What's even more of a vital tool for Amazon sellers outside of Prime Day? Winning the Buy Box.
Amazon may have no small number of resources available for third party sellers to drive traffic. Sponsored Product and Display as. PPC. Enhanced A+ Content. But it's the Buy Box that's reportedly responsible for conversion rates of up to 83 percent.
It may be a tool that can drive your Amazon sales to entirely new heights. But it's a tool you just can't purchase.
Why the Amazon Buy Box Matters
There's one factor facing consumers that Amazon shares with brick and mortar commerce: indecision.
It's been estimated that the average session duration on Amazon in 2022 was just shy of ten minutes. Compared to in-store shopping, that might seem like a relatively short span. Except there's one crucial difference between Amazon and in-store shopping.
Customers on Amazon are just as likely to be shopping for a specific item as they are to browse.
The Buy Box addresses a potential customer's indecision directly. It speeds up the check-out process and helps streamline purchases. It doesn't just imply a purchase. It practically commands it through two simple words: "Buy Now."
Some 80 percent of all Amazon purchases are the result of the Buy Box. But the Buy Box doesn't just drive Amazon sales. It drives your brand. It increases visibility. It helps ensure customer loyalty by establishing you as a featured merchant. And it gives your brand a considerable leg up over your competition.
Who is Eligible For the Amazon Buy Box?
Amazon Buy Box eligibility is only available to merchants with a professional seller account selling new items. That's because the Buy Box is a proprietary feature, which means Amazon will automatically favor sellers who are already using their internal marketing services.
And for the most part, FBA seller accounts generally don’t have the time to fulfill their own orders.
That doesn't necessarily mean seller fulfilled merchants will be excluded. They just won't have any added advantage.
In addition, Amazon recommends the following seller metrics as the bare minimum for Buy Box eligibility:
Cancellation rates of less than 2.5 percent
Late shipment rates under 4 percent
On time delivery rates of at least 97 percent
Order defect rates below 1 percent
Return dissatisfaction rates under 10 percent
Valid tracking rates over 95 percent
Meeting these criteria for at least six months may be minimum requirements for Buy Box eligibility. But it still won't grant you automatic access.
The Science of Winning the Buy Box
Winning the Amazon Buy Box rests on two fundamental pillars: product pricing and fulfillment metrics. Both of which can have a reciprocal influence on one another. And both of which should command your full attention if you hope to survive on Amazon, Buy Box or not.
Competitive pricing may not seem like rocket science, but it does depend on Amazon's landed price; the total amount your product retails for, including shipping and handling costs.
While competitive pricing isn't just about the lowest price, the more competitive your landed price is with other sellers, the greater your product pricing advantage is going to be.
There's just one problem with this theory.
The competitiveness of your product pricing may entice new customers but does it generate profit? Every week, multiple sellers rival one another in the hopes of earning that coveted Amazon Buy Box. And at the end of the week, they don't always have a lot to show for it.
Make sure your products are competitively priced just low enough to entice without costing you in the long run. In other words? Make certain the price advantage for your customers isn't actually a disadvantage in sales for you.
Fulfillment metrics, on the other hand, helps constitute high seller performance. And high seller performance can be largely dependent on any number of factors, including:
Seller feedback score
Customer response time
Is the Buy Box an exact science? No. Much like everything else on Amazon, there is a Buy Box algorithm which determines eligibility and ensures a constant rotation of sellers. But the Amazon Buy Box algorithm isn't the least bit predictable. It requires a certain amount of seller dexterity; a dexterity which balances consistency with creativity.
The Art of Winning the Buy Box
Competitively pricing your products may seem like one of the most obvious ways of winning the Buy Box, but it's also a time consuming one.
It requires constant review of both other vendors as well as your own profit margins. And if you're hoping to list multiple product lines through the Amazon Buy Box, you may find yourself spending more time on pricing strategies and less on actual product development.
There's a host of automated pricing solutions available from third party vendors which claim to gain you instant access to Amazon Buy Box eligibility; and while some might perform better than others, most should probably be taken with a grain of salt.
Amazon's own automated pricing solution is probably the most reliable and easiest to use. It requires nothing more than logging into your Amazon Seller Central account, clicking on the Automate Pricing drop down from your Inventory tab and creating a new pricing tool for each ASIN. From there, you can choose to match, beat, or stay above the listed Buy Box price.
But it's not just price alone which can help you win and maintain your Buy Box status. Your fulfillment performance can be even more critical to your eligibility.
If you're not currently using Amazon FBA services, you're going to be finding yourself spending more time on fulfillment than necessary; and you will find yourself making errors which can wind up costing you a good chunk of your business.
In fact, the likelihood of seller fulfilled merchants matching FBA sellers is virtually none. That's because Amazon Buy Box rotation depends on both seller performance as well as pricing. And if you're having difficulty fulfilling orders or providing stellar customer service, you may want to reconsider investing in FBA.
How Do I Know If I'm Eligible For The Amazon Buy Box?
Verifying your eligibility for the Amazon Buy Box is simple.
Log into your Amazon Seller Central account
Navigate to the Manage Inventory page from the drop down on your Inventory tab.
Click on Preferences.
Look for the Buy Box Eligible field under the Column Display tab.
Select Show When Available.
Review the Buy Box Eligible column for any available ASIN
Tips on How to Win the Buy Box
Always ensure your product listings are up to date and optimized with clear, keyword-rich descriptions, bullet points and high resolution images.
Periodically review competitor prices and analyze how you can lower yours without sacrificing profit margins.
Unauthorized resellers offering aggressive pricing tactics have been a tremendous problem for many vendors. Unfortunately, Amazon doesn't automatically review whether or not a merchant is authorized to resell. Don't bother confronting unauthorized resellers. Report them directly to Amazon within 48 hours of their listing.
Avoid selling the same product on other marketplaces. Amazon can actually penalize you for selling externally at a comparable or lower price.
Emphasize customer service by personalizing interactions with customers, but be careful to avoid violating Amazon seller communication policies.
Maintain a positive seller feedback rating of at least 90 percent for six months or more.
Who's Favored to Win the Buy Box?
Amazon doesn't just favor FBA merchants when considering Buy Box eligibility. They favor sellers leveraging their own proprietary set of marketing and advertising solutions, as well.
That's largely because investing in Amazon optimization indicates that you're dedicated and committed to succeeding on Amazon.
Unfortunately, managing Amazon optimization yourself can be as confusing as it is lengthy. And you may have neither the time nor experience to do so.
There's no guarantee that winning the Amazon Buy Box will allow you to maintain the Buy Box. But it's a status you can be proud of. And you hope to be competitive with other Amazon sellers, you may have no other choice but to think inside the Box.
Color More Lines can help you win the Buy Box through best in class optimization strategies which can drive your Amazon sales. Find out more at Color More Lines