What else did your customers buy?

The ‘also bought’ and ‘customers who viewed this item also viewed’ box on Amazon and the ‘frequently bought together’ box on your product pages contain useful information for customers – but also, useful information for you as an FBA seller.

First of all, there’s some good information that can show you where you might be able to add a new product to your existing range. Suppose you are selling dish scourers, and you see that ‘bought together’ includes antibacterial wipes, tea-cloths, and washing up liquid. But currently you don’t have a line of wipes in your brand.

Obviously you’ll want to look at the competitive situation and pricing in any new product area before you launch, but the information from the box shows that you have synergy – and that the customers are there and looking.

Secondly, look at who is selling the other products. If they’re all from the same seller, you’re up against someone who has their act together. But if they’re all from different sellers, putting a bundled product together would work nicely. It should not only increase your sales, but by increasing the value of the product, it will reduce the percentage you’re paying to Amazon in fulfillment fees.

If you’re the first seller to bundle those products you’re also guaranteed the buy box – which is a definite plus. Of course, other sellers may follow suit once they see your success, but hopefully you’ve had some good sales already by the time they catch up.

We’ve seen estimates that up-selling customers can increase your revenues by 10-20 percent. That’s a pretty significant number and most or even all of it will come from products you already offer.

Sometimes ‘bought together’ is obvious; there’s a reason that fountain pens and ink cartridges are often bought together, or woks and spatulas! Sometimes, though, the items that are bought together are not quite as obvious. For instance, looking at health and fitness products we found a few surprises. Hula hoops and massagers? Workout suits and jump ropes? Would you have expected those combinations?

Quite often you’ll find the complementary products are in an area that you’re already selling in. However, you may sometimes find you need approval for a different category before you can start selling. Check out the situation on Amazon before you start approaching suppliers.

Of course, if you can get into the ‘bought together’ box you’re more likely to get sales. Note that Amazon’s algorithm isn’t purely based on customer behavior – it also takes into account a seller’s performance metrics and inventory levels. So make sure you are top notch on delivery and customer service.

You can also promote bundles and multiple purchases through advertising or though your social media activity. If customers start buying items together on Amazon, that’s going to get picked up sooner or later.

Or you can have a promo campaign offering a discount when customers buy, say, a tent and a sleeping bag, using a ‘buy both at once’ button.

If you have A+ content you have serious advantages when it comes to cross-selling and up-selling. You can show additional products in the range, and you can also use subsidiary images to show extra products (though make it clear they are not included in the sale of the main product). You can highlight your product family at the end of a video, too, or include a flier in the packaging (though you’re not allowed to offer incentives for a fresh purchase).

By the way, unbundling products can sometimes make sense. If you have a bundle that works spectacularly, sometimes you can unbundle it and if customers continue to buy the products together, Amazon’s algorithm will notice what’s going on.

One caveat; a lot of the recommendations now come from advertisement or sponsored items rather than from the original recommendation engine. So be careful about the recommended items box; it may reflect advertiser budgets rather than consumer behavior. Make sure you’re looking at the right boxes!

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