The Amazon Buy Box is the Mount Everest for eCommerce sellers. It’s the coveted spot that allows brands to get their products in front of customers.
Amazon completes over 80% of sales through the Buy Box. So, if your product is not in the Buy Box, your sales will take a toll.
But to earn a place on Amazon’s Buy Box, you need to understand what’s required of you to win it. And that’s exactly what this article is about.
Today, we find out what the Amazon Buy Box is, and what influences a seller’s chance to win it.
Let’s dive right in!
What is the Amazon Buy Box?
Many Amazon sellers advertise the same product, and every one competing for the greatest amount of sales. So, they all must compete to “win the Buy Box” to stand out from the crowd.
The Buy Box on Amazon is the area which includes the price and the “Add to Cart” button. This option allows customers to add items directly to their shopping carts.
The Amazon Buy Box is designed to give customers the best possible value. It determines which products achieve the best performance, at a fair price for users.
Amazon Buy Box Mobile
The Offer Listing page is out of the customer’s sight. Besides, Amazon does not display the “Other Sellers” box on the mobile site.
Only the name of the Buy Box winner is displayed on Amazon’s mobile app. Therefore, it is crucial for brands to prioritize winning the Buy Box on Amazon in order to gain this visibility.
Amazon Buy Box Eligibility
Sellers who wish to be “Amazon Buy Box eligible” should meet the following performance metrics:
- Positive Seller Feedback
- Adequate inventory levels
- Sell new items rather than second-hand products
- Time and experience as an Amazon brand
- Become an Amazon Brand Registry seller
We’ll review each requisite in detail further below. But do you believe you meet all the criteria? Then check out how to become “BuyBox eligible” (also known as Featured Merchant) on Amazon Seller Central. Here’s how to do so:
- Log in to Seller Central and open the Inventory tab.
- Select Manage Inventory and click on Preferences.
- Go to the column display and locate the “Buy Box Eligible” field.
- Open the drop menu and select “Show When Available.”
The buy box column will showcase all Buy Box-eligible ASINs. Be sure to check it frequently to see which products win the Amazon Buy Box.
You can also check for product eligibility by reviewing your inventory reports in Seller Central.
Who Gets the Buy Box on Amazon?
Any brand has a chance of getting the Buy Box on Amazon. However, the spot is not only won by one seller at a time.
The marketplace balances merchants to deliver the most competitive price for customers. This means that multiple high-ranked competitors can share the spot.
Amazon matches all Buy Box candidates for each product in the marketplace. The Buy Box algorithm then selects the best ranked sellers, and allocates selling time to each.
Now, Buy Box rotation (or percentage) depends on a seller’s ranking. But what is Buy Box percentage on Amazon?
Let’s say your product is viewed 100 times, and it’s in the Buy Box for 65 of those views. That means your buy box percentage is 65%.
When ten brands share the same pricing, performance level, and stock, each should hold 10% of Buy Box time.
Note: Only Buy Box products are eligible for Amazon PPC ads. So, if your seller metrics have not been on point lately, your ads may be disabled. They will only reactivate if you win back the Buy Box.
How to Win the Amazon Buy Box
Winning the Amazon Buy Box is an ongoing process. Amazon compares multiple metrics of each product to determine which gives the best value to the customer.
There are many variables that weigh in on your chances of winning. Here is a list of the factors Amazon considers when awarding sellers the Buy Box.
Using Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) or Seller-Fulfilled Prime (SFP) is the easiest way to win the Buy Box.
Amazon FBA frees you from dealing with storage and shipment hassles. You only have to create your product listings, prepare your products, and send them to a fulfillment center. From then on, Amazon takes care of the rest.
Seller-Fulfilled Prime offers Fulfillment By Merchant (FBM) sellers the chance to fulfill their orders.
Plus, SFP sellers can also enjoy the benefits of Amazon Prime! This makes SFP the better option to keep quality control over your shipments.
Shipping & Delivery
The quicker you ship and deliver, the better you rank on Amazon. As a rule of thumb, you should aim for a 97% on-time delivery rate to win the Amazon Buy Box.
You can’t win the Buy Box when you don’t have enough products to sell. This is why it’s crucial to keep healthy stock levels at the Amazon fulfillment center.
Always check your Inventory Performance Index (IPI) and evaluate how well you manage your inventory over time.
The IPI rates your stock performance, based on the following metrics.
- In-stock inventory
- Sell-through rates
- Excess stock
- Stranded inventory
If you have an IPI below 350, Amazon will limit your seller storage. Watch out for excess inventory or running out of stock to keep an optimal IPI.
There is one exception to the rule above, though. Backordered products can be featured in the Buy Box.
With backorders, customers can order the item with the understanding that it will be shipped at a later date.
But do not rely on backorders. Immediately fulfillable products are always favored by the Amazon A9 algorithm.
This is the total price an Amazon product goes for (shipping included). The lower the landed price, the greater your chances to win the Buy Box.
Landed price can vary depending on your performance. If you have higher performance metrics than your competitors, you can increase your price and still win the Buy Box.
But when your competitors have better metrics, you’ll need to price down to keep your Buy Box share.
Order Defect Rate
This metric measures the shoppers who had a negative experience, and your capacity to handle users’ complaints.
Order Defect Rate (ODR) considers your Negative Feedback, A-to-Z Guarantee Claim, and Service Chargeback Rates.
These factors are divided by the total number of orders you received over a 60 day-period, to find out the number of orders which were defective.
Always keep your Order Defect Rate below 1%. Otherwise, Amazon will suspend your account.
You can find some tips to help you keep a healthy ODR here.
Valid Tracking Rate
This measures a Seller’s use of valid tracking numbers (VTN) to check where their orders are, and when customers will receive them.
A tracking number is considered as valid once it has been scanned by a courier.
To calculate VTR, Amazon divides each of your shipments with a VTN by the total packages you have shipped and confirmed over a 30-day period.
You must keep a 95% Valid Tracking Rate. Lower ratings will deter your chances to sell non-FBA items.
You’ll find some great tips to improve your VTR here.
Late Shipment Rate
This represents the orders confirmed after the expected ship date.
Late Shipment Rate is computed by dividing late orders by the total purchases over a 10-day or a 30-day period. The date is set two working days after a placement.
If more than 4% of your orders are not confirmed by the expected ship date, your Amazon account may be deactivated.
Feedback Count and Score
Both metrics deal with customer feedback, but they do so in different ways. First off, feedback count keeps track of how many customers have given you feedback.
Now, feedback score comprises the reviews and ratings customers make about your brand and service. It includes 6 metrics:
- Shipping time
- Cancellations and chargebacks
- Customer reviews and inquiries
- A-Z guarantee claims
Your rating comprises all feedback you received over the last 30 days, 90 days and 365 days, respectively.
Customer Response Time
This rates the time you take to respond to user messages. Amazon expects that sellers reply to customer queries within 24 hours.
The marketplaces will check your responses over a 7-day, 30-day and a 90-day period. Amazon will penalize you if more than 10% of your replies are later than 48 hours.
So, when you take too much time to respond, your score will impact your chances of winning the Buy Box.
Cancellations and Refunds
These are measured by your Pre-Fulfillment Cancellation Rate. It comprises all seller-canceled orders before shipment confirmation.
Pre-Fulfillment Cancellation Rate is calculated by the amount of annulments divided by the orders taken within a given timeframe.
Keep your rate under 2.5% with proper stock management. Anything more may get your Amazon account suspended.
According to Statista, Buy Box sales during 2021 reached over $389 billion. So, it’s not enough to be a top Amazon seller. You must also win the coveted Amazon Box.
There is no trick or formula to win the Amazon Buy Box. Rather, you must know your seller metrics by heart, and focus on improving those which have the most impact on the Buy Box.
In short, it’s about becoming a Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) or SFP seller, optimizing your customer service, and managing your pricing strategy to snag the Buy Box real estate.
Esteban Muñoz is a content writer at AMZ Advisers, with several years’ experience in digital marketing and e-commerce. Esteban and the AMZ Advisers team have been able to achieve incredible growth on Amazon for their clients by optimizing and managing their accounts, and creating in-depth content marketing strategies.