A Guide to Winning Amazon’s Buy Box in 2018

It’s no secret that winning Amazon’s buy box is the key to succeeding as a seller.

For those who don’t know, the buy box is the “Add to Cart” and “Buy Now” option listed at the far right of the product page. This is where 80-90% of the purchases on Amazon take place and perhaps the most valuable real estate for sellers on the site. The Buy Box privileges rotate amongst competitive sellers, but there are a few methods you can use to ensure you get your time in the spotlight. This article will outline the Amazon Buy Box formula and give you the tools you need to win it and get started Amazon SEO services.

How to Win the Buy Box

Determining Buy Box Eligibility

The first step in determining how to get the Buy Box on Amazon is to make sure you are a subscription-based seller with Amazon Buy Box eligible products. To check to see if your products are Buy Box eligible, visit the “Manage Inventory” section in Seller Central. Click “Preferences” then “Buy Box Eligible” in the drop-down to create a new column which will indicate Buy Box eligibility of each product.

When determining where or not you are Amazon Buy Box eligible, Amazon will consider a range of factors. The most important one, however, is your price and fulfillment reputation. Contrary to popular belief, having the lowest price will not guarantee you the Buy Box. As long as your price is competitive with other sellers, you have a shot at winning it. If all of the sellers are on par with one another in terms of price and fulfillment, then the other, more nuanced factors become more important.

Pricing

In determining your product price, you must consider all of the factors (seller fees, budget, shipping costs etc.) that will contribute to the price that the customer sees. Sellers are constantly pushing to lower their prices and reframe what competitive means for any particular product, so make sure you are keeping a close eye on your prices. That will also help you to boost up sales through Amazon PPC optimization.

Fulfillment

As far as fulfillment is concerned, using Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) is the best way to ensure your Amazon Seller Buy Box win. If you use FBA, Amazon will handle the housing, packing, and shipping of your products. This allows Amazon to have greater control over the sale and thus, lessen their liability and reputation in trusting you as a seller. However, if your specific products do not allow you to use FBA, you will need to ensure that your fulfillment is in compliance with the Amazon standards.

If you are going to be fulfilling your orders yourself, it is important to consider your customer experience score. Amazon will  favor the sellers who adhere to their strict standards of customer obsession, so making sure your shipping, tracking, and return protocols are well-oiled is key. The Seller-Fulfilled seller rating is calculated based on a few key metrics. These metrics are: Order Defect Rate (=<1%), Return Dissatisfaction Rate (Target = < 10%), Buyer-Seller Contact Metrics (Target = < 25%), Recent Customer Metrics Data, and Valid Tracking Rate.

Feedback

Also, your seller feedback can have an effect on your customer experience score. It is important to understand the difference between product feedback and seller feedback, and how these two things are often confused. If negative product feedback is accidentally published as seller feedback, reach out to Amazon immediately and they will quickly fix the issue. Similarly, there is “packaging feedback” which will sometimes end up in your “seller feedback” section. As this is typically and Amazon issue (if you are using FBA), reach out to Amazon and they will fix this for you. You can get a snapshot of your customer experience score by visiting the “Account Health” section of your seller dashboard.

Managing Inventory

Finally, ensuring your products are well-stocked is important in taking on the volume of orders that comes along with an Amazon Seller Buy Box win. You must understand which of your products are top-sellers and ensure that you have enough stock to match your increase in demand. Amazon will likely give the buy box win to someone who has 50 of a product in stock versus someone who has 5.

Troubleshooting

Repricing

If you are following the above formula and are still having trouble winning the Buy Box, there are a few tools at your disposal that may help increase your chances. If you are worried about the pricing of your item, there is a range of repricing tools that you have at your disposal that will help ensure the price is right. These come in the form of manual, rule-based, and algorithmic repricers, each of which will do something a little bit different. If you are using manual repricing, then you will be adjusting the prices of eac of your ASINS by hand. This can be somewhat of a painstaking process, especially if you have a lot of products, but it will allow you to exert the most control over your inventory. Rule-based reprices, for example, might make your product $0.50 cheaper than the cheapest available seller for that particular product. This is a good method to use if you are not so worried about your margins and, instead, are focusing on exposure and getting your products in consumer hands. If you are looking for something slightly more intricate, algorithmic processors will factor in more information and produce a price that is optimized based on a strict set of criteria.

Look for Unauthorized Dealers

Another action you can take to mitigate risk in your Buy Box win is to look for unauthorized dealers of your product and confront them head on. If you see someone who is not authorized selling your product for far cheaper than what is considered the competitive price, reach out to them and make sure they know that your are aware of their presence on the site. File a complaint with Amazon and/or have a legal professional take a look to help you determine the correct course of corrective action.

Why You May Still Not Win Buy Box

Sometimes, no one wins the Buy Box. There are a few reasons as to why this happens, so keep them in mind should you get frustrated. First off, if Amazon notices a high amount of volatility in the pricing of a particular product, it will revoke all Buy Box privileges. This is because this sort of behavior is suspicious and it is in Amazon’s best interest to protect their customers from scammers and counterfeit goods. Another reason this may happen is because the product is being sold for less on other sites. Amazon, for the most part, guarantees the lowest price, so this will be seen as a red flag to them and they will revoke Buy Box privileges until a resolution is reached. Last, if there is a high volume of customer complaints or negative feedback around a product, The Buy Box will be removed until there is an investigation into the source of the complaints.

Conclusion

Determining how to win the Amazon Buy Box is a process which takes a great deal of refining, iterating, and luck. Doing the most basic things like having prime eligible products, using FBA, and having competitive prices will always be your best bet in winning it. While these tips will certainly increase your chances, Buy Box privileges are meant to be cyclical, so don’t get too down on yourself if you lose out here and there. It’s all part of the e-commerce game. Happy selling!

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