If you’re like most Amazon sellers, then you are trying hard to win the elusive Amazon Buy Box. Simply put, the Amazon Buy Box is an algorithm that tries to give the customer the best possible value for money. It does this by determining which product offering promises the best balance of high seller performance and low cost price.
Over 80% of sales go directly through the Buy Box, which makes it Amazon’s most valuable real estate. Winning it is not simple; Amazon rotates the Buy Box winners every hour, so sellers need to work hard to secure the greatest percentage of Buy Box time.
So how do you conquer the Buy Box? Here are the top five strategies on which to focus:
- Be eligible. There are four criteria you must meet if you want to be eligible to compete for the Buy Box:
- You must have a Professional Seller Account (in Europe, this is called a Pro-Merchant account).
- You must be listed as Buy Box Eligible on Amazon Seller Central.
- The item you are selling must be new.
- The item you are selling must be in stock.
- Use an algorithmic repricer. To win the Buy Box, you’ll need to set the right price. Set it too high, and your competition will offer the better deal. Set it too low, and you’ll miss out on profits.
A recent study conducted by Northeastern University found that algorithmic repricing directly correlates with higher Buy Box share and profits. Christo Wilson, the head researcher of the study, noted that Amazon “is much more likely to feature sellers in the Buy Box who use an automated practice called algorithmic repricing, even though their prices may be higher than those who don’t.”
What this means is that an effective algorithmic repricer determines the right price based on Amazon’s variables and the competitive landscape. In so doing, it determines the maximum price for an item without forfeiting Buy Box share. The result: You win the Buy Box, and your profits increase.
Many repricers claim to be algorithmic; however, this is not always the case. A true algorithmic repricer should collect a wide range of data, adapt to market conditions, and have self-learning capabilities. Be sure that the algorithmic repricer you choose has the right technology to back it up.
- Use FBA. Fulfillment method ranks highly in terms of variables that Amazon takes into account when awarding the Buy Box. Not surprisingly, Amazon considers its own fulfillment service to have perfect scores for multiple variables, including Shipping Time, On-Time Delivery Rate, and Inventory Depth. For this reason, using FBA can be the quickest and easiest way to dramatically improve one’s chances of winning the Buy Box. Although a Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) could still beat an FBA seller to the Buy Box, doing so would require high relative scores in all areas and/or a very low price.
- Get excellent feedback. Your feedback score is also one of the primary factors that Amazon takes into account when determining the Buy Box winner. In addition, people are much more likely to purchase from you if they know that you offer quality products and excellent customer service.
To encourage positive feedback, make sure all details in the product description are accurate, and add product dimensions and sizing charts when relevant. Provide high quality images with multiple views, so people know what they are buying. And keep your customers happy by promptly responding to any issues that may come up.
- Stay in stock. As mentioned above, you can’t win the Buy Box if you have nothing left to sell. If you are selling a popular ASIN during a high-demand period such as holiday season, make sure you have plenty of stock available. Being out of stock is a lose-lose situation: You’ll miss out on immediate sales because the Buy Box will rotate to your competitors. And you’ll also miss out on future sales, because your metrics will take a hit, so your chances of winning the Buy Box in the future will decrease.
Keep in mind that winning the Buy Box is not an absolute science. There are many variables to consider, and it’s not easy to get them all right. But by using these strategies, you’ll be well on your way to conquering a profitable share of the Buy Box.
For more information about winning the Amazon Buy Box, download our Buy Box Bible here.
Feedvisor is the pioneer of Algo-Commerce – the discipline of using big data and machine learning algorithms to make business-critical decisions for online retailers. Feedvisor’s cloud-based algorithmic repricing and revenue intelligence solutions power millions of pricing decisions daily, providing retailers with actionable insights to maximize profitability and drive business growth. In the last year alone, Feedvisor’s customer base has grown by 250% and over $2 billion in GMV is managed on the Feedvisor platform. Clients have seen results of up to 34% increase in revenue, 28% increase in sales and 37% increase in profit margins.
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