What is Amazon’s Frequently Bought Together and How Does it Work?

Since its inception, Amazon has constantly improved its services to enhance customer experience by introducing features relating to complementary product recommendations, such as Amazon’s “Frequently Bought Together.” Customers and sellers alike have a better user experience because of these product recommendation features on Amazon. 

What are Complementary Product Recommendations?

Complementary product recommendation is Amazon’s way of making customers’ shopping experiences easier and simpler by recommending other products that complement whatever the shopper is looking for online. 

To illustrate, let us say that you are a kite enthusiast and you are looking to purchase a brand new kite from Amazon. Amazon might recommend complementary products along with the main item.  

And for the kite example, we can see on the image below that Amazon recommended buying the space shuttle kite (main product) along with a kite spool and another kite for kids. The product recommendation was introduced to shoppers via the Frequently Bought Together section of the product page. 



Amazon.com: Screenshot of Amazon Products Detail Page – Frequently Bought Together; Retrieved Nov. 16, 2021, From https://amzn.to/3wQadUO


What is a Frequently Bought Together Recommendation?

Frequently Bought Together on Amazon is an upsell feature that precipitates complementary product recommendations to Amazon shoppers. Items found on this section of the product page are items that complement the item in the product detail area. 

The Frequently Bought Together items are found just underneath the main product searched for by the Amazon shopper. Typically, the Frequently Bought Together recommendations are composed of two or three items, in which the latter products are complementary products to that of the main product. 



Amazon.com: Screenshot of Amazon Products Detail Page; Retrieved Nov. 16, 2021, From https://amzn.to/3wQadUO


Frequently Bought Together on Amazon is beneficial for Amazon sellers, shoppers, and even Amazon itself. From a seller’s perspective, Frequently Bought Together helps increase sales conversion via add-on products. 

On the other hand, Amazon’s Frequently Bought Together product recommendation serves as a reminder for shoppers who might need or forget to include complementary products in their shopping list. Furthermore, this feature can also help non-Prime shoppers reach the free shipping threshold.  

As for Amazon, the Frequently Bought Together feature serves as a subtle ad targeting tool for improved customer experience.

Amazon’s Frequently Bought Together – Factors for Recommendation

Like the Amazon Buy Box, Frequently Bought Together on Amazon is also sales-generating real estate governed by an algorithm. 

Since Amazon does not disclose the exactitude of how their algorithm works, we can assume that sellers’ performance metrics and account health play a crucial role in how items are chosen to appear on the Frequently Bought Together section of the product detail page. 

To increase the chances of your product appearing in Amazon’s product recommendation sections, you should maintain a low return rate, avoid late shipments, foster positive customer feedback, and present shoppers with a competitive listing price.

With the latter, you can use an Amazon repricer to help you develop a competitive pricing strategy for your Amazon listings. 

Insight into Amazon’s Recommendation Algorithm

In order to recommend highly relevant products to shoppers, including those items found on the Frequently Bought Together section of the product page, Amazon utilizes “item-to-item collaborative filtering.”

This type of recommendation algorithm reviews Amazon shoppers’ recent purchase history. And for each purchase, the algorithm pulls up a list of related items. Items that are candidates for recommendation are given greater or lesser weight depending on their relatedness to the shopper’s previous purchases. 

The research team used a specific relatedness metric based on differential probabilities. The Amazon research team emphasized that the “notion of relatedness” is still obtained from shoppers’ purchase histories.

Complementary Strategies – Amazon’s Frequently Bought Together

Although you cannot directly manipulate the Amazon algorithm to favor your product to appear on the Frequently Bought Together section, there are some things you can do to have a competitive edge.

  • Run Promo Campaigns

With this method, you are actually hitting two birds with one stone. The first noticeable result would be increased sales and customer engagement. Secondly, with more customers purchasing items featured in your promo campaign, there is an increased likelihood that the Amazon algorithm will associate those products together. 

In order to proceed with this approach, you need to ensure that discounted items complement the target product. If the target product is a mountain bike, your discounted items can be sunglasses, bike seats, padded bike shorts, bike pedals, or bike helmets. 

When finalizing the promo campaign, make sure to include the ‘Add Both to Cart’ button. In such a way, you are giving the Amazon algorithm an idea that those products complement each other and should be included in the Frequently Bought Together section.

  • Product Bundles

This simply means combining products that would sell together as a pair. This is similar to the previous example, where you aim for product association. 

However, the twist is that when the product bundle offer gains some traction and increased sales, you need to unbundle and sell the items separately. Suppose the shoppers will still buy both items even if they are sold separately, the Amazon algorithm will start noticing the buying pattern and associate product A to product B as items frequently bought together

Other Forms of Recommendation Features

Apart from the Frequently Bought Together feature, Amazon also uses other recommendation features as a form of targeted marketing. Some of the on-site recommendations include:

  • Buy With
  • Featured Recommendations
  • Your Recently Viewed Items
  • Related to Items You’ve Viewed
  • Recommended for You
  • What Other Customers Are Looking at Now
  • Customer Who Bought This Item Also Bought

In general, the suggestive selling performed by Amazon is based on multiple factors, including online user’s purchase history, previously checked products both purchased and not purchased, reviewed or rated items, and other related items viewed or bought by a buyer of a particular product. 

Other Areas for Improvement

Aside from the competitive price and satisfactory seller performance history, it would help if you also improved your product listing to increase the chances of sales conversion. 

Having a high-quality product image can help catch the attention of Amazon shoppers and make your product easily identifiable. Additionally, using proper keywords will likely increase the click rate and searchability of your item. 

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