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Winning the Amazon Buy Box in 2021

amazon buy box

If you sell on Amazon, you’ve most likely heard of the coveted Amazon buy box. It’s one of the fastest ways to increase your sales on Amazon because the products that are in the buy box simply get more traction – it’s just the way it is. 

We’re here to help answer all of your questions about the buy box, whether you’re familiar with it or you’ve never even heard of it. Either way, 90% of Amazon’s conversions come from the buy box every year, so it’s something you’ll most definitely want to know or learn more about.

Here’s what we’ll discuss in this blog post: 

  • Explaining the Buy Box on Amazon
  • How the Amazon Buy Box Works
  • Eligibility for the Amazon Buy Box
  • How to Get the Amazon Buy Box 
  • Amazon Buy Box Percentage 
  • What Happens When No One Owns the Buy Box

Table of Contents

Amazon Buy Box Overview

The Amazon buy box allows your customers to either “add to cart” or “buy now” from the product detail page. It’s on the right side of the screen (or right below the product if you’re on a mobile device), and having the buy box on your listing gives your customers a much better, more user-friendly experience. =

With so many individual sellers on Amazon, it’s inevitable that the same product would be sold by more than one seller. Multiple listings of the same product creates competition, and that’s where the buy box comes in – only one of the product listings can have the buy box. The majority of sales happen through the buy box (82% to be exact), so it’s crucial that your listing wins it among the other competing sellers. This number is even higher when it comes to mobile shoppers. 

The customers are very important to Amazon, so naturally, they’ll award the buy box to sellers who have great metrics. This means that you’ll want to know their rules and follow them in order to get that coveted buy box.

How It Works & Why It’s Important

A seller who has the buy box is in a great position to make more sales. First, when the customers see that buy box, they automatically and unconsciously associate your brand with Amazon’s customer service, policies, and other positive qualities that Amazon has even though you’re simply using Amazon as a platform to sell your products. Having the buy box makes your customers trust that your product will be the best, highest quality out of the other products available. 

Another reason that the buy box matters so much has to do with Amazon ads. If you lose the buy box on a product, the sponsored ads you have running for that product will stop. Additionally, if you’re running Headline Search Ads (HSAs), you could risk your ad spend going to another seller with your same product, which is the exact opposite of what you want. 

The option to “add to cart” or “buy now” is priceless when it comes to customers making buying decisions, and winning the buy box will be a game-changer for your product.

Eligibility For The Buy Box

Not just anyone can have the buy box – you have to meet certain requirements in order to be eligible. Here’s what you’ll need: 

  1. Be a professional seller 
  2. Check your eligibility status in Amazon Seller Central 
  3. Have new items (used items can’t be sold through a regular buy box) 
  4. Inventory
amazon buy box

It’s important to remember that these requirements change on a regular basis, so once you have the buy box, it doesn’t mean that you’ll have it forever. It can and most likely will change, so being flexible and willing to shift will make your buy box experience much better. 

Another thing you’ll want to keep in mind is that if you’re a new seller using FBM (fulfilled by merchant), it might take a little while before you can take advantage of the buy box. Because the merchant is fulfilling orders rather than Amazon, they’ll need proof that you have the inventory and will make enough sales.

How To Get The Buy Box

The first thing you’ll need to do is log into your Seller Central account and view your buy box eligibility. Go to “Manage Inventory,” “Preferences,” and “Buy Box Eligible.” Then it’ll either say “yes” or “no,” and you’ll be able to see this for all of your products. 

If it’s not looking great and you want to up your chances of winning the buy box, here’s what you can do (we’ll go into detail with each of these):

  1. Know what determines your eligibility
  2. Have the right fulfillment method 
  3. Price your product right 
  4. Make sure your Amazon account is clean 
  5. If you do FBM, up your shipping speed
  6. Work on your Seller Feedback score 
  7. Have enough inventory

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amazon buy box

What two factors determine eligibility?

There are two things you’ll want to look out for when it comes to buy box eligibility: pricing and fulfillment. Fulfilling orders, shipping on time, and keeping your products in stock is the first thing you’ll need to do. Next, focus on pricing and see where you’re at compared to your competition. 

Fulfillment Method Matters

As mentioned briefly earlier, FBA (fulfillment by Amazon) will get you the buy box faster than FBM will. There are pros and cons to each of these, and you can read more about them here. But for the sake of the buy box, FBA is really the best option as long as your products can be stored for long periods of time.

Make The Landed Price Affordable

The landed price refers to the total price of a product, including the actual product, shipping, and other fees. Keep an eye on what your competitors are charging, because if you’re able to keep it lower, you’re more likely to win the buy box. However, you’ll need to look at the big picture to make sure you don’t go lower than you can afford.

Make Sure Your Amazon Account is Clean

If you’re using FBM, you’ll be the person handling all of the shipping and customer service issues. Amazon expects you to meet their same standards of customer experience, so they reward accounts that do this well. Here are the key factors they look at to determine whether your account is worthy of the buy box, and where you’ll want to be:

  • Order defect rate (less than 1%)
  • Return dissatisfaction rate (less than 10%)
  • Buyer-seller contact metrics (less than 25%) 
    • Response time under 24 hours (greater than 90%)
    • Late response (less than 10%)
  • Recent customer metrics data 
    • Pre-fulfillment cancel rate (less than 2.5%)
    • Late shipment rate (less than 4%)
  • Valid tracking rate 
    • On-time delivery (greater than 97%)

You can see where you’re at in all of these areas if you go to your Seller Central and click on “Account Health.”

If you do FBM, up your shipping speed

If you’re the one fulfilling orders, Amazon will look at when you say you’re going to ship something vs. when you actually ship it. Amazon customers have been conditioned to expect very fast shipping, so upping your speed can make a huge difference in whether or not you get the buy box.

Work on your Seller Feedback score

If you have negative product reviews that are wrongfully going toward your seller feedback score, you can file a case with Amazon and they’ll be able to take it down. Seller feedback and product feedback are two different things, and Amazon looks more at the seller feedback when it comes to the buy box.

Have enough inventory

If you don’t have inventory of a product, Amazon can’t give you the buy box. The more you have the better, so be sure to keep an eye on your products, always have enough in stock, and keep your numbers up to date.

Amazon Buy Box Percentage

The buy box percentage tells you how often your product wins the buy box. For example, if you and five other sellers have the same product, same price, and exact same metrics, you’d all have the same buy box percentage. The goal is to get the buy box more often than your competitors though, so if your percentage is lower than you would like, there are things you can do to raise it.

1. Watch your pricing

One thing you can do to increase your percentage is to watch the other sellers’ pricing. If you can get your price slightly lower than theirs, it gives you a buy box advantage.

2. Make sure your competitors are legitimate

As frustrating as it is, unauthorized sellers can make their way onto Amazon and try to sell your same products at a much lower cost. If you see this happening, you can reach out and let them know that you won’t hesitate to take action if they don’t stop.

3. Use FBA when you can

There are some cases when FBM is better, but for buy box purposes, try to use FBA whenever you can.

What Happens When No One Owns the Buy Box

There are certain times when no one will own the buy box, and instead of “add to cart” or “buy now,” you’ll see a button that says “see all buying options.” This can happen for a number of reasons, but it means that none of your competitors have the buy box so no one can take advantage of its benefits. This can happen due to dramatic price changes, people selling products for less on other platforms, increase in bad reviews, or increase in defective products. 

When this happens, go through all the steps listed in this article to make sure you’re in the best position to win the buy box. It takes some patience, but it’s definitely worth it. 

If you want help winning the buy box or learning more about how it works, the experts at Laser Sight Digital are here for you.

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