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    Cross-Selling and Using Purchase Combinations on Amazon

    Written by Tristan Williams
    on June 10, 2021

    Why You Should Be Cross-Selling on Amazon

    One of the most appealing aspects of Amazon’s platform is the ability to strategically motivate customers to buy more.  In fact, Amazon attributes 35% of its revenue to cross-selling. Long story short, if you’re not taking full advantage of your ability to cross-sell on Amazon, you’re missing out. We’re reviewing the many different ways you can cross-sell on Amazon, and how you can determine which purchase combinations are going to appeal most to your customers.

    Cross-selling is a strategy used to drive up the value of a sale usually by appealing to a buyer to add on related or complementary products in addition to their primary selection. Cross-selling and up-selling are two different strategies that are often confused. While cross-selling involves related products or services, the purpose of upselling is to convince the customer to spend more money on a better, more expensive option than their primary selection. In this post, we focus on cross-selling and purchase combinations. 

    Using Purchase Combination Data to Cross-Sell

    Many sellers focus heavily on driving sales on an individual item, but by utilizing cross-selling they could end up doubling the size of the customer order. Looking at existing purchase combination data is a great way to determine which products will do well being cross-sold together. For example, if you know that your current customers are oftentimes buying your nude lipstick with your nude lipliner, these are items that clearly work well together and can be cross-sold. Analyzing your purchase combination data can give you great insights into your customer’s purchasing behaviors that you may not have been expecting. For example, you might see that customers are actually purchasing your nude lipstick with your caramel-colored lipliner even more frequently than with your nude lipliner. Now that you know customers are enjoying this combination, you can cross-sell these products in a lot of different ways. 

    Analyzing Data and Gathering Insights with myHorizons

    Amazon gives sellers a limited amount of data on things like purchase combinations. At Envision Horizons, we use our software myHorizons to provide us with valuable customer insights. We use two different tools, our “Purchase Combinations” tool and our “Cross-selling Analysis” tool to help optimize sales. 

    Purchase Combinations Tool

    Using our Purchase Combinations tool, you get a straightforward report of what products your customers are ordering together. Our tool displays 2 ASINs side by side and provides the exact number of times these products were ordered together. Purchase combinations are listed in order of frequency and the tool shows you absolutely all of your data, not just your top 3 most common combinations. Even if two of your products were only purchased together 15 times, that information is there for you to see. Below we’ve included an example of how the top five purchase combinations from a haircare company would be displayed on myHorizons. 

    Screen Shot 2021-06-10 at 11.17.02 AM

    After using the Purchase Combinations tool, we are able to identify purchasing patterns and can use this data to justify cross-selling actions such as creating virtual bundles on amazon, building gift sets, or placing sponsored brands ads with creative that highlights complementary products.

    Cross-Selling Analysis

    The Cross-Selling Analysis included in myHorizons focuses on product purchase flows from advertising. For example, the tool will show you that when consumers clicked on your ad for your 2oz travel shampoo, 40% actually went on to purchased the 8oz version of the same product. The data provided by this tool can indicate product relationships and is often very open to interpretation. Analysis of these product purchase flows can give you insights into consumer behavior that you can’t get from organic data.

    Data from Amazon Brand Analytics

    For brands that have access to Brand Analytics, Amazon also provides some information that can be used to gather consumer insights for cross-selling. Amazon’s tool lists your ASINs ranked by sales volume and gives you the top 3 purchase combinations for your ASIN with other brand’s products. Though you are given percentages and can’t see the actual number of orders, this is still useful information. By identifying which products from other brands are purchased frequently with your product, you can cross-sell by ranking for their keywords and advertising on their product listings.

    How to Use Your Insights to Cross-Sell

    Now that we’ve established how you can analyze data and gather insights, let’s discuss how you can apply this information to various cross-selling techniques. 

    Advertising is an obvious way to promote complementary products to customers. You can do this through Amazon Sponsored Brand Ads. This advertising option allows you to display three different products from the range. Instead of having three competing products in your range, you could offer different products that complement one another. For example, a shampoo, conditioner, and a heat protectant spray for healthy hair. The customer could even end up buying all three items. Use Amazon Sponsored Product Ads to display your product with complementary products, whether it’s on your own page or another brand’s page. Similarly, use headline search ads (which display in the search result pages as headline banner ads above the result listing) to advertise your product with complementary products. You can also use headline search ads to convince customers who are searching for your hero product to explore your other offerings as well. 

    Paid advertisements aren’t the only way to cross-sell. Use your own creative assets to promote other related products. For example, though Amazon has strict guidelines when it comes to the main product image, you can get more creative with your other imagery. Use secondary images to display additional products within a range. With video, you can highlight a family of products or complementary products at the end. With both imagery and video, make sure the customer is aware that they are purchasing one product and not all of the products you are featuring. You can also cross-sell through your A+ Content. There are modules that allow you to add different products to your A+ content, such as comparison charts. These are great for showing alternative options and additional products in the range that might complement one another or that could create a set (such as a lipstick and lipliner). Another great place to cross-sell is your Amazon Brand Store. Here you have the perfect space and freedom to highlight a wide variety of your products to the customer. You can cross-sell through content and imagery across multiple category pages.

    There are a lot of other creative ways to cross-sell your products on Amazon. Bundling a straightforward and easy way to cross-sell. Use the insights you’ve gathered to create valuable bundles and sets. Some brands will include a leaflet or flyer in their product packaging to show customers their wider portfolio of products. If you include promotional material in your packaging just make sure you adhere to Amazon’s Terms of Service. Sellers can also use promotions to introduce other products to your customer. For example, buy our color-treated hair shampoo and get our color-treated hair conditioner for 30% off. Finally, you can also cross-sell using product variations as long as you adhere to Amazon’s strict variation creation guidelines. Products should only be added to a variation if they are the same product but just vary slightly, such as by size, flavor, color, etc. Check out our post on product variations for a more detailed explanation. Product variations can be used to cross-sell similar products such as a full size and travel size shampoo.

    Learn More About myHorizons

    Our technology, myHorizons, is a real-time marketing analytics and AI-powered advertising optimization platform. Built by our software developers, myHorizons enables our team and our clients to analyze profitability, optimize advertising, monitor consumer behavior, discover new opportunities, and make business decisions with confidence. Learn more about the many features and tools included in myHorizons. And check out our beta testing program to see if you are qualified to participate and receive exclusive benefits!

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