Due to the pandemic, a lot of people are purchasing their everyday items through online shopping platforms and this trend is considered to increase into the future. Amazon is now considered the most reliable go-to online shopping destination! Because of this, Amazon sellers saw a huge spike in sales during 2020 and consumer demand has continued into 2021.
However, one drawback we have seen is the vast number of new sellers who have started their online journey, which in turn has created greater competition across some product lines and categories.
The key to consistent sales is winning and maintaining a share of the Buy Box and to do this sellers need to take into consideration a number of factors.
Amazon Buy Box - What’s That?
The Buy Box the white box on the top-right of the Amazon product page.
Most products on Amazon have multiple sellers selling the same item. However, only one seller at a time wins the Buy Box. Amazon shoppers can click “Add to Cart” found within the box. If you are the seller owning the Buy Box at the time of the shopper’s purchase, then your product gets the sale. Winning the Buy Box is like getting a guarantee of an easy sale. From a shopper’s perspective, the Buy Box is a 1-2 click process, making it very easy to purchase their goods.
Who Gets The Buy Box?
To qualify for the Buy Box, a seller must meet certain criteria. They should have:
A Professional Amazon Seller account - which costs £30.00 per month; naturally you won’t be able to get the Buy Box if you have the Basic Plan
New stock - your products should be in brand-new condition, and should be readily available
2 to 6 months Amazon selling experience - your account should have transaction history
Account metrics need to be in sound order
Pricing will need to be competitive and inline with Amazon pricing policy guidelines
How To Know If You’re Buy Box Qualified?
If your products are qualified to win the Buy Box, then just follow these steps to review them for US side:
Log into your Amazon Seller Central account
Go to “Inventory”, then select “Manage Inventory”
On the column list display section, select “Buy Box eligible”
Then, choose “Show when available” from the drop-down menu
Within the “Buy Box Eligible” column, you will see a “Yes” if you're eligible - and “No” if otherwise. You are the only one who can see this information, unless you’ve shared your login information with your business partner or VA etc. You have to note Buy Box eligibility is applied per product. You may be eligible for one, and may be ineligible for another.
Also, getting Buy Box eligible is just the start. Apart from these basic qualifications, the Amazon Buy Box algorithm still has to determine who gets featured at the top of the product page. This will be based on the seller’s account health and performance.
How To Win The Amazon Buy Box
The Amazon Buy Box algorithm determines sellers ranking based on different stats from their seller history. To win the Buy Box, naturally, a seller must possess an exceptional seller history and reviews.
Amazon values giving customers the best experience. Sellers who they deem as trustworthy are the ones who consistently provide outstanding customer experience, as well as sellers who offer low prices. These sellers then win the Buy Box.
Having said these, once you see that you’re eligible to get the Buy Box, you should focus on improving your seller ranking. Unfortunately, there is no way to know what the exact algorithm is. However, these top tips could greatly help you win that elusive Buy Box.
1. Going FBA Is The Way
There are two types of Amazon sellers.
FBM or Fulfillment By Merchant, sellers who purchase, prep and ship their own products.
FBA or Fulfillment By Amazon on the other hand, are sellers who purchase their products, then send it to Amazon fulfilment centers. Amazon then are the ones who will fulfill customer orders on your behalf.
It is said that being an Amazon FBA seller has the most significant impact on winning the rewarding Buy Box. Amazon prefers FBA sellers because they know that orders will be delivered on time - since they will be the ones fulfilling it. FBA sellers are also qualified for Prime shipping. To benefit Prime Members, it’s only logical to have them in the Buy Box.
Despite these, FBM sellers can still contest the Buy Box, and still have the chance of winning it. Though, newer FBA sellers will most likely get it compared to an experienced FBM seller.
2. Have Competitive Prices
Remember this: The lowest price doesn't always win the Amazon Buy Box, but can certainly improve your chances. Make sure that your price points are somewhere around competitors’.
You only need to reduce your prices if your other seller metrics are low. However, if your seller metrics are exceptional across the board, then you will still get the Buy Box regardless if your price is slightly higher than other sellers.
It should be a no-brainer not to set your prices too low just to get the Buy Box. You should still keep your costs in mind. Do not shy away from using repricing softwares to help you out.
3. Be Time-Conscious With Shipping
This is applicable for FBM sellers. If you are an FBM seller and want to compete for the Buy Box, make sure to ship out your items as fast as possible.
You should be able to ship at least 96% of your orders on time. This is what Amazon requires for you to increase your chances of getting the Buy Box. You may go to your Amazon Seller Central account to make necessary changes on your handling time. Otherwise, it will be defaulted to 1 to 2 days. On the other hand, Amazon requires deliveries to be at least 97% on time.
4. Provide Tracking Information
The most recent metric introduced to all sellers, Valid Tracking Rate. This shows percentages of your deliveries providing full tracking information. Shipping software tools can help with this.
5. Always Think About Customer Experience
As mentioned above, Amazon is very particular about a customer’s experience. Provided you’ve already shipped their item/s as fast as possible at the most acceptable price, these won’t be enough if the product arrives with issues.
One metric which significantly impacts your chances of winning the Buy Box is the Amazon’s Order Defect rate. This metric is based on feedback scores provided by your customers, guarantee claim-rate and service chargebacks.
To avoid, or at least reduce negative reviews, always ensure that your product listing is as accurate as possible. Read feedback provided, and see where you can improve and provide resolution. Always provide excellent customer service by going the extra mile.
6. Be Mindful Of Your Customer Response Time
How fast or slow you respond to customer queries also plays an important role in winning the Amazon Buy Box. Amazon doesn’t like it when sellers take so long to respond to a customer query. Answering a query within 12 hours is allowable. However, replying longer than 24 hours is already a violation of Amazon policies.
If you receive a message which doesn’t require a response, then ensure that you mark it as so.
It is a no brainer that Amazon looks at the positive reviews of your account, for you to be considered getting the Buy Box. However, it is also worth noting that Amazon also looks at the total number of reviews your account has received, be it positive or even negative ones.
Reviews solidifies your accounts visibility. Needless to say, without these, your account’s visibility could potentially go down. What to do? Follow up with customers and request for reviews. Keyword: Request. Do not demand it from them.
The Amazon Buy Box algorithm looks at your accounts feedback from the past 30, 90 and 365 days, with recent ones being the most significant. You’ll be able to view these data within your Seller Account.
8. Have Consistent Stocks
Amazon will also look at your stocks, if you are consistently stocked up. This is reasonable, given that you have to be prepared for the sudden increase in your sales should you get the Buy Box.
9. Be Aware Of Your Account Performance
Constantly checking your account performance is easy. This is since Amazon Seller Central provides all the necessary information. You have to constantly check on your account’s performance to see where you are having challenges. Doing this will enable you to create action plans to rectify these issues. This could result in an exceptional seller reputation which Amazon will surely notice.
10. Be On The Lookout For New Metrics
Return Dissatisfaction Rate and Customer Service Dissatisfaction Rate are two new metrics which Amazon has introduced. Currently, these metrics do not affect your chances of getting the Buy Box. With that said, you still have to keep a close watch on new metrics such as these. Bear in mind that it won’t be long before Amazon makes these metrics part of the Amazon Buy Box algorithm.
All you have to do to have a strong chance of winning the Buy Box is to toe the line and stay on Amazon’s good side. You do this by having the same focus as Amazon - and that is being customer-centric. Of course this is still a business, and there will be times when you may not agree with a customer’s feedback etc. That is why there are processes you need to follow in order to file for a dispute.
Just ensure you are ticking all the boxes within Amazon Buy Box’s algorithm, and you will be taking the winning steps to securing the Buy Box.
Need More Help? Here Are Some Additional Resources
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