

We’ve talked a lot lately about tactics to improve your store in advance of the holiday season, from checkout optimization to tweaking your navigation. Today we’re going to shift gears and focus on a tactic that will help you actively make more money.

There are plenty of things you can do to bump up your earning potential, but quite a few of them involve adding new products or bringing in more inventory. What we’re going to look at today will allow you to earn more with simple “packaging” changes to the products you already have.

Let’s dive into how you can set up and promote product bundles this holiday season, and a few ways that you can ensure they help you make more money.

Product bundles explained

There are a few different ways you can group, chain, and otherwise link products together in WooCommerce, but we’re going to be focusing on bundling in this post.

Product bundling involves offering a group of products together at a single discounted price. For example, you might sell three designer drinking glasses on your store at an individual price. But you could bundle them together in a set and allow customers to purchase them together at a discount:

Suggest bundles with optional discounts, or allow items to be purchased individually.
Customers can purchase each glass individually… or snag the entire group at a discounted rate. That’s the magic of bundling.

In fact, as shown above, you could even throw in a free product along with the discount, or in place of a discount, as an additional incentive.

The extension that makes this possible with WooCommerce is Product Bundles. It lets you offer simple or variable bundles, plus create bundles for subscriptions or digital goods. It also integrates with extensions like Composite Products and Product Add-Ons for even more flexibility.

Now that you know how bundles work, let’s talk about why you should offer them — and especially during the holidays.

How bundles can lead to higher sales

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: shoppers love a good discount. Even a little bit of savings can motivate action.

When you switch from a discount on a single item to a discount on a package, the customer perception is that they’re getting a much better deal. This perception increases if you make the individual products available (as seen in the example above), so that shoppers can check the prices and details of each separate item on their own.

An example: think about the packages that cable companies offer their customers. You can buy internet, cable TV, and home phone services separately based on what you need. But it’s often (much) cheaper to go with one of their bundled plans — and the majority do.

You can even think about it like value meals at fast food restaurants: it's less expensive to buy everything together than it is to get it all separately... even if you won't finish those fries.
You can even think about it like value meals at fast food restaurants: it’s less expensive to buy everything together than it is to get it all separately… even if you won’t finish those fries.

What both your customers and cable customers don’t realize is that the margins on the products or services offered are high enough to cover the cost of offering a discounted bundle. So profit is still made, and the customer is pleased with their special deal.

Again, it’s all about the perception of savings — that’s why bundles work so well. But you also need to make sure the products in that bundle make sense together.

How to create a compelling holiday product bundle

Creating an amazing bundle starts with thinking about which products fit naturally together. There are three great approaches you can take to accomplish this.

One idea: look at products that real customers have purchased together in the past. If you sell clothing, maybe there’s a specific shirt and pants that match up well. If you sell food, look for some specific cuts of meat that are often purchased in pairs or higher counts.

You can also think about what customers are most likely to want or need when they buy (or receive) a more expensive item. Maybe it’s an extra battery for an electric lawnmower, a case for a tablet, or a even a warranty for their hoverboard. It could even be something simple, like a set of tools for a new grill.

Finally, consider products that may be needed in sets. By this we mean things like sets of dishes, towels, or utensils for those moving in together. Or maybe it’s a set of makeup brushes for someone learning to apply makeup. Consumers who already have these things won’t need a full set, but newlyweds, new homeowners, teenagers, etc. certainly do.

Shoppers who already have a set of brushes may need to replace just one. But a full set makes a great holiday gift, doesn't it?
Shoppers who already have a set of brushes may need to replace just one. But a full set makes a great holiday gift for a teenager, doesn’t it?

To recap, you can create a successful bundle by thinking about:

  1. Products that customers are already buying together (ex. matching clothing),
  2. Needed accessories for a more expensive item (ex. a case for a tablet or phone), and
  3. Sets of items for consumers that wouldn’t have any yet (ex. sets of towels, dishes, utensils…)

Depending on what you sell, you might only come up with one sensible bundle after reviewing this list. Or you might have ideas for dozens. Either is fine!

Above all else, aim for bundles that are most likely to be given as gifts. This means avoiding anything extremely expensive, too personal (i.e. underwear), or ill-timed (like fresh food… but a subscription for weekly deliveries wouldn’t be a bad idea).

Tips to remember as you create bundles

It really is that simple: pick out some products, use the Product Bundles extension to bundle them together at a lower price, and watch your sales go up.

We’ll finish this up with some tips you should remember as you’re creating bundles for your holiday shoppers:

  • Keep an eye on the size and price of your bundles, especially if you intend for them to be gifts. Bundling a tablet with a case and charger is great, but if the price point creeps too high, it might become uncomfortable for gift-givers.
  • The cost savings don’t have to be huge, but they should be noticeable. If you want to avoid big discounts, consider adding a really cool free product with nice margins (like the free shot glass bundle in the example we showed earlier).
  • Be mindful of options when creating clothing or similar bundles — make sure customers can select their size, color, etc. for each product in the bundle. Test, test, test.
  • Finally, take a close look at your stock before creating your bundles. You don’t want to bundle items with drastically different inventory levels — if one runs out, the entire bundle will be spoiled 🙁

Boost your sales with bundles this holiday season

As our holiday posts have shown you, there’s lots you can do to make your store more attractive to holiday shoppers. But when it comes to proactively increasing your sales, never discount the power of a good bundle.

Are you thinking about trying a bundle or two this holiday season? Let us know in the comments!

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