Amazon Buy Box: What Is It, and Why Is It Important to Your E-Commerce Success?

Amazon Buy Box: What Is It, and Why Is It Important to Your E-Commerce Success?

Selling on Amazon is something that has helped establish and grow businesses all around the world. It provides an amazing platform by which the world can access your products, allowing you to expand your market exponentially in just one snap.

But the problem is there’s probably more than one seller who’s selling the same items. So instead of just one seller getting to the Buy Box by default, you now have multiple resellers vying for that spot.

If you’re relatively new to Amazon, you’re probably wondering what makes the Amazon Buy Box so special. This article will serve as your guide in understanding this and how important it is to your success.

The Amazon Buy Box: What Is It?

Do you see the white box on the right-hand side of the page with the “Add to Cart” button? That’s the Buy Box. And as insignificant as it may be from the customer’s point, the Amazon Buy Box is prime real estate here. As Amazon pursues a highly customer-centric model in determining its business decisions, this is designed to provide them the best value for their money. They show here the product from a seller that has the combination of the best price and best ratings. If there are many sellers that provide comparatively the same value in terms of quality, price, and other relevant factors, Amazon will just rotate these sellers. This means if customers A and B are interested in lip balm, they will see a product from different sellers.

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Why Is It So Important?

Let’s say that there are 10 different sellers for the same brand and model of a smartphone. The consumer will obviously want the best price. As the fulfillment Amazon Buy Box satisfies is the best value for a specific product, those who are able to provide this will have the most exposure.

This is something that a great majority of consumers take advantage of as well. This is why 83 percent of all sales go to companies featured there. For purchases made on mobile or app, it’s even higher.

Amazon, an established authority in their own platform, already does all the convincing for you. The reputation of the Buy Box in featuring the best meet of price and value means that people will most likely buy from you even if they haven’t heard from you before.

By getting featured, your products are exposed to people who are ready to buy. Therefore, this space has one of the highest conversion rates anywhere on the site.

How Does It Work?

No one knows the secret formula on how to win the Buy Box on Amazon. Using a complex algorithm developed to process millions of data points in consideration, Amazon ‘chooses’ an eligible seller for the box. Then, one to three sellers become runners-up of sorts and get a place in the More Buying Choices box.

Although no one knows how exactly this algorithm works, we’re able to surmise the following:

  • The decision is data-backed. All the data for each eligible seller is broken down into many categories and subcategories. Then, using the same parameters, the algorithm decides a winner from a pool of eligible sellers providing the same product.
  • Not all factors are weighed the same. How much value each factor brings to the final score even changes based on the product sold and the category it’s in. Therefore, you can beat other sellers for a pen, but someone else would get the Buy Box for an eraser.
  • All data is analyzed regularly. Perhaps even in real-time. As you get more sales and feed more data into the algorithm, its decisions may change. Therefore, just because someone got the top spot this time, it doesn’t mean it’s going to stay the same forever.

If you want to up your odds of landing there, you should focus on variables that Amazon looks at. It’s all about providing the customer with the best experience they can, from product quality to convenience.

What Qualifies a Seller for Amazon Buy Box?

Now that you know what an Amazon Buy Box is, the next step is checking if you qualify. Sadly, not everyone can get the Buy Box on Amazon. You don’t need to pay extra to be Buy Box-eligible, but your virtual store must meet certain requirements.

There are no specific requirements on whether or not your store would be eligible. But because Amazon bases the winner on certain factors, it only makes sense that these factors would matter as well during the qualification process.

If you’ve been an Amazon seller for a long time, you may have a greater chance of becoming eligible. Having a Pro Merchant status would benefit you as well.

You can further increase your odds by accurate listing. Ensuring that your description of the product is accurate through the title, categorization, description, and item condition is important. This will avoid confusion from the customer’s end, which can easily turn into negative feedback as the expectation wasn’t set.

To check if you’re eligible, go to your seller central account. Go to Manage Inventory, then Preference tab. Find the field for Buy Box Eligible in the Column Display section. Select Show When Available. If you’re eligible, it will say Yes.

Just note that eligibility doesn’t guarantee placement. It only qualifies you for consideration. And if you fail to maintain this high performance, you can lose your eligibility.

More importantly, you can be qualified for some products and not for others. If you believe you should be eligible but still aren’t, you can contact Amazon so they can consider your case.

No commitment or hard credit checks, apply today!

The Biggest Myths About Amazon’s Buy Box

There are a lot of misconceptions about how Amazon’s Buy Box works. Many gurus claim to have ‘hacked’ Buy Box, allowing them to have all their products get that coveted spot. But just because it worked in some situations, it doesn’t mean that it will work all the time.

As discussed in one of the previous sections, there’s no singular way by which all sellers across all products and categories are assessed. If you plan on trying any of the misconceptions below, you may not get favorable results:

You’d Get the Spot by Having the Lowest Prices

According to this myth, you have to provide the lowest prices in the Amazon marketplace to get the Amazon Buy Box. But many sellers have tested it out. Fortunately for you who probably want to maximize profits, this isn’t a hard and fast rule.

Think about it this way, if someone is selling a $1,000 laptop for $100, would you be more likely to buy it? Or are you going to be suspicious? The idea of undercutting the competition became popular because it was heavily tested on cheaper, low-end products.

Having competitive pricing can certainly help increase your odds. But this is just one factor of many. Only when all sellers are equal on every other factor will the price have that much weight on the Buy Box.

Keep Your Price at 2% of the Current Buy Box Winner

This myth claims that if your pricing is within the 2% range of the current winner, you get put in rotation. For example, the winner priced a certain product at $100. Therefore, every seller that has its price at $98 to $102 gets to share the spot as well.

Although Amazon does rotate the seller featured in the box, this isn’t based on pricing at all. One potential reason that some fall for this misconception is that the usual winners employ competitive pricing. Therefore, their prices are just slightly higher or lower than the other sellers’. But again, price is just one factor of many in determining the winner.

If Amazon Sells the Product You Sell, You’ll Share the Rotation

There are sellers that tend to avoid products that Amazon sells because of the Buy Box. But even though Amazon tends to feature itself when possible, third-party retailers also get their chance in the spotlight.

Retailers would get even more time if Amazon runs out of stock of that certain product. This will be a good opportunity for resellers to get more sales.

How Do You Win the Buy Box?

Unfortunately, the Amazon box isn’t for sale. You have to continue improving your numbers based on the factors that Amazon looks at. Now that you know what won’t work, let’s see what factors do matter:

  1. Price. This is the amount a product is sold for on Amazon. The lower your score is on other factors, the lower you’d have to set your price to remain competitive.
  2. Fulfillment Method. Fulfilled by Amazon and Seller Fulfilled Prime score higher than Fulfilled by Merchant.
  3. Availability. Amazon favors sellers that have the item in-stock instead of having a lot backordered.
  4. Shipping Time. The quicker you ship the orders, the higher you’d score for this metric.
  5. Valid Tracking Rate. This is the rate of deliveries sent with full tracking information.
  6. On-Time Delivery. This refers to orders that reach the customer within the expected delivery time.
  7. Late Shipment Rate. This is the percentage of orders that are shipped beyond the expected shipping date.
  8. Feedback Score and Count. This refers to the number of feedback on the product as well as the average score on it.
  9. Customer Response Rate. Timeliness in responding to queries is important as well.
  10. Inventory and Sales. Having a steady supply of the product even with changing sales volume puts you in a better position.
  11. Cancellation and Refund Rate. If you cancel customer orders or if you get too many refund requests, it will negatively impact your score.

As the number of sellers on Amazon grows, so would the competition for Buy Box. Monitoring your metrics is important, but know that these are all based on creating a good buying experience for consumers. For as long as that’s your focus, you don’t have to obsess over the numbers every day.

With PIRS Capital, You Can Achieve E-Commerce Success on Amazon!

How to get the Amazon Buy Box? Work on the factors discussed in the section above. Unfortunately, it’s hard for newer sellers to stand up against the bigger competition in terms of response and shipment time without a lot of manpower because they lack capital.

With PIRS Capital, you can improve the cash flow for your e-commerce business. Once you connect your store, we can get you an offer in 24 hours. And if approved, you’ll have it in your account within 48 hours.

You don’t have to wait for the payments to come in before you can get the money to get the resources you need. Expand your store right away and implement strategies that would help you win the Buy Box.

Written by: Mitchell L.

I work with companies that sell products on platforms such as Amazon, Shopify, Walmart, Ebay, Etsy, etc. I understand that every business is unique and thats why I form genuine relationships with owners so I can help them reach their goals and find success through our working capital solutions.

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Eligibility Requirements

  • Owner or majority owner must be a US citizen
  • Must have US bank accounts
  • Have to be selling for at least 1 year
  • Minimum sales per month has to be $15000 USD
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