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Amazon Buy Box

10 Feb 2022

What is the Amazon Buy Box? And why brands need to own it.

As of 2021, the majority of UK shoppers (86%) had shopped on Amazon at some point – with 70% visiting the site at least once a month – presenting a huge opportunity for retailers. 

But as a seller, you need to seek any advantage you can over your competitors, whether that’s pricing, special offers, or in this case, winning the prestigious ‘Buy Box’. But what exactly is the Buy Box, and how can you gain the competitive advantage by ‘winning’ it?

What is the Amazon Buy Box?

The Buy Box is in essence the point of sale on Amazon.

When a customer is viewing a product on Amazon, there is a white box displayed containing payment and delivery information for the product. This is the Buy Box.

The thing about the Buy Box for sellers is that even if there are multiple suppliers of the same product, there will only ever be one ‘Add to Basket’ or ‘Buy Now’ button displayed in the Buy Box at any one time. Even if these sellers are alternated in rotation throughout the day, these buttons will be assigned to only one supplier at a time, depending on which best meets certain criteria (see below). This is called ‘winning’ the Buy Box.

Benefits of the Buy Box

The benefit of winning the Buy Box is that you secure the purchase from the shopper for the item they’re looking at. If you don’t win, the listing remains but you lose the transaction to the winning seller. 

To highlight how important this is, over four-fifths (82%) of Amazon sales go through the Buy Box. This means that if you don’t win it, you are only competing for 18% of the market, and that could be against any number of rival vendors.

Winning the Buy Box puts your offer front and centre, right next to the ‘Add to Basket’ or ‘Buy Now’. Not only is it the easiest purchase option for the shopper, but it’s essentially an endorsement from Amazon for you as a vendor.

Another benefit to winning the Buy Box is that it allows you to better utilise Amazon PPC (pay-per-click) because you’ll be able to run Sponsored Product ads, and you’ll be able to attribute the sale directly to your offer. Conversely, even if you put the effort into creating the listing in the first place, if you don’t win the Buy Box, you won’t fulfil the sale. 

But if you do win it, this opens up a whole new avenue for promoting your listing, and gives you yet another advantage over your competitors.

How to win the Buy Box

Before you can put yourself in the running to win the Buy Box, you’ll need to find out whether your products are ‘Buy Box eligible’. To do this, simply go to your ‘Manage Inventory’ page, where you will see ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in the column under the ‘Buy Box Eligible’ header. If your products are eligible, you need to provide the most attractive offer to be in contention.

Then, based on the following five criteria, Amazon will calculate which seller, including its own Amazon retail channel, most deserves to own the Buy Box for any given product. 

  1. Professional selling account

There are two types of seller accounts available – Individual or Professional. Unfortunately, only sellers with the Professional account are eligible to win the Buy Box. This account costs £25 per month, as opposed to the Individual account, which has no monthly fee, but charges per sale.

  1. Performance metrics

The performance metrics Amazon uses are designed to identify and analyse the quality of your service. These metrics include your Order Defect Rate, Cancellation Rate, and Late Shipment Rate. The better you perform against these metrics, the better chance you have of winning the Buy Box for your products.

Top tip: You can check how well you’re performing against these metrics by visiting your Account Health page. It will also help to utilise data analytics and optimisation tools, such as the Ignite platform, to see where you can improve performance and boost your sales, as this will give you an advantage while competing for the Buy Box. 

  1. Price

With Amazon taking pride in being competitive, it will always want to offer the lowest price to shoppers, so make sure your offering is as competitive as it can be.

  1. Delivery (Prime) / FBA

Apart from price, your delivery terms should also be competitive. The benefit of using FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) is having the Prime badge, so your product will arrive sooner than most FBM (Fulfilled by Merchant) orders. A product which is priced competitively but won’t arrive for more than seven days is unlikely to win the Buy Box.

  1. Order volume

It might not come as a surprise, but Amazon also requires you to have a sufficient order volume. The qualifying volume will vary from category to category, but the higher your order volume is, the better the chance of winning the all-important Buy Box.

You’ve got to be in it to win it

Winning the Amazon Buy Box could be the difference between selling unprecedented quantities of your product and getting lost in the shuffle. As Amazon is such a competitive site, there’s no guarantee that you’ll win it straight away, but by focusing on the steps above, you’ll have the best chance. 

Do you need help winning the Buy Box for your products? Schedule a chat with our team of Amazon experts today. 

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