Be The ‘Buy Box’ Champion On Amazon
If you sell on Amazon, you need to know how to “Win” the Buy Box. I still get questions about what the Buy Box is. So, what is the Buy Box? It is the little box on the right side of all Amazon listings. A buyer clicks “Add To Cart” and then they can purchase the item. When you are the seller listed on the Buy Box, you have ‘Won’ the Buy Box. Winning the Buy Box is a crucial part of successfully selling on Amazon, especially if you’re not importing your own products.
Here is a visual example of what it looks like to be the Buy Box Champion:
Of the 22 sellers for this protein powder shaker, only 4 of them are shown on the product page. You can bet that these four sellers are getting most of the sales for this listing. Take note that just because Amazon is selling the product also, they don’t always “OWN” the Buy Box. If you’re one of the 18 “Losers” selling this product, what could they do to win the Buy Box?
Important Buy Box Factors To Consider
Let’s review key Buy Box metrics. They can basically be grouped into three categories. For reference, you can see the first page of sellers for the shaker listing above, shown to your right.
Pricing – This is without a doubt the most important Buy Box metric. Even though the image of the product listing above says that there are other offers “from $6.20”, closer inspection of the listings reveals that those cheaper options are actually more expensive once you take shipping into account.
Amazon lists products on this page in order of Price + Shipping. This is reflected in the Buy Box unless one of the other metrics are way out of whack.
Shipping Performance – Amazon puts an enormous priority on fast, hassle-free shipping for their customers. That’s why they encourage sellers to use their Fulfilled by Amazon program. Shipping performance includes a number of individual metrics, including Order Defect Rate (ODR) and Perfect Order Percentage (POP).
- ODR (Order Defect Rate) is how many orders are cancelled, returned, shipped improperly or get negative feedback for any reason.
- POP (Perfect Order Percentage) is how many orders go perfectly smoothly without any customer intervention.
Amazon also keeps track of how often you run out of stock. You should try to maintain a 100% in-stock rate.
Seller Feedback Rating – It appears that the magic number for seller feedback rating is 90%. (This is an estimated guess done by reviewing hundreds of listings.) The listings shown to your right are a great example. Every seller on the first page has a 90% rating or above. However, you can see that a seller with a 90% rating ranks higher than a 100% rating. It seems that as long as you hit 90% positive feedback, anything extra won’t have a huge impact on the Buy Box. On the flip side of the Buy Box coin, it’s uncommon for a seller with a less than 90% rating to “Win” the Buy Box.
How to Win the Buy Box
What are top sellers doing right? What are the specific steps to win the Buy Box? After scouring the Internet – watching videos and reading blogs and testing various “Amazon Tricks” and “Amazon Hacks” I have found there to be ONLY 3 steps that really help. They are:
- Make sure you’re eligible – Your product must have the same ASIN as the listing you want to be featured on (more on this below). You also must meet all the criteria listed above. You can check to see if you are Buy Box eligible by looking at your Manage Inventory screen in Seller Central. It will say “Yes” on the product’s listing. Here is a visual:
- Lower your price – If you’re eligible, pricing is pretty much the sole determining factor. All you have to do is find out what your competitors are selling their products for and offer to sell them for less. Thus, you rank higher in the Buy Box. Please note that I have been beat in the Buy Box race by one penny.
- Use Fulfilled By Amazon – You will get a special orange Fulfillment By Amazon icon (shown below) on your seller listing when you use FBA. You will also be able to compete on Amazon Prime listings – which is reason enough to sell via FBA by itself. Also, Amazon is constantly trying to push sellers onto FBA. The sooner you hop on this bandwagon, the more sales you will get!
Special Caution – While lowering the price is certainly a good strategy to rank higher, especially if you are a newer Amazon seller, it is not a good long-term business strategy. You do NOT want to compete on price alone. This will start what seasoned sellers call ‘The Race To The Bottom’ where sellers are constantly lowering the price and this race destroys the profit margin on a listing.
Want more Amazon tips and tricks? These and other Amazon FBA tips are often shared in our private Shoe String Selling Community on Facebook – where we show people how to sell on Amazon without spending thousands of dollars in training programs. If you are tired of searching for answers across blogs, YouTube videos and Facebook groups, you should consider joining our EXCLUSIVE community! Click here to get more information.