Are you an Amazon seller looking to skyrocket sales? If so, then one of the most important things you can do is win the coveted Buy Box. Winning the Buy Box means that your product appears as a preferred seller when customers click “Add to Cart” on Amazon. This gives you a huge advantage over other sellers and can significantly boost your sales.
However, winning the Buy Box isn’t easy and requires careful strategy – we’ll get to that later. Because before anything else, it’s vital to have a good understanding of the Buy Box itself. What it is, its benefits, eligibility factors and all the criteria every seller must stay on top of to beat other brands with the same goal.
So if you’re ready, let’s get started!
What is the Amazon Buy Box?
The Amazon Buy Box appears on the right side of an Amazon product detail page and it displays one seller’s product with a one-click box that says “Buy Now.”
This prized piece of real estate lets shoppers make instant purchases right from the product detail page leading to the highest possible visibility for a seller’s products and consequently higher sales.
From a consumer perspective, the Buy Box is like a golden ticket to purchase. When searching for items on Amazon, the Buy Box stands out from other products with its bright yellow button. It instantly grabs a shopper’s attention without making them have to scroll through tons of options.
What does this mean for sellers?
It’s simple – if you want your product to stand out in the eyes of buyers and be competitive against others selling similar goods, then nabbing that sweet spot is key.
However, winning the Amazon Buy Box isn’t easy. Winning the Buy Box requires merchants to meet certain criteria set by Amazon, such as gaining sufficient seller rating points from customer reviews, speedy delivery, and competitive pricing among other factors.
Amazon Buy Box Eligibility
What are the requirements to be eligible for the Amazon Buy Box?
A Professional Amazon Seller Account
A professional selling account will set you back a $39.99 monthly subscription fee but it does come with a host of benefits versus an individual plan.
Good Seller Health
Keeping your seller account and listings healthy can get your products buy box eligible. Keep reading to know more about the critical factors that contribute to a healthy seller account and the steps in checking if you’re listings are Buy Box Eligible.
Sell New Items
Only new items are eligible for the Amazon Buy Box.
Though used items can be sold on Amazon, it is assigned their own Buy Used box on the platform.
Good News: Everyone’s Got a Fair Shot
It’s important to note that the Amazon Buy Box isn’t always exclusive to one seller. The Buy Box is shared among all professional sellers, so you must remain competitive if you want to take your share of the Amazon buy box.
Moreover, competing for Amazon’s Buy Box isn’t a simple competition of who wins and loses – rather, it becomes an all-out algorithm battle.
Once sellers meet the minimum requirements, their performance on different variables dictates how much “share” of the box they will hold. Depending on how many merchants are involved in a particular product listing, then that percentage can fluctuate from day to day – with dominant sellers sometimes taking up 70% or more while others take less.
4 Reasons You Should Aim For The Buy Box
Achieving Amazon’s Buy Box status is no easy feat, but the benefits it provides to sellers make up for the difficulty. Here are four reasons why striving to win a share of the Amazon buy box should be a priority:
Winning the Amazon Buy Box means that your product will get more visibility on Amazon. Your product will be prioritized when people start searching for items in your category. This means that you’ll have a greater chance of making more sales as customers are more likely to click through the Buy Box selection.
And with over 60% of Amazon’s unique monthly visitors shop via mobile, it’s key that you capture shoppers’ attention quickly. Given smaller screens and the laziness bias, people are more likely to click what they already see in front of them – removing any need for further scrolling.
Higher Conversion Rates
Positioning yourself in the Amazon Buy Box usually leads to higher conversion rates too – effectively meaning that there’s a greater chance of customers actually buying what you’ve got listed. This ties into increased visibility – if your product is visible then there’s a much better chance of people clicking through and actually taking action.
With over 82% of all sales going through this one single feature, gaining access to it could prove invaluable in boosting your bottom line.
Improved Brand Reputation
When customers see that your product is featured in the Amazon Buy Box they’re more likely to trust it, as it has been given Amazon’s stamp of approval. This can improve overall brand reputation and give customers confidence when purchasing from you. Additionally, having an impressive win rate for placing inside the Amazon Buy Box can also help garner trust from potential customers.
By appearing prominently within the Amazon Buy Box, it gives you an edge over other competitors who may not have optimized their listings as well as yours. Of course, this doesn’t guarantee success each time, but having higher chances than competitors definitely puts you one step ahead when it comes down to being chosen by Amazon.
Key Factors Affecting Buy Box Success
If you are selling on Amazon then it’s no secret that the Amazon Buy Box is a crucial element in your success. But, what does it take to get there? Here are the key factors contributing to a seller’s buy box success:
- Fulfillment Method
- Optimized Pricing
- Shipping Speed & Performance
- Inventory Depth & Sales
- Order Defect Rate
- Feedback Count & Rating
- Customer Response Time
- Cancellation Rate
- Refund Rate
High Priority: Fulfillment Method
Maximizing your chances of getting the Amazon Buy Box requires an effective fulfillment strategy. Two models – FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon) and SFP (Seller-Fulfilled Prime) for non-FBA sellers – offer better results than FBM (Fulfillment By Merchant). Both provide extra points for inventory depth and speedy deliveries among other factors, making them ideal options if you’re looking to snag that buy box – fast.
Being on FBM doesn’t disqualify you from getting on the box because it is still possible when you have notable sales volume and meet other key metrics. Winning the Amazon buy box is just faster to achieve with FBA and SFP.
High Priority: Optimized Pricing
One of the main considerations when it comes to competing for a spot in Amazon’s Buy Box is product pricing. Amazon looks closely at how sellers are pricing their products relative to others and will generally favor those who have competitive landed prices.
Here are some tips to keep your pricing competitive on Amazon:
Repricing – Repricing is an essential practice when it comes to e-commerce.
Sellers can do this manually or automate the process using Amazon AI reprice tools. Pricing fluctuates on the platform 24/7, that’s why investing in software is the most efficient option. When using software for your repricing, make sure to set repricing rules that fit your individual business goals, customize your competition and set reasonable thresholds to ensure that you don’t go selling at a loss.
Don’t Go Too Low – Customers nowadays have become quite savvy, seeking to uncover value that goes beyond the lowest price. They often prioritize reviews and feedback when evaluating which seller will get their purchase, even if it comes with a slightly higher sticker price. In other words, customers aren’t always looking for the cheapest choice – quality service can trump cost savings every time.
Being competitively priced is still important of course but having great product features and outstanding customer support can be an effective way to differentiate yourself from others on Amazon without needing to match bottom-dollar pricing.
So with that said, even if you find yourself having higher rates than others, don’t fret, you can still achieve success even if your current price isn’t as low as others. As long as you excel well in other key performance metrics, you still have a shot of winning the Amazon buy box.
High Priority: Shipping Speed & Performance
Shipping speed and performance are absolutely critical for any business that wants to succeed on Amazon. Customers increasingly expect their purchases to be delivered quickly and without delays, and now more than ever this factor must be taken seriously.
Most consumers are looking for fast shipping speeds and will often opt for the quickest option when comparing sellers – meaning that if a company’s performance is not up to speed, they may miss out on being awarded the Amazon buy box.
Speed is key when it comes to shipping: the faster you send out an order, the more satisfied your customers will be. Amazon favors sellers who ship out products in 2 days or less.
Valid Tracking Rate
Amazon takes its commitment to customer satisfaction seriously, which is why it keeps track of sellers’ performance with the Amazon Valid Tracking Rate metric. This measure allows them to easily identify how well merchants are delivering packages on time by tracking order shipment activity for a 30-day period.
Amazon requires sellers to achieve and maintain a Valid Tracking Rate (VTR) of 95% in order to deliver excellent customer service. Failure to do so can result in restrictions on the ability of those affected sellers to fulfilling items and/or participating in guaranteed delivery or premium shipping programs, both key components when selling through Amazon’s platform.
By using valid tracking information when sending orders out, sellers not only ensure customers get their shipments promptly but also reflect the trustworthiness and reliability that shoppers look for in an online store. Moreover, this small measure also has great rewards for sellers such as:
- Low Order Defects
- Increased Positive Feedback Rating
- Reduce Lost Order Costs
- Reduced Customer Queries & Higher Satisfaction
*Majority of which are also key factors in winning the buy box.
Late Shipment Rate (For FBM sellers)
A seller’s individual Late Shipment Rate (LSR) is a critical metric to keep track of. If it surpasses 4%, their account could risk getting deactivated. LSR takes into consideration orders delivered three or more days past their expected ship date and is calculated based on the total number of late vs timely shipments within either 10-day or 30-day period.
Having high LSRs can be detrimental not only to your chances of vying for the buy box but to your Amazon business as a whole.
On-time Delivery Rate
To keep your customers happy, Amazon recommends sellers strive to stay above the 97% mark in their On-Time Delivery Rate. This number reflects how many tracked shipments make it on schedule – a key indicator of successful fulfillment.
Inventory Depth & Sales Volume
Amazon gives preferential treatment to those sellers who possess enough inventory to meet the demand created by the Buy Box.
Having a large stock and a consistent sales history can be an advantage, as it will make it more likely for the Seller’s products to appear in the Buy Box and have better visibility than other listings.
Furthermore, if your stellar seller performance record is maintained over time, your Buy Box share could even increase as Amazon rewards Sellers with a higher Buy Box percentage according to their past performance and overall reliability.
And to ensure that sellers are always ready to supply the demand, proper forecasting should be done by leveraging data analytics through seller-central sales and inventory health reports.
Order Defect Rate
Amazon’s Order Defect Rate (ODR) captures three critical pieces of information: Negative Feedback Rating, A-Z Guarantee Claim Rate and Service Chargeback Rates. Calculated as a total percentage, Amazon requires that the ODR remain below 1%. Those sellers who don’t meet this benchmark could be subject to penalties.
Feedback Count & Rating
The volume and quality of feedback a seller gets, matter. Receiving glowing reviews within a relevant timeframe is critical, as this indicates customers appreciate your product or services enough to share their experience with others.
For better chances of getting into the buy box, sellers need to prove that they always make shoppers happy – something which Amazon prioritizes above all else.
Customer Response Time
Professional sellers who hope to attain the coveted Buy Box on Amazon must show quick responsiveness by answering at least 95% of customer inquiries within 12-24 hours of receipt of the inquiry. The eCommerce giant also rewards those whose surveys consistently reflect high praise from customers after sales are completed.
All these variables contribute to your seller account’s overall health. A rule of thumb would be to maintain your Good seller rating so you can get the best chance of bagging the buy box.
Cancellation Rate & Refund Rate
Winning the Buy Box is also dependent on keeping your pre-fulfillment cancellation and refund rate under 2.5%. This number tracks how often Sellers cancel orders before they are shipped out, typically due to stockouts or other causes of errors in inventory management.
To achieve success with the Buy Box, it’s important for merchants to stay up-to-date by preventing backorders across multiple channels through cross-channel synchronization as well as tracking seasonal demand fluctuations when making decisions regarding product promotion and paid search campaigns (PPC).
New Metrics To Watch Out For:
Amazon has taken significant strides in strengthening the buying experience with their recent launch of two analytical metrics: Return Dissatisfaction Rate and Customer Service Dissatisfaction Rate.
Although they don’t currently impact Buy Box awarding – this could change soon. It’s worth keeping an eye out for potential developments related to these metrics. Or better yet, ensure that any form of customer support is exceptional as always.
How To Win The Buy Box in 2023
Sell Smart – Be an FBA Seller Instead
Make the system work for you and opt for the FBA fulfillment method. Being an FBA seller guarantees good performance in critical metrics, increasing your chances of winning a share of the buy box by default.
FBA Sellers are at an advantage due to the following reasons:
- Amazon already has proof of your business and inventory’s legitimacy. This means that you no longer have to prove to Amazon that you have the inventory and can fulfill the orders.
- Amazon stores, packs and ships your products according to standards. This ensures that your products go out in a safe, secure and timely manner. Having physical control over your inventory guarantees both the quantity and quality of inventory. Both of which are key factors in buy box placements.
Develop a Good Repricing Strategy
If you want to win the buy box, you should always keep an eye on your portfolio and offer the most competitive prices in your category at any given time.
Repricing methods you can explore:
- Manual Repricing
This provides more control over your own pricing by manually updating your listings through the Amazon seller platform or via third-party softwares through API integration. More control also means more man-hours to spend optimizing your prices on your own. This practice is challenging for sellers with massive inventories.
- Rule-based Repricing
This is the most common approach to repricing. Using automatic repricing software, sellers can set specific parameters to ensure that their rates keep beating other sellers up to the last penny, while keeping their profit margins in check.
For example, you can set the rule to keep your pricing 50 cents lower than your tightest competitor or make sure that your pricing never goes below a 20% profit margin.
- Algorithmic Repricing
Compared to rule-based repricing, algorithmic repricing softwares use proprietary rules and formulas to maximize a product’s profitability on Amazon. This is ideal for sellers with large amounts of listings as it doesn’t require much manual input. Unfortunately, Algorithmic repricing softwares are very expensive for sellers to acquire on their own.
Monitoring and deciding on the most competitive prices possible is not a simple task. It’s not only time-consuming but managing repricing on your own increases the risk of selling at a loss especially if you’ve succumbed to Amazon price wars.
To avoid any costly mistakes when repricing, partner with e-commerce agencies like Lab 916. Lab 916 is equipped with the technical expertise and proprietary tools to guide and execute a profitable repricing strategy that gives you the best chance of winning the buy box.
2023 forecast shows that Amazon’s global sales will increase from $127 Billion in Q3 2022 to $746.22 billion in 2023. This projection may mean higher demand for goods. Sellers may leverage this projection to devise their inventory management strategies to ensure that you never run out when Buy Box demand hits.
Avoid Price Wars & Focus on Quality
Choose your battles and strive to hit a sweet spot on your pricing. One that is competitive while upholding your price integrity. When vying for the Buy Box, don’t forget that price is not the only metric Amazon is considering. You can focus on selling quality goods that can justify your slightly higher price point. Back that up with glowing recommendations and stellar customer support, and you can also be awarded your share of the buy box.
When we say quality, this may refer to a product’s unique selling points such as durability, ethical sourcing, unique packaging and other value-adding features.
Consistency is Key
Consistently optimizing your listings and prices, staying on top of deliveries and after-sales support, and keeping your seller health on the green can give you the best chances of success. Always strive to become “Buy Box Eligible” in all of your listings so your ASINs stay competitive on Amazon.
How to check your product’s Buy Box Eligibility:
- Log in to your Amazon Seller Central account and go to ‘Manage Inventory’.
- On the right, click ‘Preference’ and select “Buy Box Eligible” in the drop-down menu in which, a new column will be added where it will show if the specific product is eligible or not. Save your changes.
- To generate an overview of your listings and their Buy Box ratings, you can go to the Seller Central reports, filter By ASIN and click Detail Page Sales and Traffic by Child Item.
When your seller account is buy box eligible at all times, this signals Amazon that you’re always doing good business. And when you do good business, winning the buy box is just a cherry on top of your Amazon e-commerce success.
To succeed in winning the Amazon Buy Box, sellers must invest time and effort into understanding how the system works, monitoring competition and setting up and managing their seller accounts correctly.
Working with Lab 916’s Amazon Experts is a great way to maximize one’s chances of success while reducing costs and saving time.