By Si Martin
Getting Started With The Buy Box
The more you read about how to sell on Amazon, the more you’re going to come across the ‘Buy Box’, and all sorts of people telling you how important it is to your Amazon business.
What is the Buy Box?
Well, if you’ve ever bought from Amazon then you’ve already used the Buy Box. It’s the box with the yellow “add to basket” button. When a customer clicks the Buy Box, it starts the buying process by adding the product to the customer’s shopping basket.
So why do I need to “win” the Buy Box?
There are lots of third party sellers on Amazon, and there is inevitably going to be more than one seller selling the same product. So, rather than having loads of different listings for the same product, Amazon makes it easier for customers by having multiple sellers on one product page. However, only one seller can win the Buy Box on the product page. The seller who’s won the Buy Box when a customer clicks it, wins the sale. So winning the Buy Box is ultimately going to lead to you making more sales, and making more money (and let’s face it, that’s why you want to sell online).
Ok, makes sense. What do I have to do to win the Buy Box?
To be honest, only Amazon knows exactly what it is that sellers have to do to win the Buy Box. But there are a few factors that we do know about, that can play an important role in whether you win the Buy Box, and secure more more sales.
The thing to remember throughout all of this is that Amazon always puts its customers’ satisfaction first (and you should too!). When Amazon is selecting a seller to win the Buy Box, they’ll be wanting to give it to someone who’s going to make their customers very happy.
Here are the top 5 things that can influence winning the Buy Box:
It’s hardly a secret that Amazon offers amazing value, and you can grab a bargain there. Considering that Amazon loves keeping customers happy with great value, you’d be forgiven for thinking that having a low price would be the most important factor. While being competitively priced definitely makes a difference, it’s certainly not the only factor in winning the Buy Box.
If you want to be sure you’re keeping your prices competitive within a changing marketplace, you might want to consider using an automatic repricing software, like AppEagle. It adjusts your selling price in line with what the competition is selling the same product for, and it does make a difference.
2. A history of successful selling
In short, the longer you’ve been selling for, the more likely you are to be taking selling on Amazon seriously. Having a good track record of happy customers shows Amazon that you’re a consistent and trustworthy seller who’s able to provide a high quality, positive experience for customers.
It’s not the only factor in winning the Buy Box, so even newcomers with no previous selling experience have a shot at it.
3. Excellent customer service
As we keep mentioning Amazon is customer-centric, it should be a given that providing world class customer service is going to be hugely important for anyone who wants to sell through Amazon’s Marketplace platform.
A few ways you can be providing top customer service (that Amazon looks at for every seller):
- Be responsive to customers – answers questions or resolve issues as soon as possible.
- Dispatch orders as soon as possible – Nobody likes being left waiting for weeks for a package to turn up!
- Be mindful of the condition of the products you ship – if you’re listing something as new and in perfect condition, make sure it arrives that way.
These sorts of things are what customers pick up on when they leave seller feedback, and good seller feedback is hugely important. It makes you a more desirable candidate for winning the Buy Box, but it also might be what sways a customer to buy/not buy from you, even if you’ve won the Buy Box.
4. Seller Metrics
Amazon measures all sellers on the following:
- Order Defect Rate (ODR) – if you get negative feedback, the product that the customer gets isn’t what was described, or a customer reverses their card payment through their bank, it’s counted as a defect.
- Cancellation Rate – if you, as a seller, cancel the order before it’s shipped.
- Late Dispatch Rate – if you fail to ship out the order (and let the customer know!) by the expected dispatch date.
- Policy Violations – if you list an item on Amazon that violates its policies, either because of the item itself, or because of the way you’ve listed it.
- Contact Response Time – if you don’t respond to a customer’s query within 24 hours.
With all of these, you want to keep the rates as low as possible.
5. Fulfillment method
You can run your Amazon store in the same way you would any online store – you keep your products in your office or house and post out (fulfill) orders as they come in.
Alternatively, Amazon has a service called Fulfillment By Amazon, where after you’ve bought and labelled your products to sell, you ship them off to Amazon’s warehouse for storage. Amazon handles the picking, packing and posting of all orders from then. Amazon will also deal with most the customer service (responding to questions/resolving issues) for you.
Considering the importance of matching Amazon’s standards when it comes to dispatching orders, and providing customer service, it makes sense that by letting Amazon FBA do it for you, you’re going to be able to meet those standards.
There are fees associated with FBA, but when Amazon is handling all the things key to winning the Buy Box, the fees are usually worth it – as you should hopefully find yourself winning the Buy Box more often.