About two months ago, Amazon removed the section from their Offer Listing Pages that stated which Sellers were Featured Merchants. Outraged Sellers criticized the move, asserting that it had unfairly placed less-worthy Sellers as equal to those who had worked so hard to achieve top metrics. (See our blog on The disappearance of Featured Merchant status on Amazon what now?!)
Following this change, many people thought that Featured Merchant status had gone entirely.
However, this is not actually the case.
Featured Merchant Status still exists and without it, you have no chance of winning the Buy Box.
In other words, although customers and competitors are no longer able to see who is a Featured Merchant and who is not, the status still very much exists. And it has exactly the same impact as it had before on the Buy Box.
Therefore, achieving Featured Merchant status should still remain a top priority of any Seller because without it, the Buy Box cannot be won.
How do I become a Featured Seller?
The way a Seller gets upgraded to a Featured Merchant is no different than before.
To become a Featured Merchant, you must:
1. Be a Pro Merchant account holder.
2. Have a very low ODR (Order Defect Rate).
3. Perform well across many metrics, specifically Seller Rating and On-Time Delivery Rate.
The second two points highlight the importance of building up customer trust. With any business, customer service is important. However, with Amazon, it’s crucial. If your customer service isn’t top-notch, you won’t win the Buy Box and you won’t win customers (See our blog on Content Customers are the Key to Successful Selling). In fact, Amazon suggest some best practices that develop customer trust. These include listing items accurately, shipping accurately, and communicating with customers.
If the Seller possesses the three above mentioned qualities, Amazon will upgrade him to a Featured Merchant. Amazon do stress, however, that attaining Featured Merchant status in one category does not automatically qualify you for the same status in all categories.
How can I see if I am a Featured Seller?
Whereas prior to Amazon’s changes, anyone could see who was a Featured Seller simply by looking at the Offer Listing Page, this information is now only disclosed to the Seller within their Seller Central account.
To see if you are a Featured Seller and therefore eligible for the Buy Box:
1. Click on the Inventory tab in your Amazon Seller Central and select Manage Inventory.
# Click on the Preferences tab.
# In the Column Display section, locate the field for Buy Box Eligible.
# Select ‘Show When Available’ from the drop-down menu.
Then, when looking at a particular SKU, if you eligible for the Buy Box it will say ‘Yes’ in the Buy Box Eligible column, and if you are not eligible for the Buy Box, it will say ‘No’