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Tips for Winning the Buy Box on Amazon

April 2nd, 2018 by Skip McGrath

Why does the Buy Box matter? Because almost 90% of all sales on Amazon occur within the buy box.

Let’s start with – What is the buy box?   There are actually two definitions –practical and technical.

In the practical sense, the buy box is the entire page that comes up with the seller in the buy box listed as sold by. (See image below)

Click to see larger image

 

In the technical sense the Buy Box is the portion of the page that shows the Add to cart button (see image)

 

 

 

If you are one of these sellers, then you are not in the buy box.

 

 

The complete algorithm Amazon uses to award the buy box is a closely guarded secret at Amazon, but we do know several of the key components (not in order of importance):

  • Competitive price – One of the major factors is that you price competitively.   When Amazon says competitive, what they really mean is be the lowest price including shipping.
  • Seller Reputation and rating – This is another major factor.  If you have poor feedback and account metrics (Order cancellation rate, pre-order cancel rate, etc.), you can forget winning the buy box.  This can be more important than price.  For example, I have a product I sell for $24.95 with free shipping, and one competitor who charges $19.99 + free shipping, which is quite a bit lower than me.  Yet, I am always in the buy box because my feedback score is 99% and his is only 90%.
  • Provide Excellent customer service. If you do this, then your seller reputation and ratings will remain high.  Another element in this is providing tracking quickly if you are merchant fulfilling and always answer customer questions under Amazon’s mandated 24-hour window.
  • Meet Amazon’s image guidelines. You may be buy box eligible as a seller, but if your image does not meet Amazon’s Image Guidelines, that item could be kicked out of the buy box (If this occurs, you will see a Quality Alert next to the item on your manage inventory page,
  • High number of product reviews.  Amazon looks at 2 things – the total number of reviews and the average star rating.  Just having a large number of product reviews helps a lot –but, if your average score is less that 3-star, it could also hurt you.
  • Keep stock on hand. One of the additional factors Amazon looks at is your inventory.  If two sellers were equal in all respects, and you had 1 each in stock and the other seller had 5 or 6, then the tie would go to the other seller.

So, there you have it.  Understand , and comply with all these values and your chances of making the buy box will skyrocket.

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