Buy Box Amazon: What It Is and How to Get It
Reselling is a difficult business. There are over 2.5 million active third-party sellers on Amazon, which means online arbitrage resellers are among hot competition. Yes, reselling on Amazon is still worth it, in our humble opinion. However, if you want to nail your strategy, then you need to know the ins and outs.
Part of this is understanding the buy box. When multiple resellers on Amazon are listing the same item, only one of them will get the coveted 'buy box.' In other words, you need to learn how to win the buy box if you want to get a good share of the market.
Here's how to win your shot at the buy box and boost your business.
What Is the Buy Box?
Think of the buy box as valuable real estate. It's the white box on the right side of the Amazon product detail page, where customers add the item to cart.
The window is above the 'Buy Now' button. Amazon's algorithm lifts the best products above the competition, helping customers to track down the products they need in Amazon's crowded marketplace.
If customers prefer the buy box option, they can add it to their cart or purchase immediately. Or, they can compare it to other options.
Winning the buy box is extremely important. Over 80% of Amazon sales go through the buy box. However, if you don't win it, it's not the end of the world – there are other ways for customers to find your product.
What Is the Amazon Featured Offer?
Recently, Amazon changed the name of the buy box. They now call it the 'Featured Offer.' Basically, the top-ranked product is the featured offer, appearing above the offers made by other sellers.
Colloquially, many resellers still call it the buy box. They are one and the same; Amazon simply changed the name for internal reasons.
The eligibility criteria and system is still the same, whether you call it the buy box or the featured offer.
What Makes You Eligible for the Buy Box?
There are many factors to consider when trying to win the buy box. Firstly, think about your product category. Some categories, like books, are not eligible for the buy box.
After that, you need to consider the following four factors. By the way, when it comes to checking your buy box eligibility, you can do so through your Amazon Seller Central account.
1. Professional Seller Account
First and foremost, you need a Professional Seller account. In Europe, this is called a Pro-Merchant account. When signing up to sell on Amazon, make sure you get the professional seller plan rather than the individual one. If you already have an individual account, you need to change it in order to be buy box eligible.
2. Competitive Pricing
Product pricing is an essential part of buy box eligibility. If you want Amazon to select your product as the featured offer, you need to price your items competitively.
Remember, Amazon's end goal is customer satisfaction, so if you offer a product that meets customer needs, you will be better placed to win the buy box.
3. New Items and Stocked Inventory
Keep your inventory stocked with new items. Used items aren't eligible for the featured offer, so keep this in mind if you resell used goods.
In terms of stock, make sure you have constant inventory. If you run out of stock, your item may no longer be eligible for the Featured Offer.
4. Fast Delivery
Shipment rates are another way Amazon appeals to customers. The quicker your delivery, the higher the customer satisfaction; therefore, the more eligible you are for the featured offer.
Winning the Amazon Buy Box
Winning the buy box is certainly appealing. A set of factors determines the Amazon buy box algorithm, and you need to pay careful attention to each one if you want to make your product the featured offer.
Here are some ways you can improve your chances of winning that coveted buy box.
Fulfilment by Amazon
There are a few ways to sell on Amazon, including using fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) or fulfilled by merchant (FBM). The truth is that the FBM method makes it harder to compete. With FBA, you benefit from Prime shipping, Amazon customer service, and more.
In other words, resellers who use FBA are much more likely to win the Amazon buy box. FBM sellers can do it, but it's an uphill battle.
We've already mentioned the importance of competitive pricing. Well, with Amazon sales, the retail price of the product isn't the only thing that matters. As with all e-commerce sites, shipping rates also matter.
The total cost of the product plus shipping is the landed price. Try to keep your landed price low if you want to win the buy box.
Pricing is a delicate balance between improving your profit margins and keeping costs low enough to attract customers. Keep profit margins in mind when setting your prices, but make sure you don't put the prices up just because you can.
Pro Tip: In your seller account, the Pricing Dashboard gives you real-time data on prices for Amazon sellers who are competing for the featured offer. You can also use automated pricing tools to automatically adjust prices based on the competition.
Shipping time is also crucial. FBM sellers are responsible for shipping times, which can lead to delays and unforeseen circumstances. FBA sellers, on the other hand, benefit from fast, free shipping thanks to Amazon Prime.
This is why using FBA can greatly increase your chances of winning the buy box. Of course, there are pros and cons to every fulfillment method, so make sure you do your research.
Amazon will always prioritize customer experience. Currently, there are several metrics that matter when it comes to providing customer service.
- Pre-Fulfillment Cancellation Rates (CR): The frequency of orders cancelled by the seller.
- Order Defect Rate (ODR): Measures account activity components like negative feedback, A-to-Z Gurantee Claim Rate, and credit card chargeback rate.
- Late Shipment Rate (LSR): The frequency of orders that ship after the expected date.
- Valid Tracking Rate (VTR): Based on tracking information such as incorrect tracking numbers, and other factors that disrupt the buying experience.
- Customer Response Time: Replying to customers within 12 hours increases your chances of winning the featured offer.
How to Know if You Won the Featured Offer
Whether you're making a concerted effort to win the buy box or you have already succeeded, you need to know how to check your status. After all, winning it is only the first part – you then need to defend your castle from invaders (i.e., other sellers looking to steal your spot).
You can check out your featured offer status in your Amazon seller central account. Just follow these steps:
- Go to your Amazon Seller Central account. Go to the top left-hand corner, and click on Inventory in the menu. Click "Manage All Inventory."
- Select "Preferences" on the right-hand side.
- Select "Featured Offer Eligible."
- Now click "Save Changes" at the bottom.
Now, in your account, you can see a new column showing your eligibility. As you compete for the buy box, keep checking back to see how you're doing.
Alternatives to the Buy Box
If you don't win the buy box, there are other ways to sell on Amazon. Namely, you can use an Amazon store front, market through the offer listing page, or piggyback off other Amazon sellers.
These options are not quite as profitable as the featured offer, but they're worth knowing about.
1. Other Amazon Sellers
Beneath the buy box, Amazon provides a list of three additional products. These are alternatives for the customer to browse. All of these listings are still high-quality, and they must meet the buy box criteria.
Although these products are not as visible as the featured offer, they still have a higher chance of attracting traffic than other products that get lost in the marketplace
2. Offer Listing Page
There is also the Offer Listing page, which shows a complete list of all sellers marketing a particular product. This includes items that are not buy box eligible. Amazon lists products in order of Landed Price.
Most customers don't visit this page, so the chances of converting from here are slim. However, it's not impossible, and if you're ready to put the work in, it can still bring in money for your business.
Ready to Take Your Amazon FBA Business to the Next Level?
Selling on Amazon is no easy feat, especially if you want to transform your OA side hustle into a 7-figure business. You could use a helping hand, and that's why OA Cheddar offers bi-weekly webinars with the top resellers in the industry.
Plus, take advantage of our hand-picked leads lists to help you track down profitable products in your niche. If you want to win the buy box, this is how.