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Winning the Buy Box/Featured Offer can really boost your Amazon sales.
This free guide tells you what you need to know to get (and keep) the Buy Box.
Each product detail page on Amazon contains a golden "Add to Cart" button, which shoppers can click to begin the checkout process. Some shoppers also see a "Buy Now" button, which allows shoppers to bypass the traditional shopping cart checkout process via one-click ordering. Both the "Add to Cart" and "Buy Now" buttons are, technically speaking, the "Buy Box." The Buy Box is also sometimes referred to as the "Featured Offer."
So, how does the Amazon Buy Box work from a seller's perspective? Simply put, sellers who offer the same item compete for a share of the Buy Box, which rotates between sellers. Amazon awards the Buy Box based on a variety of criteria, which are discussed below.
Snagging a share of the Buy Box is simple with these strategies.
Make sure that your product title and description are keyword optimized. If buyers can’t find your product in a search, it’s going to be difficult for you to win a share of the Buy Box. Your Amazon listing content really matters, so make the most of it.
A product that sells steadily is in a good position to win a share of the Buy Box. Amazon’s goal is to be helpful to the customer (and get a sale) by showing a product that sells well in the Buy Box. Consistent orders show that your item is well received by buyers. To improve order volume, consider advertising your product.
Consistent order volume won’t do you any good if you don’t have inventory in stock to fulfill orders. In order to truly compete for a share of the Buy Box, you need to have a clear inventory management strategy. Build strong relationships with suppliers. By doing so, you may be able to fast-track orders if your order volume suddenly spikes, and you may even qualify for special discounts.
Can offering your products via Amazon FBA help you win the Buy Box? Absolutely. It’s not a requirement, by any means, but FBA allows you to fulfill orders quickly with fast shipping, which is a key component of earning that share of the pie.
Can you keep up with demand and provide a good experience to all buyers? Your Amazon seller metrics, including ODR, feedback rating, and on-time shipping rate impact your chance at getting a share of the Buy Box. Regularly review your metrics and make sure your account remains in good standing with Amazon.
The lowest offer doesn’t necessarily win the Buy Box. Having a smart Amazon pricing strategy can help increase your odds of getting a share. Check out your competition and make sure that your pricing is competitive; unless you are offering a bargain or luxury item, your pricing shouldn’t be wildly different. An Amazon repricer can help you stay competitive as prices change.
Before you can ever get your first Buy Box, you must become Buy Box eligible. New offers from FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) sellers are automatically eligible for the Buy Box.
Sellers who are not FBA must meet three specific eligibility criteria: have a professional selling account, maintain excellent metrics (specifically Order Defect Rate, Late Shipment Rate, and the Cancellation Rate), and have "sufficient" order volume.
Important Note: Being eligible to win the Buy Box does not necessarily mean that you will win the Buy Box.
These strategies will help you maintain a healthy share of the Buy Box.
Amazon customers expect nothing but the best when it comes to customer service. To have what it takes to win the Buy Box, you need to consistently show Amazon that you are up to the task of keeping shoppers happy. Make sure everyone in your company knows your customer service processes.
Are your items priced competitively? Pricing lower than the competition doesn't guarantee that you'll capture a higher percentage of Buy Box sales. To truly compete, you must be prepared to reprice products based on other offers and Amazon's pricing recommendations. An automatic Amazon repricing tool can help you do so without joining a race to the bottom.
Amazon metrics such as Order Defect Rate, Cancellation Rate and Late Shipment Rate play a role in determining who is winning the Buy Box, because these numbers tell Amazon how well you are meeting buyer expectations. Keeping your account healthy and in good standing can increase your chance of getting a share of the Buy Box.
Amazon has led the charge in offering fast and free shipping to online shoppers. Enrolling your products in Amazon FBA or Seller Fulfilled Prime can significantly increase your shot at the Buy Box, since you will automatically be offering fast and free Prime shipping to eager customers.
Having a great seller feedback score can give you a leg up on the competition by showing Amazon that customers are satisfied with your performance as a seller. On the ASIN level, good product reviews also help give your items a boost. Continue to request feedback and reviews to keep your Amazon seller reputation healthy.
You'll never win the Buy Box if you're out of stock. Keep your Amazon inventory updated and be prepared to restock inventory for items that sell quickly. Look out for low and out-of-stock inventory alerts in Seller Central, or implement an inventory management tool that lets you know when to restock to make it easier to keep your products in stock.
The exact Amazon Buy Box algorithm is a closely guarded secret, but we do have an idea of factors that influence the algorithm and, subsequently, Buy Box rotation. Ultimately, Amazon's goal is to connect shoppers with sellers who are able to meet strict seller performance standards, because those sellers are more likely to deliver a satisfactory experience for the customer. The good news is that you have control over many aspects of the overall customer experience. There are strategies you can implement to help increase your odds of meeting Amazon's high standards for getting the Buy Box, such as enrolling your products in Amazon FBA.
On-time shipping is a major component of the Buy Box algorithm, so offering Prime shipping via FBA or Seller Fulfilled Prime can be a game changer. Competitive pricing, Order Defect Rate, valid tracking rate and seller feedback rating are considered as well. The amount and recency of feedback also seems to be important, with newer and more frequent seller feedback providing a leg up over the competition. Customer response time, delivered on time rate, cancellation rate, inventory in stock and sales volume are also factors.
Founder and President, eComEngine
Founder, The Private Label Insider
Partner of Buy Box Experts, co-founder of PROSPER Show
Marketing Manager, eComEngine
Learn why you might lose the Buy Box and how to avoid doing so as competition heats up.
While competing offers often impact a seller's Buy Box share, it is also possible to lose the Buy Box as the only seller of a particular ASIN. There are a variety of reasons for this, from shipment method to a change in consumer demand. No matter your selling model, it's important to maintain healthy account metrics.
You can't be everywhere at once. Since the Buy Box is designed to help buyers find the best deal with the fastest delivery time, you could lose the Buy Box due to your location. If your product can't arrive at a buyer's door within 48 hours (say, if you're on the East Coast and the buyer is in Alaska), you may not appear as the Featured Offer.
Unauthorized sellers and counterfeit products can cause all kinds of nightmares for your business. You may find yourself losing the Buy Box to a competing listing that is a fake product, allowing that seller to drastically reduce their price. If you are a brand owner, be sure to register your brand and consider enrolling in Amazon Transparency to protect your listings.
If your inventory in stock at Amazon's fulfillment centers is dwindling, you might find that you're no longer winning a share of the Buy Box. The importance of carefully managing your Amazon inventory cannot be over-emphasized when it comes to capturing the Featured Offer.
Selling CRaP (Can't Realize a Profit) items, which are unprofitable for Amazon, can also cause you to lose your share of the Buy Box. Landing on Amazon's CRaP list could result in no future orders for that product. Items that are consistently out of stock, oversized or heavy and have a small profit margin or slow sales velocity are high risk for ending up on this list.
The landed price for your product is the entire price, including shipping and handling as well as additional fees such as VAT. If your landed price is too low in an effort to compete with other sellers, you may no longer win a share of the Buy Box. Amazon pricing can be complicated, which is why many sellers turn to automated repricing tools.
One of the most reliable ways to increase your Buy Box percentage is to continuously reprice your ASINs. Selling on Amazon can be highly competitive, even in an era of MAP (minimum advertised price) policies and restricted selling categories. Leveraging automated repricing tools, such as Amazon's native repricer or third-party tools, can give you the upper hand without overwhelming your back-office staff.
If total Buy Box domination is your goal, then consider creating private label items or bundled products that are unique to your brand. By owning the ASIN, you theoretically own 100 percent of that item's Buy Box. That being said, you'll also be responsible for creating demand for the ASIN among hundreds of millions of other products already being sold on Amazon.
Simply figuring out how to get the Buy Box on Amazon is not a long-term guarantee for success. Your Amazon Buy Box strategy should always be a work in progress. New competitors, vying for a piece of your share, continue to enter the market each day. Repricing technology is now more mature than ever before, thanks to rapid advancements in machine learning. And, Amazon's algorithm for awarding the Buy Box will never stop evolving. Smart sellers understand and accept these realities and implement scalable business systems to continuously adapt as things change.
Improve your Buy Box eligibility with eComEngine tools, designed to help sellers succeed.