Affinity analysis is a type of data analysis and data mining technique that searches for correlating relations among activities done by specific individuals or groups. Generally speaking, this type of analysis can be applied to almost any process where groups or individuals can be uniquely identified and any information about their activities can be stored and recorded. Affinity analysis is also commonly used to perform market basket analysis, where retailers try to find patterns in the purchasing behavior of customers. The gained information can then be used in a variety of ways in order to promote the brand/business. Some of the most common uses include the purpose of cross-selling, influencing sales promotions, different kinds of loyalty programs and discount plans.
The use of market basket analysis has dramatically increased for businesses since the electronic point of sale was introduced. A good example of affinity analysis is Amazon’s use for cross-selling, when the site recommends products to people based on their purchase history and that of other people who purchased the same item.
The University of Arkansas College of Engineering produced this video that clearly and concisely explains what affinity analysis is: