Stay Ahead of the Competition with Unique Bundling
By Tina Marie Bueno | December 15th, 2015
Most Amazon sellers have experienced battling the competition with repricing strategies and constantly tweaking listings to optimize performance. Beyond the basic, staying ahead with unique bundling is another tactic to add to your arsenal.
What Is Bundling?
Amazon describes Bundling as items that are highly complementary and provide a value to the buyer when compared to the individual items purchased separately. All products in bundles must comply with their Product Listing Policies.
Below is an example of the way Bundling can look:
By combining 2+ related items to make a package that customers might be interested in, you are forming a Bundle. There are rules to this strategy and knowing what is NOT approved for bundling pre-empts any potential issues with Amazon.
What Can’t Be Bundled?
Books, Music, Video, and DVD (collectively, BMVD) and Video Games. Bundles are only allowed when the primary product in the bundle is not a BMVD or Video Games product. Example: you can list a bundle composed of a yoga mat (the primary product), a yoga DVD and a yoga book, but you cannot list a bundle composed of a yoga DVD and a yoga book.
Multi-packs of the same product.
A variation of a parent product. Example: The sizes small, medium and large of the red, blue, and green versions of a product are variations (children) of a single product (parent).
Key Bundle Guidelines
Select the category that best fits the main item in your bundle. Added bonus: The referral fee applicable to the product category in which the bundle is listed will apply to the entire bundle.
Unique Identifier. Each bundle must have its own unique identifier (such as UPC, EAN, GTIN, or Manufacturer Part Number). Remove or cover existing barcodes on any individual items. By the way, never use the UPC of any individual product within the bundle as it cannot serve as the UPC for the whole bundle.
Pictures. Make sure your main product is a group shot of all the items in your bundle. If you have a Private Label and registered your Brand, include that in your photos. If you use Frustration Free Packaging, include that in another photo. Amazon requires images to be shown on a plain white background and at least 1006 pixels which allows for buyers to use the zoom feature.
Product Title, Description and Keywords. Make sure to include the word “bundle” and the number of items in your product title. However, if the product can be considered a “gift box” or “kit” use these words instead of “bundle.”
Keep in mind that if you list a product bundle, you must accept the entire bundle as a return and make a refund on the entire bundle. Also, a bundle cannot contain any separate warranty products or extended service plans.
Creative Unique Bundling
Think about the items that people are already purchasing together and then make things simple for them. For example, if you are into selling hobby related products – make a kit of all the items needed. The same works for kitchen/food, beauty, tools, etc.
Helpful Hint: To inspire potential bundling ideas, scroll down the product page to see what other products are purchased in the “Frequently Purchased Together” section.
This screenshot is based on a product search for Shaving Soap:
Amazon does the work for you by collecting metadata on buying habits and makes that info super easy to discover. Scrolling below the About the Product on the Shaving Soap product page, you can see what other items are Frequently Bought Together along with displaying what the total price would be. That translates into what people have had to spend for this combo. A valuable resource when researching bundling possibilities and how to price them slightly less than if they had to purchase the items separately.
Things to Consider When Bundling
More listings mean more exposure and generally, more exposure means more sales. While Bundling potentially offers an additional revenue stream; there are a few considerations to keep in mind:
Individual products may sell better as a stand alone. But if you have the inventory, test out the response to your new bundle.
If a product is not selling well on its own; it may not sell any better in a Bundle.
Bundles does not have a variation option (each child/variation needs to be listed as a new bundle.)
A new product/bundle in the Amazon Catalog means you will have a unique ASIN with no competitors which increases your chances of Buy Box ownership.
Bundling adds yet another layer of protection, especially when combined with Private Labeling, Brand Registry and Frustration Free Packaging. (It is not necessary to FBA your Bundled kits; however, if you do, applying for FFP is definitely worth your while.
Bundling definitely plays into Amazon’s customer centric goal of providing a positive shopping experience. Bundling means customers don’t have to search for the best deals on each product…that means a stress-free shopping experience and a getting to Check Out a whole lot faster. Amazon definitely appreciates that.
Tina Marie Bueno is a global citizen with an MBA in Int’l Business plus over 20 years of content marketing experience both in the U.S. and overseas. As iLoveToReview’s Marketing Director, she strives to deliver relevant content to serve Amazon businesses of all sizes.