ChannelEngine: product bundles
About this article
This article describes the process of creating and managing product bundles on ChannelEngine.
Table of contents
Bundling products is a popular way to generate sales, maximize profits, promote differentiated products, sell unpopular products, optimize advertising costs, and reduce decision-making pressure.
If you want to sell two or more products as a combination, you can manually create a product bundle. Below are three examples of common bundles:
- An inkjet printer with additional ink cartridges
- A cocktail shaker with a jigger, strainer, and other accessories
- A compost bin with compostable bin bags
Product bundles require:
- A valid and unique Merchant product number/SKU.
- A valid and unique EAN - numbers such as 0000000000000 and 1234567890123 are not valid. Although ChannelEngine does not prevent the creation of bundles with invalid EANs, marketplaces do.
The following restrictions apply to product bundles:
- Returns are currently not supported.
- It is possible to spread the shipping of a bundle over multiple shipments, but the only shipping data ChannelEngine can export to a channel is the last shipment. This is due to the channel acknowledging the sum, not the parts. Buyers do not receive the tracking information for the earlier shipments, therefore we advise you to ship bundles in one shipment.
- It is not possible to cancel only part of a bundle. If a specific product in the bundle is out of stock, you must report the entire bundle as out of stock. This is due to the channel acknowledging the sum, not the parts.
- Bundles cannot be set to Fulfillment by... (i.e.: FBA, LVB, etc.) because channels do not support product bundles.
- Activation and deactivation are not automatic. Although the stock of the bundle is based on its parts, if the product is deactivated (e.g.: removed from your feed) the bundle is not automatically deactivated. You must do so manually.
- On ChannelEngine, go to Products, Product bundles and click Add.
- Edit the information for the following attributes:
- Merchant product number - makes products unique on ChannelEngine, and applies to your bundles too. You are free to enter any Merchant product number you like, as long as it does not already exist. It is advised to make it recognizable by either incorporating or extending the main product SKU, and/or adding the suffix '-bundle' to it.
- European article number (EAN) - the specific EAN of your product bundle. It cannot be the EAN of a single product in the bundle, but a separate and, most likely, new EAN. This also applies if your bundle consists of many of the same items, as marketplaces almost certainly know the EAN as the identifier for a single product. There is no validation on the correctness of the entered EAN, but note that most marketplaces require a valid EAN/GTIN for a product bundle to be created.
- Name - the product title. This can be anything you want.
- Add products by entering an identifier in the search field. You can use the name, the Merchant product number, or the EAN of products known to ChannelEngine. Once you have selected all desired products, their quantities, and price, select Save to create the bundle.
- Add additional product attributes, like the brand, color, category, description, etc. By default, the values from the most expensive product are used, but you are free to change them. Adding a more expensive product after the initial save does not change the values.
You can view bundles in the same way as regular products on ChannelEngine. The only difference is that there is an additional Bundle line below the product type. By selecting the pencil icon next to it, you can edit the bundle directly. This is also the screen where you can edit the bundle's extra data. By selecting + custom field, you can add a new attribute to your bundle.
If you include a product bundle in a channel's listing or if it complies with an existing product selection filter, ChannelEngine exports it to the channel. Note that bundles need to be created on the marketplace, so they can only be used on channels that support a content connection.
The stock of the bundle is calculated based on the stock of its parts, so the bundle mirrors the stock of the product with the lowest availability – based on the quantities in the bundle. E.g.: if a bundle consists of two items, one with a stock of ten and the other with a stock of three, the stock of your bundle is three.
If you delete a bundle, it is processed as a 'soft delete', which means that the product is made inactive – but still exists. As a result, it is not possible to create a new bundle with the same data.
If the bundle has been sold on multiple channels, removing the bundle completely is very difficult and not recommended. In most cases, it is better to update the bundle instead of deleting a bundle and adding a new one.
It is possible to add or update bundle information via an additional data feed. As with all additional feeds, this requires the exact Merchant product number/SKU, as is currently known on ChannelEngine for these bundles.
Most attributes can be updated via the feed, with the exception of the following:
- Merchant product number
- Product type
When a bundle is ordered, the products contained in it are added to the order instead of the bundle itself. Both in the API and in your store, you can only see the parts of the bundle in the order. If the price of the bundle in the order is different from the configured price, the price of the individual items is calculated according to their part in the bundle.
When you ship a bundle, the bundle itself is added to the shipment – instead of its individual items. This shipment is then exported to the channel.