Winning the Amazon Buy Box: Feedback’s Impact
by Joanna Lupo, on April 13, 2015
Trying to grow your sales on Amazon? Aim for the Buy Box.
A recent study found that 82% of all sales on Amazon occur via the Buy Box. This means that if you don’t own the Buy Box, you’re fighting for only 18% of the market.
While winning the Amazon Buy Box guarantees an increase in your product sales, achieving this feat isn’t always easy. Competitive forces, pricing, and seller reputation directly impact Buy Box priority. Only Amazon truly knows how the algorithm works, but there are steps that sellers can take to put themselves in a position to succeed.
In this post, we’ll explore basics of winning the Buy Box, specifically with regard to how your seller reputation and feedback contribute to the equation.
What is the Buy Box?
For starters, every product on Amazon has a special area called the “Buy Box.” It is the place where customers can begin the purchasing process by adding items to their shopping carts.
Products that have won the much-coveted Amazon Buy Box enjoy special placement on the product details page. Buyers can add the product to their shopping carts with just one click via the highly visible “Add to cart” button.
To give customers the best possible shopping experience, sellers must meet performance-based requirements to be eligible to compete for the Amazon Buy Box placement (see next section: “Winning the Buy Box”).
Amazon’s Advice for Winning the Buy Box
Amazon naturally hasn’t revealed the algorithm that determines which seller will win the Buy Box; however, you should be aware of the factors that Amazon considers.
Amazon Buy Box Tips:
- Sell on Amazon for at least three to six months.
- Update your products regularly.
- Consistently provide the best prices (including shipping).
- Maintain a reliable inventory.
- Provide convenient shipping options, especially free options.
- Deliver on time.
- Sustain less than a 1% Order Defect Rate.
- Be a highly rated seller with loads of positive feedback.
It is also important to note that if you own the Buy Box for a particular product, you are not guaranteed to keep it. Buy Box ownership changes frequently, based on Amazon’s dynamic algorithm.
Feedback’s Impact on Winning the Buy Box
Amazon provides one of the world’s largest product catalogs. It also offers a huge number of competing sellers that sell those same items. If multiple sellers sell the same items, who does the buyer choose? As we learned before, 82% of them go with the Buy Box.
One determining factor for winning the Buy Box is Amazon seller feedback. Sellers who are awarded the Buy Box have received enough positive feedback (as a seller) to earn this privilege. How much feedback do you really need? What is the average score you must maintain? Unfortunately, only Amazon knows those statistics. Simply stated, you need a lot of positive feedback to ward off the competition.
How Can You Increase Your Feedback Score?
A buyer evaluates an order via a ranking system using stars. 4 or 5 star ratings occur when the buyer feels the transaction was a great shopping experience. Competitive prices, fast delivery and exceptional customer service result in a higher feedback score. Here are a few tips for maintaining an excellent score.
Use care when giving your products titles and descriptions. Write honest, succinct product descriptions that will appeal to serious buyers. Take the time to add high quality photos of your products. Photos really can compel a buyer to choose you over another seller.
Shipping and pricing
Make sure your pricing is competitive, but don’t make it so low that buyers are suspicious of the quality of your products.
Provide as many options for shipping as you can, including a free option. Ship within two business days and provide tracking information where appropriate. Utilizing Amazon’s FBA program can help manage shipping and inventory, can increase your credibility, and can make your products eligible for Amazon Prime.
Refresh your inventory on a regular basis. Avoid running out of stock on popular items. Accepting orders for products you cannot deliver will lead to a negative customer experience – and that leads to negative feedback.
Reliable customer service is a critical component in building a great feedback score. Even if you run out of stock on a purchased item, or the item gets lost in shipping, you can save your reputation by providing excellent customer service. Provide fast refunds or offer re-sending replacement items for free.
Always ask for feedback!
Even when buyers have great shopping experiences, they may forget to provide feedback. You should always ask for feedback via email. Just make sure you stay within Amazon’s rules for asking for feedback. It’s OK to ask, but not to manipulate via special offers. If you do receive bad feedback, there are ways to remove the negative feedback.