For any product based business there is a competitive advantage hiding in plain sight, it’s so obvious when you spot it and lethal when you implement them into your business.
As you’re about to find out, kits (also known as bundles) are lethal.
Kits help your customers, kits help you sell more products, kits help you increase your average order value and kits also help you gain an advantage over your competitors.
So what are Kits?
Kits are simply bundles of products that are put together with products that would normally be bought at the same time.
The best way of showing you how they work is you give you an example.
One of my tasks for today was to buy a network cable testing kit and a pokey-thing to push down the wires into network cables (a punch tool), so straight onto eBay and I filtered to UK only sellers.
You can take a look at the eBay category here http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/Cabling-Tools-/51169/i.html and below I’ve included a screenshot of the page I could see.
Notice how 2 of the top 4 items are actually for more than one product?
If we take the upper item as an example, this listing contains the following tools:
- A punch tool
- Cable test tool
- A crimp tool & stripper
That was me sold. The listing had everything I needed, a UK seller and promptly went off and purchased it.
Make things easy for your customers
Making kits of products aren’t just confined to networking tools, it works in any category on any site. Bundling products together “just makes sense” when done right, there are 3 simple reasons for this:
Firstly it helps your customers.
So using my purchase as an example, that eBay listing had everything I needed in one go.
The seller had taken the time to put everything I would need (bar the cable, which I already had) into a single listing and made it super easy for me to make a single purchase.
No waiting around for separate deliveries, one purchase, one delivery and job done.
This genre of product & related eBay categories is a brilliant category set to use, because if you dig a little deeper you’ll find many businesses have already caught on to this and are making listings that contain cable, sockets, wall plates, jacks, cable ties, punch down tools and even including the screws needed!
The word we’re looking for here, is “convenience”.
It makes the purchase more convenient for your customers to buy a bundle of related products in one go, rather than buying separately.
Note: Are you already thinking of two products that you have that would go together nicely? If you are, jot them down on a piece of paper and keep it to hand so when more spring to mind, you can record them quickly.
You sell more.
Instead of, sorry “as well as” (woohaa that was a close shave there, always do both!) listing each product separately, putting products that naturally go together into a single listing, means that the price goes up, yay!
Not only do you gain a higher average order value, you’re also getting through more products, more quickly (which means you order more frequently from your supplier(s) and thus potentially savings to be made there).
At no point so far have I mentioned that you should discount the pricing because you’re putting two or more items into a kit.
When you start to spot these on eBay, Amazon or on websites, when you look more closely, you’ll frequently spot that some kits have a higher price than what they would be when bought separately.
The first reaction is always to push the price down, however, do keep in mind that customers will pay for convenience and that because there is now more than just one product in the listing, that the final delivery weight & dimensions go up. Thus you’re likely to be paying more for the delivery to your customer.
A huge tip here is to price upwards when you first start creating your own kits.
It’s all about making profit at the end of the day, so go upwards first. If a customer queries it (which they won’t and I’m adding this line to reassure you), just say it costs more to pick & ship them together.
I felt it important to highlight a couple of considerations when it comes to kits, because it’s not all champagne and roses.
Firstly factor in that it will take extra time to create the kits.
This is as simple as picking two separate products at picking time in the warehouse. In more complex kits, this could mean many separate picks and even the pre-building of kits to speed up the dispatch process.
Not all multi-channel software supports the creation & stock control of kits.
For example ShipWorks, an American shipping tool didn’t manage bundles from Magento properly for a while. So do check that they are supported in the software tool you’re using.
Quantity is and is not a kit.
Let me explain this one a little further.
According to Amazon, you’re not supposed to make kits of products based just upon quantity. However, this loosely interpreted even by Amazon themselves, such as these batteries, they’ve separated quantity out into separate ASIN’s, it’s the same product, just packaged in different boxes (in multiples of packs of 4 too!).
Note: And yes this does mean a new barcode (EAN, UPC etc..) and ASIN for Amazon, which means a separate product.
The same for eBay too, but many products come in packs, say a dozen or more. If you’re going to create an eBay listing that has quantity as a variation option, don’t call it quantity (eBay won’t let you do this anyway), instead call it something like “Pack Size”.
Side note: I’m thinking of a mastermind webinar we did a couple of weeks back on researching products to sell on eBay. “gold tea lights” was the product suggested by one of the sellers who attended. We soon worked out that while tea-lights are sold in packs, weddings were a consideration, several times a month customers would buy loads of them.
So packs of 12’s would be a pain for those types of customer, so one of the suggestions was to make wedding packs for 48, 72, 96 and more. This pushed the pack value above £100 in several cases.
Gain an Advantage
Kits are all about convenience for your customers and if you haven’t already, you’ll start to spot them being used everywhere.
Manufacturers cottoned on to this a long time ago, this is while you’ll find assortment packs. Using washers as an example here (yes you guessed it, I’m a bloke so most examples here are tool related) you’ll find O-ring’s rarely sold as packets of just 1, they’ll be in assortment packs. Higher value and more convenient for someone like me & you.
For me, buying the cable tester and punch tool together, saved me from multiple purchases, most likely from multiple sellers and means I get one package delivered.
The seller I purchased from, they gained an advantage by selling the tools separately and (note the AND here!) together in a kit. They doubled or more their chances of making a purchase by doing this.
Creating unique kits of products that go well together gives you an advantage over your competitors.
They won’t have the same kits as you for a while at least (well until they cotton-on to how successful you’re going to be with them! Which could be weeks or months, while you’ve been nailing them in the meantime).
Here are a couple of examples to get your creative juices going:
- A Nerf gun and an extra pack of darts (maybe two extra packs of darts)
- A dress and a matching handbag
- A set of pliers, bull-nose, pointed and nippers
- Drain rods and attachments
- Sanding pads in multiple grits
- A whiteboard rubber and a set of marker pens
- A fancy dress outfit, a wig, a mustache and face paints
Think about your products, how could you create a kit of two or more products, that naturally go together?
If you’re already using kits, how have you found their success for your business?
Let me know in the comments below.
As always, to your continued success,