Beginner’s Guide: The Amazon Buy Box for Sellers

Beginner’s Guide: The Amazon Buy Box for Sellers
By Anna Buchmann in Amazon Marketing Tips. Last updated on

What is the Buy Box and why is it important?

The Buy Box is the box on the top right hand side of the Amazon product page, and includes the all-important call to action ‘Add to cart’.

Only one seller can win the Buy Box.

According to various industry estimates (Amazon doesn’t disclose the exact statistic), 90% of the time the seller who is holding the Buy Box gets the sale. All remaining sellers are grouped (and banned) into the ‘XX new from $ XX’ area. To make more sales you therefore need to win the Buy Box.

Winning the Amazon Buy Box is also important for Amazon PPC Campaigns and other promotions. You can’t start a campaign without holding the Buy Box for the advertised product – and other promotions won’t show either. Losing the Buy Box therefore means losing a viable marketing channel.

The Buy Box is also becoming extremely important as customers view the online platform increasingly on mobile. On a smartphone, the Buy Box and ‘Buy’ button are displayed directly below the product image, making the sale even more likely. Other sellers are again grouped together in a separate list at the bottom, far away from the product image and Buy button.

How important the Buy Box is for you depends, first and foremost, on the type of seller you are.

Private Label Seller usually win the Buy Box Automatically

Private Label Sellers are the sole sellers of their products on Amazon. They usually build their own brand including unique products, a logo and packaging. Being in charge of their own product pages, private label sellers can optimize their product listings for keywords and content to improve ranking and conversion.

Since no other sellers offer their product, private label sellers automatically win the Amazon Buy Box.

Resellers have to compete for the Buy Box

Resellers offer products sold by many other sellers on Amazon. Resellers have to compete for the Buy Box because all Amazon products with the same ASIN are displayed through the same product listing. But only one seller can make the sale. And  90% of the time its the one in the Buy Box. The volume of sales is therefore inextricably linked to winning the Buy Box.

How to win the Buy Box

The algorithm for winning the Buy Box is a well-kept secret by Amazon. But there are two factors that play a significant role in getting into the Buy Box: Price and Seller Performance. Amazon weighs the two metrics against each other, and rewards the best performing seller with a high Buy Box share.

The lowest price wins the Buy Box

Amazon wants to encourage sales. The Buy Box is therefore often rewarded to the seller with the lowest price.

However, it is not always the cheapest price that wins the pole position. Amazon is a highly customer-centric platform. The customer experience is therefore incredibly important for the internet giant. As a result, it is not just price that plays a significant role in the determining Buy Box winners, but seller metrics and feedback as well.

Seller Performance Metrics for Buy Box Success

In order to be awarded the Buy Box, sellers need to prove their reliability, product quality and performance to Amazon.

There are four minimum requirements that sellers must meet:

  1. You need to hold a Professional Seller Account and been selling for at least 90 days
  2. You must be selling new items
  3. Your products must be available (in stock)
  4.  Your product price should not significantly exceed the average product price of the previous weeks to two months, as Amazon determines price thresholds for Buy Box eligibility.

Once you meet the basic requirements, Amazon looks at price and seller performance to rank sellers. The following metrics are important for a stellar seller performance:

If you offer a competitive price and have proven yourself as a reliable and well-performing seller you have a good chance at winning the Buy Box.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Amazon Buy Box

I am a private label seller but I am not winning the Buy Box. What’s going on?

If you are a private label seller and are not holding the Buy Box, check the following factors:

  • You have been selling on Amazon for less than 90 days. If not, all you can do is wait and make sure your seller performance metrics are on point
  • Your seller metrics are not on point. Amazon gives the Buy Box only to sellers who perform. They look at metrics such as Shipping Time, Order Defect Rate, Response Rate etc.
  • You increased your price too much. (See price limits for minimum eligibility to win the Buy Box)
  • You are not registered for VAT or there are other legal issues.

Can I beat Amazon to the Buy Box?

It is true that it is difficult to beat Amazon itself. But if you offer a very competitive price and showcase near perfect seller metrics, you might be able to beat Amazon to the Buy Box – or at least share it with them.

Winning and Monitoring the Buy Box

To be successful on Amazon, you need to be aware of your Buy Box performance.

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