With the Amazon Buy Box accounting for 82% of all sales (and even higher on mobile), it should come as no surprise that every seller out there is vying to win it. Not to mention, the Buy Box does have its fair share of advantages, including of course increased sales, profit, and visibility. In simple words, not having a Buy Box as an Amazon seller means you’re leaving money on the table.
Wondering what you need to do to win the Buy Box? If so, walk through until the end. Now, before unveiling the secrets of winning the Buy Box, let’s quickly understand what it is, how it works, and more importantly, how to become eligible for winning. Let’s get started.
What is the Amazon Buy Box?
Amazon’s Buy Box refers to a white box having a yellow “Add to Cart” button or “Buy Now” button. It is present on the right hand side of the product page and allows customers to add products to their shopping cart or make a purchase there and then. This Buy Box is the holy grail for Amazon sellers since it’s been known to drive sales and can guarantee the visibility of your eCommerce product listing.
That said, not all sellers listed on Amazon qualify to win the Buy Box. Only those sellers having outstanding seller metrics are eligible to win.
Understanding how the Buy Box algorithm works will help you to improve your seller metrics and increase your chances of winning the Amazon Buy Box. So, let’s try to understand the algorithm.
How the Amazon Buy Box Algorithm Works
The Amazon Buy Box is driven by an algorithm that meticulously analyzes all the discounts or offers given by the listed sellers on each product. It then determines which seller offers the best value for their money to the customers on the basis of price, shipping, seller history, and many other factors (which we will discuss later in this post).
Amazon, often touted as a “customer obsessed” company, works relentlessly to offer the best experience to all of their customers. Therefore, pricing is not the only factor that is taken into consideration by Amazon to offer the Buy Box to their sellers.
The important thing to note here is that there is no quick fix available to win the Buy Box.
Factors Affecting the Buy Box
Though Amazon has never officially divulged the performance parameters for winning the Buy Box, there are certain factors that can impact your chances of winning. Also, the value assigned to each factor can vary on a category-by-category or a product-by-product basis, which means a seller could lose to a competitor on one product but easily beat the very same competitor on another product.
For example, time-sensitive products such as flowers, birthday cards , etc. wherein the shipping time is crucial than any other thing. Therefore, a seller who delivers time-sensitive products on the same day may get an advantage over a seller who delivers the products in 2-3 days. For other products, such as apparel, toys, electronic equipment, etc. wherein the shipping time may not matter much, a seller who delivers products on the same day might lose to the competitor. Therefore, it is highly recommended that sellers should rather try and excel in all the important factors to win a share of the Buy Box.
Now, let’s quickly look at all those factors:
1. Fulfilment method, first and foremost
Fulfillment is undoubtedly the most important factor that is considered by Amazon when rewarding the Buy Box to sellers. Fulfillment of an order can be done in 3 ways – Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), Seller-Fulfilled Prime (SFP), and Fulfilment by Merchant (FBM). Amazon gives a full score to FBA for multiple factors such as on-time delivery, shipping method, and inventory depth. Therefore, the sellers who choose FBA are unlikely to be beaten by FBM or SFP sellers.
2. Landed price, another vital factor
For the UK and European Union, there are two pricing options available on Amazon – the first one is the actual price for which you list a product and the second one is the landed price which includes VAT and shipping. As an Amazon seller, it’s important to keep these things in mind when listing the price of your product.
- A common misbelief among many sellers is that the lowest price will win them the Buy Box.Though an important one, price (low or high) is not the only criterion for winning.
- If your competitors have an outstanding seller performance, you may lose even if you are offering products at lower prices.
3. Shipping time
Shipping time also plays a vital role in winning the Buy Box, particularly for perishable items. The shipping time on Amazon is classified into pre-defined brackets including 0-2 days, 3-7 days, 8-13 days, 14 or more days. However, the faster you ship, the better are your chances of winning the Buy Box.
4. Order defect rate
The order defect rate (ODR) comprises 3 important metrics: negative reviews and ratings, service chargeback rate, and A-Z guarantee claim rate. Amazon considers these 3 metrics to determine the number of defective orders and strongly recommends sellers to keep the order defect rate below 1%. Any seller having an ODR rate above 1% will not qualify for winning the Buy Box.
5. Cancellation and refund rate
This is determined by the number of orders canceled by customers before being shipped and the number of orders refunded after being shipped by the seller. Having a cancellation and refund rate above 2.5% could discourage you from winning the Buy Box.
6. Customer response time
How quickly you respond to the queries of your customers? If you take more than 12 hours, your chances of winning the Buy Box will be reduced. Amazon considers the response rate for the last 7, 30 and 90 days, and compares it with all competing sellers to determine the winner.
7. On-time delivery
This is determined by the percentage of orders delivered to customers on time. An Amazon seller having a percentage of 97% or above will qualify for winning the Buy Box.
8. Late Shipment Rate
This can be determined by the number of orders delivered later than the expected delivery date. Using the Amazon Seller Central account, sellers can set their shipping time and if they don’t do it, the default handling time of 1-2 days will be assigned to them. Keeping the late shipment rate below 4% will increase your chances of winning the Buy Box.
How to Become Eligible For Buy Box
To become eligible for the Buy Box, you have to do the simple things listed below:
- Create an Amazon Professional Seller account
- Provide a great customer experience. Amazon considers only those merchants who have had an outstanding selling performance for a good amount of time (anywhere between 2-6 months).
- Sell only new items.
- Sellers must have adequate stock of the product. The Buy Box algorithm only favors sellers with sufficient stock
If you don’t meet these 4 parameters, you will not be considered by Amazon for the Buy Box.
Top Secrets About Buy Box That No One Wants You to Know
If you want to qualify and win a share of the Buy Box, you’ve to keep these top secrets in mind that will help you to improve the seller metrics without compromising the performance in other vital areas:
- Know all your metrics well: Amazon sellers should be well-versed with their performance metrics in Amazon Seller Central, especially if they wish to improve.
- Pay attention to the key factors: Many Amazon sellers tend to pay attention only to the pricing in order to win the Buy Box. However, if you want to increase your chances of winning a share of the Buy Box, you must focus on all the important factors discussed above in this post.
- Price your products competitively: This doesn’t mean that you should list all your products at the lowest price. If you don’t want to dedicate your valuable time in pricing all the products manually, you can seek help from experienced professionals who will reprice all your products and keep them competitive.
Now you are familiar with what Amazon expects from its sellers and how you can win the Buy Box. If you are planning to seek help from experts to manage your customer response time or optimize the prices of your products, don’t look beyond SAMM Data Services. We have a team of skilled professionals who have years of experience in multi-channel eCommerce management, and know their way around the major marketplaces, including Amazon. Connect with our experts by dropping a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.