Why Customers Buy through the Buy Box

By Tami Ben-David
Published on July 22, 2014 | 789 views

This post was first published on the SCOE website earlier this month. Feedvisor will be presenting at the SCOE conference on the August 15th, 2014.

We know that 80% of sales go through the Buy Box, but why is this so?

What is it about the Buy Box that causes the majority of Amazon customers to purchase through it? And why do the majority of sellers do everything in their power to win it?

Let’s get it straight. On Amazon, there are 3 different ways a customer can purchase an item. First off is via the Add to Cart button in the Buy Box, located on the right hand side of the product detail page. Second is through one of the 3 sellers featured in the Other Sellers on Amazon box, which is directly beneath the Buy Box. Lastly, the customer can click the used and new link inside the Other Sellers on Amazon box to be taken to the Offer Listing Page, where they will find all offerings of a particular product.

Buy Box and Sellers on Amazon

What does the Buy Box bring to the (virtual) table that the other two options don’t?

The prominent positioning of the Buy Box

For most new and veteran Amazon customers, the Buy Box’s Add to Cart button is the go-to place after finding the product they’ve been searching for.

Some customers may not even realize that there are other options out there.

This is because the eye is automatically drawn to the Buy Box, simply due to its location and layout.

It’s not only that the Buy Box is located above the other buying options, giving weight to its significance, but the size of its Add to Cart button is significantly larger than the ones found in the Other Sellers on Amazon box beneath it. These reasons encourage the customer to feel that the easiest, quickest and most hassle-free way of ordering their product is via the Buy Box.

The importance of trust in a relationship

The majority of customers do know that other buying options, besides the Buy Box, exist.

However, at the same time, these customers trust Amazon. They trust that Amazon has carefully selected the seller that will provide them the best possible service all round.

Since Amazon’s outset in 1995, the company has carefully moulded its brand and reputation around the simple fact that the customer comes first. And customers know and appreciate this. Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos famously said, We’re not competitor obsessed, we’re customer obsessed. We start with what the customer needs and we work backwards?

This ideology and mindset has instilled within customers a strong sense of faith in the company. Whether subconsciously or consciously, customers know that if the Buy Box features a certain seller, that seller must be the best in terms of price, service, shipping time and all other factors that matter.

So why even bother checking out other sellers?

Mobile Buy Box

When customers shop using the Amazon app on their phones, the Buy Box plays an even more significant role. This is because, on a phone, the eye is limited to what it can take in at any one time. As the potential customer scrolls down their phone, they are seeing one piece of information at a time.

On a computer screen, one can see all the different buying options at once. On a phone, the Buy Box appears first, so if someone likes what they see, there is no reason for them to scroll down to the New and used link.

In addition, on a phone, there is no such thing as the Other Sellers on Amazon box, so the only actual name the customer can see is that of the Buy Box winner.

Both of these reasons are what cause such a huge majority of mobile users to purchase through the Buy Box, when buying on Amazon.

Since mobile shopping is becoming increasingly more popular at the moment, it makes sense that the amount of Buy Box sales is also steadily increasing.

Customers are constantly and consistently purchasing items through the Buy Box, which is why it has become the foremost prominent piece of real estate in the e-Commerce world. For a free eBook on absolutely everything about the Buy Box, click below.

About the Author

A British ex-pat, Tami been writing and content-strategizing for Israeli tech start-ups for the last 5 years. When she's not writing nerdy content, you can find Tami on open water charity swims or traveling to far-flung countries.

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