Why you really need to win Amazon’s Buy Box

We’ve written much about how it’s important that your listings be mobile friendly on eBay, on your website and everywhere else that you sell online. What we don’t tend to mention is how important mobile friendliness is for Amazon.

There’s a good reason for not writing about Amazon – you don’t control your listing, the template, the mobile design. You can’t screw up a potential buyer experience with an awful description template because Amazon won’t let you. They control how the information is presented to the buyer so sellers are protected from themselves and their creative aspirations on what makes a fantastic listing.

What you may not have realised however is quite how important winning the Buy Box is on mobile. We know that well over half online purchases are now transacted on mobile platforms and there’s no reason to suspect that Amazon is any different – I know I personally use the Amazon app and suspect that I’m not unique.

Amazon Moblie vs Desktop Buy BoxSo what do you see with the Amazon app? What’s more important is what you don’t see. Here side by side are the desktop view of the Amazon Buy Box alongside the mobile view.

You’ll immediately notice on the desktop view (left) that prominently displayed are “Other Sellers on Amazon” with offers from 3 additional sellers. In this case Amazon themselves have the Buy Box, but at least if you’re one of the next top three sellers you’ve a chance of clinching the deal. Then there’s a link for “63 New & Used from £29.32” to tempt buyers after a bargain to dig deeper into their buying options and perhaps again find your offer to purchase.

The Mobile view in stark contrast (right) simply shows the Buy Box and immediately below the Buy Now button. On my mobile everything below the Buy Now button is hidden unless I scroll down. I’m lazy, I’m unlikely to scroll down and even if I do the “New & Used (63) from £29.32” is way too small to grab my attention and encourage me to explore further (I highlighted the link in red otherwise you’d probably miss it!)

Another important feature that’s missing on mobile is that even if you don’t win the Buy Box, on a desktop your business name will be shown. If I’ve purchased from you before (or if you have a well known business name) I might be tempted to buy from you regardless. This might be more important for brands, but on a mobile your name will never be displayed on mobile unless you win the Buy Box.

We know that to win the Buy Box you need to have a competitive price, good seller track record (low defects) and that using FBA gives you a massive advantage. With Christmas just five months away, this year your mobile strategy for Amazon should be to win the Buy Box at any cost (so long as, of course, you’re still making a profit).