Amazon’s Frequently Bought Together feature is a recommendation algorithm that works to maximize per order value by introducing relevant products to new and existing customers. Studies reveal that Amazon’s Frequently Bought Together recommendation system is responsible for driving over 35 percent of sales on the platform.
The Frequently Bought Together feature is also a superb way to increase customer satisfaction through the ways in which it allows the platform to personalize customers’ shopping experiences.
What Is Amazon’s Frequently Bought Together Feature?
Amazon’s Frequently Bought Together recommendation algorithm uses order history data to group items that were browsed, rated, or purchased together. Given Amazon’s customer-centric nature, sellers do not have a say in which products are paired together in the Frequently Bought Together section.
Shoppers can find the Frequently Bought Together feature below the product details, on the “item added to cart” confirmation page, or at checkout. The ultimate goal of Amazon’s Frequently Bought Together feature is to increase product exposure and grow the size of a customer’s shopping cart. For example, if a consumer is buying a handheld car vacuum on Amazon, the products in the Frequently Bought Together section might include other car cleaning products.
However, Amazon’s recommendation algorithm is not always about finding the most appropriate item. There are other performance standards that Amazon expects from people who meet this category. Finding suitable products associated with this category is known as a Product Affinity Analysis.
What Is a Product Affinity Analysis?
A product affinity analysis studies buyer behavior to gain insights into how customers shop and what products they purchase together. This type of analysis establishes a score to identify which items are most frequently bought together. By analyzing buyer habits, stores can optimize their cross-selling potential.
Amazon automates the analysis process, ensuring that you can use real-time data when purchasing advertising from them. All businesses (large and small) need to use product analysis to determine what works. If you have a personal website, analyzing your heatmap is a great way to discover where your customers are clicking. If you use Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment, finding where people click can tell you where to place your most profitable products.
How to Set Up Frequently Bought Together on Amazon
Unfortunately, Amazon sellers cannot simply click on a majestic button and have their products appear in the Frequently Bought Together section. Although, the easiest way to influence which products appear in the section is to have customers purchase complementary products together several times for Amazon to recognize that they are often purchased together. Once Amazon’s recommendation algorithm registers a pattern in this purchasing behavior, it will recommend such products in the Frequently Bought Together section.
What Are the Benefits of the Frequently Bought Together Feature?
Standard marketing metrics tell us that sellers are more likely to sell to existing customers. In fact, the rates of a sale go up from 10 percent to up to 70 percent when selling to customers who have already bought from your store.
Complementary products function very much the same way. For example, Amazon sells numerous multi-year protection plans on specific purchases. The upsell is easy at this point, as the prospective buyer can already see how the complementary item would be useful.
If you try and sell warranties by themselves, you are more likely to have the door closed in your face. When people buy products, they want to save money or reduce pain. If you can leverage this logic, you can increase sales. Amazon makes this easy through a process called collaborative filtering.
What Is Collaborative Filtering?
Collaborative filtering is the process of using similarities between customers and products synchronously to offer recommendations. Anytime you see the “Customers who bought this item also bought” section, that is an example of this form of filtering. Amazon itself recognizes it as one of the most common methods for making online product recommendations.
The idea is not to see what the customer bought on a single-item basis. Instead, the idea is to match customers into clusters by seeing how their buying experiences work together. This idea is much more accurate than the other forms. Amazon can do this with relatively little bandwidth because it limits the scope of recent purchases. When looking at the history of Amazon’s algorithmic system, it is easy to see how this has evolved.
How to Hack Amazon’s Recommendation Algorithm
There are five ways to trick Amazon’s recommendation algorithm into having your products featured in the Frequently Bought Together section. By following these tips, your popular products will get the exposure and purchases they need to find themselves set up for product bundling options.
1. Adopt a Bundling Strategy
Product bundling is an easy way to increase sales, reduce inventory, and hack Amazon’s recommendation algorithm. There are two ways to go about adopting a bundling strategy. You can either conduct your own research or use the Amazon Virtual Product Bundles Program.
One way to build a product bundling strategy is to conduct thorough research on the competition and on customers’ shopping preferences. Since it can take days, if not weeks, to go through customers’ purchase history, you will have to do some creative digging. Because Amazon builds this data off whoever is browsing, you will need a clean slate.
You can do this by opening an incognito web browser so that Amazon’s algorithm does not operate according to your personal preferences. Next, research products that are comparable to what you offer. For example, spatulas go with frying pans, and shower mats go with shower curtains. Think about what problem your customer is trying to solve when looking for your products.
Lastly, pay attention to what comes up organically. When your browser has no data to base its search results on, you can get an idea of some of the everyday items customers might want. The weakness with this strategy comes from the lack of customer data. To supplement this, you can ask around or perform surveys on what customers think.
The Amazon Virtual Product Bundles Program is a tool that allows brands to create bundles consisting of up to two to five complimentary products. This feature enables sellers to offer bundles while removing the need to package items together. However, this program is only eligible for sellers who own a brand.
2. Reference Amazon Trends
The Amazon Trend Report contains data on what the most popular sellers are doing to stay on top. As it pertains to Amazon’s Frequently Bought Together feature, it is a good idea to keep track of trends and what your competitors are doing so that you can adjust your strategy accordingly.
For example, a big trend in 2021 was to have at-home fitness equipment. You can then use the trend data to determine what items would complement home gym equipment. You can also modify descriptions and bullet points to center your product around being suitable for home gyms.
You might also look in the Movers and Shakers category to see what complementary products are waiting for you there. The idea is to build the buying process around products that work. Amazon’s recommendation engine will not feature products that are not successful.
3. Maintain Healthy Performance Metrics
Amazon’s recommendation algorithm is designed to favor best sellers. Therefore, your Seller Central account must have healthy metrics for your products to be featured in Amazon’s Frequently Bought Together section.
One of the main ways to maintain healthy performance metrics is to receive positive seller feedback. While not all reviews are positive, your goal is to address the negative reviews positively and constructively. Positive seller feedback is a sign that you know how to handle all of your performance logistics. Here are some ways to ensure positive seller feedback:
- Include a product insert that requests a review. Although, be sure that the request does not imply your customer will receive anything for it.
- Ask for a review using automated templates. While smaller sellers can rely on the Request a Review Button, larger sellers need to rely on computerized systems.
- Build an email list outside of Amazon to make product announcements so you can receive an immediate sales boost. This activity draws current costumes to your newly released products, increasing sales rank early on.
To improve your seller rating, you can also do the following:
- Reduce your order defect rate by offering high-quality products. Be discerning in your product testing process and do not accept faulty products in your inventory.
- Avoid late shipments by having a defined shipment process. Consider Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) if you do not want to address the logistics.
- Keep your return rates low by ensuring that the customer can understand your item entirely based on the content you provide. Include instructions online and through a product insert. Also, make sure your product is of good enough quality to last for a decent amount of time.
- Be aware of your Inventory Performance Index (IPI) and ensure solid inventory management. You want to keep your stock full enough so that it continuously revolves. However, too full means you have to deal with excess inventory, impacting your account health.
- Work on your Amazon SEO optimization to keep your exposure and sales rank up on all product listings. That way, you can diversify your potential when adding bundled products.
Amazon Sellers should strive to be the best in their category. That way, they have various add-on products that might help them hit the “Customers who bought this item also bought” category faster.
4. Collaborate With Other Amazon Sellers
Collaborating with other Amazon sellers who sell products related to yours is another way to trick Amazon’s recommendation algorithm. You can do this by researching which sellers offer products that complement yours and establishing a relationship with them. Be sure to partner with sellers who have good ratings as they reflect their reputation at large. To facilitate the process of collaboration, you can also join Amazon’s Affiliate Program. This program helps sellers and content creators monetize their traffic by directing audiences to their recommendations.
5. Offer Promotions
Everybody loves a good promotion. Surveys reveal that 74 percent of American shoppers agree that promotions are a top factor that influences when and where they buy online. Another way to hack Amazon’s Frequently Bought recommendation algorithm is to create a promotional campaign that encourages customers to buy multiple products.
For instance, if you design a promotional campaign around a coffee machine, you can offer discounts on complimentary products such as coffee filters, beans, a frother, or mugs. By launching a promotion that offers shoppers a discount on a product after buying a related one, you can condition Amazon’s algorithm to associate those products together on its own.
Alternatives to Amazon’s Frequently Bought Together Feature
In case your products do not make it on Amazon’s Frequently Bought Together section, there are two other practical alternatives: the “Customers who viewed this item also viewed” section and the “Customers who bought this item also bought” section.
“Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed”
The products listed in the “Customers who viewed this item also viewed” section on Amazon features items that are sold instead of the listed product and not in addition to the listed product. This section is typically located under the product details page. It is considered to have equal if not greater exposure to both Amazon’s Frequently Bought Together products and the “Customers who bought this item also bought” sections.
“Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought”
The products listed in the “Customers who bought this item also bought” section is similar to the Frequently Bought Together feature. The only difference is that the former contains more items and detail. Although this section is located at the bottom of the page, it is just as valuable.
While the Frequently Bought Together section is the more appealing of the two, there is still some value in having your products featured in the “Customers who bought this item also bought” section. If your products are featured in this section, it increases the odds of your product being featured in the other sections as well.
Frequently Bought Together: FAQs
Will increasing my sales rank improve my upselling potential?
Yes and no. A high sales rank increases the likelihood of being in the top slot, although a high sales rank alone will not encourage customers to think about bundling your products. Instead, it would help if you encouraged people to buy multiples of your products. While you can manipulate this to an extent using coupons, putting in suitable ads and keywords can help you more.
Can you perform your own analysis to get this rank?
Unless you have access to software with vast swaths of data, you will not be able to conduct your own analysis. However, subscribing to an eCommerce analytics and optimization software can equip you with the necessary tools to increase sales, optimize margins, boost productivity, and gain insights. For example, DataHawk’s Advanced ASIN Tracking Software provides eCommerce sellers with tools that enable you to track daily changes in the metrics and listing information of any product on Amazon.
What is customer affinity?
Customer affinity is a brand-based element that encourages customers to buy from your brand or product. With Amazon, The Brand Registry exists to encourage their shoppers to link to particular brands. Popular brands are more likely to be successful in comparison products because an engaging brand name is more memorable than the product.
How can you increase customer/brand affinity?
You can increase customer loyalty by offering stellar customer service. You can also establish a social media presence to speak directly to your customers without dealing with Amazon’s limits. Another way to increase brand loyalty is to have an engaging and exciting brand name and logo. Make sure customers can easily recognize your brand out of an assemblage.
In sum, it is wildly advantageous to have your products featured in Amazon’s Frequently Bought Together section as it increases customer satisfaction, sales, and product visibility. By implementing the five tricks listed above to trick Amazon’s recommendation algorithm, you can easily leverage this valuable source of income.
If you would like help determining which products work well together for your bundle, check out DataHawk’s Research Lab. This feature provides eCommerce sellers with compelling information to help them make effective product bundles.
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