By far, most shoppers on Amazon purchase products through the Buy Box, which is prime real estate for sellers on the Amazon marketplace. When a consumer proceeds through this section, the highest-ranked seller by Amazon will appear there. If you’re a seller on Amazon or reselling a product, and you’re not that first seller in the Buy Box, then you will have a very slim chance of converting that sale. As of 2021, Amazon Prime membership surpassed the milestone of 200 million subscribers. And considering that Amazon will make up 77.7% of US eCommerce channel ad revenues this year, it is evident that the marketplace is here to stay, so get your ducks in order and make winning the Buy Box a top priority for your business.
The big question is, how do you increase your chances of winning the Buy Box? Today, we are going to show you how to greatly increase your odds of winning the Amazon Buy Box and get that number one spot, so you have the best opportunity to generate more sales than the rest of the sellers for that same product. And it’s critical to the success of any vendor on Amazon to understand how the Amazon Buy Box algorithm works, since it directly affects the profitability of your business. Understanding how Amazon’s Buy Box algorithm functions will enable you to focus on increasing your performance of relevant factors, essentially upping your chances of winning the Buy Box.
Factors Determining Who Wins the Amazon Buy Box
The following is an overview of important variables that will help you win the Amazon Buy Box:
- Amazon Retail presence. If Amazon Retail is in the listing, Amazon always wins.
- Exception for Vendor Central. If Vendor Central and Amazon Retail lose the buy box to third-party sellers, Amazon Retail is probably out of stock. There are a few reasons Amazon would willingly give up sales to other sellers.
- The lower the price after shipping, the better.
- Fast delivery speeds. Shipping is another reason FBA is prioritized over FBM, though more FBM offers reach FBA-equivalent speeds.
- Low defect rate (ODR).
- High on-time delivery rate.
- Low late shipment rates.
- Large number of high seller reviews & ratings.
- No or rare stock-outs.
- Low cancellation rate.
- Only new products are eligible.
Creating a Strong Buy Box Strategy to Win
Work with your whole team to ensure that all these bases are covered. We can't emphasize enough the importance of factoring in multiple algorithm factors instead of focusing on just one or two.
1. Distribution – Ensure successful orders.
“End-to-end management of distribution channels and strict internal pricing corridors to ensure all possible routes to market are under brand control,” said Charlie Merrells, Managing Partner of Strategy at Molzi by Brainlabs.
2. Inventory – Minimize stock-outs with inventory forecasting.
3. Pricing – Keep up to date with competitive pricing trends. Only sell products with low defects.
"One little known but highly effective strategy is to funnel all brand keyword traffic. By running Sponsored Product ads on your brand terms, you capture a greater percentage of sales for the advertised products. Your offer has to be best priced for this to work, but the commitment to competitive repricing can create huge benefits. We've seen buy box win rates rocket from 20-30% to over 80% just by deploying this approach," said Paul Mullin, Content Lead at FordeBaker.
4. Customer Resolution – Ensure a large number of positive reviews and rating generation. Your customer feedback score should be at least 90%. Check buyer-seller messaging multiple times per day for fast customer response times, low refund rates, and low return resolution time.
5. Fulfillment – Fulfill via FBA whenever possible. Ensure high on-time delivery rates, low late shipment rates, and valid tracking numbers.
Benefits of FBA for Winning the Buy Box
With regards to the fulfillment method, it’s pretty hard to beat all the benefits a seller gets from using Fulfillment by Amazon.
- FBA handles logistics.
- Amazon has discounts with shipment carriers.
- FBA takes care of product returns.
- FBA has the fastest delivery option.
- Multichannel Fulfillment (MCF) service allows brands to store and fulfill inventory via FBA, even for non-Amazon sales channel items.
"There are two keys to winning and maintaining Buy Box on Amazon. The first is ensuring your brand has the proper reseller program policies in place, such as reseller terms and MAP policy. Second is being consistent in carrying out enforcement on both unauthorized sellers and off-MAP prices listed by your authorized sellers - whether that’s on Amazon or elsewhere - as cross-site price matching is a real factor in Buy Box failure or success," said Andy Buss, Brand Protection Director at Retail Bloom.
Buy Box Monitoring
Based on Amazon traffic and conversion rates, Pacvue Commerce makes winning the Buy Box easy. Pacvue Commerce gives you the ability to maintain control of every Add to Cart moment by monitoring the 3P ecosystem, price history, and rate of Buy Box ownership by brand, product, and seller.
You can monitor lost sales to determine the Buy Box weight on revenue, allowing you to prioritize accordingly. Easily determine competitive Buy Box opportunities based on pricing, reviews, inventory, fulfillment opportunities, and more. And you can also view products that are not winning the Buy Box and evaluate your competitive opportunities.
To learn more about the Amazon Buy Box algorithm and receive tips for how to create a strong Buy Box strategy to win, download our new comprehensive guide on How to Win the Amazon Buy Box.
If you are an arbitrage seller trying to sell inventory or a corporate brand with a wide distribution network, this guide is for you!