Securing the Amazon Buy Box is one of the most important things you can do as a seller on Amazon. This prime real estate puts your products directly in front of customers when it matters most.
Now, if you’re new to Amazon—there are a few things you should know. Every company on Amazon that isn’t Amazon itself is called a third-party seller, otherwise known as a reseller. These sellers may sell the same products, which are then listed on a single product page. So which seller gets priority?
The answer lies in the Amazon Buy Box. Sellers who are offering the same product compete for the Buy Box. When a customer clicks “Buy Now,” the winner is the one who makes the sale.
We’re all familiar with what the Buy Box looks like—it’s the white box on the right side of the product detail page where Amazon shoppers can add items to their cart for later or begin the checkout process.
Amazon doesn’t restrict the number of sellers or the number of products they’re able to sell, so sellers are often competing to sell the same product. Understanding how the Amazon Buy Box works is a top priority for all sellers because of its proven effect on conversion rates.
Why did Amazon choose to make things this way? In short, for the customer. Amazon created the Buy Box to strike a balance between excellent seller performance and low prices, giving the customer the maximum value for every dollar that they pay.
Customers preferring to purchase and move on can click the Buy Box, while those looking for a deal can hunt for it by looking through all potential sellers.
The basics that you need to know about the Amazon Buy Box include:
So, we have one product and multiple sellers competing to sell it.
What happens next? Amazon assesses each seller’s offer based on a long list of variables, including price and seller history.
Amazon then chooses what they’ve determined is the best option for their customers. Keep in mind that the Buy Box often rotates between more than one seller, especially for popular products. In other words, you’ll always be in the running as long as you’re eligible (we’ll get to that next).
How does the Amazon Buy Box rotate between sellers? If you’re a stronger seller than your competitors, you’ll hold the Box for a larger portion of the day. Your weaker counterparts will occupy the Buy Box for the hours you leave over.
Remember that Amazon is juggling low prices and high seller metrics. So, if you have top-notch performance metrics, you can afford to price higher and still win the Buy Box. If your metrics aren’t the best, your main focus should be competitive pricing.
What do you need to be in the running for the Amazon Buy Box?
Here are a couple of tips that’ll help you win a share of the Amazon Buy Box.
Amazon prefers to pick, package, and ship your orders because they know they can get it right. You can still win the Buy Box with Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM), but Amazon’s algorithms favor sellers who use FBA.
Having the lowest price doesn’t guarantee you a share of the Buy Box, but pricing competitively greatly increases your chances of winning a slice. We’re referring to the landed price—sale price as well as shipping and handling. Don’t forget that if your performance metrics are high, you can price higher and keep your share of the Buy Box.
Take the time to make sure that your customers are more than satisfied. Amazon knows when you’re making that effort and will reward you. In general, Amazon offers the Buy Box to sellers who have the big picture in mind, which is to make customers happy.
First, make sure you’ve already tried the three steps in the last section. Are you using FBA? Are you pricing to win? If you don’t have time to monitor competitors’ prices, consider using Amazon repricer tools.
Another pro-tip for winning a larger share of the Amazon Buy Box is to confront unauthorized resellers. Inform them that you’ll take whatever action is necessary unless they cease selling your product.
In case you missed it, more than 80% of sales on Amazon go through the Buy Box. That percentage is even higher for mobile purchases. The reason why the Amazon Buy Box is so competitive is simple: The greater the Buy Box share, the higher the profits.
If you have PPC ads running on Amazon, winning the Buy Box should be a priority. If your product loses the Buy Box, Sponsored Product ads cease running. In the case of Headline Search Ads (HSAs), you’ll be paying for traffic to a product detail page that’s no longer yours— a competitor will make the sale.
A suppressed Buy Box occurs when Amazon has removed the Box from the product detail page. So instead of seeing “Add to Cart,” shoppers will see a button that says, “See All Buying Options.” This leads to a page where all offers are sorted by price from lowest to highest.
One of the most common reasons for a suppressed Buy Box is a sudden price change by the seller holding the Buy Box, whether the price is increasing or decreasing. If Amazon believes prices are too high or too low (potentially due to counterfeit goods), it’ll take the extra precaution of removing the Buy Box.
Another reason why the Amazon Buy Box may disappear is if a seller is offering their product at a discount on another platform (such as their own site). The Buy Box can also vanish if Amazon notices an influx of customer complaints. They’ll temporarily remove the Buy Box while they investigate.
Here are a couple of rumors you might’ve heard about the Amazon Buy Box.
It’s true—Amazon frequently wins. But resellers can (and often do) gain a share.
Not so true. Other resellers can pop up anytime and grab a share.
False! The decision is all up to Amazon.
Remember that having the lowest price doesn’t guarantee you a share of the Buy Box. Focusing on price optimization rather than reduction will allow you to keep your profits, maintain customers’ perception of your product quality, and will increase your chances of winning the Buy Box.