eBay may be testing a feature commonly seen on Amazon that shows shoppers who are viewing a product other items that are "frequently bought together." It makes it very easy for shoppers to buy additional items when they're viewing a particular product.
While eBay has other merchandising features on listing pages, it currently doesn't display such a feature, which on Amazon includes a combined "add to cart" button and indicates "These items are shipped from and sold by different sellers."
But on a discussion thread on the eBay boards this week, a seller posted a screenshot of a similar merchandising message on eBay showing a vinyl record ("Current item") for $6.89 and free shipping, next to another record by a different artist (Frequently bought together - item will be added to your cart) for $75 + $4. To the right was a message, "Get both for $81.89 + $4" and an "Add both to cart" button.
When we looked at the listing for the cheaper record where the feature appeared to the seller who posted the image, we didn't see the "frequently bought together" feature - but when eBay tests things, it's often shown to a small subset of shoppers, while everyone else will see the regular version of sellers' listings.
The $75 record did not appear to be one sold by the seller of the $6.89 record on whose listing page the feature appeared. It didn't contain any messaging about the two items being sold by two different sellers, either.
If the feature is something that allows sellers to match *their own* complementary items together, it might be welcomed by sellers. But it appears that the two records shown in the screenshot were from two different sellers. That would be far less welcomed by eBay sellers who might object to other sellers' products being merchandised so prominently in their own listings.
Amazon has impressive algorithms that can match complementary items. eBay is all talk these days about Artificial Intelligence and it's probably eager to add features that appear to be successful on its arch rival.
Have you seen a "Frequently bought together" feature on eBay listings? What would you think if eBay added such a feature to your listings?