Drop Your Price, Win the Buy Box & Score Feedback
by Colleen Quattlebaum, on December 28, 2017
Merchants frequently ask the question, "How can I get more Amazon feedback?"
Clearly, there are several possible answers to this question. For many sellers, the most common solution involves the implementation of a proactive feedback solicitation tool (such as FeedbackFive). However, such an approach depends on having a critical mass of Amazon orders. (You can't solicit feedback for orders that didn't happen!) For new sellers or those less focused on the Amazon marketplace, spending too much time on feedback campaign optimization could therefore be counterproductive.
If this sounds like you, there might be another option for increasing feedback: dropping your price.
In this post, we'll explore if this strategy is right for your business.
Price's Impact on the Buy Box
Amazon.com, Inc. ("Amazon") does things a little differently than other online marketplaces. Case in point? The Buy Box. If, for example, you primarily sell on the eBay marketplace, the Buy Box concept might seem a bit foreign. We've written at length on this topic, but here's the important thing to understand: unlike eBay listings, Amazon funnels all traffic for a particular item through a single web page. The item's "Buy Box" is the call-to-action button, clicked by customers adding it to their carts. This means that sellers compete for a percentage of the Buy Box clicks. (Click here to view Amazon's in-depth explanation of how it awards the Buy Box.)
As you familiarize yourself with how the Buy Box works, you'll quickly realize that pricing strategy is a very important factor. In fact, on Amazon's help page titled, "Increase Your Chances of Winning the Buy Box," the first recommendation offered is to price items competitively. Pricing is such a hot topic among Amazon sellers that most professional merchants use an automated repricing tool. Everyone wants more of the Buy Box, and there's no question that pricing is top of mind for serious Amazon sellers.
Feedback, Order Volume & Short-Term Profit Impact
Given that pricing plays such an important factor in winning the Buy Box, it's logical to assume that a price drop could boost order volume. And, for the merchant aiming to quickly scale his Amazon presence, it's not a terrible idea. Granted, short-term profitability might take a hit (especially when considering all of Amazon's order fees.) However, for the seller with the long term in mind, the temporary drop in margin might just be worth it.
To illustrate my point, let's look at an example scenario.
John's Toys & Games has been selling online for many years. John got his start on eBay.com, and he's since expanded to his own webstore. Amazon has been on John's radar for over a year, but he's struggled to get much traction. The toys and games he sells are very competitive on the Amazon marketplace, which means he's usually stuck at the bottom of the "Other Sellers on Amazon" page. Even on John's less competitive items, he usually loses out because of his weak feedback history. It's the classic "chicken or the egg" situation.
Here's what John decides to do next:
To get things moving, he drops prices on his Amazon listings by 25% across the board. Sure, this eats away at most of his margin potential, but he views it as an investment. Remember, John has well-established revenue streams through his own website and on eBay.com. Any sales volume generated through Amazon.com would be incremental business anyway.
John's plan begins to pay off quickly. Within a week of lowering prices, he notices a significant uptick in order volume. Instead of averaging just a few Amazon sales per week, orders climb into the dozens per day. In addition, customers begin to speak up (by leaving favorable Amazon feedback) about the great deals offered by John. After thirty days of testing this strategy, John's Toys & Games has the following metrics to show for:
- 602 sales
- 20 positive feedbacks
- 1 neutral feedback
Although John has very little profit from his Amazon orders, he has more importantly laid the groundwork for an invaluable asset: his Amazon seller reputation.
Having set a baseline, John slowly increases his prices and optimizes his feedback solicitation workflow. He signs up for a FeedbackFive trial, which helps him automate his feedback solicitation process, increase feedback conversion rates and monitor negative ratings. Each new order brings slightly more profit and an increased chance of receiving 5-star feedback.
Well played, John. Well played.
Get More Amazon Feedback
Competing strictly on price is probably not a great move in the long run. However, in certain situations, dropping your prices can be a viable short-term tactic for driving orders and feedback ratings.
Time to drop your price? Maybe it's worth considering.