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Did you know that almost 90% of sales on Amazon are done through the Buy Box feature?
If you’re a reseller on Amazon and you aren’t on that Buy Box… you’re going to struggle to get a sale. Especially so if your business is new and with no reviews. It’s harsh, but it’s the reality of Amazon FBA.
You don’t need to worry though or consider closing your account, as I am going to share with you some tips and tricks that can help you to win the buy box.
This will help you to increase sales and conversions across all of the products that you’re selling and turbo-charge your seller central account.
The Amazon Buy Box
If you’ve evert purchased good from Amazon before, there’s a very high chance that you’ve pressed this Buy Box and you’ll already know what it is.
In all fairness, it’s nothing complex. It’s the Physical button that customers can click, to add items to their cart. In this guide the topics we cover are:
- What is the Amazon Buy Box?
- How to Win the Amazon Buy Box
- Requirements & Eligibility
- Importance of the Buy Box
Take a look at the image above. This is the exact screen that a buyer will see, when looking for a product. It’s always the same, with:
- Images along the left for ease of viewing
- A Larger image showing the selected image
- The Item title and description, including the current price and features.
- The far right contains the buy box
All of the boxed area on the right (above) is referred to as the buy box.
This contains the Price of the item, the delivery estimates and the all-important Add to Basket button.
Buyers don’t tend to worry about this at all, as they just presume that they’re buying from Amazon. They don’t know they’re actually buying from FBA Businesses within Amazon, but it doesn’t really change anything for them, so it doesn’t really matter.
When you’re an Amazon FBA Seller, you’ll notice every time…
The big yellow Add to Basket button will then place the item in the cart, but you’ll notice how I’ve highlighted that this is dispatched from a third party seller. (This is an Amazon FBA/FBM seller).
Once the item is in the buyer’s basket, this sale will be attributed to you.
It’s a really efficient way to grab a sale, but as you’ll learn below, it can make or break your sales performance.
How does the Buy Box Work?
Amazon haven’t publicly advertised how their algorithm works, probably because everyone would then look at ways to exploit it for faster Buy Box wins!
However, this is where experience can play a huge part in understanding how the buy box works.
Now, not all sellers are eligible to win the Buy Box, and certain listings may not have a buy box at all.
The Amazon algorithm will look at all of the sellers on a specific listing, calculating a wide range of factors such as recent feedback, your seller profile, competitiveness of your price & probably things that we haven’t even considered!
I’m using a screenshot above for an item on Selleramp, which is the tool I use for my analysis before purchasing.
It should be pretty easy to read, even if you haven’t seen it before. The cheapest listing for this product is £14.99, with a few FBM and SFP sellers getting inbetween the next FBA listing at £21.90.
Which one from this list do you think has the Buy Box currently?
If you answered £14.99, that’s definitely the most logical choice. But it’s wrong.
The winner of this listing is actually the 8th lowest price on the listing, priced at £21.90. But why?
I can only presume that Amazon know the consequences of awarding the buy box to the lowest price, as every item would eventually crash in price, penny by penny.
Instead of awarding this to one seller, the buy box is rotated between sellers on a listing.
Why is the Buy Box Important for Amazon FBA & FBM?
There are three things that you need to understand regarding the buy box.
Owning the Buy Box means more sales
Almost every single transaction on Amazon is completed through the Buy Box. Shoppers use Amazon for it’s ease of use, so they don’t have time to browse through a list of sellers (of which they wouldn’t recognise any, anyway!).
If you own the buy box, this will lead to an increase in clicks, which in turn gives you more sales. Every seller on Amazon wants their listing to be the Buy Box listing, so the same will apply to you.
You need a Professional Plan to become eligible for Buy Box
When you register for your seller account, you’ll be given an option for Individual Plan or Professional. You need a Professional plan, if you want to be on the Buy Box.
The Buy Box Rotates
As you should now know from the above example, there’s no immediate requirement to having the cheapest price. You can still get the buy box with a higher price, so don’t miss out on valuable profits just for the sake of being the cheapest seller.
How to Win the Buy Box on Amazon
If you want to win the buy box, you need to be prepared to share it. In fact, earning your share is winning it, as you can’t 100% dominate it in 2022.
To be in with a better chance of winning the buy box, focus on:
- Your seller metrics. Without getting too obsessed with it, keep an eye on your Amazon Seller Account Health.
Avoiding any policy violations or IP claims will ensure that your account remains eligible for the buy box.
Fortunately, Amazon uses a traffic light policy to let you check your Account Health. I’d make this one of your weekly or fortnightly checks.
- Price Your Items Competitively. This one is a double edged sword, as sellers want to remain competitive, without forcing a complete collapse in price for an item. I’ve seen this time and time again when sellers battle for the lowest price, only for a completely different listing to get the item.
(For all we know, consistently updating the price could be a negative move for the algorithm!)
- Sell New Products. If you’re selling a new product, but other sellers are selling used or collectible versions, your chances of winning the buy box will be higher.
- Maintain Good Stock Levels. This is something I’ve added in, due to seeing a huge advantage for sellers that hold more stock. This may be an algorithm change by Amazon to stop sellers with a single listing from interrupting a functioning sales market.
- Focus on Feedback. Although it’s out of your control, there’s a definite sway towards aged accounts with Feedback. This is a long term play, I guess!
Is my product eligible for the Buy Box?
If you’re buy box eligible, this is the gateway to earning faster profits on Amazon.
However, it’s important to separate Product Eligibility and Seller Eligibility for the buy box. A seller may be eligible for the buy box, but this doesn’t mean that every single product does have a buy box.
In order for you to be eligible as a seller, you need a Professional Plan. Individuals plans will not be eligible, and although you save on the £30 monthly fee, you’ll be paying the price long term in missed sales! Combine a Pro Plan with having good account health and you should have no issues with the buy box.
This is where it starts to get a little more confusing. Not every single product has a buy box on the listing. Even though as a seller, you are eligible.
You can easily find this information though, from your Seller Central. If you navigate to Inventory and simply type Buy Box in the search.
This will include a screen similar to the below.
You simple enter the ASIN, and Amazon will advise you if you can be featured on the product, or if not.
Does Every Product on Amazon have a Buy Box?
Nope. It’s usual to see a buy box on most products, but there are instances where there is no buy box at all.
This comes with it’s own issues, as an inexperienced Amazon shopper might think it’s out of stock, because the yellow buy button isn’t on show.
However, your product can still be sold on Amazon, the buyer would have to click the below:
After clicking See All Buying Options, they would next view all of the people selling this item and be able to choose which one to purchase from.
Does Amazon Win the Buy Box for their listings?
Typically, if Amazon are on a listing for a product, they will dominate the buy box. At first you’d think that this shouldn’t be allowed, as it’s an unfair advantage.
However, the likelihood is that Amazon have lots of stock and they’re able to offer the best price, which puts them in Prime position. Horrendous pun!
I have been on listings with Amazon and I’ve seen the buy box rotate to myself, so I know this is definitely fair.
Why have I lost the Amazon Buy Box?
There’s a few variables which could be at play here, and you can lose the buy box just as easy as you can win it. For example:
Increased Competition. If you’re on a listing with a few other sellers, you’d share the buy box regularly throughout the day. If more sellers compete with each other, this gives you reduced opportunities on the Buy Box & can cause the price to fall as sellers compete.
Account Health issues. If you fall below ‘good’, you have a chance of losing your eligibility as Amazon will only want top sellers on their platform.
Pricing Issues. This one works if you list too cheap, or too high. A really low price could indicate that fraud or counterfeit goods have entered the listing. Amazon will ensure that you don’t get the Buy Box in this instance, protecting the buyer and themselves… and you!
In the same breath, if you price yourself out of the market, you won’t get the buy box. Amazon will give this to your competition instead.
How can I find out if I’m winning the Buy Box?
Inside your seller account, you’ll find a handy graph that shows you how often you’re winning the buy box.
Can I automate Buy Box Winning?
There is an automate pricing tool which reprices your products automatically, but I don’t use this.
It will require some customisation to set up and you will be required to set specific rules up. Please ensure you double check these, you don’t want to wake up to find that your inventory has sold due to a pricing rule error.
Amazon Buy Box Myths
I’ve told you almost everything about the Amazon Buy Box now, so let’s end this article breaking down the myths around the not-so elusive buy box itself!
The Lowest Price always wins the Amazon Buy Box
Without a doubt, the biggest misconception is that having the lowest price will give you that guaranteed Buy Box win. I’m fortunate enough to have been able to produce a live example, showing a more expensive item having the buy box.
Do not discount the Price as a major factor in the algorithm, but don’t crush a profitable product to the floor with constant drops in price.
Amazon never share the buy box
Amazon do share the Buy box, although this is at a lower rate than a listing filled with FBA sellers only.
You have to pay for Ads to get the buy box
There is no additional fee that you pay for a guaranteed buy box. Nobody is guaranteed the buy box, ever.
How to Win the Amazon Buy Box: Conclusion
Now you should have a better understanding of the Buy Box. I hope that this has taken the weight off your shoulders, as you don’t need to go out searching for the right answer.
You can’t guarantee the Buy Box on your listing. All Amazon Sellers want it, but you can’t have it to yourself.
You can share it.