3 min read

What are the possible ways to sell products individually and in customized product packs?

What are the possible ways to sell products individually and in customized product packs?

I believe it's a common question in the ecommerce world. On the Shopify community, I've seen this question appearing again and again. After working on BYOB for a year, I'm going to share what I learn.

Unfortunately, Shopify doesn't provide an out-of-the-box solution to create product groups. For Open source solutions (OSS) like Magento and WooCommerce, there are built-in support for different types of products. On Shopify, there is only 1 single type of product. That's why it's so hard to create bundles on the platform.

The constraints 🔓:

1 single type of product

When Shopify only provides a single type of product, developers can only work around the limits. Very often, there are trade-offs to compromise. Shopify is the upstream and developers can hardly make changes in the downstream, just like an important piece of puzzles is missing.

It's hard to adjust product price in real-time

Currently, there are only 2 ways to adjust product prices in real-time.

  1. Either generating a discount to deduct the price or
  2. generating variants with the correct price.

Both ways create dummy data which bloat the admin.

Only 1 discount can be redeemed at checkout 💸

This issues have been existing for many years and there is no sign it's going soon. Just take a look at this thread on Shopify community. It has more than 50 pages since Jan 2019 and it's still growing. One possible reason is the discounts order may cause errors to the order total. For example, a $100 product with -$20 discount, then -10% off discount => $72 discounted price vs a $100 product with -10% off discount, then -$20 off discount => $70 discounted price

Let's take a look at the coming Shopify Unite. Hopefully, there are good news for all of us. If you want to keep updated about the latest trend of Shopify ecosystem, just fill in the form and mark it on your calendar.

The Solutions 🔑

Having said so, there are a few solutions for your consideration:

  1. Set up a custom page
    You can set up an alternate template to build packs. When the customers put the pack to the cart, use Cart Ajax to add all items to the cart. Take a look at the sample pages like this smoothie store or cookies store. It doesn't take a huge technical effort.

    This method is good for small numbers of products to build a pack. Also, there is no app required. But you have to work with a template with your own design and a little bit programming work. Of course, you can find a developer for help.
  2. Use automatic discounts
    During my marketing research, I find that some apps are bundling with automatic discount together with a widget on the product page. If you don't know code, it's alright. Just skip the widget.

    Set up an automatic discount and write your discount offer on the product description. If the customer selects the variants, the discount will be automatically applied in the cart.
  3. Use an inventory app to link a bundle item with individual items
    Create the bundle item as an ordinary product. Use an inventory app to create linkages between the bundle item and the individual items.

    When the bundle item is sold, the inventory app will deduct the inventory of the individual items immediately. So your inventory always keep sync. If your fulfillment can handle it, it's possibly a good way. You can take a look at Trunk or Connected Inventory
  4. Use a bundle app to build customized bundles / kits
    BYOB can create custom bundles and sell individual items at the same time. Each bundle will be displayed as a product on the collection page. When the order is paid, the bundle item is converted to individual items. The individual items are added as free items. So the order total remain the same before and after order conversion.

    Other apps are using similar techniques like Draft Order. BYOB is based on the latest Order Edit feature.

Still thinking about your way out? 💡

Feel free to contact us for a chat. We'd love to hear about your bundling use cases!

BYOB - Build Your Own Bundle is a new Shopify bundle app to let customers build their own bundles with different products.  

BYOB ‑ Build Your Own Bundle – Ecommerce Plugins for Online Stores – Shopify App Store
Let Customers Build Custom Bundles. Sell More Items. Boost AOV