How to Win the Buy Box on Amazon
Amazon draws in billions of dollars every year and over 80% of that goes through the Buy Box. While you can do well on Amazon without winning the Buy Box, it is clear that becoming a Buy Box winner will put you at an advantage — enabling you to increase your sales volume, profits, and overall visibility to customers.
Requirements for Winning the Buy Box
In order to even attempt winning the Buy Box, there are certain things you must do, or have, to even stand a chance.
- Have an Amazon Professional Seller account.
- Be Buy Box-eligible: This was formerly known as Featured Merchant Status. Amazon only grants Buy Box eligibility to sellers with high levels of performance who have been selling for a solid amount of time (anywhere between two and six months).
- Sell new items: The Buy Box for used items is a separate element.
- You must have available stock of the item: Backordered items can now win the Buy Box, but the algorithm favors sellers that constantly have adequate inventory.
Without these 4 things, Amazon will not even consider you for the Buy Box.
The Variables that Affect the Buy Box
Once you have fulfilled all of the requirements necessary for winning the Buy Box, there are different variables that impact your chances of winning the Buy Box for a particular item. The weight assigned to each variable can change on a product-by-product or category-by-category basis.
Your variables will be compared to other sellers’ variables when competing for the Buy Box for that particular product. You could be beating another seller on a particular product but losing to them on another unrelated product.
The variables that affect the Buy Box are as follows:
- Fulfillment Method: Sellers who choose FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) or SFP (Seller-Fulfilled Prime) are usually at an advantage to those who sell FBM (Fulfillment by Merchant), with all other variables being equal.
- Landed Price: This is the total amount that the product is sold for on Amazon. The lower the seller’s performance metrics are compared to other sellers, the lower they’ll need to lower their price to try to win the Buy Box. On the other hand, if their metrics are high, they could raise their price and still win.
- Shipping Time: The quicker you ship, the better off you are.
- Availability: Backordered items can be featured in the Buy Box, but items that are immediately fulfillable are favored by Amazon’s algorithm so avoiding backorders should be a priority for all sellers.
- Order Defect Rate: This is a combination of the Negative Feedback Rate, the A-to-Z Guarantee Claim Rate, and the Service Chargeback Rate.
- Valid Tracking Rate: This is the percentage of deliveries sent with full tracking information.
- Late Shipment Rate: This is the number of orders shipped later than the expected ship date.
- On-Time Delivery: This is the percentage of orders that were delivered on time.
- Feedback Score: How well people have rated you (especially recently) makes a difference.
- Customer Response Time: How quickly do you respond to customers? If you take too much time, it will negatively impact your chances of winning the Buy Box.
- Feedback Count: This is how many people have given you feedback. Obviously the more customers, the better.
- Inventory Depth and Sales Volume: Having enough inventory consistently will put you in a better position than if you have big fluctuations in inventory.
- Cancellation and Refund Rate: If you cancel on a customer who has made an order too often, it could have a negative impact on your seller performance.
This is a very brief synopsis of each variable. For an in-depth explanation of every variable and how much of an impact it has on the Buy Box, download Feedvisor’s Buy Box Bible.