University - General Information About Amazon
The Buy Box is a highlighted area on the product detail page that appears when a buyer searches for an item on Amazon. This section is typically occupied by elite sellers, and the placement within this section is highly coveted by the competitive sellers on Amazon.
The Importance of the Buy Box
The same product may be sold by different sellers on the Amazon marketplace. All new items sold by Featured Merchants will show on the product detail page and compete for the Buy Box on the page. The strategic significance of the Buy Box is that it’s the starting point for many customers when adding items to their shopping cart. For many sellers, this placement may lead to increased product sales.
To win the Buy Box, sellers must consistently meet high standards of performance. The Buy Box winning item is determined based on price and availability, among other variables.
Getting Featured in the Buy Box
A seller cannot simply be listed in the Buy Box by meeting certain criteria. Instead, the position is given out randomly to members who fall within a specified field of requirements. Note that meeting the requirements does not guarantee the seller a space in the Buy Box, but one cannot be listed in this area without meeting those requirements. The necessary criteria include:
- Buy Box-Eligible Status: Formerly Featured Merchant status, Buy Box-eligible status is a scale that is used to measure the quality of a seller’s practices. All sellers are encouraged to keep their seller ratings healthy and at high levels.
- Competitive Prices: Buyers are entitled to specify how much they are willing to pay for a product. Therefore, if a seller is offering the item in question for more than the buyer is willing to pay, this listing will not show up within the search results, and certainly not in the Buy Box.
- Product Availability: If a seller is out of the item when the buyer is looking, this will not help anyone make sales. Sellers are, therefore, urged to keep inventories well stocked and up to date.
How Does the Buy Box Percentage Work?
In most cases, Amazon does not give the Buy Box to only one winner, but rather shares or rotates it between a few sellers. Each seller’s share of the Buy Box is determined by many different variables.
The more popular your item is, the more likely that you’ll need to share the Buy Box with other sellers. Whereas if your item has little competition, it’s less likely that you’ll to need to share the Buy Box. This is one of the reasons that the scouting tactic of researching items with little or no competition has weathered the test of time and is used by sellers of all sizes – there’s a large chance that you’ll be able to “own” the Buy Box.
Examples of the Buy Box Percentage
If ten perfectly equal sellers are all competing for the Buy Box, they might each win 10%. This means that for 10% of the day, this seller has their product offering shown in the Buy Box.
On the other hand, a higher-performing seller could have 70% of the Buy Box, an average seller could have 20%, and a lower-performing seller could have 10%. All three of these sellers have “won” the Buy Box.
How Does This Affect the Customer?
If a customer searches Amazon for a specific product and sees a particular seller’s offering in the Buy Box and then returns to the same product page half an hour later, they will see the same seller. If they return a couple of hours later, however, they might see a different seller.
If they place the item in the shopping cart and return to it sometime later, the item offering will be from the same seller. However, the price of the product may have changed, in which case Amazon will notify the customer.
The Performance Metrics Exception
If, for whatever reason, the Buy Box winner’s performance metrics change, Amazon may rotate the Buy Box to a different seller, even before the one hour time period is up. It’s important for Amazon sellers to constantly be aware of their performance standings and ensure that their account health is up to par.
Buy Used Box
Within the Amazon marketplace, there is a wide variety of products. Some of these items are new, but many of them are used. The term used can vary greatly in essence from just having opened the packaging to well-worn and torn. If a buyer is looking for a deal on an item, often the best way to find a bargain is to search for a used copy of the product in question.
The Buy Used Box is available for buyers who have opened their search results to include used items. It is found directly below the Buy Box, and there is just as much competition and necessity to have products featured in this area. Note: Only Professional Seller account holders and Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) sellers who also meet the ODR metrics may be listed in this area.
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