10 Factors that could help you win Amazon’s Buy Box

What is Amazon's Buy box?

The Buy Box is the white box on the right side of the Amazon product detail page, where customers can add items for purchase to their cart. Simply put, being in the Buy Box is the ultimate goal for FBA sellers since it promises great visibility and more sales. But before you can win it, you have to first understand what it is and how it operates.

On Amazon, there are two types of vendors: Amazon itself and third-party sellers. With the Buy Box, customers can make a quick purchase without thinking about if they're buying from Amazon or a third-party seller.

When you type what you’re looking for in the Amazon search bar, the product appears, along with a yellow “Add to Cart”. On both desktop and mobile platforms, the Buy Box is the primary source of sales. That's why it's more crucial than ever to double-check that your offer is also in the Buy Box.

How the Buybox works

If several Amazon sellers are reselling the same product, customers will have a range of options to choose from. For very popular products with many vendors instead of allowing a single seller to hold the Buy Box, Amazon allows multiple sellers to alternate their spot on the Buy Box.  

For example, the Buy Box may be held by the top-ranking seller of a product for 60% of the day, while the lower-ranking seller could retain it for the remaining 40% of the day. When a buyer clicks "Add to Cart" on Amazon, the seller who has the Buy Box at the time receives the sale.

Becoming eligible for the Buy Box

The Buy Box is not available to all sellers. Sellers can also be eligible to win the Buy Box for some products and not for other products. There are a few requirements that must be met in order to be eligible for the Buybox.

  1. A professional seller account
  2. Have a history of successful sales on Amazon
  3. Sell new products

A professional seller account.

Only sellers using a professional selling plan are eligible. If you're on the Individual selling plan, you have to switch to a professional selling plan to be eligible to compete for the BuyBox.

In Seller Central's inventory reports, you can verify if you're eligible for the Buy Box.

How to enable Buy Box for your FBA account

By default, the “Buy Box Eligible” column is disabled. You can enable it by following the steps below.

  • Select “Manage Inventory”
  • Select “Preferences”
  • Select “Buy Box Eligible”
  • Save changes

Have a history of successful sales on Amazon

You must have a track record of successful Amazon sales to compete for the Buy Box as Amazon's algorithm will only choose merchants who have completed sales on Amazon.

Sell new products

Used products rarely win the buy box where there are new products on that Amazon listing. Products that have been used are not suitable for the normal Buy Box, but they can be offered in a separate  Buy Box for used products.

Factors that could help you win Amazon's Buy Box

Here are all the factors that could make or break your chances of winning the Amazon buy box:

1. Using Fulfillment By Amazon.

Using Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) is the simplest approach to boost your chances of winning the Buy Box because Amazon considers its fulfillment service to be flawless in terms of shipping time and on-time delivery rates.

That's not to suggest Fulfillment By Merchant (FBM) vendors can't beat Amazon FBA sellers; it's just more difficult, requiring exceptionally high ratings across all factors as well as very low pricing.

An  Amazon FBM seller would need to be enrolled in Seller-Fulfilled Prime (SFP) or have excellent scores in all other areas, as well as a significantly lower price, to outrank FBA vendors.

2. Landed Price.

On Amazon, there are two prices: the price at which you list an item and the landed price, which is the total cost of a purchase, including shipping and tax. It's worth noting that having the lowest price doesn't guarantee you'll get into the Amazon Buy Box, especially if your overall performance metrics are weak, but it does increase your chances.

If your seller performance for a product is better than your competitors', you may be able to increase your pricing and still get a share of the Buy Box.

3. Good Shipment Rate

The number of Amazon orders that ship after the scheduled ship date is known as the late shipment rate. Amazon sellers who do not set their handling time in Seller Central will be given the default shipment time of 1-2 business days.

If your late shipment rate is less than 4%, you'll have a better chance of winning a piece of the Buy Box. In Seller Central, you would see this measure for the last seven and thirty days.

4. Amazon reviews

This is the sum of all positive, neutral, and negative customer feedback you've gotten in the last 30, 90, or 365 days, with the most recent comments having the greatest influence on your score. Amazon also considers the number of reviews you get in relation to your selling history. Getting the Buy Box requires an Amazon seller feedback score of at least 90%.

5. Great Shipping Time.

The period in which the Amazon seller promises to dispatch the item to the consumer is the simplest measure considered by the Buy Box.

It's simple: the faster your products are dispatched, the more likely you are to win the Amazon Buy Box. The speed at which you ship depends on the product characteristics. Huge products are expected to take longer, while perishables must be shipped quickly.

Customers generally seek quick shipment on time-sensitive products and categories, such as birthday cards so shipping time is a very important metric to consider when vying for the Buy Box.

6. Return Dissatisfaction Rate

Amazon customers expect a quick response and a quick resolution when they submit a valid return request. The Return Dissatisfaction Rate was introduced by Amazon to help merchants determine where they can improve and reduce claims and bad feedback. Negative return feedback, late responses, and invalid rejection rates are used to assess sellers as good, fair, or terrible.

7. Customer Service Dissatisfaction Rate

At the end of each message, Amazon assesses your consumers to see how well you handled their questions. You can save the responses and use them to improve your service.

Always check your Amazon Seller Central Account Health Dashboard on a regular basis to check if you're meeting the company's performance standards and providing a wonderful customer experience, or if your store is at risk of suspension.

8. Order Defect Rate (ODR)

Amazon rates sellers based on negative feedback, chargebacks, and A-Z claims from both short-term (1-2 months ago) and long-term (1-4 months ago) periods. Your chances of winning the Buy Box are limited if your ODR is 1% or greater. Additionally, a continually high ODR may result in your selling privileges being revoked.

9. Response Time

Sellers must reply to customer inquiries within 24 hours, according to Amazon's Service Level Agreement (SLA). A late response, or worse, no response at all, will hurt your Buy Box chances. To stay in Amazon's good books, aim to answer 90% of messages.

10. Inventory consistency

Amazon will not promote your products if you frequently run out of stock or have a cancellation and refund rate of more than 2.5 percent. To satisfy any potential rise in demand, you must keep appropriate stock levels for top-selling products.

Where to find Amazon's Buy Box on mobile

Unlike on a desktop or laptop, the Buy Box is located just beneath the product image on the mobile site. When a customer clicks on “Buy now” on Amazon’s mobile site, the “Other Sellers on Amazon” box is not shown. Only the winner's name is displayed in the Buy Box.  

According to Amazon, 72%  of their consumers worldwide shopped via mobile during the 2016 holiday season, with unusually high-frequency purchases.

More customers than ever are shopping on Amazon via mobile. Yet another reason why winning the Buy Box is very crucial if you want to target mobile shoppers.

Joan Unwuchola

Joan Unwuchola