Want to learn how to increase product visibility and win the Buy Box? We’ll give you insider tips to help you reach the top of the rankings and stay ahead of your competitors.
Even if you’ve only been selling on Amazon for a short period, you already know how important it is to win the Buy Box. Sellers who win the Buy Box nearly always make the sale in place of their competitors, and end up building brand recognition in the process. But what you might not know are the exact mechanics behind winning the Buy Box in the first place. Here we’ll discuss what makes you eligible for the Buy Box, as well as specific strategies you can use to shift the odds in your favor.
Demystifying the Buy Box
Amazon first introduced the Buy Box (also called the “Featured Offer”) to help streamline the buying process and make it as easy as possible for consumers to feel confident about their purchase.
When customers search for a specific product type, they’ll see a box on the right side of their screen where they can add items to their cart in a single click. This box appears next to the results of the customer’s search, and serves to highlight for the customer whichever products Amazon’s algorithm thinks are the best deal.
Over time, the Buy Box became the holy grail of Amazon sellers. Today, nearly all purchases customers make on Amazon are through the Buy Box. Of course, so long as your products can be shipped to a customer’s address, they’ll show up in any relevant searches. But without winning the Buy Box consistently, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to meet your goals.
Clicking the “Add to Cart” button from the Buy Box is the easiest way for customers to make a purchase on Amazon. Customers can also browse Other Sellers, of course, as well as New and Used offers. Depending on your product, the Buy Box varies in significance. Vendors selling used books, for example, can capitalize on customers who don’t mind buying books that show signs of wear and tear.
Amazon itself gives little guidance on how to win the Buy Bux, simply saying that “price, availability and proximity” are deciding factors. Below we discuss Buy Box eligibility in more detail, so you can use all the means at your disposal to make your product the one customers find most attractive.
Making Sure You’re Eligible
To win the Buy Box, you’ll have to meet certain requirements. For one thing, you’ll have to register for a professional-grade selling account through Seller Central. You can check your account type through the Seller Central dashboard, and upgrade your account there if necessary.
To see which products in your catalog are eligible for the Buy Box, select “Manage Inventory” from your Seller Central landing page. Under “Preferences,” choose the “Featured Offer (Buy Box) Eligible” option. Save your changes, then return to your product catalog. You should now see a column that displays eligibility status next to each ASIN.
Strategies for Winning the Buy Box
Assuming your products are eligible, there are a few strategies you can use to increase your chances of winning the Buy Box and landing the sale.
- Stay Stocked
A major factor in whether or not Amazon will list your products in the Buy Box is the frequency with which you stay stocked. If you have a track record of running out of stock, even if you currently have plenty of inventory, Amazon’s algorithm won’t be willing to promote your product and take a chance on you again.
In the past, products sold through the Fulfillment by Amazon system were more likely to win the Buy Box over products sold through the Fulfillment by Merchant system. In the wake of FBA issues during COVID, however, FBM sellers have been slowly increasing their number of Buy Box wins. At present, the best strategy is to dual list your products with separate ASINs for FBA and FBM.
- Outbid Your Competitors
Perhaps the most important factor in winning the Buy Box is price. The whole purpose of the Buy Box is to make buying on Amazon easy. The less time customers have to spend searching for the best deal, the more likely they are to return to the site. What this means for sellers is that outbidding your competitors is absolutely essential to claiming the Buy Box for yourself.
You can use Amazon’s Selling Coach Pricing Report and Pricing Dashboard to monitor pricing trends. Many sellers, however, opt for automated seller software that provides alerts when competitors change their listings. Some seller software will even give up-to-the-minute repricing suggestions based on real-time marketplace data. Such software is especially helpful for sellers who want to avoid losing profits by accidentally offering a larger discount than necessary.
- Offer Free Shipping
Customers tend to look for the Amazon Prime shipping icon first, and the Buy Box algorithm will give preferential treatment to sellers who provide free or expedited shipping. If you can’t afford to offer free shipping, at least try to undercut your competitors’ shipping costs by a small margin. Just make sure to stay on top of their listings, as competitors will often try to undercut you back!
- Get Lots of Feedback
Though Amazon doesn’t explicitly mention it, Buy Box wins are heavily influenced by the amount of high-quality reviews your products receive. High-quality reviews alone aren’t enough, however. You’ll need to make sure you get a large amount of reviews as well. Though you can manually ask for reviews from your customers, the process takes time and energy you’d likely better spend elsewhere. Consider using seller software that automates the request-for-review process in a way that’s ToS-compliant.
Can the Buy Box Go Missing?
Keep in mind that Amazon will occasionally remove the Buy Box entirely. This only happens when the algorithm notices better prices being offered on rival sites like Walmart. Removing the Buy Box encourages Amazon sellers to continue to give the best possible prices, and keep customers coming back to the Amazon site specifically.
Be careful not to lower your prices to win the Buy Box, then raise them significantly in a short period of time. Amazon keeps constant watch for so-called price gougers, and will punish those it suspects of the practice by taking away the Buy Box.
Winning the Buy Box is the holy grail of selling on Amazon. If you can’t win the Buy Box consistently, it will be difficult to outpace your competitors and increase your profit margin over time. That said, winning the Buy Box is often a matter of monitoring trends and staying on top of a handful of simple yet effective strategies. The better you can manage your inventory, prices, and reviews, the more success you’re likely to have.
Though selling on Amazon can be overwhelming, there are plenty of tools out there to make the process easier. SellerMobile is a good example of a seller software that helps automate the above strategies and reduce the likelihood of human error. Among other things, SellerMobile helps automate inventory forecasts, repricing suggestions, shipping processes and requests for reviews.
If you’re finding winning the Buy Box a headache, consider a free trial of the SellerMobile software. Alternatively, you can schedule a free business consultation to have a team of experts give personalized advice to help you succeed. SellerMobile was created by successful Amazon sellers to give other sellers an edge in the market. A free trial gives you a risk-free chance to improve your systems and close sales.