How to Win the Amazon Buy Box

Date Published: 6/16/2021

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Last Updated: 6/17/2021

Most Amazon shoppers don’t realize that the Buy Box — the widget visible on the right hand side of most Amazon product pages — is actually separate from the product listing itself and something that Amazon sellers compete for.

The Buy Box facilitates low-friction sales on Amazon by empowering shoppers to make a purchase quickly and easily with the ability to select the way in which they will purchase the product (used, new, shipping speeds, gift options), quantity of items being purchased, and other variables before clicking the ‘Add to Cart’ button. Given that more than 80% of Amazon sales happen through the Buy Box, competitive Amazon sellers recognize that understanding how to win the coveted Buy Box is critical for success.

Amazon Buy Box Eligibility

According to Amazon, you must meet 3 conditions to become eligible for the Buy Box. If you’re a Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) seller, your FBA new offers are automatically eligible to win the Buy Box, but if not, you must meet all of the conditions listed below.

  1. Type of selling account: You must have a Professional selling account. (Here's how to switch to a Professional Selling Plan and upgrade if needed.)

  2. Performance Metrics: Your Order Defect Rate, Cancellation Rate, and Late Shipment Rate are metrics that determine eligibility - the better you perform, the higher your chances are of becoming Buy Box eligible. Check how you’re performing in each area on your Amazon Account Health page.

  3. Order volume: In order for Amazon to accurately assess your performance, you’re required to have sufficient order volume. This amount varies among categories.

Factors Affecting Buy Box Eligibility

Amazon takes many variables into account when assessing your Buy Box eligibility. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 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 (ODR). This is calculated using customer feedback, A-Z Guarantee claims and chargebacks.

  • Valid Tracking Rate. This is the percentage of deliveries sent with full tracking information.

  • Shipping Time. The quicker you ship, the better off you are.

  • On-Time Delivery. This is the percentage of orders that were delivered on time.

  • Late Shipment Rate. Closely related to the previous metric, this is the number of orders shipped later than the expected ship date.

  • Feedback Score. How well people have rated you makes a difference. How recent you received a rating also factors in.

  • Feedback Count. The more feedback and reviews, the better.

  • 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.

  • Inventory Depth and Sales Volume. Having enough inventory consistently will put you in a better position. Avoid big fluctuations in inventory.

  • Cancellation and Refund Rate: If this is high, it could have a negative impact on your seller performance.

  • Price. In general, the lower your performance metrics are compared to other sellers, the lower you’ll need to lower their price to try to win the Buy Box. On the other hand, if your metrics are high, you could raise your price and still win.

  • 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.

Additional Insights on Amazon Sellers Buy Box Eligibility

In addition to familiarizing yourself with the above variables, there a few additional things to know about how the Buy Box works and how to win a share of it.

  • Time and experience selling on Amazon will factor into your eligibility. These factors are largely out of your control and will require some patience.

  • A seller’s Buy Box eligibility may change over time based on the seller’s performance against the eligibility criteria, which is also subject to change.

  • Specific performance metric targets can vary by category and also subject to change.

  • Earning Buy Box eligible status in one category does not automatically qualify a seller for Buy Box eligible status for all categories, and some categories do not offer the benefits of Buy Box eligible status.

  • Sustained seller performance and a low Order Defect Rate will help achieve and preserve a seller’s Buy Box eligible status.

  • The Buy Box rotates between sellers who have Buy Box Eligibility and are competitively priced.

  • The Buy Box considers location.

  • Having the lowest price does not guarantee the Buy Box. The Buy Box price is not always the lowest price on Amazon.

Best Practices for winning the Amazon Buy Box

These best practices will help you win the Buy Box, gain customer trust, and scale your Amazon store competitively:

  • Timely shipping. Build a reliable fulfillment and shipping process with plenty of time to meet or beat the estimated delivery date, especially during the holiday season. If you are not going to make the estimated delivery date, notify your customer ASAP, even for issues outside of your control like natural disasters or carrier issues. Also confirm shipment to avoid unnecessary cancelled orders

  • Accurate shipping. Set your fulfillment team up for success with fulfillment and shipping procedures that have thorough checks in place to avoid customers receiving the wrong item.

  • Regular communication with customers before/during a transaction. Notify customers when an order is delayed and respond quickly to customer questions. The right communication at the right time builds trust.

  • Excellent post-transaction support for customers. Timely support and responsiveness regarding refunds, returns, and exchanges help ensure customer satisfaction.

  • Accurately written listings with careful attention to titles, descriptions and categorization of items and their conditions to avoid customer confusion.

How can Market Labs help win the BuyBox?

Market Labs advanced marketplace management software can help you win and keep your Amazon Buy Box. Our monitoring and managing tools eliminate the need for manual around-the-clock work and gives you an edge over your competition. It saves you time and energy while also being a pleasant product experience.

  • We provide a full management system around alerts so you can react quickly and efficiently to any change. Don’t just monitor your listing alerts, manage them.

  • Don't be the last to know about another seller hijacking your private-label listing. Real-time monitoring is always enabled to keep your listings safe.

  • Even if you're still winning the buy box, be the first to know if another seller is added to your listings.

  • Price changes on your listings can affect sales and your bottom line. Know about them right away.

  • Sign up for email or SMS alerts to get notified when you're on the go. Take action directly from your alerts to modify pricing and react to changes.

Contact us to learn more about our full-service ecosystem management platform for Amazon Sellers.