Bridging the Gap: West Rock Apparel's Bundle Strategy Transforms the Online Apparel Shopping Experience
When operating an apparel brand, bundles may not be the first tactic that comes to mind. But what if we told you there’s an apparel brand that sees 20% of orders come from bundles, driving a 26% increase in AOV?
Meet West Rock Apparel, a sustainable, organic baby and children's clothing. How did West Rock see these results? Three key ways:
The first is bridging the gap between in-person and online apparel shopping by helping customers easily purchase complete outfits.
The second is the founder’s understanding of the needs of her buyers, which includes mothers looking to buy complete outfits for their children and friends and family members searching for baby gifts for new mothers.
The third is West Rock’s partnership with Simple Bundles, which allows the brand to offer customizable outfit bundles that shoppers can mix and match colors and sizes with.
Let’s review these in more detail.
Who is behind West Rock Apparel?
Theresa Nast, the founder of West Rock, had a passion for designing and creating wedding clothes before launching her ecommerce brand. Despite the chaos in the wedding apparel world, her passion for fashion never waned.
As she worked on designing bridal gowns and bridesmaid dresses in her studio, she started imagining a line of clothing for children. Over time, she decided to follow her dream and launched West Rock, which officially debuted in late 2022.
“A month before our fourth baby was born, I stopped taking orders, finished everything, and never returned to it. I just never felt like I was ready to get back in it. I took a long pause, and then after our fifth baby was born in 2021, I knew what I wanted to do, so I dove into West Rock,” Theresa said. “I’m definitely happier now.”
Why did West Rock Apparel build bundles?
Theresa's goal is to make dressing kids easier. To achieve this, her collection is designed to be cohesive with all items meant to work together. The color palette is also neutral and natural, allowing any shirt to be paired with any pants.
Using the Simple Bundles app, Theresa created clothing bundles to achieve her vision of a hassle-free apparel shopping experience. Why?
She explained how shopping for clothing online often feels like a disjointed experience. When you’re in a store, you can hold items up together to see how they look. When shopping online, you’re limited by seeing only the preselected outfits on models.
West Rock’s bundles solve this problem by bundling outfits together (and showing pictures), making it easier to purchase complete outfits with just a few clicks.
This saves customers time and effort by eliminating the need to browse multiple pages to find complementary pieces. In other words, Theresa wanted to bridge the online and in-person shopping experiences better.
Theresa's approach is a welcome change for parents who often struggle to dress their kids in the morning. With West Rock's cohesive collection and outfit bundles, parents can quickly and easily dress their kids while ensuring they look stylish and put-together.
“It made a lot of sense to bundle things because it keeps it all on one page. My bundles make it so easy and were hugely successful on the launch of my brand.”
- Theresa Nast, Founder of West Rock
Deep dive into some of West Rock’s bundle types
There are two bundle examples on West Rock’s site that we want to highlight. For both, Theresa provides fixed bundles that come with predetermined items. However, customers can freely choose the size and color.
This way, shoppers can still enjoy the convenience of a pre-determined bundle while having the option to customize their products to their liking.
For both of the following examples, Theresa uses Simple Bundles’ Infinite Options Bundle type, and the Simple Bundles team helped her modify her bundle’s dropdown component so it matches her Shopify theme:
Sweet Baby Bundle
The Sweet Baby Bundle is a popular choice among parents because it's the perfect outfit for bringing a newborn home from the hospital.
The bundle includes a soft and comfortable romper, leggings, and a bib—all of which can be worn together or mixed and matched with other items in West Rock’s catalog. The bundle is available in two colors and five different sizes.
Tiny Tot Bundle
Like the Sweet Baby Bundle, Theresa's dedication to ease and practicality is showcased in the Tiny Tot Bundle.
This bundle includes a t-shirt, shorts, and a hat that can be styled together or paired with other clothing items. The bundle offers two color options and three sizes for each piece, providing customers with various choices without feeling overwhelmed.
Theresa's approach to bundle offerings is to keep things simple and easy for the customer. Rather than offering too many options, she focuses on providing a limited range of high-quality items that can be mixed and matched with ease. By doing so, she avoids overwhelming customers with too many choices.
Theresa has achieved early success despite only launching her bundles in late 2022. Currently, bundle purchases account for 20% of her orders, leading to a significant 26% increase in AOV.
Theresa identified a few factors that led to the success of West Rock’s bundle launch.
The discount for shoppers
One significant benefit of West Rock’s bundle system is the discount it offers customers. By bundling items, customers are incentivized to purchase everything at a lower price than if they purchased each item individually.
This extra incentive often pushes customers to make a purchase they may have otherwise been hesitant to make. And despite adding an incentive, West Rock’s AOV is still higher when customers purchase a bundle versus purchasing items separately.
Easier in-house fulfillment and inventory management
Theresa is currently handling her fulfillment for her brand out of her home in Connecticut. She’s responsible for making sure each order is packaged and shipped to the customer in a timely and efficient manner.
One of the key benefits of using the Simple Bundles app is the Shopify integration, making the inventory and fulfillment experience even easier.
Essentially, when a purchase is made and inventory is updated in Shopify, the inventory count in Simple Bundles is also automatically updated. In other words, merchants don’t need to manually update inventory counts in Simple Bundles—the app takes care of this automatically.
Simple Bundles also breaks down bundles into individual items, allowing merchants to monitor inventory levels closely. Being able to review bundle inventory easily means Theresa avoids overselling and having to inform customers that their purchases cannot be fulfilled.
“I package and send everything, and I use the invoices from the bundles to lay everything out and keep groups of products together. On that end, for me, it makes fulfillment easier,” she said.
Another benefit to Simple Bundles’ integration with Shopify is being able to easily expand to other sales channels, such as Instagram, Amazon, or Facebook. If Theresa ever decided to explore those channels, all orders would still flow into Shopify, and the bundles could be handled in one platform. Keeping data in one system means being able to properly forecast sales with fewer errors.
By automating inventory management with Simple Bundles, merchants can save time and instead focus on providing their customers with the products and services they need.
Simple Bundles’ support team
When first setting up her bundles, Theresa encountered difficulty in customizing the Infinite Options bundles dropdown. She relied on Simple Bundles' round-the-clock support to help her set it up correctly.
After working closely with Theresa, Simple Bundles launched an easier way for merchants to add their Infinite options dropdown to their Shopify Online Store 2.0 theme (read more about this here). This user-friendly drag-and-drop feature enhances the setup process and reflects the company's dedication to continuously enhancing its services.
Theresa’s favorite part of the Simple Bundles platform
According to Theresa, two of her favorite parts of using Simple Bundles are the customer support and the level of customization the app offers: “My emails get answered immediately, and it's been incredibly easy.”
As for the customization of the app, she shared that being able to create various bundles in any way she sees fit helps support her mission of making the shopping experience at West Rock as easy as possible.
By providing more customization and choice, brands like West Rock can help customers feel more confident about their clothing purchases. But despite West Rock’s success as an apparel brand, bundles are helpful for brands in any vertical.
Visit us at Simple Bundles to learn more, or install Simple Bundles for FREE on the Shopify app store.