The online world of sales is getting larger and larger every year as sales reach new heights and sellers are seeing profits like never before. While it may seem like you can just put something online and have it sold in no time at all, it isn’t nearly that simple in reality.
If you want to take your slice of the Amazon seller pie, you need to be doing everything in your power to get seen. The way to get your products out of storage and into the hands of customers is by understanding the buy box. To help you start improving your sales use IO Scout Amazon sales estimator and get products sold more effectively use IO Scout Amazon product research tool. In this article we want to help you learn as much as possible to get the most out of the buy box system.
What is amazon buy box?
If you have ever bought anything on Amazon, then you have interacted with the buy box without even realizing it. The buy box is simply the area on the right side of the product page where customers have the option to buy a product by adding it to their cart or can press the “buy now” button.
Since Amazon itself does not actually sell all of the products that you see on the website, the buy box is where sellers compete to get their products seen by customers. What makes the system unique is that it does not just randomly select a seller for the customer to buy from, but the Amazon algorithm chooses the best suitable seller to give the customer the best seller option when they click buy. This design is what makes the buy box so competitive.
How does the Amazon buy box work?
To give you an understanding of how the buy box works, we want to break down how you go about getting entered into the running for a product sale and then see how Amazon chooses the best product offering to suggest to customers.
1. Be eligible
The first step to even getting entered into the buy box roster is to be an eligible seller. If you don’t meet the eligibility requirements to get entered into the buy box, your product stands no chance of being seen by buyers. We will look at how to make yourself more eligible later on.
2. Have the right product
The next step to the buy box process is to make sure you are selling the right product. You need to be selling a new and taken care of version of the product to make it to the buy box. Amazon only wants customers getting the best product possible, so they only want buy box sellers with the right products getting seen.
3. Algorithm sorts
The most important part of the process is when the Amazon algorithm determines who will get the buy box space for the day. Amazon looks into the accounts, reviews, and history of a seller to determine the value they provide to customers. Once the best candidate for a specific product is found, the buy box will be occupied by their listing for a certain percent of the day before another seller also gets to have the box for some time.
Why does the Amazon buy box matter?
With an understanding of how the buy box works, you can see how the amazon buy box algorithm works to promote the best sellers for customers. If you are looking to sell anything on amazon, there are a few reasons that it really matters that you understand the buy box system.
1. Most sales come from the buy box
When someone buys from Amazon, they are likely to click from the buy box exclusively. This means that if someone wants to buy a product, they are going to use the buy box more often because it is easier, bigger, and stands out. For mobile users, the buy box is one of the biggest options on a phone screen and holds even more weight.
2. Buy box placement affects ads
A unique effect of being placed in or removed from the buy box is how it affects ads. If you are in the buy box for a product, someone who clicks on an Amazon ad for that product will be directed to buy from you as the buy button holder. However, if you are removed from the buy box for any reason, the ads that promote your product will actually be promoting the competition that holds the buy box!
3. Impacts future sales
When you are in the buy box, you are already promoting your sales numbers and potential for positive customer reviews. When you are not in the buy box, you essentially are limited to very few customer interactions and sales. Because of this, you are hurting future chances of getting put into the buy box for your product.
How to win Amazon buy box?
Now that we understand just how important winning the buy box is, we need to look at some practical steps to getting you in that box. Thankfully, getting in the buy box can be much easier than you would think.
Sell products in a new condition
As we mentioned earlier, getting into the buy box requires you to sell new products to even have a chance of getting into the buy box. Because of this, you should focus on selling only products that are confirmed to be new by wherever you get them from. If you want to sell products that are used, you can do it; however, this will remove you from the buy box and customers will have to go looking for your listing. Additionally, selling products that are marketed as new but are actually used or refurbished can easily get you bad reviews and removed from the buy box.
Offer competitive pricing
Being competitive with your pricing is a great way to stay above the competition. To do this, here are a few tips to remember when trying to stay competitive.
Study the market
To make sure that you are able to compete for your place in the buy box, you need to have a firm understanding of the market. To do this, there are a number of tools that have the buy box amazon system locked down. You can see what other sellers are charging so that you can have your price set up to be a more tempting offer.
Be fact acting
Ever since the introduction of online selling, people have come to expect everything to happen faster and more seamlessly than before. To ensure that you are staying ahead of the curve, you need to be acting fast and efficiently so that you can always be ready to get the buy box. Those sellers who sit back and don’t take action will be quickly left behind and will make less sales.
Understand the trends
If you want to win the game, then you need to understand how it works. By understanding the trends of a product in the past as it has raised and lowered in price, you can predict what the future will look like. This is great if you want to be the first to recognize a trend so that your price is the best option. Being ready for things like sale seasons, holidays, and any other market changes will be your best asset when trying to determine how to get in the buy box.
List as a Prime seller
If you even want the chance to get in the buy box, making an Amazon seller account isn’t always enough. To be eligible to get entered in the buy box, you need to become a professional seller. While individual seller accounts are free and allow you to sell on Amazon, you can’t get in the buy box that way. To get into the buy box, you have to pay a subscription fee to become a Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) professional seller through prime. This comes with many shipping and account benefits but getting access to the buy box is easily the most valuable one.
Keep strong inventory levels
Depending on your industry, the amount of inventory you have can become very important to your buy box time. Having enough inventory to satisfy the needs of a numerous clients that you expect to sell will allow your seller site to occupy the buy box much longer than someone with just a few units of inventory. When you start to run low on product, you will increase the likelihood of you losing the spot of the buy box.
Maintain positive seller feedback
Just as is the case with any selling platform, one of the best ways to promote your brand image is to ensure that you are keeping customers happy. When you deliver products on time, respond to questions, and are a good seller, customers will start to notice and give you better reviews. Not only do positive reviews help your seller page look much better, it is an important factor that determines whether or not you will be able to occupy the buy box. A buy box seller will always be one with very good user reviews because Amazon wants to primarily promote sellers that are giving the best overall experience to their customers. While a few bad reviews or feedback won’t destroy your chance of getting in the box, you want to have an overall positive online presence on Amazon to help your chances.
Use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
One of the lesser known yet highly influential ways to get your page on the buyer box is through using FBA. Fulfillment by Amazon, or FBA , is the process by which Amazon takes over responsibility for taking care of most of the work for your products. Whereas a traditional selling experience looks like you holding onto, storing, and shipping products, FBA has Amazon do all of that for you.
FBA is what allows Amazon to offer such a diverse amount of products to customers, so they are going to favor a seller that uses that service when choosing who to allow the buy box coverage. The reasoning for this is that they would rather have a seller that is using the Amazon network of services be the primary seller customers see because they can ensure that they will get their products on time through Amazon facilities. If they allowed any seller to have the buy button space, it could result in unhappy customers not getting orders.
Minimize your shipping time
For those sellers that do not want to use the FBA system to sell your products, you still have a few ways you can stay competitive. One of the more essential components of getting customer satisfaction from Amazon is shipping time. If you are able to deliver the desired products to customers in an efficient and timely manner, Amazon will give you a good chance of being able to occupy the buy box. One thing to remember is that you will still be competing with a number of FBA sellers.
To minimize your shipping time, it may require you adjusting a few things within your seller page. Depending on who you choose to ship with, you could see faster times than other options if you are looking carefully. When competing with two-day shipping that FBA can provide customers with, you need to make your shipping offerings worthwhile to the customers. One of the most important options is to ensure your shipping prices are also competitive. Free shipping with FBA orders are regular, so charging customers too much for shipping will turn them off of your product and will result in you losing the spot in the buy box.
Buy Box Alternatives
With the buy box being such an essential component to getting more sales on Amazon, it seems like not getting the option to hold the spot could ruin your sales. Thankfully, the overall Amazon network is much more expansive than just having a single button determining sales. Let’s take a quick look at two buy box alternatives that can still help you make good sales.
Alternative 1: Other Sellers
Just because the buy box is the most appealing way to buy on Amazon does not mean it is the only way that shoppers will buy. As people are now more curious than ever to find the best deal possible, there are always people looking to see what other buying options Amazon has for them. This is where the other seller tab comes in.
While the best option for customers to choose from is naturally selected within the buy box, it is also possible that there are other great options that just didn’t make the cut. When you see a product listed on Amazon, you can see that the buy box takes up a good portion of the right side. However, you can look right under it to see that there is another section titled other sellers.
This is where Amazon puts other options for customers to buy from that are very close in value to the buy box product. The sellers in this area could just have one less good review or something small, so you still have to put in the work to earn your spot there. There are also only a few listings that are displayed in this area, so not all options that are available will be easily seen by customers.
Alternative 2: Offer Listing Page
Since the buy box is only limited to one seller who is specifically eligible to get the spot, there are countless other sellers that also have the right to sell. This is where the offer listing page comes in. What makes this space unique is that it displays every seller that is selling a product with an overview of everything a customer would want to see about the buying experience. You need to create a competitive offer listing so that when customers are browsing through this area, they can see your offer stand out as better than the rest.
When a customer opens up the other seller feed, they can see all other buying options for their selected product. This can have a few sellers listed or hundreds of others looking to get a sale. If a customer comes across your listing here, you want to make it so that it sticks out. This is where that market research comes in where you should be keeping prices competitive and your page looking good. Having a cheaper price than the buy box while still conveying a message of value to the customers could be what gets you the sale instead of whoever got lucky with the buy box.
Why Amazon Buy Box Mobile is important?
If you thought that the buy box was important on web browsers, then you are in for a surprise with mobile users. Considering how nearly everyone has a phone in their pocket these days, most people can simply take out their phone and order something on Amazon in just a few seconds. This unique phenomenon Is not only convenient for buyers, but it allows them to think less about what they are ordering.
If you take a look at the mobile Amazon app, you will see that the general experience is mostly the same and all of the same tools are readily available. However, one thing stands out and is essential to your selling potential. When you go to buy a product on mobile, the buy box takes up a substantial portion of the screen. In addition to the higher visibility of the buy box, there is also no option to see the other sellers tab from a mobile device.
Because of the design of mobile Amazon, it is much harder for sellers to do well unless they are occupying the buy box. While buyers can scroll down a bit and look through the product listings to see what other options are on sale, they will still only be able to effectively look through a few extra listings. With more shopping on Amazon being moved online too, getting the buy box is now more essential than ever before for a strong presence.
With the buy box being such a simple looking thing, it is very easy for sellers to not take the time to really understand what it stands for and represents on the online space. To ensure you are getting your fair share of sales and are staying on top of the competition, you really need to take the time to understand and adapt your account to get you in the buy box.
From setting up your account the right way to look appealing and making sure you consider the many benefits of opting to work with FBA, you can deploy a number of resources to get your account to the top. When all is said and done, the accounts and sellers that will do the best and sell the most are the ones that take the time to understand the system and find their way to the top of it.
With so much to cover on what is a seriously important topic for sellers, you likely have a number of questions. While we may not be able to answer all of them, we can certainly take a look at the most frequently asked questions that amazon sellers have when looking to get better sales in the future.
How can I know whether or not I’m winning the Buy Box?
With the buy box being such a fluid and changing thing, you need to have a general understanding of the amazon buy box algorithm if you want to stand a chance in getting picked for it. As we looked at earlier, there are a number of factors that go into the selection process for the product that will occupy the buy box. Things like the price, availability, seller information, and previous customer experiences all go into the process of choosing the buy box winner. With your products, you can see a percentage chance of them getting into the buy box spot. The higher the chance, the higher the likelihood your product will get the box. Since the buy box seller changes all the time, tracking who gets the spot is nearly impossible.
How can I track my Buy Box?
The buy box can almost be thought of like a living and breathing thing. There are days when you have the best shot at getting the spot and there are other days where you might not be even in the top three listings. To ensure that you are always aware of your status, you can try a few things to try and track your buy box. Within Amazon, you are given the option to have your price automatically adjust itself to fit with the rest of the market. This allows your buy box product to stay there even if the market price changes. Additionally, you can use tracking software to see your history of sales and prices that work with Amazon.
Does Amazon always win the Buy Box?
To help the marketplace become fairer, Amazon has allowed other sellers to occupy the buy box space. If you are selling the same product as Amazon, every seller has the same opportunity as Amazon itself to occupy the buy box space. One thing that should be kept in mind though is that Amazon has a much larger amount of price flexibility that allows them to often undercut the market value and still fairly compete.
Why is there no Buy Box on Amazon?
With certain products, you may have noticed that there may not even be a buy box. If you are looking at something like how to buy amazon mystery box options, there is often not a buy box for unique products. This is generally because the product listed has either too much of a difference within the sale price among sellers or the product itself could be recalled or defective.
How to Calculate Your Buy Box Percentage?
- Check your Amazon account to see your chances. Amazon will provide you with the data you need to see what percent chance your product has of winning the buy box. Once you see your products, you can click on the 2-day buy box metric.
- With the buy box metric open, you can see what percent chance each of your products has to win the next buy box. You then have access to pricing information and page views to see how much your product was chosen by shoppers.
- Once you reach the 30-day metrics, you will be given a calculated number that represents your buy box percentage. If you want to be competitive, you want this number to be as close to 100% as possible. Doing things like checking the price regularly and updating content to fit the guidelines will help
- Check in a few days to see if the improvements helped improve your buy box percentage.