Are you struggling to compete with companies that have more extensive product lines? Are your profit margins shrinking because it costs more to fulfill orders?
If so, it might be time to get your stuff together. To clarify, when we say “stuff,” we mean your products, and when we say “together,” we mean kitting them.
So, what exactly is kitting, and how can it help you increase sales and reduce your costs? We share the answers below.
What is Item Kitting?
Kitting is a particular type of assembly in which you bundle multiple related products together. Kitting is popular with manufacturers, online businesses, retail stores, and entrepreneurs trying to expand their inventory. Companies leverage different types of kitting in their shipping, manufacturing, and selling processes. The following are some of the most common types:
Material kitting is helpful to streamline the manufacturing process. By creating a kit of all the raw materials and components needed to produce a particular item, companies simplify the assembly process. Through kitting, companies improve efficiency, lower costs, and reduce errors. The manufacturer assembles these kits for use in their assembly line. However, companies like Point B with kitting capabilities can also support the process.
Logistics kitting is sometimes called, more simply, pick and pack. This type of kitting involves packaging together multiple items from a single order, or multiple orders, into a single box for shipping. Logistics kitting is a standard part of order fulfillment.
Point B has robust order fulfillment capabilities and can support highly customized logistics kitting. For example, we can fill your orders with special shipping materials or include hand-written thank you cards.
Product kitting is also known as bundling because it involves grouping items together. These product kits are generally sold under a single SKU or treated as a single shippable item. Here’s how it works:
Steps in the Product Kitting Process
- Determine what goes into the kit and how many you want to create.
- Identify specialized kitting needs. For example, do you want to tie together items with ribbons?
- Make sure there’s enough of each product to assemble the kits.
- Get the necessary packaging for the kits — whether that’s an off-the-shelf box or custom packaging.
- Determine how you’ll combine the items into a kit — an assembly line of some sort is usually the most efficient.
- Collect and pack the items together for shipping
- Store kitted products until you need to ship them out.
Reasons to Use Kitting For Your Business
There are different reasons why you might want to kit your product for retail and e-commerce products, including the following:
It’s Necessary for Your Product
Sometimes a product is a combination of smaller products. For example, most retail hair dye products include multiple components — hair color, developer, gloves, and shampoo. In this case, creating a kit is essential to have a sellable hair dye product.
Kitting is also important if you’re starting a subscription box service. Much of the fun of a subscription box comes from opening the package to reveal what’s inside. So, it makes sense to devote time and energy to ensuring that the unboxing experience is incredibly gratifying.
It probably is no surprise that it takes less time to pull and package one item instead of several. Top opportunities to bundle your products include:
Bundling Multiples of a Single Product
When customers consistently order multiples of a product in a single order, it’s a strong signal that a bundle could be a popular — and profitable — product. If a typical customer order is twelve of your Berry Best Bath Bombs, offering a 12-pack is a smart business decision. It’s easier and less costly to pull one bath bomb bundle instead of a dozen separate items.
Bundling Related Products
If customers frequently order specific products together, creating a product bundle may make sense. For example, if you sell aromatherapy oils and consistently get orders for the same five scents, creating a super scents bundle could make ordering and shipping easier.
Expanding Your Product Line
When you grow your product line, you give customers more opportunities to buy from your company. More products can mean more shelf space in a retail store. And, if you’re selling online through a third-party retailer, another SKU means another option for your stellar products to come up in search results. Of course, expanding your product line can take time. An easier path can be to bundle products into sellable kits based on your audience’s wants and needs.
Bundling can also provide an opportunity to upsell and get customers to trial new or underperforming products. For example, if your chocolate coffee and raspberry coffee are both top sellers, you might consider doing a three-pack that includes those beans plus a bag of your new creme brulee blend. Another option is adding coupons during the pick and pack process to drive repeat orders on specific products.
This product kit from Captain Blankenship bundles two hair care products into a single sellable product.
Saving on Shipping Costs
Kitting saves your company money. It costs less to ship one box than multiple orders. Plus, you’ll save on packaging costs.
Thanks to big retailers like Amazon, free shipping is often an expectation. Since shipping costs can cut into the bottom line, companies often struggle to meet this customer expectation and still turn a profit. One common strategy is limiting free shipping to sales over a specific price point. Bundling items into product kits can make it easier for your customers to meet the requirements for free shipping.
Even if your customers are still willing to foot the shipping bill, they still want to pay as little as possible for shipping. So everyone wins when you can lower shipping costs by shipping fewer packages.
It turns out that shipping fewer packages can also improve the customer experience. Amazon Day Delivery is an excellent example of using logistics kitting as a brand advantage. Whenever you place an order, you can choose to have your items arrive on your designated delivery day. In some cases, selecting this option means that some purchases arrive later than otherwise. But people choose this option because they know when all their items will arrive. Plus, reducing the carbon footprint associated with shipping multiple online orders is attractive to many people.
This kit for the dpHUE Color Fresh Dry Texture Spray includes a full-color instruction card along with the spray packaged in a custom box with black crinkle paper.
Creating a Stronger, Connected Brand Experience
Kitting products together creates awareness of the breadth of your product line. By increasing the trial of multiple products, you deepen the customer connection and have more opportunities to develop a loyal following.
Sometimes kitting isn’t about combining products but delivering a premium brand experience. For example, you might pair a product with an insert featuring the top tips within a unique product box. Depending on your audience — and how much you know about them — you could swap out the insert to provide the most appropriate information for their gender, geographic locations, purchase history, and other characteristics.
Benefits of the Offsite Kitting Process
Working with an offsite fulfillment warehouse can make life easier. We’ll fulfill product orders as efficiently as possible, reducing packaging and shipping costs. But that’s just the beginning. Point B supports you throughout the entire kitting process.
If product kits are in your future (and they should be), we’ll streamline the process for success. We’ll help you source items, provide print services, and create custom die-cut packaging. Then we’ll assemble everything to ensure that your products look great and stay safe during shipping.
We can also customize your pick-and-pack process to encourage reorders or forge stronger connections with customers. For example, we can add coupons, thank you cards, or other personalized touches — for all orders or just ones that meet specific criteria.
If you’re not sure how to get started, contact us. We love helping people get their stuff together.