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How to win the Amazon Buy Box

By Chris Dawson February 7, 2019 - 10:10 am

The Amazon Buy Box is the section on an Amazon product detail page where a customer starts the purchase process by adding an item or items to their shopping basket. A key feature of the Amazon platform is that the same product can be sold by several sellers. If several sellers offer the same product in “new” condition, they may be eligible to compete for the Buy Box for that product.

Sometimes, you’ll find a product on Amazon where no one is eligible for the Buy Box for a particular product. This is relatively rare, but not unusual and simply means that the seller (or sellers) offering the product aren’t deemed worth of the Buy Box. Eligibility to win the Buy Box is tied to specific seller performance criteria that identify sellers who Amazon deem to have consistently provided customers with a great buying experience. If there are no sellers who are Buy Box eligible then Amazon simply display a “See All Buying Options” message leaving the customer to pick which seller they’d prefer to trade with.

The reality is that many buyers will accept Amazon’s default choice and winning the Buy Box results in phenomenally more sales for the successful seller. Even if you do win the Buy Box, you may be rotated with other similarly ranked merchants and see bumps in sales at those times you’re successful.

Amazon have a ton of seller metrics to pick from all of which can help determine if they consider you worth of the Buy Box. If you are the only seller of a product and still not winning the Amazon Buy Box, check out the eligibility criteria below to discover where you’re falling short.

Amazon Buy Box Eligibility

Amazon don’t reveal the exact formula to win the Buy Box and it can change over time, but eligibility is derived from a number of seller status and performance metrics listed below.

It’s important to realise that earning Buy Box eligibility in one category doesn’t qualify you for eligibility in all categories.

Seller Status

Only professional sellers are eligible for the Buy Box. You will also have been selling on Amazon for at least 90 days as Amazon take your past history into account when determining eligibility.

Order Defect Rate

Seller’s Order Defect Rate is calculated from your Negative Feedback Rate, A-to-Z Guarantee claim rate, and Credit Card Chargeback Rate.

Seller Feedback

Your feedback score on Amazon can impact your Buy Box eligibility. Seller Feedback is different from Product Feedback so is worth monitoring. For example, if you receive negative product related comments on your Seller Feedback (or negative service related comments for items shipped through FBA) Amazon will remove them.

Stock Availability

With all other metrics being equal, Amazon tend to prefer sellers with deep available inventory levels when awarding the Buy Box.

Stock Condition

In general, only new products are eligible to win the Buy Box.

Price

Price will certainly have an influence on the Amazon Buy Box. This is why sellers often use repricing tools, some of the most sophisticated of which can raise and lower your prices based solely on whether an increase or decrease is likely to help you win the Buy Box.

Customer Service

Offering round the clock customer service and answering all messages with 24 hours can help win the Buy Box. Your number of cancelled orders will detract from the likelihood of success.

Delivery

Speed of Delivery, offering Standard Delivery and Premium Delivery options, and your delivery charges can influence your Buy Box eligibility.

Amazon FBA

Using FBA can help short cut your route to the Buy Box. It removes many metrics such as customer service and delivery costs. Amazon will be confident that they hold your stock and will be able to deliver the service the customer expects on your behalf.

Sellers who qualify for Seller Fulfilled Prime will also gain an advantage of sellers who self-fulfil.

Who the customer is

An often forgotten determination on whether or not you as the seller wins the Buy Box is who the customer is. If a buyer has Prime membership then Amazon will prioritise delivery over price and Amazon FBA certainly comes into play with the Buy Box featured offer not necessarily being the lowest cost.

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