When you start to familiarize yourself with Amazon, some of the first concepts you will encounter are ‘Buy Box’ and ‘Winning the Buy Box’. In short, the Buy Box is the white box visible on the right side, when you click on a product. Simply put, the box consists of a few buttons, which give the customer the opportunity to put the product in their basket or proceed directly to payment.
The observant reader will notice that you’ll often find a link which reads ”X new from £XX” alongside the Buy Box. The link directs customers to a new page, where it is possible to view all the sellers listing the desired product.
A seller is chosen when a customer clicks ‘add to basket’. This is where the concept of ‘winning the Buy Box’ comes into the picture: how do you make sure that the customer chooses you as the seller when they add a product to their basket? In reality, it is not the customer making that call but Amazon’s algorithm that decides if you or your competitor get the sale.
The winner of the Buy Box is the seller with the best ‘seller metrics’.
How do you optimize your seller metrics, so customers choose you as their seller? Amazon ranks sellers based on several factors but the most important are:
How you ship your products is one of the factors which has the largest impact on your chances of winning the Buy Box. Generally speaking, there are three ways to sell on Amazon: Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) and Vendor Central (VC). Sellers using FBA are better positioned to win the Buy Box compared to FBM and VC.
It probably comes as no surprise that the seller with the lowest total price (product price + delivery costs) will have a higher chance of winning the Buy Box. Still, price is not everything and sellers can easily lose a sale if they don’t perform well enough on other parameters.
Shipping time is yet another factor that affects your chances of winning the Buy Box. Ideally, you want to be able to deliver your products to customers within 2 days max. Using FBA will ensure you do.
Order Defect Rate is a key measurement which is calculated based on your negative feedback rate + your A-to-Z Claim Rate + Chargeback Rate. The easiest way to win the Buy Box is to have an ODR of 0% but, generally, sellers should aim at keeping the ODR below 1%.
Several other components go into Amazon’s sales algorithm beyond the four mentioned above. What matters to your success on Amazon is learning how to interpret the algorithm and use it to your advantage.