Your Guide to Walmart Marketplace Product Bundling

When it comes to selling products, the primary objective should be to satisfy the customer's needs while simultaneously making more money. A great strategy to reach this objective is product bundling, a technique used to group several products together for the price of one. Among the many benefits of product bundling, four, in particular, stand out. Product bundling enhances customer experience, increases your chances of selling more, speeds up inventory, and increases revenue as well as average sales. 

Are you someone who wants all those things and more? Well, this guide can help you do just that by providing you with everything you need to know about bundling on Walmart Marketplace. By the end of this article, you will have mastered a new strategy designed to increase profits. 

How to use product bundling on Walmart Marketplace

1. How Does Product Bundling Work?

Product bundling is a standard retail strategy that involves selling items in a package. The purpose of bundling is to meet a fundamental retail goal: earn more money by encouraging customers to buy more. "Buy one product get another one 50% off" is a classic example of product bundling.

Customers often associate bundles with a good deal. Despite its undeniable potential, there is a common misconception that bundling is disadvantageous for retailers. However, what it really does is give the customer an opportunity to try a product they might not have bought in the first place. In short, product bundling is the process of offering multiple items as one. 

Bundling comes in many different forms; here are the most popular:

  • Pure bundling is when you offer the customer the entire bundle (with no option of selling products individually).
  • Joint bundling is when two products are presented together for one bundle price.
  • Leader bundling is where a primary item is offered with an optional accessory at a discount. Another form (mixed-leader bundling) is when multiple products could be sold individually but are complementary.
  • Mixed bundling occurs when the customer can buy an individual item or an entire set of things at a discounted rate.

Regardless of where you sell your products, earning more money is crucial to meeting short- and long-term business goals. If you can work towards people's natural perceptions of bundling, bundling can work for you.

Simply put, product bundling works well because it is considered a low-pressure form of upselling. It enables the seller to sell complete solutions in the form of "item kits." 

Everyone hates a pushy salesperson that pressures you into buying something you may not necessarily want or need. Unlike a pushy salesperson, product bundling is not forceful, the consumer has control, and it is up to them to click the "buy now" or "add to cart" button.

2. What Are the Benefits of Walmart Product Bundles?

As much as 30% of revenue can come from bundling when done correctly. Below are some of the main benefits of bundling on the Walmart marketplace.

Bundling Increases Your Potential Sales

When you have multiple stock pieces under a single group, it means you have the potential to sell more. For example, say you are selling an entire grooming kit that comprises several different hair care products. 

Price bundling allows you to compare the individual item price. Making the bundle price cheaper ensures that people understand that they receive a discount for buying in multiples.

When developing your price list for bundles, make sure to give people options. Comparing individual items to bulk purchases should provide a clear benefit to the prospective buyer. 

While this should not detract from you selling individual items, it does provide you with an alternative. By giving your customers options, you cover multiple prospective needs, thus giving your customer a more significant reason to stick with you as a provider.

Bundling Is a Low-Pressure Mode of Upselling

Upselling gives you a chance to make between 10 to 30% more revenue. Bundling is the most effective form of upselling as it follows this quote from sales expert Jeffrey Gitomer:

"People don't like to be sold, but they love to buy."

The way you structure it is crucial, and usage of the word "free" is powerful. The classic "Buy One Get One" (BOGO) bundle promotion is one of the most famous examples.

Hot Topic provides one of the best examples of this. They continuously offer some BOGO promotion. Check out this image as an example:

Walmart Product Bundling

BOGO promotions typically refer to having the second one free, at a percentage off, or fixed. In this way, the customer gets a discount while the seller still earns a profit.

When creating these sales, always be sure to account for your bottom line. If a deal runs you out of business, it is not suitable for you.

Bundling Increases Product Exposure

Product Bundling Increases Product Awareness

Another excellent example of this product bundling case study is Dollar Shave Club. DSC (Dollar Shave Club) is best known for selling products that give you a clean shave. However, they offer numerous optional products alongside their shaving products.

Being in the male cleanliness niche as a subscription service enables them to send their customers deals directly. The deals typically include some additional pamphlets that teach men about aspects of cleanliness they may not already know.

In many cases, these pamphlets contain details on cleaning while referring to their products. So it combines valuable data with a potential upsell of one of their lesser-known items.

DSC also sends product samples, another excellent strategy for sharing the quality of their items. The idea is to give them just enough to see how these bodily care products can be part of their daily routine.

The best part of DSC is their starting price, as you can see, is about $5. With this, people see a low barrier to entry with the "club," joining and making it a part of their regular life.

You Can Reduce Inventory Levels With Bundling

If you want to have your items fly off the shelves, offering bundles is one way to do that. In this case, supply chain profit may not be the number one priority. Instead, you might sell existing products slowly yet are eager to get the next set of products out the door.

An excellent example of this is "inventory liquidation" sales, which refers to the method of selling off inventory at a discount. This typically happens right after Fall, which is the expected time new models are released.

There are, of course, other factors that play into inventory liquidation. Take, for instance, the example of auto dealers. Fall is also the most popular time to see car releases because sales to reduce inventory for new stock are evident. Auto dealers need to make room in their new inventory to stay on the cutting edge.

If your product niche demands constant updates, you might find yourself able to let loose some of last year's inventory with bundling.

You Can Increase the Number of Long-Term Customers

Sam's Club (owned by Walmart U.S.) retains customer loyalty through membership cards. Such cards allow you to use Sam's Club bundles and deals. For example, customers can get gas, groceries, and auto care, all with a discounted pricing scheme. 

Walmart Product Bundling increases brand loyalty

While you might not think of this as bundling, it is. Consider this: offering multiple products under one roof gives people a reason to come back. This is part of what makes Walmart so popular at local levels.

The easier you make it for your customers by offering multiple services, the more likely they will return. It is far easier to encourage brand loyalty if you provide the best deals.

3. Walmart vs. Amazon, Which is Best for Bundling Opportunities?

When it comes to bundling on eCommerce platforms, your choice of venue will have different marketing strategies because of how they are structured.  For instance, since Amazon has been around longer, they have a leg up when it comes to bundling items. 

Much of this edge relates to Amazon Virtual Bundling.

What Is Amazon Virtual Bundling?

Amazon's virtual bundling program is a brand-specific program for those who have new FBA inventory. This program is limited to those who work outside of selling music, videos, books, or renewed/used products.

The program is also limited to U.S.-based sellers, similar to how Walmart Marketplace is only for U.S. sellers.

The bundling feature is convenient because it enables you to stick with a mixed bundling strategy. This means the user can choose between buying one item or many items, appealing to those who prefer options.

To start, you need to be a member of the Amazon Brand Registry. You also need to allow Amazon to have access to your inventory as an FBA seller. FBM sellers (those who handle the shipping themselves) do not have access to the bundling program.

What Does Walmart Have to Compete With Virtual Bundling?

What Does Walmart Have to Compete With Virtual Bundling?

At the time of writing this, Walmart does not have similar bundling features. However, this does not mean you are not allowed to feature bundled products. 

You can also use many of the same bundling strategies you would on Amazon. However, you will need to have a unique code to track the new item.

Much of this comes from Walmart's definition of a bundle:

"Multiple items combined by partners but not made by the manufacturer."

You can find the explanation on Walmart's Marketplace Quickstart guide. The guide indicates that you cannot be the manufacturer if you create a bundle. It also states you need a unique product I.D. for your product listings. 

If you make your products, you will need to be under the "custom" item type. However, this does not apply if you are a private label seller, as you are not the manufacturer.

Regardless of what item category you need to select, you will need to create a new product listing for each item. This means that Walmart disallows you from using a mixed strategy. The closest being you showing up as "suggested" under the alternative purchases.

If your bundling is ineffective, you can remove the product listings, separate the grouping, and relist them as individual items. This process can be tedious, which is why Amazon's more robust eCommerce platform is preferred when it comes to selling items as optional sets.

4. How to Set Up Walmart Product Bundles

Knowing that you need to create a unique product I.D. is a start, but it does not tell you much about the process of establishing new bundles. For this, you will need to develop a unique serial code and SKU.

To create a serial code for your product, you can get assistance from Walmart's partners. Deliverr is one of the more famous examples, as they assist you in order fulfillment.

If you want to perform self-fulfillment, you need a warehouse, software, and a barcode printer.  To ensure that your codes meet official needs and that you can ship them domestically (and internationally), use the GS1 to understand those standards. 

To get your own barcodes for tracking, you can find U.S. GTINs (Global Trade Item Number) here. One type of GTIN is a UPC (Universal Product Code). GS1 certified barcodes ensure you can easily track your product and any variants.

SKUs, or Stock Keeping Units, are an internal and company-based method for tracking inventory levels. When deciding on the type of product bundling you want, you will need different SKUs and UPCs for each product and product set you plan on shipping.

Because of Walmart Maketplace's less robust shipping and tracking system, you will need to do this to sell any bundled items. If you want to give people the option to pick individual items or bundles, Amazon is the better option at this time.

Tracking Your Bundle's Performance

When it comes to tracking your bundle's performance, it is a bit trickier on Walmart Marketplace. This is mainly because you sell items as a set, so it can be challenging to understand the "parent item."

A parent item, or product, is the primary product that acts as your main draw. For example, people buying a set of hair cutting equipment will most likely gravitate to the electric razor. Other items (the tiny scissors, the plastic attachments, etc.) are likely secondary.

To determine the draw of your bundle, you have a couple of different options:

  • You can perform small-scale A/B testing to see if switching out an accessory or product changes the amount of buzz it generates.
  • Tweaking your product listings to prioritize different items within your product bundle might change the sales count.
  • You can compare your bundle sales to individual item sales under different listings to see what gets the most considerable attention.

The crucial point in comparing performance is to see how your profit margins change due to creating your bundle. If you see a faster turnaround on your product, none of that matters if you are taking a loss.

The same priorities can be seen on Amazon, and you can track those priorities using our financing tools. At Walmart, it is vital to establish a break-even point on your products.

When tracking the SKUs, you should be able to sell a small portion of your inventory to hit your break-even point. An excellent online retailer's profit margins should be between 20 and 45% (depending on what you sell).

5. Downsides of Bundling on Walmart Marketplace

Bundling all of your items together seems like a good idea on paper. However, you will find that not all Walmart marketplace sellers do this for a few reasons.

Below, we will explore some of the reasons you should avoid bundling:

Reason #1: You Are Cannibalizing Your Profits

Market cannibalization is the process of releasing a new product that erodes sales from comparable products. You might see your new bundle rake in the profits, but a sharp decline in associated products is a sign that you are taking away from yourself.

Typically, this happens when you release a new product with a slight variation from another product you sell. However, releasing a bundle with a better deal than your product can do the same thing.

To avoid this, you want to be sure that your products are differentiated. Target keywords that include the word "bundle" so people know what they are getting. Make sure the two have no crossover keywords.

When paying for PPC, you will want to utilize your negative keywords to exclude some words. For example, excluding the word "bundle" on your products will be necessary.

Reason #2: You Have Multiple Non-Complementary Products

The second reason to avoid bundling comes from customer confusion. You will struggle to increase sales on Walmart Marketplace if you, for example, include a knife set with a pool noodle.

While this is an exaggerated example, it is crucial to consider what you choose to include in your bundle. Those who do not see the utility of combining two different items will not buy those items.

To avoid this situation, ask your current customer base about what products of yours they currently use in tandem. You might also gain inspiration from competitors to find out how they operate.

Outside of Walmart Marketplace, you will find that Amazon's bundling practices are a bit pickier. Utilizing Amazon's current product listings might give you a better idea of what kits work overall.

Reason #3: You Lose Money by Creating A Bundle

Bundle creation has the potential to increase a customer's desire to buy your product. However, having individual products sold separately might also have the same potential to attract viewers.

Walmart is a cost leader compared to other providers, meaning you are expected to have the lowest price compared to similar providers. If you include the idea that customers will expect some discount for buying multiple products, you might lose potential profits.

This is especially true if you focus on one of the primary benefits of bundling: removing unwanted inventory. If you are at the stage where you are just trying to get rid of your unwanted inventory, it is most likely going to come at a cost.

If you want to avoid this, be sure that you create a situational analysis of each decision. Create your bundle with the understanding that you still want a solid profit. Keeping alternatives in mind when choosing between bundling or not is one way to ensure you get the best possible outcome.

Reason #4: Your Offer Might Not Appeal to Walmart Customers

In a perfect world, you will naturally have an idea of what works for your customers. You might skip the whole A & B testing phase because your sales combo "feels right."

Customer perceptions change all the time, so you will want to be sure your product appeals to customers before you sell it. The best way for you to do this is by asking your customers directly.

With Walmart being similar to Amazon in customer interaction, you need to establish a social media presence. When using social media as a small provider, you can ask your customers what they want.

If you believe your product combo of a shaving razor and cologne product works well, you will likely receive some suggestions on how to improve it. You might take a page out of Dollar Shave Club's book and include additional cleanliness items, creating the "ultimate kit."

People love to share their opinion, which is why there are so many survey sites out there. So, if you have yet to establish a social media customer base, getting a good idea of your demographics and using them to target your customers is an excellent secondary option.

6. Is Bundling a Viable Walmart Strategy?

The short answer: yes. Bundling your goods into a multiproduct pack is an excellent way of making sales. It enables you to attract users to your less popular products, make higher potential sales by creating a better offer, and reduce inventory on some of your overstocked items.

When creating a merchandise bundle between multiple items, it is crucial to have a complete picture of what works. Walmart Marketplace has several examples of what other third-party sellers are doing. You can also take the same amount of inspiration from Amazon sellers.

7. Conclusion

Overall, if your goal is to bundle products and still decide where best to do it, Amazon offers a more robust platform. Now, if you want to hone in on the ultimate combined strategy, see what works best for you using our product benchmarking tools.

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