The Amazon Buy Box increases your product and brand visibility and establishes customer trust. Here's how to win the Amazon Buy Box in 2023.
The Buy Box is responsible for over 82% of sales on Amazon, so knowing how to win the Buy Box on Amazon is one of the most critical things you can do to beat your competitors and increase your sales. This article covers the top four criteria for Amazon Buy Box eligibility and concrete strategies you can use to fulfill those criteria.
What is the Amazon Buy Box?
The Amazon Buy Box is the box located on the right-hand side of the product detail page. This box allows customers to add items to their shopping cart. This coveted real estate isn't open to all sellers — only businesses with exceptional seller metrics have a chance of winning the Amazon Buy Box.
If there's more than one highly ranked seller for a particular product, the eligible sellers will rotate in the Buy Box. Often, there is a wide range of merchants selling the same item, making the Buy Box position highly competitive.
Learning how to get the Buy Box on Amazon requires understanding how Amazon's algorithms function so you can increase your performance and get Amazon Buy Box eligibility.
What are the advantages of owning the Amazon Buy Box?
There are many specific advantages of owning the Amazon Buy Box that comprise the overall advantage: earning more sales. Let’s take a look at those advantages now.
Increased Product Visibility
The Buy Box is one of the first things a customer sees when they view a product page. If your listing wins the Buy Box, it will therefore be much more visible to customers, and they'll be likelier to buy from you instead of other sellers. Winning the Buy Box typically leads to an increase in sales and a higher overall sales rank on Amazon.
In fact, many buyers don't even realize that there are multiple sellers on the listing. They just find what they want and click the "Buy Now" button. If you're in the Buy Box, you get the benefits of all of those impulse purchases!
Maximum Brand Recognition and Credibility
An intangible yet significant benefit of winning the Buy Box is a boost in your brand's credibility. As we will get into later, optimal seller metrics are required to win the Buy Box, so doing so is a subtle vote of confidence from Amazon for your brand that increases your trustworthiness in the eyes of consumers.
Improved Customer Trust and Loyalty
With the trustworthiness that the Buy Box provides, customers are more likely to continue buying from you. Building brand loyalty among customers gets you those coveted recurring sales. It builds a defense around your business because you’re less subject to future changes in the online marketplace’s algorithms.
When you increase sales volume through the Buy Box, that means more customer data that you can use for your re-marketing efforts down the road.
Criteria for Amazon Buy Box Eligibility in 2023
While the algorithms behind tech giants like Amazon can seem like a mysterious black box, there are specific criteria that factor into how the algorithms evaluate each Amazon business seller.
Professional Seller Account
Only sellers who have bought a Professional Seller account (in Europe, this is called a Pro-Merchant Account) are eligible for the Buy Box. An individual seller (known in Europe as a Basic account) is not eligible.
Here's how Amazon defines a Professional account. Professional merchants are those who do some or all of the following:
Sell over 40 units per month
Advertise their items
Qualify for Buy Box placement
Use advanced selling tools such as APIs and reports
Sell items in restricted categories
Delivery and Shipping Times
One of Amazon's hallmarks is fast shipping, and it's what today’s customers expect. You have a better chance of winning the Buy Box if your shipping time is two days or less (especially for time-sensitive items like holiday gifts). If you don't specify otherwise, Amazon will default to setting your shipping time at three to five business days.
Related to your shipping time, your late-shipment rate is also critical. If you have a fast shipping time but don't deliver orders when promised, then the speedy shipping you offer is moot.
If you don't want to use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) but still need fulfillment outsourcing, third-party logistics (3PLs) are an option. 3PLs usually have lower storage fees than Amazon, better communication than Amazon, and more flexibility in your product packaging. Choosing a 3PL with fulfillment centers across the country ensures that you'll be able to deliver fast shipping and rack up those positive customer reviews.
One important aspect to consider about 3PLs, however, is that using Amazon FBA gives you an advantage in winning the Buy Box. Naturally, Amazon grades itself highly on fulfillment factors like order defect rate (ODR), shipping time, and inventory management. So if you use FBA, you might have an easier time winning the Buy Box even if your pricing is slightly higher than your competitors. On the other hand, fulfillment-by-merchant sellers can still win the Buy Box, but this will require low prices and very high seller scores and customer satisfaction.
If you use FBA, Amazon will take care of many of the factors that go into your performance metrics. However, there are still important factors to watch, such as:
Valid tracking rate (the higher, the better)
On-time delivery (the higher, the better)
Late shipment rate (the lower the rate, the better)
ODR (the lower the number, the better)
Seller time in responding to customers (aim for under 12 hours)
Both feedback score and feedback count are important. Feedback count refers to the total number of customers who have given a seller feedback. Feedback score is a seller's percentage of positive feedback relative to their total feedback count. New sellers have lower feedback counts, so a single negative or positive review impacts their feedback score more than sellers with a long history.
Additionally, remember that seller feedback and product reviews differ from each other. Seller feedback shows up in your Amazon Seller Central and applies to your storefront. By contrast, product reviews show up on product pages no matter who the seller is. Sometimes, customers leave negative reviews about products on seller feedback pages, but you can ask Amazon to remove them.
How to Get the Amazon Buy Box
Here’s how to win the Amazon buy box: competitive pricing, superior customer service, strategic product pricing, optimizing your seller metrics, and fine-tuning product listings. Below are concrete tips to optimize each of these elements.
Create a Product Pricing Strategy To Keep Up With Competitive Prices
While it’s tempting to simply offer the lowest price on a product to beat every other third-party seller to the Buy Box, a race to the bottom isn’t necessarily the best way to go. Instead, employ strategic repricing strategies to win the Buy Box and consider ways to overcome price sensitivity. After all, offering a low price that isn’t profitable is a quick way to go out of business.
Consider some of these ideas for your item pricing strategy:
Exclude your poorly rated competition using a repricer like Flashpricer. Sellers with low ratings have to compete by lowering their prices, but you don't want to race them to the bottom if your ratings are better than theirs. Use an automated tool to avoid this mistake. You can very much still win the Buy Box with a higher price if your seller rating is superior. That's why it's important to focus on the details so you can demand a higher price. (A good repricer will take this all into consideration when positioning your products to win the Buy Box).
Price your items according to their condition, so your used items aren't priced higher than the same items in new condition. Software tools like repricers will take care of this for you.
Set minimum prices so your prices never go below the minimum you need to make a profit. Be sure to include fees and shipping costs in your minimum prices. Advanced repricers (like Flashpricer) work the fees, shipping costs, taxes, etc. into their calculations so that you don't need to worry about factoring all of that into your minimum pricing threshold. Just put the minimum amount you need to make on the sale, and the software takes care of the math!
Prioritize Customer Service and Efficient Customer Response Times
Communicating with customers throughout the sale process builds rapport with customers — and can make them more understanding if there's a delay in shipping or some other slip-up. To increase customer satisfaction, let customers know right away if anything with their order changes.
Track, Measure, and Apply Key Seller Metrics
Tracking and optimizing the following seller performance metrics will make you more competitive for the Buy Box:
ODR: Under 1%
Late shipment rate: Under 4%
Pre-fulfillment cancel rate: Under 2.5%
Refund rate: As low as possible
You can keep an eye on these metrics in your dashboard overviews of sales and store performance.
Fine-Tune Product Listings
To make the most of your product listings and improve sales, be sure to:
Write an eye-catching title
Include relevant keywords in the description
Use only high-resolution images
Correctly categorize the items
Additionally, always provide advanced attributes for your products, such as:
Type of materials
Form (cream, gel, capsule, etc.)
Optimize Your Product Prices in Real Time With Automation
Using a repricer drastically increases your efficiency in managing your listings and helps you win the Buy Box. Also known as eCommerce repricing software, this tool allows online retailers to automatically adjust their product prices based on market conditions. For example, if a competitor reduces their price on a popular product, a repricer can lower your product's price to match or beat their price. Or (crucially), it will keep your price the same if your competitor has a low rating.
Flashpricer's AI-powered pricing strategies offer lightning-fast price changes based on real-time data — so you always stay competitive and profitable. Their "Win the Buy Box" algorithm can be applied to your products and it will take all of the above factors into consideration while repricing your items with the primary goal of getting you into the coveted Buy Box over your competition. Here's to more wins (and revenue) in 2023!