Amazon created the Buy Box to give the customer the best possible value for their money. When the customers purchase their desired product through this button, Amazon’s algorithm ensures it’s from a quality seller with a competitive price.
Meanwhile, Buy Box eligible sellers get the advantage over others by getting featured for potential customers. After all, Amazon is a highly competitive marketplace, where the majority of buyers only shop through this orange button. If a seller consistently manages to win the Buy Box position, their chances of scoring that sale for themselves skyrockets.
In this article, we will help you understand how the Amazon Buy Box works. Especially looking at the factors you need to consider to win the Amazon Buy Box in 2021. Additionally, we will reveal a secret on how to effectively optimize your prices to get that spot on the box.
What Is the Amazon Buy Box?
When customers are shopping on Amazon, they might come across ‘Buy Now’ and ‘Add to the cart’ buttons on the right side of the product’s listing page. This noticeably visible area is called the Amazon Buy Box. When customers click the buttons, Amazon’s algorithm chooses a seller or several in a rotation that Amazon believes can provide the best shopping experience. Even though Amazon does not reveal how the process works, there are quite a few watertight speculations. Stock level, fulfillment, reviews, and most importantly, pricing affect the selection. In other words, customers are automatically buying from an Amazon seller that delivers the best quality.
Does Every Product on Amazon Have a Buy Box?
While most listings have a Buy Box, this does not mean every product matches the Buy Box requirements. If the seller is not eligible for the Buy Box, none of their product has it. Additionally, in some cases, a seller might lose the spot on the box. We will cover this topic a bit later in the article.
The Importance of Winning The Buy Box
“Winning the buy box” is a selection process where one seller claims the spot and makes the sale. The winner drives more sales compared to any other seller for the same product. Also, partly because over 80% of the Amazon sales happen through the Buy Box. No wonder every seller is aiming to meet the standards necessary to get the position. However, not every merchant is eligible for the Buy Box.
What is Buy Box Eligible Status?
In order to compete for a spot on Amazon’s Buy Box, a seller must be Buy Box eligible. There are no additional fees for being Buy Box eligible, but you have to be a professional seller and meet specific performance-based requirements.
What Are The Requirements for The Buy Box?
You can check your eligibility from Amazon Seller Central:
- Navigate to the Inventory tab and select ‘Manage Inventory.’
- Click on ‘Preferences’
- Select ‘Buy Box Eligible’ from the ‘Column Display’ and save your changes.
- Go back to the Inventory and look at your SKU’s right side column. If the item is eligible, it says ‘Yes’.
Because Amazon wants to keep their customer experience top-notch, qualified sellers must maintain high-performance levels that combine high seller performance and low price. Therefore, to become eligible, you must match the following requirements:
Professional Seller Account
You need to have a Professional Seller Account. Individual accounts are not eligible for the Buy Box. Luckily, you can easily switch your existing plan from Amazon Seller Central.
Have Available Stock
You need to have stock to sell to become eligible. However, Amazon allows back-ordered items to win the Buy Box.
It is worth noting that Amazon prefers sellers who can fulfill orders fast. If you are at risk of running out of stock, your products may not reach customers within the expected time range. This situation may negatively impact your seller performance metrics and Buy Box eligibility. In other words, if maintaining strong inventory levels, Amazon may give the Buy Box to you.
Item Condition Must Be New
If you aim to compete for the Buy Box, the item condition must be new. However, Amazon introduced a Buy Used Box for items in used condition, which is separate from the traditional Buy Box.
To become Buy Box eligible, your Account Health must be on a good level. These performance metrics include Order Defect Rate, Cancellation Rate, and Late Shipment Rate. The better you perform in these aspects, the higher your chances of winning.
After you meet the requirements, you can almost immediately become eligible for the Buy Box. However, keep in mind that it does not guarantee that you’ll win the Buy Box just because you’re Buy Box suitable. If you aim to compete for the Buy Box, the item condition must be new. However, Amazon introduced a Buy Used Box for items in used condition, which is separate from the traditional Buy Box.
How to Win the Amazon Buy Box in 2021?
Becoming eligible is the first step of winning the Buy Box. However, the Amazon algorithm decides who wins the spot by comparing multiple variables among qualified sellers. If you face competitors who match your pricing and their performance metrics are equally good, winning becomes harder.
Amazon aims to offer the most valuable shopping experience to its customers. Utilizing this information is the best strategy to win the Buy Box. Moreover, consider the most critical performance metrics and other aspects that increase the chances of Amazon’s algorithm recognizing you.
1. Improve Performance Metrics
Even though pricing is an essential factor in winning the Buy Box, Amazon’s algorithm also considers your performance as a seller. Especially the following metrics that also affect your Account Health status.
Order Defect Rate (ODR)
This performance metric measures how well you can meet Amazon’s customer service standards. Negative feedback, A-to-Z claims, and credit card chargebacks affect the rating. An ideal ODR is below 1%.
Cancellation Rate (CR)
This rate applies to sellers who fulfill the order by themselves. Whenever you cancel a customer’s order, it negatively affects this metric. An ideal rate is below 2.5%.
Late Dispatch Rate (LDR)
This metric states the percentage of orders that have been shipped later than the expected ship date. If your LDR exceeds over 4%, you are at risk of losing the Buy Box eligibility.
In addition to the metrics mentioned above, Amazon takes into account your interactions with the customers. The number of feedback you receive is an indicator of the product’s popularity among buyers. The more, the better, and the positive feedback weighs more when Amazon evaluates your Buy Box eligibility. In the same sense, responding to customers promptly has a significant effect. Prolonged customer response time might negatively impact your chances of winning the Buy Box.
2. Sign Up For Amazon FBA
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) sellers are automatically eligible for the Buy Box. Amazon takes care of the packaging, shipping, and customer service, making the shipping process easier for you. But most importantly, it gives you an advantage when competing for the Buy Box.
Amazon provides more significant changes for sellers who can offer fast delivery for the customers. Therefore, FBA sellers are more likely to win the Buy Box.
Fast Shipping with Amazon Prime
Since Amazon prioritizes fast shipping in the Buy Box, you can increase the odds by signing up for Prime. FBA sellers automatically qualify for Prime, but Amazon accepts self-fulfilling sellers as well. If your previous sales record and ranking are on a good level, you can be eligible for Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP).
3. Gain Experience
If you are new on the platform, unfortunately, experience counts in as well. When it comes to winning the spot on the box, Amazon favors experienced sellers over new ones. To gain expertise fast and speed up becoming eligible, you can try to sell popular products through FBA. Meanwhile, focus on optimizing the pricing and improving your seller performance metrics.
4. Optimize Product Pricing
Product pricing is a significant decision factor for most consumers and therefore for Amazon as well. That’s why pricing is an essential factor in deciding who wins the Buy Box. However, this is a tricky aspect for sellers.
Nobody knows the secrets on how Amazon’s Buy Box algorithm works, but we can say for a fact the company and its customers love competitive prices. The sellers aim to find that ‘sweet spot’ with different repricing strategies. The general belief is that the lower the prices, the better your chances of winning the Buy Box. But if you keep driving your prices down, risks end up cutting your profits when competing for the Buy Box. Therefore, optimizing prices by ‘racing to the bottom is not necessarily a competent repricing strategy.
Optimize Prices for Profits with A Repricer
Repricing on its most fundamental levels means increasing or decreasing a product’s price based on competition. It is updating the prices matters because it helps you stay competitive and improves your chances of winning the Buy Box.
Some sellers do the repricing manually, but it is often tedious and time-consuming. For these reasons, most Amazon experts utilize repricing tools that monitor the listings 24/7 and almost instantly make the repricing decisions. The faster the repricer, the more likely you will win the Buy Box.
The most significant benefit of repricer software is that they save your time and keep your listings profitable despite competition. Especially AI-based repricers analyze countless data points to determine your competing price. An excellent example of this is Eva’s Intelligent Repricer that analyzes the competition and decides the best Buy Box strategy. As a result, it smartly optimizes the prices to aim for the most profitable outcome.
What Makes You Lose the Buy Box on Amazon?
So far, we have covered the aspect of winning the Buy Box. However, sometimes the competitor takes the spot and snatches the deal. If this keeps happening, you are in danger of being placed further down in the search results pages and even further lowers your chances of customers finding your products, and as a result, your sales decrease. Therefore, it’s as important to understand what factors can make you lose the Buy Box.
Your Account Health Decreases
As mentioned, your Account Heath is a significant metric for the Buy Box eligibility. If your score falls below a certain threshold, Amazon might disqualify you.
Your Listing Has Competition
If another seller starts to sell your product, your listing faces competition, and the competitor might win the Buy Box. While other sellers are generally allowed to sell the same effect, occasionally, listings get hijacked by scammers.
This is especially a problem for private labels because hijackers copy their brand and product to sell it for a lower price. Unfortunately, in most cases, they end up taking the Buy Box away from you.
Your Prices Are Too Low or High
When you are creating a listing, pay attention to the prices that you set. If you price your products much higher or lower than the average sales price, Amazon might remove the Buy Box for that listing. You can change the pricing through your Seller Central Account but suggest using a repricer that automatically recognizes Amazon’s pricing scale.
Amazon’s ultimate goal is to give the customer the best possible value for their money, and this is why the Amazon Buy Box exists. The seller who can provide the best combination of quality and competitive pricing wins the Buy Box.
For sellers, becoming eligible for the Buy Box gives them a significant advantage over other merchants selling the same item. Moreover, they can drive for sales and grow their own Amazon empire. However, the competition is fierce, and to stand out, they need to perform the best and use the most effective pricing strategies.
How to Win the Buy Box and Maximize Profits At The Same Time?
Owning the Buy Box increases your chances of making a sale. Amazon’s algorithm chooses the best seller to win the box position. If the sellers are equally qualified, it gives the spot for several in rotation. Usually, in this case, sellers reprice their products and compete with lower prices to win the spot. However, just because you increase the sales does not necessarily mean you profit more.
The key to success is to think of profits, not sales. To maximize your profits, you need Eva’s Intelligent Repricer that makes smart repricing decisions based on competition. The self-learning algorithm finds the optimal prices for your products and continuously improves the strategies if the market changes. This way, Eva either wins or shares the Buy Box but always aims to maximize your profits.
Sign up for your 15-day free trial and start winning the Buy Box now.