How to Win the Buy Box in 2019

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  • Winning the Buy Box is key to increasing your sales.
  • You can win the Buy Box with simple, effective methods.
  • Ensure your Seller Profile stats are top notch; they’ll help you win the Buy Box.
  • Usually, having the cheapest product, even if it’s by $0.01, will give you an edge.
  • Being an Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) seller drastically improves your chances of winning the buy box.

Winning the Buy Box is a must if you want sales. But before we talk about ways to win the Buy Box, let’s go over what it does, and why it’s so important.

What is the Buy Box?

Below is a screenshot of the Buy Box. It’s that little gold button located on the right-hand side of an Amazon listing. When a customer decides to buy a product, they simply click on ‘Add to Cart’, and then go through the purchasing process.

What customers may not realize, though, is that behind the scenes sellers are fighting for this little gold button. It’s often the difference between a view and a sale.

As you can imagine, if you don’t win the Buy Box, getting sales is very difficult. From a business perspective, it’s far from ideal. So we need to do everything possible to ensure that we are the owners of Buy Box for as long as possible.

Doesn’t every listing have a Buy Box?

Yes, every listing has a Buy Box.

BUT, when multiple sellers are selling the exact same item (eg. there are six sellers on this listing, offering the same black chew toy), Amazon directs customers to the product’s main listing. And only one of the sellers on that main listing can own the Buy Box of that product.

Buyers wanting to purchase from one of the other sellers offering the item would have to navigate away from the main listing to find their chosen seller’s Buy Box.

In other words, it’s a lot easier for a shopper to click on the ‘Add to Cart’ button on the main listing of an item. And most buyers are looking for simplicity and speed. Most don’t want to hunt for another seller’s Buy Box. They’d rather purchase from the main listing.

This only applies to sellers who are selling identical products though.

If you are a Private Label seller with your own unique product, this doesn’t apply to you. You won’t have to share a ‘main listing’ with anyone else. However, even as a private label seller, you still won’t get the Buy Box automatically.

To win the Buy Box, there are a few conditions. To be eligible you:

  • need to have an Amazon Professional Seller account;
  • must keep your product stocked, and available for purchase;
  • must be selling “New” items; used products are ineligible.

So this begs the question, how do you actually win the Buy Box?

How to Win the Buy Box

1. Be an FBA seller.

Being an FBA seller works massively in your favor when it comes to winning the Buy Box. Not only do you benefit from FBA’s storage facilities and pick and pack services when you join the FBA program, Amazon also gives FBA sellers a significant edge when it comes to competing for, and winning, the Buy Box.

And the reason Amazon favors FBA sellers is simply because they know FBA sellers are reliable.

Since FBA sellers are automatically enrolled in Prime, their customers automatically get next-day delivery. Being FBA also means your customers are supported 24/7. And Amazon provides it all!

So when Amazon is faced with choosing the winning seller of a product’s Buy Box, it makes sense that they would favor the FBA seller. To keep their customers happy, Amazon’s Buy Box is always going to go to a seller who is reliable, ships quickly, and has a solid selling history.

Giving the Buy Box to a seller whom they cannot trust could mean losing a customer, and Amazon wants those sales just as much as we do. So Amazon rarely risks giving the Buy Box to a seller who ships their product themselves.

2. Have a Competitive Landed Price

Contrary to popular belief, having the cheapest price doesn’t always win you the buy box. But that doesn’t mean you can set sky high prices for your products either.

You’re best bet is to set your landed price at a competitive rate. This means including shipping and handling in your costs. So keep an eye on your competitors, and make sure your price remains competitive.

If you’re unsure of how to price your item, then you might want to use a tool like Splitly’s Profit Peak. It optimizes your listing by finding your product’s “optimum price for maximum profits”.

3. Ensure Your Account Health is Top Notch

If you’re an FBA seller, you don’t need to worry about your account health, as Amazon is in control of your logistics.

However, if you are a Fulfilled by Merchant seller (FBM), or a Wholesale seller, then you’ll need to stay on top of your account statistics. They need to be top notch to give you a better shot of winning the Buy Box. This means:

  • Minimal returns for faulty products.
  • Incredible response rate to your customers queries.
  • Fast shipping; ideally, shipping to zero to two days to match Prime.

And to track your stats, watch your Order Defect, Return Dissatisfaction, and Valid Tracking Rates, your Buyer-Seller Contact Metrics, and Recent Customer Metrics Data. Amazon looks at all of those, to determine a seller’s account health.

For you to have any chance of winning the Buy Box, these are the targets you’ll have to meet:

Return Dissatisfaction Rate (Target: Less than 10%)

  • Negative Return Feedback Rate
  • Late Response Rate
  • Invalid Rejection Rate

Order Defect Rate (Target: less than 1%)

  • Negative Feedback Rate
  • Filed A to Z Claim Rate
  • Service Chargeback Rate

Buyer-Seller Contact Metrics (Target: Less than 25%)

  • Response Times Under 24 Hours (Target: 90%+)
  • Late Responses (Target: Less than 10%)
  • Average Response Time

Valid Tracking Rate

  • By Category (Targets: 90%+)
  • Delivered on Time (Target: 97%+)

Recent Customer Metrics Data

  • Pre-Fulfillment Cancel Rate (Target: Less than 2.5%)
  • Late Shipment Rate (Target: less than 4%)
  • Refund Rate

Again, Amazon would be taking a huge risk if a seller with low reviews, negative feedback, and poor statistics was given the Buy Box. So Amazon won’t promote your business by granting you the Buy Box if your account doesn’t meet their expectations.

4. Be a Stellar Seller

Give your customers an awesome shopping experience.

Remember, you are selling to people. Human beings. Does your product and sales strategy encourage them to purchase, while also letting them know that you’ll be there for them every step of the way?

If you didn’t answer yes to the question above, then you might want to rethink your strategy. The experience of purchasing from you should be a happy one. From the way you describe your product on Amazon, to the images you choose to display, your choices will either help or hurt your sales.

Along with a great buying experience, you need to provide shoppers with an awesome after-sales experience too. This means providing exceptional customer support and aftercare (if you are an FBA Seller, Amazon will handle this for you).

Small things, like sending customers a “Thank You” email, can mean the difference from someone buying from you once, to someone becoming a lifelong, loyal customer. Something like a post-purchase check-in also encourages positive feedback and reviews, boosting sales and increasing your chances of winning the Buy Box.

Conclusion

All in all, winning the Buy Box isn’t impossible. In fact, it can be easily achievable. If you’re eligible, know what to do to increase your chances, and look after your customers, you could end up owning the Buy Box.

But don’t forget! Winning the Buy Box once doesn’t mean that you’ll own it forever.

Things change quickly in Amazon, so make sure you stay on top of your game, and always keep an eye on your competitors. A seller’s sudden drop in price could easily knock you out of the Buy Box. Don’t get complacent!

Once you own the Buy Box, you’ll see the profit from those extra, Buy Box sales come flooding in. A perfect way to start the year, right?!

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3 Comments on “How to Win the Buy Box in 2019”

  1. Great read thank you for sharing!

    As a new private label seller I have been thinking about backing it up with some wholesale goods.
    A couple questions if you would be kind enough to answer.

    Would the reviews from my PL brand have impact on my overall account health when it comes to getting the buybox in wholesale?

    Would it be better to have both sides of the business separated i.e PL LLC and wholesale LLC or is it ok to run them together when starting out?

  2. Great read thank you for sharing!

    As a new private label seller I have been thinking about backing it up with some wholesale goods.
    Would the reviews from my PL brand have impact on my overall account health when it comes to getting the buybox?

    Would it be better to have both sides of the business separated i.e PL LLC and wholesale LLC or is it ok to run them together when starting out?

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