Did you know that over 80% of all Amazon purchases occur through the Buy Box? And, even more on mobile? Therefore, unless you are in the Buy Box, your odds of selling a product are rather small.
Let’s talk about what is the buy box on Amazon and what are the ways to win it.
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What is the Buy Box on Amazon?
Most often, the buyer does not choose which seller to buy goods from. Amazon does it for him with the Buy Box. Buy Box is the best offer of a particular product for a particular visitor, determined by the Amazon system itself. You can see this product in the right corner of the monitor, and it looks like this:
A customer can buy an item in the Buy Box by simply clicking the “Add to Cart” or “Buy Now” button.
Every seller is under the gun to find ways to win the buy box, either with superior service, competitive price, or something else. But it’s not that easy. Amazon space is highly competitive because the marketplace is focused on superior customer service. Businesses must meet strong seller metrics in order to succeed.
Knowing how Amazon’s algorithms work and what variables they prioritize will allow you to better leverage your potential and help your business grow. The key is to strategize around vital metrics that affect the Buy Box win, which we will talk about a bit later.
Why Winning an Amazon Buy Box Matters
In today’s complex and buyer-centric marketplaces, winning the Buy Box on Amazon is essential for increasing sales, revenue, and ultimately profits. Let’s look at some reasons why Amazon Buy Boxes not only matter but must be won.
- The Amazon Buy Box is important because it ensures a level playing field that is imperative from the perspective of consumers: Amazon buyers associate the Buy Box with top-quality customer service and the best products.
- Amazon Buy Box winners have a significant advantage over their competitors. Usually, Buy Box winners see an increase in conversion rates, while their competitors are lagging far behind. Also, Buy Box winners are able to set Amazon PPC ads.
- The Amazon buy box represents the personalization that buyers experience before they come to Amazon. It is the ideal location for a seller to reach out to a potential buyer and demonstrate their expertise.
The Growing Significance of Buy Box Mobile
The number of people shopping on Amazon via mobile has skyrocketed in recent years. Over 80% of Amazon’s sales happened via Buy Box mobile in 2021. Therefore, sellers should try their best to win the Buy Box.
One reason that the Amazon mobile website is so important is that it’s different from the Amazon desktop version. For consumers browsing a mobile version, the Buy Box is found right below the product image. When shoppers click “Buy now”, other offers of the listing are not displayed, so there’s a bigger chance that they will ultimately order the product they saw first.
The field “Other Sellers on Amazon” isn’t showcased on the mobile version. The buyers will only see the name of the Buy Box winner. So, willing to convert mobile users, it is important to focus on winning the coveted Buy Box.
What Affects the Buy Box?
The Buy Box is essential for increasing revenue and profit growth. But it requires a holistic approach to balancing a seller’s performance metrics and setting competitive prices.
Having the chance to compete for the Buy Box, sellers need to find ways to win it. Amazon’s algorithm compares numerous factors of each offer to decide which provides the most comprehensive value for the buyer. The value assigned to each variable may vary by product or category.
These are the most important factors affecting your chances of winning the Buy Box:
- Fulfillment Strategy: After years of building out their own fulfillment network, Amazon famously beat out players like eBay. That is why Amazon is quickly becoming the king of eCommerce. With Amazon sales on the rise, it’s important for sellers to keep their fulfillment strategy on top. Sellers operating under FBA or SFP generally have huge advantages over those who use the FBM method.
- Landed Price: This figure indicates how much the item is sold for on Amazon. If a seller has low-performance metrics in comparison with other sellers, they will have to drop the prices even lower if they want to gain the Buy Box.
- Shipping Time: When you’re shipping your products faster to your consumers, you’re upping your odds of winning the Buy Box race.
- Stock Availability: Backordered products have a chance to win the Buy Box, but products that a buyer can buy right now will be chosen first by Amazon’s algorithm. So try to avoid backorders.
- Customer Response Time: Timely communication with customers is vital for sellers’ success. So don’t wait too long to answer their questions or feedback as it could harm your reputation, and it certainly won’t help you win the Buy Box.
There are other important factors that affect your chances of winning the Buy Box:
- Order Defect Rate: The percentage of defective orders. Those are defective orders with negative reviews, with an official claim from the buyer, as well as a refund through the bank as a disputed transaction.
- Cancellation Rate: The percentage of all orders canceled by the seller.
- Late Delivery Rate: The percentage of orders delivered after the estimated delivery time.
- Actual Tracking Rate: The percentage of orders with a package tracking number. The higher this figure, the better.
- On-time delivery ratio: The percentage of orders delivered by the estimated delivery date should be as high as possible.
The key for any seller is to invest their resources in the activities that are most likely to increase their impact on the Buy Box.
How to Win the Buy Box on Amazon
If you’re selling on Amazon, it’s clear that you’ll be competing with some of the smartest, savviest professionals around. To win the Buy Box—a coveted spot on the Amazon product page where Amazon sends potential customers— you must offer a product that people actually want and may need to purchase right away.
Here are the strategies that could make it easier for sellers to win the Buy Box. You’re certain to benefit from the extra boost of traffic and long-term sales if you give some of these strategies a go.
Sell New Products
As a rule, the sellers who won the Buy Box offered a product in a new condition. It’s more of an exception when the “Used condition” item wins the Buy Box. There’s actually a separate Buy Box for second-hand products.
Offer Competitive Prices
The way Buy Box works is really tricky. Sellers set pricing as they see fit on their Amazon store. However, if Amazon’s algorithm considers that pricing is not competitive, the marketplace will itself decide whether or not to display that particular product among other offers. Amazon believes that offering low prices will help to create a positive customer experience.
So, your product pricing must correspond to the general market level. Too low or too high a price reduces the chances of winning a BuyBox. Consider the following recommendations when setting a price for your products:
- Use Amazon Pricing Dashboard: Compare the prices of your products with those of your competitors in the Pricing Dashboard;
- Use Amazon Selling Coach: Review pricing recommendations in the Amazon Selling Coach;
- Resort to AI-Based Tools: there are plenty of AI-based tools on the market that can help you figure out the best price for your products.
List as a Prime Seller
Despite the fact that a non-Prime seller can win the Buy Box, Amazon still prioritizes its Prime sellers. Sellers that operate under FBA are automatically eligible for a Prime membership, which is an added benefit for sellers who use the service. However, sellers that handle orders themselves have the opportunity to be eligible for Prime.
Maintain High Inventory Levels
If you’re offering a product that is in short supply, it may take time to get them to certain buyers. And while backorders can win the Buy Box, the chances are significantly lower than with the products available immediately. Sellers with high inventory levels have much bigger chances to win the Buy Box.
Sometimes the seller ends up in the Buy Box because their item is in the warehouse closest to the buyer. But, again, Amazon’s system determines which warehouse your item will go to.
The company has a very cool distribution system in those areas that are in demand. For example, your product may be in greater demand in California than in New York, so most of the product will go to California. All this is done by Amazon itself.
Keep Positive Seller Feedback
We don’t know for sure how Amazon’s algorithm works and how it chooses the seller who wins the Buy Box. Perhaps the weight of the feedback is taken into account when deciding which products are to win, meaning that sellers who do not possess good performance metrics have significantly lower chances for a win.
Maintain a High Level of Sales
Unfortunately, Amazon does not provide exact numbers for determining the sufficiency of sales in order to get a BuyBox. This is an evaluative concept that is closely related to the price of a product: if the level of sales corresponds to the average level of sales in a niche, then the price corresponds to demand. If sales are below average, the high price may be the problem.
Buy Box Win Percentage
Amazon is a great platform for entrepreneurs, but it’s also a difficult one because of the intense competition for the coveted Buy Box. To increase your chances, you should do your math. Trying to calculate the he Amazon Buy Box percentage, keep in mind that if an item has received one hundred views and you are in the Buy Box for 65 of those views, this means that your he Amazon Buy Box percentage is 65%.
If your competitors have roughly the same metrics as you (views, price, inventory levels), then you can divide the percentage by the number of these competitors (only in case they’re selling the identical product).
What is Buy Box Eligible?
This is a status given to seasoned salespeople who have put a lot of time and effort to selling on the Amazon marketplace and have a high level of productivity. It was officially known as the Featured Merchant and was available to all. Any Amazon user could check who was Featured Merchant is by browsing the product list page for a specific product. Now this data is only available to the sellers in the Seller Central.
Losing the Buy Box on Amazon
Many sellers spend a great deal of time and energy in order to ways of getting to the top and winning the Buy Box. What they shouldn’t forget is there are also smth to know about losing it.
Competition Within your Listing
Any seller on your listing is your competitor, and they can win the Buy Box by listing a product at the lowest price than yours. This process is essentially a theft: if based on your own labeled products listed on Amazon, this is sometimes referred to as “hijacking”. Amazon’s algorithm is awarding new sellers with the Buy Box because they set their prices lower than everybody else.
Inefficient Price Strategy
If your product pricing is higher or lower compared to the average price, you may fail to win the Buy Box. That can happen even if no one stole your listing. This averts sellers from listing their products at a remarkably lowered starting price to get early sales and feedback, and then raising the price as soon as the product becomes visible enough. That is why the definition of a right price for your products is so crucial.
There’s no sure way of finding out what is buy box price that would be perfect for you. If you intend to offer a product at a lower price than you plan to sell in the future, start with a promotion or offer Amazon coupon to lower the price for the consumers. That way you won’t have to change prices manually, and will have more chances to win the Buy Box.
Poor Account Health
When your Amazon account health is deteriorating this can lead to serious problems, and not only with the Buy Box. If it drops below specific Amazon metrics, the marketplace might simply terminate your Buy Box benefits. If you lose seller privileges or one of your ASINs is terminated, you will forfeit Buy Box.
How to Track Your Buy Box?
Amazon sellers know they can check their performance week over week by visiting their Seller Central Dashboard. But how can a new seller track their Amazon Buy Box without having too much trouble?
It’s all about data and analytics. Amazon offers its own “Automatic Pricing” tool, which automatically changes the prices of your products if and when they vary from the existing Buy Box price – that is, another retailer’s listing have lower prices than yours. To start working with the tool, head to your Seller Central and tap on Pricing, then choose Automate Pricing.
To make a new revaluation rule, tap on the “Create Custom Pricing Rule”. Select the type of pricing rule you want to apply and name it.
Depending on your goals, you choose one of the following strategy:
- Competitive Buy Box – shifts the price up or evens it with the existing Buy Box offer;
- Competitive Lowest Price – shifts the price down, regardless of your competitor’s Buy Box status.
- Competitive External Price – reprices your listings according to prices off Amazon.
- Sales Units Based – reduces prices for a specific number of products (good for overstocks).
- Price Synched – adjusts prices based on the standard prices within your business product listing.
Amazon Buy Box Listing Suppression
While it may seem irrational that Amazon makes it tougher for consumers to purchase a product, there is usually a rationale for it. As a rule, this is related to the cost of the goods – Amazon seeks to keep its shoppers pleased by offering low prices.
If the price of a product differs from what Amazon thinks it should have, Amazon often discourages the purchase and pushes the buyer towards an alternative that is more affordable.
So, the potential prime contributor for Amazon to remove an item from a product’s detail page is pricing. Amazon may completely hide the BuyBox on the listing for a number of other reasons:
- Violation of Amazon policy. For example, providing incomplete or outdated information about a product, a product that does not match the description on the listing, a product that does not meet Amazon safety standards, etc.
- The listing does not comply with the rules. For example, inappropriate content, duplicate listings, inconsistency of product variations with the main product.
- There are no suitable sellers. BuyBox can be hidden if there are several sellers on the listing and all of them are not competitive (poor delivery conditions, poor Account Health metrics, etc.).
The way out of this situation is to eliminate violations. If the BuyBox is hidden due to a lack of competitive sellers, you need to improve your performance.
BuyBox is a very important element for sales growth. Without it, it is unlikely that you will be able to run a successful business on Amazon since most users want to make a purchase without any extra effort. And it is exactly the BuyBox that makes it possible.
There is no easy way to get it, as it depends on the performance of the seller’s account as a whole. But you can optimize the critical metrics mentioned above to increase your chances of getting a BuyBox. In case you need any help, contact Profit Whales!