The Buy Box is the holy grail for Amazon sellers. It’s your key to unlocking better sales and improved visibility on the platform. Unfortunately, with ever-changing algorithms and intense competition, winning Amazon Buy Box has become a daunting task. Still, with the right strategies and persistence, it is possible to secure the buy box position for your products.
In this article, we will discuss how the Amazon Buy Box algorithm works when you are a distributor (selling the same product with other sellers) and explore strategies on how you can win Buy Box in 2023. We will also see if there is anything different if you are the only seller of the product. Let’s dive right in.
What is the Amazon Buy Box?
The Buy Box is the section on Amazon’s product detail page that allows shoppers to add the product to their cart with one click. In the desktop view, the Buy Box is located above the fold on the right side of the page. Here is how it looks:
The Buy Box appears just below the product image and the main product details section for mobile. Here is how it looks on mobile:
The Buy Box is available to only one seller at a time. Only those that provide the best customer experience, as determined by Amazon’s algorithm, are selected for the Buy Box position. Other sellers will appear as a clickable list below the Buy Box, which is less visible to customers and can result in decreased sales.
Why is Winning Amazon Buy Box important?
Winning the Amazon buy box increases your chances of successful sales by 4 times. Studies suggest 82% of all purchases go through Amazon’s Buy Box. The number is even higher for mobile.
A presence in Buy Box will skyrocket your Amazon sales and bolster your visibility in no time, as your offer will be the default option for customers to purchase.
Also, Amazon uses Buy Box metrics to evaluate seller performance. Winning the buy box also means a higher ranking on the product listing page and better ad performance. Especially for sponsored ads, as Amazon only allows sponsored ads for sellers who win the buy box.
How Amazon Buy Box Works?
The Buy Box is based on Amazon’s proprietary algorithm that:
- Assembles products from different sellers.
- Identifies which seller is the most reliable and with the best offer at the time
- Recommends that offer and seller to the customer.
When allocating buy box positions for distributors, the Amazon Buy Box algorithm ensures that the sellers keep rotating from time to time to keep things fair, provided a better seller and offer emerges, whereas, if you are a sole seller, the algorithm awards you with the Buy Box if you meet all the eligibility criteria set forth by Amazon.
The Buy Box algorithm aims to ensure trusted sellers with reasonable prices and good customer service always win the Buy Box. This improves the consumer experience, resulting in repeat purchases and more orders for Amazon.
Amazon’s algorithm uses a variety of factors to decide the Amazon Buy Box seller. They include –
- Price: The algorithm prefers competitively priced products. It awards Buy Box to the seller with the lowest price, provided the other factors are favorable.
- Fulfillment method: The algorithm prefers products that are fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) or by Amazon’s shipping service (SFP) over FBM (Fulfilled by Merchants). It ensures that the product reaches the customer accurately and on time, resulting in improved customer satisfaction.
- Seller rating: The algorithm awards Buy Box to sellers with a higher seller rating for Buy Box. The sellers with higher ratings are considered trustworthy as they offer better fulfillment and product quality.
- Inventory: The algorithm prefers sellers who have sufficient stock of the product. It ensures that the seller will certainly ship the product on time without any last-minute surprises.
- Sales history: The algorithm prefers sellers with an excellent sales history.
- Buy Box eligibility: Lastly and most importantly, the algorithm only allows sellers with a professional selling plan and meet the basic Amazon Buy Box eligibility requirements (we will discuss this in the next section).
Amazon’s algorithm evaluates all these factors and assigns an individual score to each offer by a seller. The offer with the highest score wins the Buy Box.
Requirements for Amazon Buy Box eligibility
To be eligible for buy box, Amazon sellers in India must:
- Be subscribed to the Amazon FBA plan.
- Have good performance metrics, including a cancellation below 2.5%, an order defect rate (ODR) below 1%, and a late shipment rate under 4%. You can check your performance metrics on your account health page.
- Sell new items. Refurbished or used products are usually not eligible for the regular Buy Box. To get the Buy Box for renewed products, you must list it as a separate product.
You can check whether your listing is Buy Box eligible in your Amazon Seller Central dashboard.
Busting Amazon Buy Box pricing myths
The biggest pricing myth regarding Amazon Buy Box is – The lowest price always wins the Buy Box.
This is not true. While having a low price is undoubtedly a critical metric considered by Amazon, it is not the only factor to determine whether you win the Amazon Buy Box or not. The algorithm considers multiple factors like seller rating, inventory, and sales history to award you the Buy Box.
In fact, having a very low price might hurt your chances as it will indicate a poor-quality product. At the same time, raising prices too high can make your offer less competitive. You should instead make minor price adjustments that can help you maintain profitability and improve your chances of winning the Amazon Buy Box. Checkout our blog on pricing strategies for E-commerce and DTC brands.
How is the Amazon Buy Box evolving? (Recent updates on Amazon Buy Box)
The way Amazon displays offers from multiple sellers in the Buy Box has undergone significant changes over time due to updates in Amazon’s algorithms and increased competition.
Recently, Amazon in Europe made a decision to change the layout of the Buy Box in order to comply with agreements made to address antitrust concerns raised by the European Commission. Under this new rule, Amazon will now prominently display the offer from the second seller on the product display page. This rule is currently only in effect in Europe; however, it may be implemented in the United States and other countries in the future.
How to win the Buy Box on Amazon in 2023?
1. Sign up for Amazon FBA
First and foremost, you need to become an FBA seller and outsource your order fulfillment to Amazon. This ensures that your products always reach the customers on time, as FBA is one of the fastest shipping options available. You need to send your products to Amazon fulfillment centers whenever a customer makes a purchase.
2. Maintain sufficient inventory
Having enough stock of the product ensures you can fulfill customer orders without delay. Also, by maintaining sufficient inventory, you demonstrate to Amazon that you’re a reliable and trustworthy seller. This can further increase your chances of winning the Amazon Buy Box.
3. Maintain a good seller rating
Amazon considers a variety of metrics to determine a seller’s rating, such as shipping time, order defect rate(ODR), pre-fulfillment cancel rate, and late shipment rate. A good seller rating is a sign that you offer a great customer experience. Long story short, ensure that you fulfill orders accurately and on time and offer excellent customer service. This can make you an attractive candidate for the Amazon Buy Box.
4. Focus on product pricing
It’s important to maintain a competitive price to increase your chances of winning the Amazon Buy Box. The price should not be set low when your performance metrics are poor, or your seller ratings are not good. If you have perfect performance metrics, you can always price your products higher and still win the Buy Box.
Here is a cheat sheet for you to win Amazon Buy Box in 2023 –
Win Amazon Buy Box with these pricing strategies
There are three popular pricing strategies that you can employ to improve your chances of winning the Amazon buy box. They are –
This repricing technique is all about setting up a set of rules and conditions that will automatically adjust your product prices on Amazon. The rules can be based on factors such as the prices of other sellers, your own cost of goods, and your desired profit margin. This is one of the most efficient and easy-to-adopt pricing strategies, but it doesn’t take into account real-time market conditions.
As the name suggests, this repricing method is all about manually adjusting your prices based on the prices of other sellers, cost of goods, and required profit margins. This strategy is not the most efficient one, as changing rules manually can be time-consuming, but it gives you immense flexibility to change the prices according to market conditions.
This is probably the most effective and efficient repricing technique out of the three, as it uses advanced algorithms and machine learning techniques to analyze market data and come up with accurate pricing decisions. The only flaw with the algorithmic pricing method is that it demands a significant investment in technology and expertise.
As you can see, each of these strategies has its own pros and cons. So carefully choose a strategy based on your resources, goals, and budget. But we recommend using automatic repricing tools like Repricer, Bqool, and Seller Snap to ensure that you are pricing your products competitively.
Why am I not winning the Amazon Buy Box?
There could be several reasons why you are not winning the Amazon Buy Box depending on whether you are a sole seller or distributor on the platform.
Here are a few reasons you are not winning the prestigious Buy Box as a distributor –
- Your prices are not competitive.
- You are using a fulfillment method that is slower or less reliable than others.
- You have low seller ratings indicating low seller performance.
- You have very low stock levels and run out of stock regularly.
- You fulfil orders very late.
- You are not Prime eligible.
Here are a few reasons for not being able to win Buy Box as a sole seller –
- You have low seller ratings indicating low seller performance.
- You have poor customer ratings and reviews.
- Your product details are not complete such as titles, images, and descriptions, are incomplete or inaccurate.
- You have low stock levels and run out of stock regularly.
- You fulfill orders very late.
Fix all the above issues to improve your chances of winning the Amazon Buy Box in 2023.
Lost Amazon Buy Box – What next?
The Amazon Buy Box is undoubtedly one of the most promising ways to improve your sales on Amazon. But if it evades you or you lose it after winning it, do not be dejected. You can still win the Buy Box by:
You can still win the Buy Box if you are a distributor:
- By setting a competitive pricing
- By ensuring that you deliver products on time and faster than your competitors.
- By keeping your ODR below 1%.
- By ensuring that you are Prime eligible.
If you are a sole seller, you can win Buy Box by:
- Encouraging customer reviews and addressing any negative feedback in a timely and professional manner.
- Continuously monitoring and analyzing your sales and competitors to stay ahead of the curve.
- Keeping a close eye on seller rating, customer feedback and returns.
If that doesn’t work, you can always try to be present in the Other Sellers section of Amazon. Now this section might not be as prominent as the Buy Box, but you still get good visibility over sellers who are not visible at all. But remember – to feature in this section, you must still meet all the eligibility criteria of Buy Box.
Managing Amazon marketplaces requires expert knowledge and a deep understanding of how the platform works. Many D2C brands and E-commerce businesses find themselves in a challenging position to optimize their sales and profitability on Amazon. As a D2C enabler, ANS Commerce can help brands like yourself, by providing comprehensive marketplace services, including account setup, optimization, and management, ensuring a strong brand presence and maximizing sales potential on the platform.
By following the strategies outlined in this blog, such as analyzing pricing, improving fulfillment methods, enhancing product detail, boosting customer feedback, and increasing inventory, sellers can increase their chances of winning the Amazon Buy Box and boosting their sales on Amazon.
If you need further help on Amazon Buy Box or want assistance in setting up your e-commerce store, reach out to us by booking a demo.