Kitting Out Your Online Store with Product Bundles of Joy
Small manufacturers like the guys at “Framed” know how valuable it can be to put bundles of products together to sell. Kitting is a surefire way to get people excited about your products and invest in your brand.
A simple a box of chocolates, a bottle of red wine and a rose is always going to be a winner.
That’s just science.
But it’s not only gifts that well-put together packages are useful for; we love to buy products in sets, too!
You might know these as product bundles, but they are also referred to as kitting.
Kitting is essentially putting a selection of finished products together to create an attractive package for your customers.
Literally anything can be put into a bundle: jumpers, handbags, skateboards, candles.
The list is practically endless.
As long as they complement each other, then you can sell a well thought out package of products that’s exciting to buy as much as it to create.
But what does kitting really have to offer?
Benefits of Kitting in Manufacturing
Of course, the benefits of kitting don’t just come to the consumer. They're going to enjoy their brilliant bundle of joy for sure, but there are going to be lots of sweet advantages for you too.
Each type of kitting brings unique rewards.
But here are the more general benefits on offer:
1. Drive sales – Well this is the number one reason for creating bundles. Or doing most things in business for that matter.
Whether you actually do give a big discount or not, bundles are attractive to customers because people assume that there will be savings involved. And while that might be the case, the increased amount of sales makes up for the smaller profit margin for you very quickly.
2. Save time and money on operations – By creating pre made bundles, you can save a lot of time that would be spent on selling items individually. So instead of having to take items out the stock room one by one, you are reducing the amount of moving time.
This also means you’re going to save on labor costs. There’ll be less time spent packaging and picking out items from the stock room. More time for you to come up with brilliantly packaged eye-catchers.
3. Organize your inventory – By adding bundles into your available products you are essentially merging some items together in your inventory. This means that one SKU can potentially be managing multiple items at once, and it’s going to be a lot easier visualize and keep control of stock.
4. Sell dead stock – Creating bundles means that you can pair weaker products with stronger. The Davids can be sold on the side with your best-selling Goliaths.
It’s one of the key benefits of kitting in manufacturing.
This also means that you’re going to be able to sell off old or under demanded stock which frees up space in the warehouse.
5. Offer customers convenience – You’re making a lot of decisions easier for your customer if your products come in a pretty package. They have to spend less energy in making decisions if it’s already made for them, right?
Plus, you are essentially guaranteeing them that the products you put in a bundle are going to work together. One of the reasons people often don’t buy accessories is that they’re not sure if they will work with the core product.
There are as many ways to approach kitting as there are shapes of boxes. Point is that you shouldn’t constrain yourself when it comes to ideas here. Subscription boxes in the forms of online loot crates only became a wide spread phenomenon this decade.
So yes, there are a bunch of benefits which any product bundle will bring - but then you can get a lot more out of kitting in manufacturing.
Each approach and set you create is going to bring its own unique advantages. It just comes down to knowing your customers' needs and expending a little creativity.
You could think about how you bring your items together to sell as bundles. Whether it’s going to be working together with a marketing campaign or just as a little sales booster.
You can even think of taking products apart and selling useful components together. Selling bits that often get worn over time for example.
There are just so many options available.
Which is why we’ve compiled some ideas to get your brain cogs going.
Time to see what the world of inventory kitting can bring...
The simplest idea for kitting is to just put together a bunch of the same item and sell them as a package. This could be a way of grouping products in terms of colors, styles and quantities.
For example, if you sold homemade mugs, you could sell bundles of four in red and then bundles of 4 that come in blue.
It might sound boring, but it doesn’t have to be.
Bootea came up with a cool name for its bigger packages of de-caffeinated tea with "28 Day Teatox” packages. They do same with 14 day ones too. Pretty neat, huh?
The point here is that you are encouraging larger sales, whilst also incentivising your customers with small discounts. It’s a great way of selling on your staple items of which you make the biggest quantity.
Just be sure not to put your star items in bundles - especially if they are luxury items. In the eyes of the buyer this will be a devaluation of your product.
Taking basic bundles a step further to give your customer more options is a great way of inventory kitting.
By offering add-ons, extras and options for your products you can create as many bundles as you have options available.
It’s essentially a subtle way of giving levels and hierarchy to your product lines. The King and Queen alongside the regular Jacks and Jesters.
With the example of mugs, you could offer the add-on of a steel enforced handle. That way if a vengeful enemy drops your mug it won’t break straight away.
And now you would have a basic bundle and a premium bundle to offer customers. Good times.
It’s going to give the impression of quality to your premium products, but also gives your customer more choice. Once they are invested in your system, they’ll be sure to be coming back for more of those revenge-proof mugs.
Just be aware that the components for each bundle are tracked separately in your inventory.
“What’s the difference with personalized products and custom sets?” I hear you ask.
Well, personalized products are when you allow the customer a say in customizing the product which makes a product totally unique.
Which is different to custom sets which are predefined by you.
A personalized product could be putting a name on the back of a football shirt, or a pet’s face being embroidered on the front of a felt handbag.
You could work this into a special package by offering a product alongside an accessory plus an element of personalization.
Mug + Coaster + Custom text on the mug.
That’s an attractive proposal wouldn’t you say?
Pro tip: Remember that personalized parts become make to order products. This means they’re going to take a bit longer to get to the customer.
Here’s an exciting prospect – imagine guaranteeing yourself future sales by getting customers to subscribe to a mystery package of products which you deliver to them on a regular basis.
There are so many companies selling subscription boxes these days, it’s getting ridiculous. Lootcrate is a huge phenomenon which can send you monthly packages of t-shirts associated with your favorite show.
A brilliant concept which can be adapted to so many kinds of business. Beauty products, clothing accessories, beverages, the list is endless. There’s even one for men’s shaving products.
It’s a little something to be excited about once a month for the customer, and it’ll always keep them coming back for more.
You could even make them feel extra special by making it invite-only for only your most loyal of customers.
Seasonal and Holiday
We’re not sure which type of kitting this basket of baby comes under, but making gift baskets from your products is a sure fire way to get your customers buzzing. You’re making their life easier by doing all the hard work of putting a package together for them.
This one’s fun to play around with and always a great hit for the ecommerce seller.
Just get a bit creative and tailor your products to the nearest holiday, festivity or even season.
Sell your mugs as “winter mugs” at Christmas with a coaster and cinnamon stick thrown in for good measure. You don’t have to necessarily change or compromise your product.
Just give the bundle an appropriate title and make sure that the products fit the theme.
Oh and here are some packaging ideas for handmade items if you want to make your holiday bundles extra special.
Giveaway bundles are a brilliant way of giving back to your customers as well as generating a buzz around your brand.
You could get started on a promotional giveaway by putting up posts on your social media profiles and having a lottery style competition.
Loyal customers could for example post photos of themselves with your product to get a chance to win a prize bundle.
You get to put your awesome mugs and bags on display for the world to see and share, whilst bringing more people to your store at the same time.
It’s also great if you put the giveaway up on your own website as well, so all your eggs are not in the social media basket.
Just don’t do the giveaways too often, or the buzz won’t be so effective, and you might accidentally give everything away for free.
How do you get people to try something new?
Give them a taste of course!
Put together a batch of samples and give them their own SKU.
Sample packages can be used to be sent for other businesses that could use your product, but even to your loyal customers to grow your fanbase.
It’s especially useful if your products are filling a new gap in the market or are easy to break down into sellable pieces.
If you got a new dinner set to sell, then just send a small cutlery sample.
Selling new tables and chairs? Put together a bundle of your raw materials like the polished woods and put them available on your site. Everyone loves the smell of wood through their letterbox.
Of course, this might be tough to do if your products are larger, high value items, but where there’s a will there’s a way.
Don’t be afraid to get creative here.
Inventory kitting isn’t limited to small manufacturers either. So many larger scale companies have taken to creating product bundles which make a rumble for product launches and keep the competition on their toes.
Games consoles like Xbox and the Playstation absolutely paved the way for product launch bundles becoming a mass appeal concept.
Offering pre-orders of limited-edition games console bundles is how the big players make sure to lock in their audiences before a single product has gone on sale.
But really, anyone can do this with their products as long as you have enough of a buzz about your new product launch.
You can do this through a marketing campaign that include an exciting storyline for your new product and how it fits into your customers lives.
Put some cheeky posts on your social media about a “limited edition mystery launch” and get the people talking.
Then you can put a bundle together which includes your new product plus some accessories and wham - you got yourself a highly anticipated purchase!
Are you a Shopify store owner?
In that case, there’s an brilliant app out there for you called Bundle Builder which you can use to create any one of these kitting types. The app lets you customize bundles to your hearts content, allowing you to increase the amount of money customers spend per visit.
One of its awesome features is that you can create bundles made of fixed products as well as some products customers can choose from. Ideal if you are looking to make a range of attractive options for your product launch, which can suit your customers diverse tastes.
What’s especially useful about this app though, is that it allows you to create custom bundles, while the sales order is able to display the chosen items separately. Many other apps create bundles as a single product and add the options as line properties. In which case the sales orders do not display the entire product recipe because they always have the same SKU. With Bundle Builder your sales orders will be complete and display your product recipes properly.
There are just so many ways that product bundles can enhance your business.
But going back to the basics: what is kitting going to ultimately bring you?
It allows you to bring excitement to your customers, but is also going to give you a fresh perspective on your product lines too.
Think of all the possibilities that come into view when you stop seeing your products as singular items, and as potential to work together in unison.
Which is why it’s also important to have the tools with which you can make this process as visible and smooth as possible.
Katana Smart Workshop Software allows you to make bundles which you can then sell directly through your ecommerce store without any extra spreadsheets.
It’s all there right in front of you.
Katana’s visual dashboard allows you to see all of your products at once and decide on which work well together. You know which materials or products are available for each of your kitting bundles.
It works by allowing you to create products which are made up of other products to create a single, unified SKU.
The components of each bundle will be kept track of in real-time so you can make sure that your kitting packages are always available for demand.
You know if the bundle is available through the “Product availability” and if there is any piece missing when your “Material availability” conveniently turns red.
And even more brilliantly, these bundles can be sold directly through your ecommerce or Shopify store without having to update any tedious spreadsheets.
That way you can spend less time worrying about your Shopify inventory, and more time on creating your fantastical bundles of joy!