Editor’s Note: A few weeks ago Amazon announced its new “virtual bundles” for brands that allows them to set up bundles without actually creating a bundle.
This week, guest blogger Rachel Johnson, talks about what we have learned from early beta and current eGrowth Partners Brand Fuel™ clients about virtual bundles. For the right client they lead to greater sales with very little effort.
Rachel and her team help our brand clients to manage and grow their accounts. From A+ listings to PPC to special programs and sponsored ads and now to virtual bundles, Rachel and her former Amazonian team are the best in the business for growing brand sales.
Unlike agencies that nickel and dime you for every piece (videos, photo shoots, listing creation, account management, reinstatements), we offer an affordable flat fee to handle all the many tasks required for listings that convert and perform. Enjoy! – Cynthia
Intro to Virtual Bundles
Amazon product bundles are a potential gold mine for many brands and can help to solve a very particular customer issue.
However, managing a set of Amazon virtual bundles can be a giant challenge, and it’s hard to know which product bundles will convert in advance of launching them.
If you’re trying to test out bundling on Amazon, you can launch as merchant fulfilled and then see which ones get traffic, but this can be deceiving in that a lot of customers filter out anything that’s not Prime. Often the conversion rate is lower on merchant fulfillment.
What are Amazon Virtual Bundles?
Amazon designed a solution for this problem that allows you (as a registered brand owner) to ‘virtually’ bundle your FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) items into a bundle, market it and advertise it as an individual item, while your inventory is managed on a per individual item basis, making it ridiculously easy to get new product bundles launched and tested!
Multipacks are not allowed, unfortunately. This has to do a variety pack. However, you can do a bundle multipack. For example, you can bundle 3 pencils with 2 sets of pens, but not a bundle of 2 pens only.
Once you make a bundle, the details can be changed, but not the bundle itself:
Because of this, we recommend making a variety of virtual bundles on Amazon, running auto ads on them, and then watching what happens on the listing!
If a bundle gets a few dozen customers in a week and at least one sale, then you can consider it a solid potential bundle. At that time, and only then, should you invest in better images, bullets, and SEO-optimized pages.
Making a virtual bundle is pretty easy; it’s even simpler than the standard ASIN creation process:
The easiest way to create the initial product bundle is to merge the page content from each of your bundle items into the final bundle page based on order of importance to customers (look into the reviews to see what people are saying most).
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How To Make Successful Product Bundles
Inventory management is the most critical element of making a virtual bundle successful just like any other listing on Amazon. If at any point, a component of the bundle goes out of stock, so does your bundle.
However, I think that most experienced Amazon sellers are aware that remaining in stock is the most critical aspect to success on Amazon!
To build up the listing, the first and easiest approach is to enroll in Vine. Yes, Amazon virtual bundles are eligible for Vine! As noted, we recommend setting up a variety of bundles on Amazon and see which ones get at least twenty customers to click and at least one sale within a week or two before investing in Vine.
Once you have 30 reviews, you select the most important keywords to target (no more than three) for your bundle.
It is recommended that you pull those keywords from the ads you’ve already run. Then advertise using manual keyword targeting on those keywords, putting at least $200/week in budget, although if you’re in a competitive category like Supplements, you may need to be aiming for closer to $1000/week in budget to rank in the category.
Then all you have to do is not run out of stock!
Why Bundling on Amazon is Helpful to Your Business
Bundling on Amazon is helpful because virtual bundles allow you to solve a customer’s problem with a single item immediately, using Prime-enabled inventory.
Virtual product bundles also allow you to sell and manage inventory at component level parts, making sending replacement parts much easier.
For example, a “bed in a bag” is a set of bedding that typically includes sheets, pillowcases, and a comforter. It’s typically bundled together as a single item, which can cause the individual items to go over the standard sizing designation.
However, if you were to package the sheets/pillowcase and the duvet or comforter separately, they can both be standard sizing, thereby reducing your shipping & handling costs and allowing you to market the virtual bundle (which is now FBA orderable all at once) without having to manage oversize inventory or manage the various components as a group.
This is important because it reduces the number of SKUs that you need to manage your reorders with your factory/supplier, limiting the complexity of dealing with your source of inventory, while still making it simple to solve the customer problem.
Additionally, packaging as virtual bundles makes it easier to send replacement parts in case only one part of the product bundle arrives damaged or with missing parts. You’ll have the paperwork for that bundle if Amazon then asks you to prove where you bought it and in what quantities.
If you’ve ever tried to get an Amazon product bundle reinstated for Used Sold as New or Inauthentic with component invoices, you know what I mean!
In short, bundling on Amazon allows you to test what customers want, in the quantities they want, while also reducing the level of complexity in dealing with your suppliers and with Amazon.
Cynthia’s notes: Our Brand Fuel clients are often asked to join Amazon beta tests because of our strong sales campaigns for them.
We’ve taken dragging brands from $8K a month to $100K+ a month in just a few months.
If you are serious about making your Amazon channel sales soar, contact us!