Did you know that 83% of all Amazon sales happen through the Buy Box and even more on mobile? Consequently, if you’re not in the Buy Box, your chances of making a sale are pretty slim.
If you want to increase your Amazon sales, winning the buy box on the product detail page is pivotal. Retailers featured on Amazon’s buy box sell more products.
For a seller to be eligible for the Buy Box, they must meet a set of performance-based requirements including order defect rate, customer shopping experience, time and experience on the Amazon selling platform, and status as a professional seller. If multiple sellers meet the eligibility requirements, then Amazon compares these sellers on metrics including pricing, availability, fulfillment options, and customer service and decides on a winner.
How we can help you With Buy box
Fulfilment is probably the most important variable considered by Amazon.
Fulfilment can now be done in three ways, through FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon), FBM (Fulfilment by Merchant) or Seller-Fulfilled Prime (SFP).
Amazon gives FBA a perfect score for multiple variables including shipping method, on-time delivery and inventory depth. This makes it highly unlikely for merchants to beat FBA sellers.
However, in 2015 Amazon introduced Seller-Fulfilled Prime which allows FBM sellers to reach Amazon Prime members without housing the goods in Amazon’s fulfilment centre. This is of particular interest to sellers of heavy goods as they can make savings on shipping.
Sellers enrolled in Seller-Fulfilled Prime will have a greater chance of winning the Buy Box than FBA sellers. Sellers who wish to enrol in the Seller-Fulfilled Prime program must have strong performance metrics and a proven record of meeting customers expectations.
Order defect rate
Order defect rate (ODR) comprises of three different metrics: negative feedback rating, A-Z guarantee claim rate and service chargeback rate.
Amazon calculates these three metrics to find out the number of orders which were defective. According to Amazon, the ODR should be below 1% and any sellers above this will be penalised.
Delivered on-time rate
The percentage of orders that buyers received by the estimated delivery date.
Sellers should aim for a percentage of 97% or greater. This metric can be viewed for the last seven and 30 days in Seller Central
Inventory depth/sales volume
Amazon prefers sellers who have enough inventory to deal with the demand which the Buy Box can create. As a result, sellers with a large inventory, consistent sales, and good stock history can be granted a higher Buy Box share.
If you’re frequently out of stock, your chances of winning the Buy Box are slim to none.
There are two prices on Amazon, the price you list an item and the landed price which includes shipping and VAT (UK and EU only). It’s important to take these things into consideration when pricing your products.
A common misconception is that sellers who have the lowest price think they will win the Buy Box. Whilst having a lower price will increase your chances of winning a share of the Buy Box, it is only one of the criteria for it, albeit, an important one.
If your seller performance is higher than your competition for a product, you may be able to raise your price and still get your share of the Buy Box.
Feedback rating is the culmination of all feedback score the seller has received over the last 30 days, 90 days and 365 days, with the most recent feedback having the greatest impact.
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Late shipment rate
Late shipment rate is the number of orders shipping later than the expected ship date. You can set your handling time in Seller Central, sellers who don’t will be given the default shipping time of 1-2 business days.
A late shipment rate below 4% will aid your chances of winning a share of the Buy Box. This metric can be viewed for the last seven and 30 days in Seller Central.
Cancellation and refund rate
The number of orders cancelled before being shipped by the seller and the number of orders refunded after being shipped make up the cancellation and refund rate.
A rate higher than 2.5 % could affect your chances of winning the Buy Box.
Feedback count is the number of buyers who have given seller feedback. A higher feedback count can lead towards winning the Buy Box.
The amount of time a seller takes to ship an item is known as the shipping time. This has a high impact on winning the Buy Box, particularly for products such as birthday cards and perishable items.
Shipping time is arranged into the following brackets, which only includes working days: 0-2 days, 3-7 days, 8-13 days, 14 or more days.
The shipping time can be seen on the product detail page where it states the date the item should arrive between.
Valid tracking rate,
This is a new performance metric from Amazon, which is the percentage of total packages shipping with valid tracking.
Valid tracking rate is considered on the basis of the last seven and 30 days.
In order to protect your Buy Box eligibility, valid tracking numbers should be provided for 95% of packages shipped. Anything less than this could affect their chances of winning the Buy Box and even selling in a certain category.
Usually, if you don’t have the item in stock, you can’t win the Buy Box and it will rotate to another seller. This is why it is crucial for sellers to keep good stock levels of its bestsellers.
One exception to the above rule is when a product can be listed as “backordered” alongside a note on the product page. With backorders, the customer orders the item with the understanding that it is not immediately available and will be shipped at a later date.
Backordered items can be featured in the Buy Box, however, products that are immediately available are favoured.
Customer response time
Again, Amazon checks responses for the last seven, 30 and 90 days and compares them for all competing sellers. It is considered, that replying to customers within 12 hours increases your chances of winning the Buy Box.
If more than 10% of messages were replied to after 24 hours or never replied to, this can have an adverse effect on the ratings. However, by marking as no response needed, the seller can save themselves from negative points.
- Amazon doesn’t share the Buy Box – Although Amazon often wins the Buy Box on listings that it sells on, third-party sellers can win a share of it.
- The lowest price always wins the Amazon Buy Box – Price is a major factor in the Buy Box algorithm but not the only one, e.g. fulfillment method.
- You can keep the Buy Box to yourself – No one is guaranteed exclusive access to Amazon’s Buy Box. Other merchants can appear at any time.
- You need to turn Buy Box eligibility on – Amazon decides if you’re eligible for the Buy Box, not you.
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