The Amazon Buy Box is what all successful amazon sellers compete to win. For those just learning how to sell on Amazon Marketplace, it’s a new concept. For veteran sellers, it’s the goal they tailor all of their efforts to reach.
If you want to learn how to win the Buy Box on Amazon, you have to know what it takes. Let’s go over what the Amazon Buy Box is, why it’s important and how to position yourself to win it and boost your sales.
What Is the Amazon Buy Box?
For new sellers who need the Amazon Buy Box explained, it’s the section on the right of a product detail page that allows customers to add the product to their cart or make an immediate purchase.
Each product on Amazon Marketplace has a details page that shows its price, description and buying options. It will look the same whether Amazon or a third-party retailer are selling the product.
When multiple sellers offer the same product, they compete to be placed in the Buy Box.
What Is a Buy Box Win on Amazon?
A Buy Box win on Amazon happens when you, as a seller, are placed in the coveted real estate.
Winning the Buy Box doesn’t give you a monopoly on the product. Amazon awards the Buy Box to eligible sellers on a rotating basis. You’ll still have to meet their standards to be included in the rotation, but it makes it easier for deserving sellers to get a share of sales.
Note: It’s still possible to make a sale if you don’t win, but it’s much more unlikely. Your product will be placed in the “other sellers” box below the Buy Box. Most consumers won’t bother to look there. And even the most frugal spenders will only consider choosing one of the other sellers if the price difference is great.
There is a lot that goes into a Buy Box win, so you have to make sure your Amazon business is set up for success.
Why Is it Important to Win the Buy Box?
The Amazon Buy Box is important because it dramatically increases your chances of making a sale. In fact, over 80% of all Amazon purchases are made through the Buy Box, and that percentage is higher for mobile transactions.
Winning the Buy Box on Amazon also helps you advertise your products. If you run sponsored product ads to customers searching for items like yours, these ads will stop running if you lose the Buy Box position.
Amazon’s headline search ads (which appear as banner ads on the search results pages), won’t stop running. But that can be a bad thing. If you don’t have the Buy Box, consumers that click on your ad may end up purchasing a product you sell from another seller that owns the Buy Box space.
What If I Sell My Own Products?
Selling your own, proprietary products essentially lets you beat the Amazon Buy Box algorithm.
There are two types of sellers on Amazon: private label and third-party resellers. As a private label seller, you sell products that are only available from you. This means you won’t have anyone you’ll be competing with on Amazon for the Buy Box. In this case, there won’t be a Buy Box at all. Instead, your product page will have a default “add to cart” button that works just the same.
Who Is Amazon Buy Box-Eligible?
Sellers must do a few things before they’re Amazon Buy Box-eligible.
Setup a Professional Seller Account
The first thing you have to do to win the Buy Box is to ensure you have a Professional Seller account.
Only sellers on this plan are eligible for the Buy Box. The plan costs $39.99 per month and is subject to Amazon’s seller fees.
Sell New Items
Only those selling new items are eligible to win a Buy Box on Amazon.
If you’re selling used items, you’ll be relegated to the separate “buy used” box for customers seeking products in that condition.
Keep Products in Stock
You must have products in stock to be Amazon Buy Box eligible. If you run out of inventory, you’ll be taken out of the rotation and it can hurt you in Amazon’s algorithm when you add more.
Check Your Eligibility
Your profile on Amazon Seller Central allows you to check the status of your Amazon Buy Box eligibility. Make sure to take action if you become ineligible for any reason.
How to Get the Buy Box on Amazon
Although Amazon keeps the exact algorithm used to determine who wins the Buy Box a secret, we do know what they look for. Follow these tips to get the Buy Box on Amazon consistently.
Optimize Your Fulfillment Method
The first part of your Amazon Buy Box strategy is to solidify your fulfillment method.
It’s highly recommended to choose Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) as long as it makes sense for your business. Amazon’s #1 concern is customer experience, with the shipping process being a big part of it.
Using FBA allows Amazon to control that process. You send them your products and pay a small storage and fulfillment fee, and their workers will pack and ship to your customers. This lowers shipping time and ensures the process is smooth, and your customers are happy. All of this helps boost your seller metrics.
Small business tip: It’s possible to win a Buy Box on Amazon by fulfilling orders yourself, but it’s much more difficult. You’ll need to be able to process and ship orders fast, matching the quality control that a billion-dollar corporation like Amazon can achieve.
It may cut into your profit margin, but consider how much more you can make if it’s the difference in winning the Buy Box.
For the Buy Box, Price on Amazon Rules
When looking at the Buy Box price on Amazon product detail pages, you’re likely to find the cheapest listing available. Even if it’s not, it will be close.
Amazon wants to put the best possible option for its customers in the Buy Box. If they don’t, they risk losing their cut of a sale. Therefore, pricing plays a big role in winning the Buy Box on Amazon.
Do your research to find what others are charging for the products you sell. Try to offer the lowest price when possible. If you can’t, or are unwilling to, you’ll still need to be as close as possible to the cheapest price available. If not, your chances of getting in the rotation are drastically reduced.
Focus on Seller Metrics to Create a Great Customer Experience
Your seller performance metrics are considered in the algorithm to get a Buy Box on Amazon. Amazon’s commitment to customer experience leads us to believe they’re weighted heavily.
Some of the metrics to monitor are:
- Shipping metrics (late shipments, on-time delivery, valid tracking codes and more)
- Order defect rate
- Number of reviews / product rating
- Customer response time
- Inventory count
These seller performance metrics go into your seller rating, which impacts your ability to become Amazon Buy Box eligible and make more sales.
Some metrics are more important than others, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore them. Successful Amazon sellers try to improve all of their performance metrics, so Amazon (and customers) trust you. If you’re competing with Amazon for the Buy Box directly, these metrics can allow you to beat the company itself.
Make sure to put the satisfaction of the customer first. Create an enjoyable process for them and get them their product quickly and without hassle. After that, encourage positive reviews which legitimize your business and increase sales.
Track Your Amazon Buy Box Performance
After learning how to get the Buy Box on Amazon, your work isn’t done. Tracking how often you win the placement helps you understand your performance and adjust your Amazon Buy Box strategy to nab the coveted space consistently. It’s often the most important metric to look for, as it can have a considerable effect on your success.
Failure to win the Buy Box on Amazon consistently decreases sales, loses customer trust and can make it very difficult for you to make money selling on Amazon in any capacity.
If you’re not winning the Buy Box on Amazon, make sure to review your eligibility and follow best practices to get back in the game.