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By Mike McLeod Updated on October 7, 2021

How to Win the Buy Box on Amazon and Boost Your Sales

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 must 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.

Photo of Amazon.com's homepage

What Is the Buy Box in Amazon?

The Buy Box in Amazon is 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.

 

Image of Amazon's Buy Now button below the Add to Cart icon

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. It makes it easier for deserving sellers to get a share of sales.

  • Note: Though it’s possible to make a sale if you don’t win the Buy Box, it’s less likely. Your product will be placed in the “other sellers” box below the Buy Box. Most consumers won’t bother to look there.

A lot goes into a Buy Box win, so you have to make sure your Amazon business is set up for success.

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 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 recommended that you choose Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) as long as it makes sense for your business. Amazon’s No. 1 concern is customer experience and the shipping process is a big part of customer satisfaction.

Using FBA allows Amazon to control that process. You send them your products and pay a small storage and fulfillment fee. Amazon workers pack and ship your product to your customers. This expedites shipping and ensures the process is smooth, keeping your customers 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 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 by winning the Buy Box.

For the Buy Box, Price on Amazon Rules

Buy Box products are often the lowest-priced products available. And if they’re not, they 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. If you can’t or are unwilling to, you’ll still need to be as close as possible to the lowest price available. If not, your chances of getting in the rotation are drastically reduced.

Several Amazon shipments stacked outside someone's front door

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 include the following:

  • 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, impacting your ability to become Amazon-Buy-Box eligible.

Some metrics are more important than others, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore them. Successful Amazon sellers try to improve their performance metrics, so Amazon (and customers) trust you. If you’re competing directly with Amazon for the Buy Box, these metrics can help you beat the company itself.

Make sure to put the satisfaction of the customer first. Create an enjoyable shopping process and get your customers their products quickly, without hassle. After that, encourage positive reviews, which legitimize your business and increase sales.

Why Is Winning the Buy Box on Amazon Important?

It’s important to win the Buy Box on Amazon because it dramatically increases your chances of making a sale. In fact, more than 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 proprietary products lets you beat the Amazon Buy Box algorithm.

    There are 2 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 to compete 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 Eligible for an Amazon Buy Box?

Sellers must do a few things before they’re Amazon-Buy-Box eligible.

Set Up 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 replenish your stock.

Check Your Eligibility

Check your Amazon Buy Box eligibility on Amazon Seller Central. Make sure to take action if you become ineligible for any reason.

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 can be useful in understanding your performance. It can also help you adjust your Amazon Buy Box strategy so you can consistently nab the coveted space.

Tracking your wins is one of the most important metrics to look for, as it can considerably affect your success. After all, 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.

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.

Mike McLeod is a former senior SEO specialist at Fast Capital 360. He has a passion for giving small business owners, like you, the financial and strategic tools they need to realize the American dream.
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