What is the Amazon Buy Box?
The Amazon Buy Box is arguably the most important element to you as an Amazon Seller. What is it? It’s the area to the right of the product page that contains the ‘Add to Cart’ (Or ‘Add to Basket’ in the UK) call to action.
The next question you’ll ask is: ‘Why is it important?’ There can often be several sellers competing to make a sale. Using an Amazon Repricer to win the Buy Box is a tried-and-tested way to maximize sales.
Amazon has a complex algorithm to determine which seller gets the prime location on the page. All other sellers are relegated to the bottom section. Amazon themselves admit that around 82 percent of purchases are made through the Buy Box. You’ll see an increase in sales if you own the Buy Box for a product.
How to win the Buy Box
Amazon use a complex and secret algorithm to determine which seller offers the best price and customer experience and awards them the Buy Box.
It’s vital to understand all the known aspects of how it is awarded. Amazon have a strict set of performance standards that sellers must uphold. Sellers must track and improve the metrics that are most influential. Those who work to improve the customer experience on Amazon will thrive.
The key is to act on the variables you can control by knowing what Amazon expects. You must be on top of performance at all times by monitoring your account health. Performance data exists to direct your actions. Allocate time and resources to the most critical issues.
|How to improve
|Featured Merchant Status
|To be Buy Box eligible you need to operate a Professional Seller Account. You need a proven track record on Amazon. It requires between 3-6 months of selling history, depending on the product category.
|Before you start selling get in contact with Amazon’s Merchant Services team. Some sellers (based on sales volume) can become featured merchants immediately. Alternatively you need to build a good selling record.
|There are two prices on Amazon: the amount you list an item for and the landed price, which is the total cost of an order including shipping and tax.
|The lowest price will not guarantee you the Buy Box, especially if your overall performance metrics are poor, but it will improve your chances. To that end, it’s important to research the competition before—and during—your listing and price your goods accordingly.
|Customer Feedback Rating
|On Amazon, seller reputation and sales performance go hand in hand. Sellers should achieve the highest possible feedback rating and try to minimize negative feedback. That means asking for feedback on dispatched orders and reviewing all negative and neutral feedback.
|Politely worded and well-timed requests will improve the quality and quantity of your feedback. Positive Feedback can increase your chance of winning the Buy Box. Feedback Count, the total number of reviews is an important measure of your experience in Amazon’s eyes.
|The faster items are shipped, the better your chances of winning the Buy Box. How fast depends on what the product is—oversized items are expected to have longer lead-times while perishables need to be moved quickly—but if you’re competing against two-day shipping, you need to pick up the pace.
|Keep the following metrics in mind when making delivery estimates: on-time delivery rate above 97 percent; late shipment rate less than 4 percent; and valid tracking rate at least 95 percent of all orders.
|Customer Response Time
|Amazon’s Service Level Agreement (SLA) requires sellers to respond to customer queries within 24 hours. Orders with messages responded to within that time frame receive 50 percent less negative feedback than those responded to after that.
|Aim to respond to 90 percent of messages to remain in Amazon’s good graces. Focus on those that are approaching the 24-hour SLA cut-off. Make sure that the really difficult queries aren’t ignored. Timely responses reduce negative feedback and keep you on the right side of 24-hour response guidelines.
|Fulfillment choices and channels are a big influence on winning the Amazon Buy Box. Sellers can choose between Fulfilment by Merchant (FBM), Fulfilment By Amazon (FBA) and Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP).
|SFP is a key opportunity to benefit from Amazon fulfillment without FBA fees. SFP is a program where approved merchants use Amazon to collect and deliver products. Benefits include 100 percent shipping metrics and the ability to sell to Prime Customers.
Amazon’s algorithm decides who wins the Buy Box. Price alone is not the only factor. It’s common to see a higher priced product win the Amazon Buy Box over less expensive alternatives. That’s because the winning seller has managed to combine a number of factors to beat the competition.
Customer experience and competitive pricing
Rules-based repricing combines powerful algorithms with rules that the seller defines. Many factors determine who wins the Amazon Buy Box. A rules-based repricer takes all of these into consideration.
Competitor rules are based on fulfillment method, feedback score, seller rating, delivery times, stock levels and more. Repricing rules allow sellers to react to price changes and compete on their own terms. Sellers can maximize the profit on each sale by pricing above competitors and still win the Buy Box.
Real-time repricing means you react instantly to price changes and stay one step ahead of competitors. The fastest Amazon repricing software is hosted in Amazon’s data centers to respond to price changes immediately.