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How does Amazon’s Frequently Bought Together Section Work?

The Frequently Bought Together section on Amazon can be considered a kind of social proof. It’s also a way to personalize the shopping experience. Both of these factors contribute greatly to customer satisfaction. And this leads to more sales.

The governing logic of “Frequently Bought Together”: 

Shoppers almost always look for the opinions of others before purchasing an item that they have never purchased before because they want to know if it’s worth their money. They can always request a refund if it doesn’t go well, but they also want to know that it’s worth their time and effort, and enjoy the convenience of having that item exactly when they need it.

Most online shoppers today are moreover easily frustrated, 74% of them likely to turn away when website popups show them items that they aren’t interested in. Showing proof upfront on listings for items that work well together makes everything that much easier for shoppers.

Amazon’s recommendations for the Frequently Bought Together section furthermore help shoppers keep abreast of the latest ecommerce and marketplace trends. It’s not an incentive to buy, but it serves as a gentle, non-aggressive push towards a purchase.

What Is “Frequently Bought Together”?

chain links symbolizing frequently bought together

Technically an upsell feature, the automated Frequently Bought Together section is populated with products that are more often browsed and purchased by other customers. When customers buy more than one item at a time, it’s even better. The aim is to push customers to add more items to their cart.

More than previous sales, account health, seller performance metrics and Buy Box share also affect which items get picked to be part of the Frequently Bought Together section. This means that stores with strong overall metrics have a better chance than others. This means working towards low return rates, no late shipments, high positive seller feedback, high Best Seller Ranking, etc. Maintaining good inventory levels and item availability plus competitive pricing, Prime eligibility, and shipping speed are also contributing factors.

The Algorithm

Amazon uses the above “suggestive selling” method along with “item-to-item collaborative filtering” to generate the personalized recommendations that appear in the Frequently Bought Together section. The algorithm runs in real-time, creating higher quality output that comes straight from each shopper’s specific interests. This includes the user’s browsing and purchase history, and items they have rated or reviewed. It also takes into consideration what other buyers have browsed and bought.

Using “Frequently Bought Together” to Increase Sales

hearts puzzle pieces

Aside from social proof and personalization, the Frequently Bought Together section is an opportunity for additional visibility for your products. Seller cannot choose which products show up because it depends on actual items bought together, but it’s still a chance for another placement – and a free one at that.

Any and all of the featured add-on products can be included in an order from below the main product detail section and sometimes on the checkout page. That’s two extra chances to get a sale for a product that the customer needs but didn’t think of.

Aside from placement, add-ons are attractive to non-Prime customers because they can help them reach the free shipping threshold. And because the items in this section are complementary to the item on the listing being viewed or have been purchased together with the listing item by a large number of customers in the past, they look like good buys.

Strategies

You can’t decide which items get selected for the Frequently Bought Together section, but you can influence the selection. Like other Amazon Marketplace features, sellers are not in control here. But there are ways to manipulate the results based on your knowledge of the factors that come into play. You need to take advantage of these features as much as possible and as best you can to gain an edge over the stiff competition.

1.  Create Campaigns to Highlight Products

woman shopping frequently bought together

Put marketing campaigns in place to target cross-selling, upselling, and product bundling. Customers love getting a deal on items that they want to buy anyway, so promotions will always get you more traffic.

To increase your chances of getting picked as a Frequently Bought Together item, aim to get customers to buy multiples of your products through promo campaigns. Don’t forget to use the “Add Both to Cart” button for these promotions.

If your product is high quality and having more than one of them is useful, then offering a discount on a second item becomes attractive. You can also offer discounts on related items if it doesn’t make sense to double up. The more these same products are bought together in the same transaction, the higher your chances of getting them advertised as Frequently Bought Together. Remember, however, that having multiples of the same item is still the better strategy.

By incentivising buyers to purchase as much as possible by offering lower totals, the Frequently Bought Together algorithm will pick up on this and award a spot.

2.  Create Intelligent Product Bundles

As above, bundles with lower total costs than buying the same product individually increases the likelihood of conversions. But you have to know what Amazon customers want to create bundles that they will find attractive. They aren’t going to buy just because it’s cheaper – each item has to be of use to them.

Moreover, people like to save time and effort by getting all their shopping done at once and as quickly and easily as possible. Bundles are a great way to do that, and the Frequently Bought Together section can give you great insight into which items they usually buy together. Then you can create attractive offerings of your own.

Once you have a desirable bundle that sells well, an association is created that moves more inventory and increases profits. Getting featured on the Frequently Bought Together section compounds this boost in sales.

Separating these bundles is the next step in this strategy. Once your products have gained traction, you’ll likely still be able to get customers to buy these related items together even if they are on separate listings. If you work towards maintaining consistent traffic and conversions, then these individual products will get noticed by the algorithm as related and are likely to show up as Frequently Bought Together.

Bundles are also a great way to get rid of some slow-moving inventory to save on long-term storage fees, and you get to create hype around it at the same time. This works for new products, too, and in the long run, you will have built a strong strategy for greater visibility and sales.

3. Partner with Other Sellers

virtual partnership

You won’t always have all the perfect items to sell together. But you can coordinate with other sellers who have what you need – and vice versa. This way, you can both take advantage of Frequently Bought Together to get your matched products featured. This is also a great way to increase your customer base and open up opportunities for your Amazon business.

Look on Amazon for items that complement yours and establish relationships with their sellers. Stay organized with a spreadsheet or some other system of keeping track of all the ASINs, listing links, storefront URLs, contact names and emails. Write down all the useful product combinations you can think of. Use your search term report to help you see what ASINs buyers look for when they purchase your SKUs.

Focus on sellers with good reputations since the algorithm takes metrics into account. Make sure that your store is in good standing as well because you need to be an attractive partner. Big or popular sellers aren’t going to be interested in cross-promoting deals if you aren’t at their level.

If you want to gain traction fast, you can offer a coupon code that covers the cost of your product when they buy the complementary product from a partner seller. As new audiences take notice of your brand and products and as the item association is established, you’ll see them on Frequently Bought Together for both listings and start making profits. The increase in sales should make up for the free items quite quickly.

Create an Amazon Affiliate Account

Having an Amazon Affiliate Account can make partnerships with other sellers more attractive. The added revenue generated when partners help to sell products can pique their interest in helping you sell with related product promotions.

Keep In Mind…

Not everyone can instantly hack Frequently Bought Together. Keep track of your numbers and apply tweaks until you get the best results. This goes for your campaigns, your listings, and other listings you are pairing up with.

Remember to also keep your offers fresh and relevant. Keep looking at your results as well as what shows up as Frequently Bought Together. It can change fast, so you need to keep up.

If you’re working with other sellers or industry influencers, make sure to maintain these relationships. They can bring you long-term benefits by simply communicating well and thinking of new ways to bring more value to your partnership.

Final Thoughts on Related Products

Maintaining a presence in the Frequently Bought Together section can give you significant visibility on Amazon, and coupled with corresponding discounts can really make a huge difference in conversions.

Whether you chose to employ one or all of the methods above, it’s a good step towards maximizing profits. 35% of all of Amazon sales come from algorithm recommendations. It’s too big of a slice to ignore. And we foresee that Amazon will put more into their personalization efforts in view of its impact. Start taking advantage of the Frequently Bought Together feature now to drive net new business as well as keep existing customers coming back for more.

Julia ValdezHow does Amazon’s Frequently Bought Together Section Work?
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