Retailers featured on Amazon’s buy box for product pages sell more products, so the natural question is: How can you get your products featured in the buy box?
How Can You Win the Buy Box?
Amazon is designed around making consumers happy. From customer features like Prime membership perks down to the nuts and bolts of Amazon, including the elements of product pages.
Product pages are organized for the consumer, where sellers appear and what product details are populated are designed to optimize how consumers interact with Amazon, and ultimately to encourage them to purchase more.
TIP: Learn More about What’s on a product detail page, and other product detail page elements which influence conversions before you start diving into the buy box.
Amazon’s product pages, including the buy box are organized and populated to optimize the customer experience. The Amazon Buy Box for product pages is populated based on the best experience for consumers as determined by Amazon.
For Amazon sellers, the buy box is so much more than a place where shoppers start purchase on Amazon- it’s the difference between success or treading water on the largest ecommerce site worldwide.
- $56 billion of Amazon’s $62 billion sales happen through Amazon’s buy box
- 82% of Amazon’ sales happen through the Buy box
Buy Box Algorithm
Buy Box ownership is constantly updated to reflect the best user experience for consumers. If you own the buy box for a product page, you are not guaranteed to keep it and may never own it again.
Which sellers are featured in the buy box can change frequently, or infrequently based on seller attributes and other variables.
Which seller owns the Buy Box is always determined by what Amazon thinks the best experience for the consumer is.
Here are the major variables which Amazon uses to determine which sellers are featured in the Buy Box.
Buy Box Requirements
For Amazon to even consider you as a Buy Box winner, a sellers need to meet the following requirements:
- Maintain a Professional Seller Account
- Sell on Amazon (Features Seller Status)
- Attain and sustain high seller Rating and On- Time Delivery Rate
- Sustain less than 1% Order Defect Rate
- Items must be New and In Stock
Landed Price– Total item price (including shipping)
One of the major draws of Amazon is it’s low prices. The Walmart of the web, Amazon encourages merchants to compete with one another for the Buy Box with one of the major variables for Buy Box placement as pricing. Amazon calculates pricing based on the total product amount- including shipping.
Amazon sellers are constantly tweaking product prices to edge one another out on the Buy Box. To determine what products you want to own the Buy Box for- check out the Buy Box winning price:
On the Manage Inventory page, click the Preferences button, and select Show when available for the current Buy Box winning price. Buy Box winning prices are displayed for “New” condition listings only.
Landed Price Variables: Determine whether you can afford to own the Buy Box current price by considering your:
- Amazon Seller fees
- Return cost
- Amazon budget
Remember other Amazon sellers, and Amazon will continue to change product pricing to win the Buy Box. Pricing manipulation is a constant battle to the bottom- one Amazon can afford more than most third party sellers.
Fulfillment method– The method through which sellers package, ship, sort and send Amazon purchases
Amazon allows merchants to use their own fulfillment, or fulfillment providers to sell on Amazon. A third popular choice that sellers can choose for some or all of their items is Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).
FBA- Fulfillment by Amazon. Amazon’s fulfillment service, a paid option for Amazon sellers who do not wish to bother with, or cannot handle fulfillment. Learn more about FBA here.
Many sellers who are looking to win the Buy Box choose to use Fulfillment by Amazon(FBA). Amazon is more likely to highlight its own products and services on the marketplace.
Amazon rates FBA with perfect scores for the following variables which influence the Buy Box:
- Shipping Time
- On Time Delivery Rate
- Inventory Depth
Sellers shipping impacts Buy Box ownership and overlaps with pricing and availability. Amazon calculat
How long the item takes to shipes shipping impact on the Buy Box based on:
- Projected shipping time and actual shipping
For time sensitive and perishable items shipping varies, but Amazon generally weight shipping based on the following time frames:
- 0-2 Days
- 3-7 Days
- 8-13 Days
- 14+ days
Amazon wants shoppers to find what they’re looking for. If your item is Out of stock, Amazon will get it from another seller.
“If you have no current stock for a product, you cannot win the Buy Box.”- Amazon
The more you can maintain product stock the more likely you can influence winning the Buy Box.
If you are selling on the Marketplace using your own fulfillment, be sure to have inventory management and fulfillment aligned so that your products are always in stock. Ideally you’d want to do this for the majority of your inventory. However, at the bare minimum this is something which you want to do for your best selling products.
For merchants using Fulfillment by Amazon, availability is determined as products which are in Amazon’s warehouse- not one’s which are in your warehouse or getting shipped to Amazon. Keep delivery time and fulfillment processing in mind when sending products to Amazon.
Update Stock Status
Keeping your inventory information up to date is just as important as actually having inventory available. If you tell Amazon a product is available, and you can’t fulfill an order you run the risk of incurring negative reviews- a major factor for seller ratings.
Seller Rating- Customer experience score based on seller performance including feedback, shipping performance, and customer response rate.
More reliable sellers are a better option for consumers. They are more likely to get products on time, of high quality, and administer superior customer service.
Amazon calculates merchants’ Customer Metrics based on:
- Perfect Order Performance (POP)- Percent of orders that are perfectly accepted, processed, and fulfilled
- Order Defect Rate (ODR)- Percent of orders which generated negative feedback or A-Z guarantee refund
- Pre- Fulfillment Cancellation Rate- How much of your products are in stock to sell on Amazon
- Last Ship Rate- Number of orders which are confirmed a
fter the promised shipment date (3+ days beyond projected shipping)
- Percent of Orders Refunded- The number of orders consumers refund to your store is an indicator of inaccurate stock or faulty products
Amazon Advertisers seller Performance Targets or where Amazon encourages sellers to be with customer service (on threat of Amazon seller removal) are aggressive:
Less than 1% Order Defect Rate
Less than 2.5% Pre-Fulfillment Cancel Rate
Less than 4% Late Shipment Rate
Amazon’s strict fulfillment standards also impact price competitiveness as quicker shipping often costs more, and can increase the total cost of an items sold on Amazon.
The seller rating is a non-public score that Amazon sellers can view in seller central.
Seller Feedback Rating/ Score
Feedback Score– Customer Experience score
Amazons Feedback Rating is constantly updating based on aggregate reviews from Amazon orders, and constitutes an average of order rating. The Feedback Rating is comprised of orders from the preceding 365 days but is weighted heavier for orders from the last 90 days.
Here is a look at how different variables that impact seller ratings:
Buy Box eligibility is influenced by which Feedback Rating bracket you fall into, not just your Feedback rating.Feedback Buy Box groups are as follows:
Ready to sell more on Amazon?
For more information on how to sell effectively on Amazon, check out these resources:
- What’s the Best Way to Sell on Amazon?
- How Much Does it Cost to Sell on Amazon?
- What should I know about Amazon’s Product Detail Page?
- How Do I Win the Buy Box?