Amazon’s Buy Box is the featured section on a product detail page where customers can click-to-add directly into their shopping carts. Needless to say, winning the Buy Box can be a boom to sales. But because multiple sellers can sell the same product, it’s not uncommon to find your products “competing” with other listings to win the Buy Box. To the novice seller, this might all seem arbitrary — maybe even lucky. But Amazon’s product search takes multiple variables into consideration to decide what listing to show in the Buy Box.
Buy Box Eligibility
If you are a Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) seller, you’re already in the running to win the Buy Box. But for everyone else, you must meet certain requirements before you are eligible to compete for the coveted space:
- Have a professional seller account
- Perform well when it comes to metrics such as order defect rate, cancellation rate, and late shipment rate
- Have sufficient order volume so Amazon can assess how well you’re doing
You’ll also want to check to see if your items are Buy Box eligible. To do so:
- Log into Seller Central account
- Visit the Manage Inventory page
- Select Preferences
- Choose Buy Box Eligible
- Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page
With the Buy Box Eligible column you’ll be able to see the eligibility status for each of your ASINs.
After you’ve met the minimum requirements, the real competition begins. Amazon may rotate the Buy Box winner so if you don’t get it right away, keep working for your shot at the best spot in town.
1. Landed Price
Landed price is the product price total plus the shipping. Amazon takes all of this into account when determining the Buy Box winner, not just the price of the product. Your prices should be somewhere in the same ballpark as your competitors’ prices for the same product. If your prices are too high, you’ll miss out on sales. Too low and you may sell more but lose out on profit margins.
If you’re struggling to see how competitive your pricing strategy is, you can use the tools within Seller Central:
- See the winning offer by going to Manage Pricing and referencing the Buy Box Price column
- Reference the Pricing Dashboard to compare your price to other offers
- Use the Selling Coach Pricing Report to see pricing recommendations
Some really advanced sellers use product repricers, and with good reason. Repricing software automatically changes the price of your products based on a variety of competitive metrics. It can increase listing prices and bring them down, and you can set both upper and lower limits to avoid excessive changes. But keep in mind this isn’t an autopilot scenario; repricers should be managed closely to avoid costly changes.
Fast, efficient delivery is a must if you intend on winning the Buy Box. Customers will almost certainly choose the listing that offers the fastest, cheapest delivery. If you can offer free shipping, do so. If you can offer 2-day shipping, do that too. In other words, Amazon Prime is the way to go. Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) sellers have a better chance of winning the Buy Box.
If you aren’t an FBA seller, you can use Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) instead. SFP allows you to fulfill your own orders while gaining access to Prime customers. Of course, there are requirements and standards you must meet to qualify.
Regardless of your fulfillment method, always ship in the amount of time that you promise. Otherwise, it will lead to unhappy customers and your metrics will likely suffer.
Out of stock products don’t win the Buy Box. That’s why you want to keep your products in stock.
If you sell through other channels besides Amazon, keep an eye on inventory levels and always make sure Amazon has the most up-to-date availability for each product. The last thing you want is for a customer to order a product that’s no longer available. You can do this manually by updating the Available field in your Amazon inventory dashboard or use an order sync software to automatically update inventory levels.
4. Customer Service
Amazon prides themself as being customer-focused. That’s why when it comes to winning the Buy Box, they put an emphasis on great customer service.
As we mentioned in the minimum eligibility requirements, Amazon emphasizes the following customer focused metrics:
- Order Defect Rate. The number of orders with a defect divided by the number of orders in the relevant time period. Amazon considers the order to have a defect if it earns negative feedback, an A-to-z Guarantee claim that is not denied, or a service credit card chargeback. Your Order Defect Rate should be less than 1%.
- Cancellation Rate. The number of seller-fulfilled orders that the seller cancels before the ship-confirmation divided by the total number of seller-fulfilled orders in the relevant time period. Your pre-fulfillment Cancellation Rate should be less than 2.5%
- Late Shipment Rate. The number of seller-fulfilled orders that have a ship confirmation that weren’t completed until after the expected ship date divided by the total number of seller-fulfilled orders in the relevant time period. Your Late Shipping Rate should be less than 4%.
While Amazon lists those at the most important metrics, they still take all other metrics into consideration.
A good rule of thumb when it comes to customer service is to always reply to customer inquiries quickly. Long response times can lead to unsatisfied customers.
If you’re wondering how you’re doing, check your Account Health.
The Buy Box is associated with trust in the customer’s eye. Amazon carefully chooses the winner based on a combination of pricing and of seller metrics. Stay competitive and work on improving your metrics for the best shot at the Buy Box.