Amazon has two types of sellers:
- Amazon itself sells millions of products.
- Third-party sellers are independent businesses that sell their products on Amazon.
There is no limit to the number of sellers who can use the Amazon platform, so multiple merchants often sell the same item. This can be a good thing for customers, as it gives them more options to choose from. However, it can also be confusing, as it can be difficult to know which seller is the best option.
What is the Amazon Buy Box?
The Amazon Buy Box is a feature on Amazon that allows customers to quickly and easily purchase a product. When a customer clicks “Add to Cart” or “Buy Now” on the product details page, the seller who has the Buy Box at that moment gets that sale. The real-time Buy Box seller is always featured on the main product page instead of the other offers list.
The Amazon Buy Box is a feature that allows customers to quickly purchase a product on Amazon. The customer is unaware of the seller whether it is Amazon or any third-party seller on the marketplace.
The Amazon Buy Box algorithm starts by analyzing each seller’s offer of the product. It then evaluates each offer based on a few factors, including seller history, price, shipping speed, and availability. Amazon awards the Buy Box to the seller with the best overall offer.
Not all sellers are eligible to win the Buy Box. To be eligible, sellers must meet certain requirements, such as having a good seller rating and a high percentage of positive feedback.
Amazon doesn’t award the Buy Box to one seller permanently. Instead, the Buy Box rotates between multiple sellers based on who has the best offer at the time. This ensures that customers always have the best possible buying experience. It also ensures that all the Buy Box competing sellers get a fair advantage.
Why is the Buy Box Important?
Over 42M unique desktop users and over 126M unique mobile visitors in the U.S. visit Amazon stores each month. Most customers buy products directly through the Buy Box without even considering other seller offers. When the majority of all sales on Amazon come through the Buy Box, it is extremely important to win the Buy Box.
In addition to the desktop version, it is more important in the case of targeting mobile app customers.
When shoppers use Amazon’s mobile site, they have to scroll past the Buy Box to see a list of other sellers. They then have to tap an arrow to open a new page with more information about those sellers. This extra step can make it more difficult for mobile users to convert, as they may not be willing to go through the extra effort.
Overview of the Amazon Buy Box
- More than 83% of the sales on Amazon come via the Buy Box. This means that if you want to be successful on Amazon, you need to focus on winning the Buy Box.
- The Buy Box rotates between sellers who are eligible and competitively priced. This means that you need to keep your prices competitive if you want to win the Buy Box.
- Having the lowest price does not guarantee the Buy Box. Amazon takes a few factors into account including price, shipping speed, and seller rating.
- The Buy Box considers location. If you are selling a product that is not available in a customer’s location, you are less likely to win the Buy Box.
- The Buy Box is only for items in new condition. If you are selling a used product, you are not eligible to win the Buy Box.
- Amazon does share the Buy Box with third-party sellers, but usually, it doesn’t. Amazon prefers to give the Buy Box to FBA sellers, but it will sometimes share it with third-party sellers if they are offering a competitive price and shipping speed.
- Not all sellers are eligible to win the Buy Box.
What is the suppressed Buy Box?
A suppressed Buy Box is when Amazon removes the Buy Box from the product page. This means that customers can no longer purchase the product directly from the page. Instead, they will need to click on the “See All Buying Options” button to see a list of all the sellers who are selling the product.
Without a one-click purchase option, the chances of customers buying that product decreases massively.
Amazon may suppress the Buy Box for some reasons, including:
- Low sales volume: If the prices are high and the product is not selling well, Amazon may suppress the Buy Box to protect customers from overpaying. This is triggered due to price fluctuations from sellers. Amazon does not want its customers to pay more than the suggested MSRP.
- Poor seller metrics: Amazon uses some metrics to assess seller performance, such as seller rating, A-to-Z Guarantee claims, and chargebacks. If a seller’s metrics are not up to par, Amazon may suppress the Buy Box to protect customers from potential problems.
- Incomplete or inaccurate listings: Amazon wants to ensure that customers have a positive shopping experience, so it may suppress the Buy Box for listings that are incomplete or inaccurate. This could include listings with missing images, product descriptions, or bullet points.
Requirements for Amazon Buy Box
The few requirements for sellers in order to be eligible to compete for the Amazon Buy Box are:
- Professional Seller account: To be eligible to win the Buy Box on Amazon, you must have a Professional Seller account. A Professional Seller account costs $39.99 per month. Individual seller accounts are ineligible to compete for the Amazon Buy Box.
- Buy Box eligibility: To be eligible to win the Buy Box for a particular product, you must meet certain requirements, such as having a low Order Defect Rate, Cancellation Rate, and Late Shipment Rate. You can also expedite your way to Buy Box eligibility by using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).
- Item condition: Only new items can win the Buy Box. Used items are eligible for the Used Buy Box, which is a separate entity from the primary Buy Box.
- Stock availability: You must have the item in stock to win the Buy Box. The only exception to this rule is for back-ordered items.
How to win the Amazon Buy Box
Amazon does not publicly disclose the specific performance metrics used to determine who wins the Buy Box. We’ve made a list of the most likely factors that Amazon considers, with varying levels of importance.
The importance levels are High, Intermediate, and Low.
High Importance Factors:
Amazon prefers to give the Buy Box to sellers who use its Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program or Seller-Fulfilled Prime (SFP). They are always at an advantage over sellers who use Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM). This is because FBA sellers offer a consistent and reliable shopping experience for customers.
Price is one of the most important factors in winning the Buy Box on Amazon. Amazon wants to provide its customers with the best possible prices, so it will often award the Buy Box to the seller with the lowest price. However, it is important to note that price is not the only factor that Amazon considers.
Amazon Prime has drastically increased customer expectations for deliveries. Keeping up with the current trend, Amazon promises more visibility for sellers who offer faster delivery. For this reason, FBA and SFP sellers, have an advantage for winning the Buy Box. FBA sellers don’t need to worry about promised or actual shipping times, as Amazon will handle everything. However, FBM sellers need to ship all orders timely to win the Buy Box.
Working days account for shipping time which is as: 0-2 days, 3-7 days, 8-13 days, and +14 days.
If you’re an FBM seller and want a seamless warehousing, prep & shipping service in the US, get in touch with Buzz Byte.
Intermediate Importance Factors:
Late Shipment Rate:
Late shipment rate refers to the number of orders that are shipped after the expected shipping date. In Seller Central, you can set your handling time, and sellers who don’t will receive the default shipping time of 0-2 business days.
Having a late shipment rate below 4% will help you win a share of the Buy Box. Sellers can view this metric for the last 7 and 30 days in Seller Central.
Order Defect Rate:
Order Defect Rate (ODR) is a metric used by Amazon to measure the quality of customer service provided by sellers.
Amazon calculates ODR using three different metrics:
- Negative feedback rating: This is the number of negative feedback ratings received by a seller divided by the total number of feedback ratings received.
- A-Z guarantee claim rate: This is the number of A-Z guarantee claims filed against a seller divided by the total number of orders.
- Service chargeback rate: This is the number of service chargebacks filed against a seller divided by the total number of orders.
A seller with an ODR below 1% is considered to be providing good customer service. Sellers with an ODR above 1% may be penalized by Amazon, such as being prevented from winning the Buy Box.
Valid Tracking Rate:
Valid tracking rate (VTR) is a performance metric that measures the percentage of packages that ship with valid tracking numbers.
Amazon considers VTR on a rolling 7-day and 30-day basis. To protect your eligibility to win the Buy Box, you should provide valid tracking numbers for at least 95% of packages shipped. Anything less than this could affect your chances of winning the Buy Box and even selling in certain categories.
On-time Delivery Rate:
On-time delivery rate (OTDR) is a metric used by Amazon to measure the percentage of orders that are delivered by the estimated delivery date. OTDR is calculated by dividing the number of orders that are delivered by the estimated delivery date by the total number of orders.
Amazon considers OTDR on a rolling 7-day and 30-day basis. Sellers should aim for an OTDR of 97% or greater. Anything less than this could affect their chances of winning the Buy Box and even selling in certain categories.
Seller feedback count is the number of buyers who have given feedback on a seller’s performance. A higher feedback count can lead to winning the Buy Box.
Amazon considers feedback count as one of the factors when determining who wins the Buy Box. Sellers with a higher feedback count are seen as more reliable and trustworthy, which makes customers more likely to buy from them.
Feedback rating is a metric used by Amazon to measure the overall quality of a seller’s performance.
The most recent feedback has the greatest impact on a seller’s feedback rating. This is because Amazon wants to ensure that sellers are providing a consistently high level of customer service.
Customer Response Time:
Customer service is key to winning the Buy Box on Amazon. Amazon tracks your customer response metrics over the previous 90 days, and your Customer Response Rate is especially important.
You should aim to respond to at least 90% of all messages within 24 hours. The faster and more promptly you respond, the better your ranking will be.
Low Importance Factors:
Amazon wants to ensure that customers can always receive the products they want and need on time.
In most cases, if you don’t have the item in stock, you won’t be able to win the Buy Box, and it will rotate to another seller. This is why sellers need to keep a good inventory of their best-selling items.
Backordered items can be featured in the Buy Box, but they are not as likely to win as immediately available items.
Sellers with a large inventory, consistent sales, and good stock history are more likely to win the Buy Box.
Pre-Fulfillment Cancellation and Refund Rate:
The cancellation and refund rate is a metric used by Amazon to measure the number of orders that are canceled or refunded by a seller.
A rate higher than 2.5% could affect your chances of winning the Buy Box. The impact of this metric might not be so high but it still does affect.
Myths about the Buy Box
A few myths regarding the Amazon Buy Box among sellers are:
- Amazon doesn’t share the Buy Box
Although Amazon often wins the Buy Box on listings that it sells on, third-party sellers can also win a share of it. This is because Amazon considers a few factors when determining who wins the Buy Box, including price, fulfillment method, and shipping speed.
- The lowest price always wins the Buy Box
Price is a major factor in the Buy Box algorithm, but it is not the only one. Other factors that Amazon considers include fulfillment method, seller rating, and customer reviews.
- You can keep the Buy Box to yourself
Amazon awards the Buy Box to the seller who offers the best combination of price, fulfillment method, seller rating, and customer reviews. This means that other merchants can appear at any time and win the Buy Box.
- You have to turn on the Buy Box eligibility
It is Amazon who decides if a seller is eligible for the Buy Box, not the seller. This is based on some factors, including your seller account type, your fulfillment method, and your seller rating.
- The 2% rotation rule for Buy Box
The theory that if a seller’s landing price is within 2% of the current Buy Box winner, that seller gets the Buy Box for a certain percentage of the time is false.
In short, the Amazon Buy Box is a feature that helps sellers on Amazon make more sales. Winning the Buy Box means that when a customer wants to buy a product, they can do so easily and quickly from a specific seller.
To win the Buy Box, sellers need to meet certain requirements, like having a good seller rating and offering competitive prices. Price is important, but other things like shipping speed and customer ratings also matter.
Sellers need to understand these factors and work on them to increase their chances of winning the Buy Box and selling more on Amazon.