Insight of the Week

Add Past Purchases to Incomplete Bundles

When customers acquire one item in a bundle, they're motivated to acquire the remaining items.

Nick Kolenda
Last updated July 21, 2023
A "casual night" bundle of clothes with a shirt that has already been purchased and pair of jeans that hasn't been purchased yet


Progress feels motivating.

In a popular study, customers felt motivated to collect loyalty points for a coffee shop when they started with 2 points already in place (Kivetz, Urminsky, & Zheng, 2006).

Loyalty card with two stamps already given

A new study applied this effect in ecommerce (Bauer, Spangenberg, Spangenberg, & Herrmann, 2022).

Customers bought more wine if they saw empty placeholders for other wines in a full-course meal (e.g., starter, main course, digestion).

Customer selected a starter wine, and they see empty placeholders for a main course wine and dessert wine

Collecting a single wine motivated them to collect the remaining wines.

You could also implement this strategy after a purchase. Suppose that a customer buys a shirt. In their account, you could bundle this shirt with other products — such as a "casual night out" bundle of clothes.

A "casual night out" bundle with three clothing items, and one product is already purchased

By grouping past purchases with new products, you endow customers with progress. Since they collected one item in this bundle, they'll be motivated to collect the remaining items.

Anyone try this strategy? I've never seen it, but it seems like it would be effective.

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