The Buy Box on Amazon, that space in the upper right corner on a listing page where you find the “Add to Cart” button (unless there’s a “suppressed Buy Box”), is where every seller wants to be.
That’s because up to 90% of sales on Amazon are made from the Buy Box.
If you want to win the Buy Box more often on Amazon, you’re in luck: There’s a blueprint for winning the Buy Box that you can follow to increase your chances of landing in the most coveted space for sellers on the world’s largest online marketplace.
While you won’t always be able to win the Buy Box for every product you list on Amazon, and you’ll never be able to stay in it 100% of the time due to Amazon’s practice of rotating the Buy Box among a set of the best sellers on each listing, you’ll be able to increase your Buy Box percentage if you begin implementing the following strategies into your selling.
Of course, you first need to attain Buy Box eligibility, and then you have to study up on your competitors to understand whether it’s likely you’ll ever win the Buy Box on certain listings, or if you should scrap certain products from your catalog in favor of other items with a higher chance of landing in Amazon’s most prized real estate.
When it comes to winning the Buy Box, one of the most vital metrics that Amazon’s algorithm looks to is your fulfillment type.
The Amazon Buy Box algorithm gives preference to sellers who use its Fulfillment By Amazon, or FBA, system, where sellers ship their products to Amazon fulfillment centers and then Amazon employees handle the picking, packing, and shipping of goods directly to consumers.
FBA sellers are granted the privilege of offering free Prime 2-Day Shipping to Amazon customers, which makes their listings much more attractive than those of sellers whose shipping times and handling days exceed this short two-day window.
Amazon gets a hefty cut from sellers who utilize its FBA service because the company believes that its employees are best in class when it comes to order fulfillment, which explains why FBA sellers win the Buy Box more often that sellers who fulfill their own orders as part of the Merchant Fulfilled Network (MFN).
It’s noteworthy that not all MFN sellers have to suffer from Buy Box withdrawal due to strong FBA competition on their listings. Certain MFN sellers have been invited (or have applied) to Amazon’s Seller Fulfilled Prime program (Amazon SFP) that grants sellers who get admitted the right to offer Prime 2-Day Shipping while fulfilling orders from their own warehouses.
It takes extraordinary seller metrics to gain entry into this program, and if you’re looking to boost your Buy Box exposure without shelling out fees for FBA service, then SFP is something to aspire to.
Along with fulfillment method, price is the most influential metric when it comes to winning the Buy Box.
Unlike on Walmart Marketplace, where it’s required to offer the lowest price on any given listing to win the Buy Box, Amazon requires Buy Box winners to charge the most “competitive” price at any given time, and many other factors play into who wins the Amazon Buy Box on each listing.
That means you need to understand who else is competing with you on a given listing to know how difficult it will be to gain Buy Box share. Competitors with higher seller ratings, faster shipping times, shorter handling days periods, superior cancellation rates, feedback scores, order defect rates, and other seller performance metrics will be able to charge higher prices and still win the Buy Box.
So, it’s all about who you’re competing with on a given listing when it comes to your chances of winning the Buy Box.
For example, if you have a 95% seller rating, your shipping time is 5–7 days, and you’re charging $5.00 for an item, you’ll have an easier time winning the Buy Box at that price if your competition has longer shipping times and lower seller ratings than you.
But, if you’re up against a seller with a 99% seller rating who’s also offering free Prime 2-Day Shipping, you’ll be fighting an uphill battle trying to steal Buy Box share, even if that seller is charging $5.50.
Even if you lower your price, it won’t be guaranteed that you’ll win the Buy Box from a competitor with superior metrics, so you may want to reevaluate selling certain products where you’re facing competition with better metrics than yours.
Also consider whether it makes sense to fight for the Buy Box on certain listings by evaluating your margins, Amazon fees, shipping costs, and other factors that affect your overall profit per sale.
As we mentioned above, Amazon’s algorithm looks at many seller metrics when it comes to choosing who gets Buy Box share for each listing. While some of these metrics are in your direct control, others are affected by those who purchase from you.
That means your must make sure to give your customers a seamless experience when buying from you to encourage them to leave positive reviews and boost your seller rating and feedback score.
You must also do your best to ship orders carefully, and even beautifully if you’re an MFN seller, to reduce your order defect rate and returns rate.
One way to create feelings of goodwill with your customers (if you fulfill your own orders) is to include personalized, handwritten thank you notes in every package you ship.
You might be thinking, “how in the world can I ever make time to do this when I’ve got so much to already think about?” And rightfully so. After all, being an Amazon seller can feel like it requires more time and attention than you have available.
While staying on top of your Amazon business can feel daunting, it is possible to offer a remarkable customer experience by using the many automation tools at your disposal.
One such tool is an automated repricer, which helps ensure that the prices of your listings are always as competitive as possible. A repricer is also one of the easiest ways to boost Buy Box percentage, as it monitors the prices of your competitors 24/7 and automatically adjusts your prices in response based on strategies you choose.
Enterprise Resource Planning systems (ERPs) can also save you countless hours of tedious manual work (much like repricers) while performing tasks more efficiently and effectively than you could ever do without them.
Winning the Buy Box is the pinnacle for any product listed on Amazon, but it’s not difficult if you follow the above strategies.
Consider using FBA to streamline your operations (if you can afford it) and see if it makes enough of an impact on your sales to boost your overall profits.
Also, consider testing out automation tools to speed up and boost the efficiency of your operations. These tools are built specifically for making the lives of online sellers much easier, and many of them will virtually guarantee increased Buy Box percentage if you use them correctly.