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How to Win the Buy Box for Christmas

By Tami Ben-David October 9, 2013
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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.

Online Christmas shopping has grown exponentially in the last couple of years and, this year, it’s set to top $50 billion in the United States alone.

While there are a ton of pull factors to shopping online any time throughout the year, the advantages become increasingly more acute during the holiday season with the rush for popular products (think back ten years to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Jingle All the Way!) and the urgent need to find so many gifts on deadline.

For online sellers, therefore, the Christmas period is crucial.

So if there’s any time to win the Amazon Buy Box and make loads of sales, it’s now.

And it’s very simple.

The way Amazon works is unique. The Buy Box counts for 82% of its sales. So if you win the Buy Box, you’re basically guaranteed to do better than all your competitors. However, the complex algorithm that determines which sellers wins the Buy Box means that many factors are taken into account.

Contrary to popular belief, it is NOT just low pricing that wins a seller the Buy Box but many other elements too. And these elements are all related to RECENT seller performance. This means that if you’re trying to aim for the Buy Box for Christmas, you need to start improving your seller performance today.

5 easy things you can do today that will help you win the Buy Box for Christmas

1. Feedback makes all the difference

Seller rating is calculated by points. If an order is fulfilled without any problems, it receives points, and if a problem arises, points are taken off. The amount of points either granted or deducted depends on the size of the problem.

Receiving negative feedback is a factor that deducts a huge amount of points, thereby negatively affecting the overall seller rating. Since orders placed in the last 30 days have a greater effect on a seller’s total score, receiving POSITIVE feedback NOW will vastly increase your chances of winning the Buy Box over the coming months.

Practical Tip: Why don’t you get in touch this week with all your current customers and ask them to leave positive feedback on their experience with you? Even better, get in touch with customers who have given negative feedback and ask them to remove it.

2. Stay in stock

What you certainly do not want, is to be out of stock of any items during the Christmas period, especially the popular items. Not only are you unable to win the Buy Box this way but sourcing products during the holiday season can also be a lot more difficult and expensive.

Practical Tip: Order all of the inventory and supplies you think you’ll need, now. To get a rough estimate of how much you need, you can expect to sell between 2.5 and 4 times as much as usual (unless you’re selling Santa memorabilia, in which case you’ll probably need a lot more!).

3. You’ll disappoint the children if the gifts arrive late!

Shipping time is crucially important for the Buy Box. The various times are arranged into brackets, including: 0-2 days, 3-7 days, 8-13 days and 14 or more days. While moving within brackets certainly affects your share of the Buy Box, jumping between brackets has an even greater impact and may result in you securing the Buy Box.

During the holiday season, buyers pay particular attention to shipping rates, since they want their purchases to arrive before December? 25th. With the notoriously slow mail during such a peak time, it is extremely important to get your shipping times spot on.

Practical Tip: It may be worth spending slightly more in order to ship your items quicker. While your profit margin per item may decrease slightly, you won’t be complaining if you win the Buy Box and increase your sales!

4. Respond Quickly to Your Customers

While not as vital as price or overall seller rating, customer response time does still impact the Buy Box. For example, sellers who want to score best need to respond in less than 12 hours. Amazon only care about response times for the 90 days, which is why, if you want to win the Buy Box over the coming weeks and months, it matters how you respond to customers right now and in the next 90 days.
Practical Tip: While it obviously takes more time and energy to respond quickly to customers, it may be worth putting in that extra effort in the lead up to Christmas, so you’ll be in the hot spot to grab the Buy Box at this most lucrative time. While not as vital as price or overall seller rating, customer response time does still impact the Buy Box. For example, sellers who want to sco

5. And, of course, Price

Although perhaps the most obvious factor, it nevertheless must still be mentioned! Price your products competitively and you are half way to winning the Buy Box. This is something that can be done in seconds and there are multiple repricing software out there that will save you the time repricing manually. While certainly vital all year round, getting the price exactly right during the holiday season is an optimum way to see your revenue soar.

Practical Tip: If you?re not currently using any repricing software, how about trying one now? Here at Feedvisor, we understand that different repricers suit different people and that’s why we offer free demos to anyone who wants to test us out.

Merry Christmas!

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