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When applied to inventory management, kitting is essentially the process of grouping two or more products under one listing, so that they appear together in your inventory list. Each kit gets its own stock keeping unit number (SKU), which is different from the SKUs individual products have. For example, a hardware manufacturer that makes computer components could bundle several of these into a desktop system which it can then sell as a kit.

Bundles are just like kits, but different inventory systems can handle them differently. Product bundles often contain products from different categories – think of a portable music player that’s being sold together with a pair of headphones from a different brand and a protective covering from another brand. Bundles are, in a sense, enhanced kits.

Because kits and bundling have many benefits, you want to make sure that the small business product inventory software you use handles them both. Here are some of the key benefits kitting and bundling bring.

Helps you stand out from your competitors

If competitors are selling the same item, you can bundle it with another item that your customers may be interested in to differentiate your products and increase their appeal. Bundled with other items, your product can make its way into your customers’ shopping cart more easily.

Lowers return rates

Higher return rates can be the result of incompatibilities between different products or products that ship without essential accessories that customers think were included in the original packaging. With a good small business product inventory software or mobile inventory app, it’s possible to bundle together the right products and accessories to avoid customer dissatisfaction and lower return rates over time. This benefit can be especially noticeable for online shops, where many customers typically order products without consulting sales staff or fully reading product descriptions.

Reduces shipping costs

Product kitting and bundling means that you can ship two or more components or products in the same package. Going a step beyond this, it’s possible to create custom packaging for kits, weighing and labeling them in advance, further reducing shipping costs and minimizing handling errors. To create effective product kits, you want to draw on inventory control business intelligence data, to make sure there’s demand for all the products packaged together.

Increases product exposure

When you create a product kit, you create another listing for all the products involved. When these are also on sale individually, their listing exposure essentially doubles. More exposure, whether it’s in an online shop-front or on the shelf of a brick and mortar business, often leads to more sales.

Helps customers make up their minds 

Kitting and bundling has the added benefit of taking the hassle out of shopping for many customers, who no longer have to research individual products or components or worry about compatibility problems. To simplify the purchase decision for your customers, choose an inventory control and planning solution with kitting and bundling functionality. If you manufacture or sell assembled products, make sure it lets you manage assemblies for bundles and kits.