The Buy Box on Amazon is the most important piece of e-commerce real estate online.
Global e-commerce sales expected to reach over $4 trillion dollars by 2020. So far, Amazon is proving to be the king of this e-commerce trend.
In fact, 4 out of every 10 dollars spent online, is on Amazon. For Amazon sellers, winning the Buy Box is critical to getting these sales.
The chances of making sales are very slim for the products not displayed in the Amazon Buy Box.
Whether you are a beginner on Amazon or just looking to get Buy Box wins again, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the Amazon Buy Box.
Here is what we’ll walk-through:
- What is the Amazon buy box?
- Why is The Amazon Buy Box Important?
- How does the buy box work?
- Essential Buy Box factors
- What Makes You Buy Box Eligible?
- Amazon Used Offers Buy Box
- How to Check if You Are Eligible for Buy Box
- The Importance of Buy Box Mobile
- Private Labeling and Buy Box
- How to Win The buy box
- Amazon Buy Box Pricing
- Common Reason Sellers Don’t Get The Buy Box
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What is the Amazon buy box?
The Buy Box is the all-important right section of Amazon’s product detail page. It contains the “Add to Cart” and “Buy Now” buttons customers us to check out. The Buy Box on Amazon is where all customers begin the purchasing process by adding products to their shopping carts. Customers also have the option to directly check out with “Buy Now”.
Amazon’s platform is designed to benefit its customers, over every other stakeholder. This includes 3rd-party seller which account for over half of the sales on Amazon. This in part, is why Amazon allows many different sellers to sell on the same product listing.
Although each product has just one exact listing, there are no limits on the number of sellers in Amazon’s marketplace. As a result, this often leads to multiple merchants selling the same products, on the same listings.
This is done by design, it is not just an accident. Amazon believes that more competition will lead to cheaper prices and more options. Therefore, the more sellers competing for sales, the better the shopping experience for customers.
The Buy Box is Amazon’s way of making sure 3rd party sellers also adhere to their customer-obsessed business approach.
Amazon Buy Box algorithm, tracks, compares and then determines which seller is best positioned, to give their customers the best value and experience for their money.
The highest performing seller is then rewarded by getting the Buy Box. While all other competing sellers are grouped into “other sellers” and positioned below the Buy Box.
Why is The Amazon Buy Box Important?
As an Amazon seller, having the Buy Box can make or break your business. Over 80% of Amazon sales come from the buy box. This percentage is even higher for mobile purchase due to the smaller screen size.
When customer’s click the “Add to Cart” or “Buy Now” button on a given product listing, that sale goes directly to the current Buy Box winner.
Winning the Amazon Buy Box is also the only way for sellers to run their Sponsored Product Ads. When a product loses the Buy Box, all Sponsored Product Ads for that product also stop running.
To consistently sell your products on Amazon and beat your competition, you need to understand how to win the Buy Box.
Understanding how Amazon’s buy box algorithm functions will allow you to increase your chances of winning the buy box and ultimately out-selling your competition.
How does the buy box work?
According to Amazon, sellers must meet ‘performance-based requirements to be eligible to compete for the Buy Box placement. Once a seller is eligible, the Buy Box algorithm ranks sellers according to different metrics and variables.
The top ranking seller gets rewarded by getting a higher percentage share of the Amazon buy box. For example, the top-seller can hold the Buy Box for about 70% of the day, relative to the lower ranking seller on that listing who could only get it for the remaining 30%.
Keep in mind, not all sellers are eligible to win the Buy Box on Amazon. For the sellers who are already winning the Buy Box, there is also always room to improve and dominate.
Essential Buy Box factors
Although Amazon is the only one who knows the exact Amazon Buy Box formula, there are essential factors that can increase your chances of winning.
- Inventory Management - Amazon holds inventory management in high regard. Sellers with fluctuating inventory levels or who go out of stock can be penalized relative to sellers who are constantly in stock.
Restock Pro is a great Amazon buy box software for inventory management and forecasting. You can use it to always stay in stock and maximize your profits.
- Landed Price - is the total price a customer pays including shipping. The lower the landed price is for a given product, the greater the chance you will have of winning the Buy Box.
You can use xSellco Repricer tool to automatically reprice your products on Amazon and ensure you get more sales and win the Buy Box at higher prices.
- Shipping Time - One of the most important metrics Amazon evaluates is the time it takes for customers to receive their products. For time-critical products on Amazon, the impact of this metric on the Buy Box is even higher.
- Fulfillment Method - The fulfillment method you use can also have an impact on your chance of winning the Buy Box. Amazon has three fulfillment options for sellers, FBA (fulfillment by Amazon), FBM (Fulfilment by Merchant) or SFP (Seller-Fulfilled Prime).
I highly recommend all Amazon seller, especially beginners, to leverage Amazon’s platform and use Fulfilment by Amazon as their fulfillment method. This will definitely come in handy and boost your sales during Amazon Prime Day!
What Makes You Amazon Buy Box Eligible?
In order for Amazon sellers to win the Buy Box, there are minimum requirements they must meet. All FBA new offers are automatically eligible to win the Buy Box. Otherwise, sellers must meet the conditions listed below.
- Type of selling account: You must have a professional selling account to be eligible for Amazon Buy Box.
- Performance Metrics: Your Order Defect Rate, Cancellation Rate, and Late Shipment Rate are metrics that determine eligibility. The better you perform, the higher your chances are of becoming Buy Box eligible.
- Order volume: So that Amazon can accurately assess your performance, they require that you have sufficient order volume (which varies among categories).
Although the exact Buy Box formula is unknown, we know that sellers must meet the above minimum requirement for consideration.
Amazon Used Offers Buy Box
In the past, while Amazon only allowed media categories to feature used offers in the Buy Box, they now allow all categories that permit used offers to be featured in the Buy Box.
If a product listing has both new and used offers available in the Buy Box, the Buy Box will default to the winning new offer. Customers will have to click “Buy Used” to view the winning used offers.
Just as with new offers, Amazon Buy Box eligibility for used products are tied to specific seller performance criteria. Amazon will present the winning seller’s as the first choice for buyers using the “Add to Shopping Cart” button on product detail pages.
Whether used or new, product placement in the Buy Box will lead to increased sales and profit.
How to Check if You Are Amazon Buy Box Eligible
- Click on the Inventory tab in Amazon Seller Central and select Manage Inventory.
2. Click on the Preferences tab.
3. In the Column Display section, locate the field for Buy Box Eligible and click it.
4. Look at the Buy Box Eligible column for a particular SKU. If the seller is eligible, it will say yes.
The Importance of Buy Box Mobile
As more and more customers are now shopping on Amazon’s mobile app, the buy box is even more important to win.
In Amazon’s mobile app, the Buy Box is displayed directly under the product image and doesn’t show the ‘other sellers’ option like it does on desktop.
This greatly increases the importance of the buy box, as the only way to get sales on mobile becomes to win the Buy Box.
Because the customer buying experience is different on mobile, you need to do all you can to win the Buy Box and get sales.
Private Labeling and Buy Box
Amazon Private label products are products created by one company to be sold and branded by another company. In our case by Amazon sellers.
Private labeling is the only long term solution to having the buy box 100% of the time on Amazon.
You can sell your products on Amazon without having to worry about the buy box competition, as you will be the only authorized seller on that listing.
Private Label Sellers are the sole sellers of their products on Amazon. They build their own brand including product design, a logo, and custom packaging. Amazon through its Brand Registry program helps protect private label brands and their buy box
Because they are in charge of their own product pages, private label sellers can also optimize their product listings to improve ranking and conversions over time.
But more importantly, since no other sellers can technically sell their product, private label sellers automatically win the Amazon Buy Box.
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How to Win The buy box
To successfully win the Buy Box on Amazon, you need to be aware of your Buy Box performance. There are many factors that can get you noticed by Amazon’s buy box algorithm.
Keep the following best practices in mind, so you can increase your chances of winning the buy box.
Make Sure You Meet Buy Box Eligibility Requirements
In order to be eligible for the buy box, all sellers must have a professional seller account in good standing.
You must also have available inventory for your products or Amazon simply rotates the Buy Box to another seller with sufficient inventory.
Sellers should always be aware of their Amazon metrics with a focus on the most important metrics for winning the Buy Box.
Use The Best Fulfillment Method
When selling on Amazon, sellers always have the option of fulfilling their orders themselves. However, using FBM is disadvantageous to the goal of winning the Buy Box.
Using Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) is the best and easiest fulfillment method for increasing your chances of winning the Buy Box on Amazon.
With FBA, Amazon stores, ships and handles customer service for all your products. This level of control by Amazon consequently allows them to provide customers with exceptional service - you can leverage without any work on your part.
Amazon FBA is in most cases the best fulfillment method for sellers. In fact, Amazon considers its fulfillment service as having perfect metrics across different variables relative to FBM (Fulfillment By Merchant).
Consider Your Landed Price
Price on Amazon is undoubtedly one of the most important factors for winning the Buy Box. The landed price is the total price Amazon customers pays for a given product
Amazon’s business model is built on low prices, huge selections, and fast delivery. As a result, having competitive and the affordable landed price will increase your chances of being displayed in the Buy Box.
Keep in mind, the cheapest price will not always win the Buy Box. Amazon is highly customer-centric and aims to provide the customer with the best possible experience.
As a result, Amazon’s algorithm weights many different factors. Along with competitive pricing, it is important to keep your performance metrics high.
If you are looking for a repricing software that can help you beat your competitors and dominate the Buy Box use BQool Repricing Central.
Stay On Top Of Your Inventory Management
From Amazon’s point of view, the goal of the Buy Box is to offer their customers the best shopping experience possible. If you’re out of stock you can’t help them do that and will be penalized as a result.
Amazon gives the Buy Box edge to sellers with dependable consistent inventory levels. The more you can maintain your inventory levels the better chance you will have of winning the Buy Box.
To help you win the Buy Box, use Sellics inventory management to always reorder your products at the right time with their Amazon Inventory Control feature
As a rule of thumb, I always recommend Amazon sellers keep at least 2-month of inventory on hand to avoid going out of stock.
Keep Your Seller Account In Good Health
Amazon takes uses seller performance metrics to figure out if sellers are reliable and meet the standards for the Buy Box considerations.
They use factors like seller feedback, shipping performance, and custom response rates to rank Amazon sellers.
Here are other important metrics to keep in mind
Amazon Buy Box Pricing
There are three methods for repricing on Amazon:
- Manual repricing involves manually updating your prices for each of your ASIN. This method might be acceptable for beginners or merchants selling homemade goods. However, as your business grows, this option is unsustainable.
- Rule-base repricing uses a predefined rule to reprice your products relative to your competitors. For example, you can set a rule that keeps your price a certain amount lower than your competition.
Although easier than manual repricing, this method can often lead to price wars between sellers as each side constantly lowers their prices.
Algorithmic repricing is the most sophisticated repricing method out of the three. While rule-based pricing only references your competitor's price, algorithmic repricing takes into account all the variables that affect your chances of winning the Buy Box.
According to a Northeastern University study, there is a direct correlation between using algorithmic repricing, higher Buy Box share, and increased profitability.
Although this method is more expensive than the other two methods, it also has the best potential of winning you the Buy Box and earning more profits.
Most Common Reason Sellers Don’t Get The Buy Box
If you’ve done everything required and are unsure as to why you’re still not getting the Buy Box, check these common reasons.
Dramatic Price Increases or Decreases - Make sure to avoid substantial price increase or decrease in your product price.
Price Parity Across Channels - Selling your product for a lower price on your website or other sales channel can get you penalized by Amazon. Always keep your Amazon prices lower if you’re also selling on another platform
Customer Complaints - If Amazon notices an abnormal uptick in customer complains about a product, they could temporarily remove the seller from the Buy Box. Amazon wants to protect their customer and will investigate to ensure you meet their requirements.
Getting your product displayed in the Buy Box can have a significant impact on your Amazon sales. This can make the difference in making sales or watching your competitors take your sales
Winning a share of the Buy Box requires you to successfully meet Amazon’s requirements and keep your seller performance metrics high
Buy Box eligibility is tied to specific seller performance criteria that determine the sellers who have consistently provided customers with a great buying experience.
Amazon’s algorithm will choose the sellers with the best rank relative to the competition and reward them with the Buy Box.
It’s important to focus on the more important variables like being an FBA seller and having perfect customer service. You must also understand how pricing works and think algorithmically about your pricing strategy.
The sellers who win the buy box get most of the sales on Amazon, so do everything you can to ensure you win your buy box and capture those profits.