Amazon is a leading marketplace for e-commerce sellers and one that businesses can’t afford to ignore. Once you’re listing on Amazon, the Holy Grail of sales is known as the Amazon Buy Box.
What is the Amazon Buy Box?
The Buy Box is a small box link on the right-hand side of a product listing that leads the buyer to purchase from a particular listing. Since many identical goods on Amazon are offered by multiple sellers, only one Buy Box is awarded for each product. As you can imagine, it’s a huge competitive advantage to have the Buy Box beside your listing. So how does Amazon determine who gets the prize?
Buy Box Eligibility
Amazon uses a complex algorithm to determine who wins the Buy Box, but there are specific goals you can meet in order to increase your chances. Firstly, you need to be considered a Featured Merchant, which requires three months of selling with a good record.
Other criteria include:
- Performance metrics of the product
- Order Defect Rate (this is based on feedback, chargebacks and claims). If the ODR reaches one percent, you lose your eligibility.
- Customer service quality (determined by product price, and shipping and fulfillment options)
- Length of time as a seller on Amazon
Five Ways to Win the Amazon Buy Box
1) Competitive Pricing
Amazon understands that customers demand competitive pricing. Stay on top of your competitors’ pricing. You don’t necessarily need to have the lowest price for a given product, but your price should be considered reasonable. Make sure you include shipping in your calculations and look to the current Buy Box holder for a pricing guideline.
2) Use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
This Amazon service requires you to ship your products to Amazon, where they control fulfillment issues such as storing, selecting and sending inventory as orders come through. FBA products add value for the customer, as they’re eligible for one-day and free delivery options. This leads to better reviews and an increased likelihood of winning the Buy Box. Typically, Amazon awards the Buy Box to FBA sellers more frequently.
3) Plan Your Inventory
A cardinal rule for those who sell on Amazon is to keep your inventory up to date and well stocked. Running out of stock reduces your chances of winning the Buy Box because it increases your ODR (Order Defect Rate) through order cancellations and poor reviews. Use inventory tracking software to keep your numbers up to date and lower the risk of overselling.
4) Speedy Shipping
Efficient shipping plays a significant role in winning the Buy Box, but make sure that you don’t favor speed over customer satisfaction. This problem is generally solved by using the FBA service.
5) Seller Feedback and Quick Response
Your customer ratings directly affect your Buy Box chances, so remember that the customer is always right. Both product and seller feedback are considered in the Amazon Buy Box algorithm. Aim for a 98 percent rating or higher. It is also essential to respond quickly to customer inquiries and to work with customers to improve their satisfaction when things occasionally go wrong.
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