Beauty Brand Founders On The Power Of Product Bundles

In this edition of Beauty Independent’s ongoing series posing questions to beauty entrepreneurs, we ask 20 brand founders and executives: Have bundles been successful for you? Why or why not?

Shinji Yamasaki Founder, RE:ERTH

Bundling is a big part of our promotional activities. In fact, during the holiday season, our promotions are all special bundle deals. We find that it allows both our current users to stock up on several different products they’re already using and get a chance to try a new product that they may be interested in as well as for new customers to try a combination of products.

Conor Riley CEO, Luxie Beauty

We love gift bundles! We always are looking for ways to stand out, and bundles create a really compelling value proposition. The hard part is making sure that the products, price and customer all align. We rely heavily on the insight from our retail partners who have such a deep understanding of what their customer is looking for. 

A great example of this is with Nordstrom. The support that we have had from that organization is amazing. Our team there is absolutely amazing and, through all the challenges of rolling an indie brand out across their retail platform, they have gone above and beyond to ensure we find our footing and succeed. We are so blessed to have so many great retail partners who share their time, energy and data. I don't think we would have found the same success without deeply collaborating to build bundles that work.

Michelle Scheumesiter Founder, PhilanthroBee

We have had our product in our family store since day one. When the pandemic hit, the doors closed and, when we were allowed to reopen, the traffic nearly stopped. We ended up putting together a three product bundle deal that was only available in our family's store. We thought having a bundle deal in the store would help drive traffic and bring another audience into the store. 

I remember when I first heard, "Michelle, we are running low on product.” Picture someone doing the shimmy-shim shake and twerking at the same time. I was just so excited to hear that! The deal includes the three main items: body bar, bath bomb and the face mask at a discounted rate of $36 off the retail price in our online store. One of the customers told us, "It's like selling someone a spa day.” That really resonates when someone says that about your company, and it's not just your family hyping you up.

Tiffany Staten Founder, London Grant

We constantly obsess over the customer journey. I find that bundles are a highly successful approach to reaching new customers through accessible pricing and smart product matching. Plus, bundling done well offers the retailer an upsell opportunity to boost conversion rates.

Our approach is to introduce product sets that are mindfully matched based on existing buying trends. This means that you have to really know your customer, understanding their needs alongside what they naturally pair together.  We’ve paired down our full sizes into adorable travel minis, added hand-stamped dust bags and matched products together through seasonal curations. Our bestseller of 2020 has been our Summer Duo Set, which pairs our travel Sheer Glow Body Oil and Honey Coco Body Polish. In the fall/winter, we’ll release a new bundle that brings our Chai Spiced Latte Body Polish together with Cocoa & Jojoba Body Soufflé.

While everyone bundles differently, I've found it to be most impactful when you create a surprise-and-delight moment. We’re making it easy for customers to grab two or more products that naturally work well together, taking away the difficult decision-making and offering attractive incentives to experience our brand. Everyone loves an elevated experience met with unexpected savings.

Melinda Herron Founder, 103 Collection

I believe that our bundles are successful because customers can see instant savings by purchasing in bulk, and they are smart enough to understand that using the products together gives you outstanding results. Our most successful products are actually our beard care bundles. Our signature beard care includes an 8-oz. beard wash, regularly priced at $21.99, and a 2-oz. beard oil, regularly priced at $19.99, but our bundle retails for only $35.

MAX OBERLOHER Chief Operating Officer, Niche Beauty Lab

Bundles do very well for us. On our website, we even have a dedicated category for product bundles. In general, what we have seen so far is that our customers like bundles much more when they target a particular skin concern than when it is a set of products for a routine or just a bundle of products of a specific brand. Our bestselling product bundle is the Anti-Acne Pack from Farmaskin

There are probably two main reasons for why bundles sell well in general and skin concern-based bundles in particular. On the one hand, we offer all bundles at a discount compared to the cost of the individual items combined. On the other hand, to treat a skin concern it usually requires more than just one product and, with a bundle, you get all of those items necessary.

David Petrillo Founder, Perfect Image

We have had bundles be successful in the past as most of our products can be easily be grouped together and complement each other nicely. Our bundles typically resemble a skin regimen or routine of products that target specific skin concerns. So, if they are looking for acne or oily skin, we would have a kit specifically for addressing that concern consists of essentials you would need to see results.  

Carolyn Li Ming Geh Founder, Li Organics

I'm personally a huge proponent of bundles as it often helps the customer make product consideration and decisions so much easier. Imagine coming home from a long day of work (or these days Zoom'ing until you're cross-eyed) and, now, you need to shop for skincare online. It's so nice when a brand shows you, "Hey, if you're having trouble thinking of what to get, here you go. This serum and face mist bundle/pair is a great place to start! And...here's why!"

So, aside from the Nourishing Quad that includes all of our four core products at a slightly lower price than if you were to purchase them in singles, we've had pairings which have done really well. We also introduced a Mini Trio during the holidays last year, which has been doing well, so we have decided to keep. It includes mini, trial versions of our Liquid Amber Serum, Pebble Mask and Obsidian Scrub, and it's a much easier conversion for first time customers who aren't willing just yet to invest $60 to $80 on a single full-sized bottle or jar.

Amy Chou Granger Co-Founder and COO, M2U NYC

There's a lot of thought that goes into creating our bundles. Our bundles have been successful, and I believe it’s mainly due to our customization feature. This gives the customers the ability to try out a curated product selection, but still allows for flexibility to select the shades and tones that best work for them, and this is something that is always enticing to existing and new customers.

TORI BODIN Founder, Dazey CBD

We currently offer a bundle of our book, CBD & Chill, and a bottle of our regular CBD oil on our website, which is the tincture we used in developing each of the recipes. While this is currently our first and only bundle, we are seeing a positive response in the 10% savings and have heard from customers that it is on their holiday gifting lists for friends and family. It has inspired us to look at other bundles we can create with our product line, and you can expect to see a few more bundles during the holiday season.

Allison Teasdale CFO, Unwrapped Life

We use bundles in a few different ways. They can support a simple starter-pack solution as a great way for a new customer to start their journey with your brand or can be used for a product launch. What we love the most is combining bundles with community give-back opportunities. For new customers, we generally recommend a travel set. It’s a great introduction to our brand, gets you started on your plastic-free haircare journey with a full-sized set of hair bars as well as convenient travel tins, all bundled together with savings. They are top sellers for this reason and make great gifts! 

Once a customer is a repeat purchaser, they can simply buy "naked" bars and continue to use the original travel tins. If you have a new or innovative product that requires a bit of product knowledge, bundles can greatly assist in simplifying your customers initial purchase and increasing their lifetime value. We’ve also been successful with the use of bundles when supporting our community give-back programs. As an example, during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, we used bundles to provide our customers with added savings and donated a portion of the proceeds to support relief efforts. 

We use the bundle as a catalyst for the customer to support our mission (plastic-free!), save some money, and make their purchase worthwhile in helping those in need. We offered three bundles in this campaign, and they sold out in less than 24 hours! Aside from our travel sets and our womb bundle (baby collection), we like to use bundles in moderation and only offer them with added incentives or promotions on a time- or quantity-limited basis.

Connie Cho Founder, Ollie Belle

Shortly before COVID, we had started a bundle focused on acne products which were successful because our customers were able to purchase more at a lower cost and try our different products without hurting their pockets. Now, we bundle our acne products with our over-the-counter medical products not particularly focused on acne that people might find useful, which has been successful for the same reason. [Customers can] get more product for less, which has been very effective. We are now focusing on bundling more products, whether it’s focused solely on acne or not, at a lower cost to get more product into the hands of more people so that we can continue to provide customers with cheaper products with the same quality they expect from us.

David Simnick CEO and Co-Founder, Soapbox

Our bundles offer a lot of value to our customers and are our most successful items on our site. Our customers are able to get a bunch of products they need for a great value. Getting the core assortment right has done wonders for allowing our team to explore new innovation that we're bringing to market.

Peter Lee CEO, Saranghae

Eighty percent of our sales come from our Complete 5 Step Membership Bundle. The major driver of success has been educating our customers on why the bundle is effective and how it works. Customers want simplicity in their routine and the bundle delivers that.

JuE Wong CEO, Olaplex

We recently launched a professionally inspired at-home treatment. As part of the launch, we decided to bundle it with a trail size of our iconic Olaplex No 3 Hair Perfector. Within 40 days from launch, this bundle completely sold out on our website and sephora.com. It was our most successful bundle to date because it showcases the products, amplifies the collection’s potency and proves the regimen’s performance.

Tracy Golbourne Founder, Fortifyd Natural

Our Hydrating Styling Duo is our No. 1 seller because it makes it easier to add both items to the cart at one time. The people prefer the convenience, and it also gives the impression that the two need to be used together.

Francelle Daly Founder and CEO, Lovecraft Beauty

We put our Lip Pens in a box set, and it was a successful launch not only because it was a discount, but everyone loves a beauty bubble in a chic black box suite. Packaging is everything.

ALEXANDRA DJOUKANOV Brand Manager, Orpheus Skin

Our product portfolio currently consists of only two SKUs offered in a virtual bundle, which is naturally the preferred option of our customers as they can experience the benefits of the full regimen. Business-wise, the bundle helps to amplify awareness around the Bio-Luminous Dewy essence as the Serum is our hero product. The Essence is just as effective, and bundling it with our more popular product helps to convert consumers into fans and repeat buyers.

John Cascarano President, Beast Brands Inc.

Typically, during the holidays. Otherwise, we haven't had success with bundles.

LISSETTE MONZON Founder, Lilly Be

I have had successful bundles, especially during the holidays. My best selling bundle is The Complete Facial Care Collection. Customers get a very simple yet thorough facial care routine with detailed instructions on the inside panel of the kit. The aesthetics of the gift set are lovely and customers save a little when they buy the bundle. I will be turning this collection into a subscription soon because customers are often very loyal to their facial care purchases and I would love to offer them an extra incentive to continue pampering themselves.

If you have a question you’d like Beauty Independent to ask beauty entrepreneurs, please send it to [email protected].