There are many ways to list and feature products on Amazon, but one of the sweetest spots is in the Buy Box, right next to that enticing “Buy Now” button. However, not everyone manages to get their product into the Buy Box. Competing for this coveted placement can motivate sellers to lower their prices, speed up fulfillment, and do whatever it takes to prove they’re the best source for the products consumers want.
But is it that important to win the Buy Box?
If you crunch the numbers, the answer is a resounding “yes.” The Buy Box may be involved in as many as nine out of ten Amazon sales, and winning it can increase your sales by up to 50%. It’s not just a battle for increased visibility—getting your products into Amazon’s Buy Box significantly boosts your revenue.
In a crowded marketplace like Amazon, winning and holding the Buy Box can be a fierce fight. Here are ten proven tips to help sellers achieve this critical strategic objective.
What is the Amazon Buy Box, and why is it so important?
The Amazon Buy Box is the section on the right side of a product listing page that includes the “Add to Cart” and “Buy Now” buttons. These buttons automatically send the order to one preselected seller that Amazon has determined, based on various factors, to be the best option for their customers.
“Winning” the Buy Box means Amazon’s internal algorithm has chosen you to be the default seller who gets the order when a customer purchases an item through those prominently featured buttons. Winning the Buy Box will have a substantial positive impact on your conversion rates. Buyers have to go through deliberate efforts to choose a seller other than the one in the Buy Box, and few of them have any reason to do so.
How does the Amazon Buy Box work?
To win the Buy Box, you first have to be eligible. The baseline requirement is that you have a Professional Seller account. The product also needs to be eligible—used items, for example, aren’t eligible for the Buy Box; only items that are in new condition.
Once the eligibility requirements are met, winning the Buy Box comes down to beating your competition on the factors evaluated by Amazon’s algorithm.
These factors include:
- The size of your inventory
- shipping time and methods (not surprisingly, Amazon favors Fulfilled by Amazon)
- order defect rate
- product reviews
- seller rating
Winning the Buy Box is never a permanent victory, and in fact, it’s often shared. The Buy Box can rotate among eligible sellers, so even if you don’t always have it, you can still benefit from it periodically.
Amazon Buy Box Benefits: What does the winner get?
The most apparent (and significant) benefit of winning the Buy Box is that you will become the default purchasing option for customers, leading to increased sales. However, the benefits don’t stop there. The increased product visibility and sales should raise your Amazon sales rank. Occupying the Buy Box is also good for your brand image and strengthens your credibility, trustworthiness, and customer loyalty.
It’s also noteworthy that more consumers than ever are doing their e-commerce shopping on mobile devices. The Buy Box is particularly prominent on Amazon’s mobile site and app, and switching to an alternate seller is even more work than on a desktop. Winning the Buy Box is critical to beating your competition for mobile orders.
10 Essential Tips to Win the Amazon Buy Box
1. Verify Your Listing Eligibility
You want to avoid tying yourself in knots trying to get into a product’s Buy Box only to find out later that it was never eligible in the first place.
First, ensure you have an active Professional Seller account, as required. Then, go to Amazon Seller Central and navigate to the “Manage Inventory” page. Click “Preferences,” select “Featured Offer Eligible,” and save changes. You should then see which ASINs are eligible to become “featured offers,” which is Amazon’s way of referring to winning the Buy Box.
2. Beat Your Competitors’ Price
While pricing isn’t everything when it comes to the Buy Box, the best deal is often the winner. Using competitive intelligence tools like Noogata, you can track price fluctuations and optimize your pricing to undercut the competition without sacrificing your profit margins. Just be aware that significant, sudden price adjustments—especially increases—can get you booted from the Buy Box.
3. Be a Prime Seller and Use FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon)
You don’t have to be a FBA seller to win the Buy Box, but it sure does help. Amazon wants to see speedy fulfillment and on-time delivery. With FBA, they’re the ones responsible for providing it—which makes this the best fulfillment option as far as the algorithm is concerned.
As a bonus, using FBA to ship your products allows you to register as a Prime seller. The Prime badge signifies reliability to consumers, indicating that Amazon, your brand, and your product are trustworthy. Indeed, numerous Prime subscribers prefer to buy only those products that display the Prime badge. This provides another sales boost that Amazon’s Buy Box algorithm will upon favorably.
4. Ship Orders Promptly
If you’re self-fulfilling orders, you want to offer fast shipping (ideally through Prime) and meet your target delivery dates. If your late dispatch rate is more than 4%, you will have a hard time winning the Buy Box.
5. Maintain Sufficient Inventory Levels
If you want to win the Buy Box for a particular item, ensure you’re never in danger of running out of stock. The algorithm will penalize you if your inventory levels are low and Amazon thinks you might have trouble fulfilling orders. Monitor your inventory carefully so you don’t get caught off guard.
6. Maintain Excellent Quality Control
Your order defect rate is a critical metric for Buy Box consideration. It factors in negative feedback, A-to-Z claims, and credit card chargebacks—and should never exceed 1%.
7. Monitor Your Account Health
In addition to your late dispatch rate and order defect rate, you also want to closely monitor performance metrics like order cancellation rate, refund dissatisfaction rate, and customer feedback score. All of these metrics and more can be viewed in Seller Central. If any of the numbers show cause for concern, you should take immediate action to address the problem.
8. Provide Excellent Customer Service
Amazon likes to see the Buy Box go to sellers who will make their customers happy. Positive feedback, five-star reviews, and fast response times will all help to improve your chances.
9. Optimize Your Listings
Accurate, detailed listings with high-quality content will improve your sales figures, customer satisfaction, and other factors that can directly or indirectly boost the metrics that will get you into the Buy Box.
Noogata’s AI Amazon assistant is a powerful automated tool that can help you identify underperforming content and generate titles, descriptions, and recommendations to enhance your listings’ visibility and increase engagement.
10. Give It Time
When it comes to earning Amazon’s trust, longevity counts. The longer your sales history is with a given product, the better your chances are of winning its Buy Box—and keeping it.
Bonus Tip: What to Do If You Lose the Buy Box
Occasionally, you win the Buy Box only to discover later that you’ve lost it. Don’t panic—here’s what to do:
- See if it’s just seller rotation. You may be sharing the Buy Box with other sellers. Check periodically to see if you regain the Buy Box.
- Review the above list to see if you’ve fallen short on any of the requirements. Review your Account Health performance metrics, make sure your inventory levels are high enough, and use Noogata’s intelligence-gathering features to verify that your pricing is still competitive.
- Find out if your listing has been hijacked. Unfortunately, the marketplace is home to unscrupulous counterfeit sellers who copy your listing and damage your reputation. This can affect your metrics and cost you the Buy Box. If this is the case, you may need to contact Amazon Seller Support or consider legal remedies to protect your brand and get the hijacker removed from Amazon.
Thinking Inside the Buy Box with Noogata
Winning the Amazon Buy Box is an essential goal for sellers to set for themselves. But with every merchant who sells a particular product competing for that vaunted spot, it can be a tough fight. These tips will help you succeed, but the most significant advantage comes from having a deep knowledge of the competitive environment you’re dealing with.
Competitive intelligence eCommerce tools like Noogata give you the upper hand by providing you with AI-enriched analysis of your target market, consumer trends, and competing sellers’ pricing and advertising strategies. With the right information in your pocket, you can make smarter decisions about finding the fastest route into the Buy Box. Try a free demo of Noogata to see everything it can do to help you boost your sales in the Buy Box.