Beat Competitors by Kitting Complementary Products
by Colleen Quattlebaum, on September 7, 2017
With the unbelievable success of the Amazon marketplace, new competitors seem to pop up every day. This makes winning the Buy Box even more difficult.
Sure, dropping your price to capture greater volume is one option. But is doing so really a viable long-term strategy?
Some merchants are taking a different approach; that is, building bundles (or "kits") of complementary products. Assuming that your kit passes the guidelines set forth by Amazon.com, Inc. ("Amazon"), a strategically crafted bundle could help you own the Buy Box, while preserving your margins.
In this post, we'll explore how bundling could keep you one step ahead of the competition.
Your Creativity...Brought to Life
Stop and think about your typical Amazon buyer.
Although you've never personally met most (if any) of your customers, you probably have a pretty good feel for who you're serving. Perhaps you offer a variety of organic toddler snacks, in which case your target market might be health-conscious mothers and grandmothers. Or perhaps you sell a line of chrome pickup truck accessories, yielding a more masculine audience. Regardless of what you sell, the first step of an effective bundling strategy is to know who you serve. By understanding your buyers, you'll then be able to think like them and deliver a product mix that adds value to their lives.
For example, let's imagine that your company specializes in handmade silk ties and accessories. Most of your buyers are professional males, but you do have your share of females who buy your ties as gifts. With regard to your product line, you have developed your own private-label brand, but you also sell many of the common household brand names. Your private-label SKUs offer stronger margins, but creating consistent visibility is still a work in progress (which reminds me, you need FeedbackFive to get more product reviews!). On the other hand, well-known brands have strong sales revenue but offer razor-thin margins due to competition. As a side note, many of the customers checking out on your own site buy at least one accessory during check-out (your tie clips are particularly sought after).
Developing a product bundle might be the perfect solution for this situation.
After bouncing the idea off your favorite tie supplier, you get busy scoping out your kit idea. Unlike other retailers, who only sell ties and accessories separately, your bundle will feature a popular tie ASIN, a matching handkerchief, tie clip and cufflinks. Even better, your supplier agrees to co-develop a custom pattern for future bundles if this "bundling concept" (his words, not yours) takes off. Bonus!
Note: Be sure to check out these detailed instructions from Amazon before you start building your bundle. Knowing the rules can save you a lot of frustration later on!
You Own the Buy Box (for Now)
After launching your first kit on the Amazon marketplace, orders start to roll in. And why shouldn't they? You studied your buyers and gave them a convenient, one-click solution. Young professionals can get back to their busy lives faster. Gift buyers can create a more memorable unboxing experience for loved ones. All of this is thanks to your creativity!
Unfortunately, your competitors won't be oblivious to your newfound kitting success. And, unless you have an exclusive supplier arrangement for one or more kit components, it's very likely that competitors will move in and try to replicate your Amazon kit. Luckily for you, you thought of that in advance and worked out an exclusive supplier arrangement, kitting their items with your own branded accessory. Take that competitors!
With a big victory under your belt, you then set your sights on the next bundling priority. This time, instead of only building one kit, you decide to build ten additional value-added bundles. Now that you know how the Amazon bundle process works, there's no stopping you! (Especially if your supplier holds true to his commitment of co-developing some custom patterns.)
Scale Your Kitting Operation
To help you scale your kitting operation faster, we'd like to recommend our RestockPro tool. RestockPro makes it easier to visualize your kits in the context of individual SKUs. Each kit is managed as a separate entity within our intuitive dashboard, allowing you to make kit-specific forecasting and restocking decisions. No more jumping between your Seller Central dashboard and spreadsheets. Everything you need to build, break and manage kits is stored securely in RestockPro. The tool facilitates kit management by automatically reordering the right parts when you choose to restock kits.
Give RestockPro a try for 21 days. If it doesn't help you scale your kit-building operation, you can cancel without paying us a dime.