How to make a deal special?

By | February 16, 2012

There is a number of strategies to involve more customers in the buying process: discount systems, sales, promotions – in other words all sorts of special offers. One of the selling approaches to attract a big number of clients has been effective for quite a while now and is called bundling.

Bundling in terms of products and services is a selling strategy directed at putting a set of products or services together by a certain category and suggesting them as a single package to a client, often at a significant discount. Fast food industry particularly enjoys this approach when offering a meal combined by a number of items (big Mac menu at McDonald’s); software businesses often use bundling when suggesting a suite of programmes in a package (MS office suite by Microsoft), cosmetics networks suggest their special deals consisting of a few articles that together cost less than apart (Avon Christmas sales, Oriflame Valentine’s Day promotions etc.). Bundling is also called a package deal, compilation and anthology.

What motivates an eCommerce store owner to attract customers through bundling in particular is basically two issues: the case when the average order amount needs to be increased or the stock has to be sold out immediately. Note, that with proper business management software, dealing with your stock management becomes easy like a snap.

Products (and services) can be bundled in the three most common ways:

  1. By customer (depending on what a particular customer buys in a given online shop, they should be offered related products that they may want to acquire as well).
  2. By product category (a bundle is formed basing on secondary items, setting a prospective need of a customer who bought an item and will most likely need a related product in the future).
  3. By application (onsite open-doors meetings and seminars are used for promotional and selling purposes of product bundles, mostly for B2C).

Combinations, in which products and services are bundled, vary as well. There is pure bundling, with only two options of buying the whole bundle or nothing at all. Pure bundling can be divided into two categories: joint bundling (a few items are jointly promoted at one bundled price) and leader bundling (a leader item is offered at a discount only if acquired in a bundle with a non-leader article). Examples: Chicken McNuggets menu at McDonald’s, TV shows on DVD’s, etc. And there is mixed bundling, with an option for a buyer to choose between the whole bundle and only a part of the bundle. Last but not least there is mixed-leader bundling that is a version of leader bundling containing a function of buying a leader item apart. Examples: equipment spares stores, clothes and accessories shops etc.

Product bundling has been researched for nearly forty years, and it’s been established that this selling strategy helps a consumer save up over 15% in comparison with buying separate articles. However, no approach is perfect, and this one doesn’t work in 100% of the cases as well. But it is important to remember, that given the right circumstances, product bundling can be very efficient for the marketing of your eCommerce business and it will make your special deals for the customers really special.

About the Guest Author: Elena Bizina, Marketing department of Holbi. Takes particular interest in eCommerce industry to learn from top professionals and share with beginners like herself. In the past  – an English teacher and a Business Development Manager, at present – a full-time mother and a part-time Assistant to Marketing Manager whose core responsibilities are researching the eCommerce industry and writing about it.