Its not uncommon to see online retailers offering composites, bundles or sets of items on major marketplaces such as eBay or Amazon, or their own websites.
It's the run up to Christmas, and listing your matching Hat, Gloves and Scarf as a composite set with a single price is more attractive to a buyer than scouting out the items individually. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't list the items individually however, it simply adds another opportunity to sell your stock!
Another great example would be a seller listing the latest games console, battling with other competitors that keep undercutting his price. To acquire the market edge without listing the console at a low price, the online retailer lists the console at a slightly higher retail price and includes an extra controller to the package, listing a composite product instead of just the console.
Maintaining control over stock when you're retailing bundles can all of a sudden become a daunting task, especially when the seller is also listing the individual items separately. If you consider yourself a Microsoft Excel Wizard, you might be able to facilitate the diversity of listings you have and be able to manage your stock effectively. alternatively you may pre-bundle the products, but then you have to worry about unbundling them when you sell out of the individual items. Executing this level of stock control on a daily basis soon becomes a cumbersome chore.
Linnworks, in common with some other Stock Control Systems, offers functionality designed to accommodate selling composites. In this article, we will look at how you can configure composites to maintain optimal availability and control of your stock with minimal intervention on your part.
Note: By default, the system is not configured to work with composites, you will have to enable this within Linnworks. You can do this by going to Settings > Application Settings and check the Use Stock Item Composition box.
As with any form of listing creation in Linnworks and LinnLive, prior to listing your composite on any of the LinnLive supported selling channels you must first create your inventory items. This is achieved manually, or with the Data Import Tool. In my example, I will be using stationery to show you how composites work in Linnworks.
As you can see, in my inventory I currently have two pens, a Green Biro and a Blue Biro. I list both of these individually, but I also sell a composite that consists of 3 Blue Biros and 3 Green Biros.
I will not need to create a ‘Virtual Parent SKU’ for the composite, this Virtual SKU will represent the set of 6 biros. See below.
There are 2 ways of achieving this, the simplest way would be to create the SKU directly from within the My Inventory Tab by clicking Add New Row and manually inputting the required data.
After clicking on Edit Item and populating the SKU with data, you will need to go to the Composition tab on the left hand side and input the Children SKU’s that the composite consists of. As you can see above, mine has 3 Green Biros & 3 Blue Biro’s. Don’t forget to Save.
Note: Composite items do not need to have a weight assigned to them, they will gain a weight based on the items that make up the composite.
Now we need to instruct Linnworks to calculate the stock level for my set of pens based on the available quantity of the Children SKU’s, the green and blue biros. To do this you will have to set the SKU to be Not Tracked.
You can do this by clicking on the Green Button under the heading 'Tracked' for that product.
Note: Tracked assumes that the composite has its own Stock Level, Not Tracked calculates the stock levels of the children SKUS against the composite item.
Congratulations, you have successfully created a composite item within the Linnworks Inventory. Using the LinnLive listing tool you can actually list this bundle to any of the eBay, Amazon, BigCommerce or Magento platforms, or link it against manually created listings on other selling channels. The listing will be treated as a normal singular listing, similar to that of the listings for the children SKU’s. To find out more about listing onto compatible platforms using LinnLive, I would recommend that you view the LinnLive2 Demo. This can be accessed from the Linnworks.com homepage, under 'Support', and 'Webinars'.
When an order is made for your composite, upon synchronization this order will be pulled into your Open Order Screen. You will see the child SKU’s in the order, see below. Pick lists will show those Child items also.
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