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What Is Buy Box

In 2013, roughly $74 billion of revenue went through Amazon, an amount that was responsible for almost 6% of the total international e-commerce spend. Out of this $74 billion, at least $61 billion went through the Buy Box, with $30 billion of that generated from third-party Amazon Marketplace sellers.

what is buy box

If you want to be a successful seller on Amazon, this chapter is critical for gaining an understanding of most important drivers of being successful on Amazon, no matter what products or brands you choose to list and sell on Amazon.

The seller in the Buy Box is not usually permanently there, and the Buy Box-winning seller can change every 15 to 60 minutes, sometimes resulting in a new winner, and sometimes resulting in the same winner as before. These rotations are hidden from a customer already viewing the page, as Amazon use cookies to ensure each customer sees only one Buy Box winner per hour.

On the other hand, page views are the number of times a customer actually visited a page. Thus in one session, a customer can have multiple page views. As a result, your reports may show more page views than sessions.

The importance of each variable can change on a product-to-product or a category-to-category basis, which means that though a seller could be losing to a competitor on one product, the same seller could be beating that same competitor on another unrelated product.

Instead it seems to treat their offers as those coming from a seller with perfect customer experience metrics. If a seller has almost perfect customer metrics, or a very low landed price, we sometimes see them share Buy Box rotation with Amazon.

But be careful. Amazon reprices reactively. If you lower your price, Amazon will lower its price often to the point of losing money. Amazon also seems to possess an uncanny knowledge of the Buy Box algorithm as it will lower its price to a few dollars more than yours, recognizing the contribution of its perfect seller performance metrics, so it still maintains Buy Box share.

In some unusual cases, if the item being offered has no Buy Box winner AND the item is no longer available to be wholesaled from the manufacturer (such as a collectible toy), it is likely that the Amazon catalog still contains a list price against this item.

Another tactic that merchant-fulfilled sellers will use is selling popular products at a very competitive price. Getting just a few sales for those items can enable the seller to receive overall Buy Box Eligible status for that category of products.

Also, Buy Box eligibility has to be earned on a category by category basis; it is not earned across all categories all at once. If you think that you have met all the required criteria for a particular category, and have not been awarded Buy Box Eligible status, you should contact Amazon Seller Support to request this status.

The most important variable considered by Amazon is whether the item is fulfilled by the merchant or by Amazon (FBA). Amazon considers their own fulfillment service superior to even the best merchant-fulfilled warehouses or third-party logistics companies. They naturally assign perfect scores for any metrics related to fulfillment when you use their service. If you are the only seller with an FBA offer for a particular ASIN, other merchant-fulfilled offers will need to significantly beat you on price and have very high performance scores.

This is the time in which the seller promises to ship the item to the customer. For certain time-critical products and categories, such as birthday cards and perishable goods, the impact of this metric on the Buy Box will be even higher, since customers often demand swift shipping on such items. Utilizing FBA checks this one off for you, because FBA shipping times are considered exceptional.

The culmination of all the feedback that a seller has received from customers, represented in your feedback score, is grouped by the last 30 days, 90 days, and 365 days. The most recent feedback has the greatest effect on the Buy Box.

Amazon will not award the Buy Box to someone who is frequently out of stock of a product. Amazon prefers to give the Buy Box to sellers who have enough inventory to deal with the increased demand that the Buy Box may create. For that reason, sellers with a larger current inventory, consistent sales, and a strong stock history may be granted a greater Buy Box share.

One piece of advice here: Instead of targeting 100% of the Buy Box for all of your SKUs (which usually comes a very low profit margin), find a price point that balances better profit margin with satisfactory Buy Box share.

The second alternative repricing method is algorithmic repricing. This involves using software to monitor all of the variables used to determine the Buy Box then set a price that will give the optimal balance of Buy Box share and profit margin for each individual product.

Algorithmic repricing can deliver high rates of return to sellers with little effort, and most of the process is automated. However, this is also one of the more expensive repricing methods available, and can therefore be prohibitive for smaller merchants or merchants with very low profit margins per product.

Improving Seller Performance: Although we initially covered repricing, the first step for sellers who are trying to increase their Buy Box share should probably be an examination of your Seller Rating, Shipping Time, and Customer Response Time. You should look at these metrics to see where you can have the greatest effect with the least amount of effort.

So items from a seller with no FBA presence on its listings can get easily suppressed from view of those customers searching for Prime-eligible products. Here are the key reasons FBA provides such a boost and increases the chances of winning the Buy Box.

In fact, only 18% of purchases are made when buyers make the effort to scroll through more sellers and weigh up their options based on price, seller feedback rating and delivery. Talk about prime real estate.

Three options: Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), which allows marketplace sellers to store and ship goods from Amazon warehouses; Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM); and Seller-Fulfilled Prime (SFP), which allows vendors to ship orders from their own centers while gaining access to highly lucrative Prime customers.

Not surprisingly, FBA sellers have a better shot at winning the Buy Box because Amazon considers its own fulfilment service to be best-in-class in terms of shipping time and on-time delivery rates. An FBM seller would need to be enrolled in SFP or have excellent scores in all other areas, as well as a significantly lower price, to outrank FBA vendors.

Amazon takes into account negative feedback, chargebacks and A-Z claims over both short-term (1-2 months ago) and long-term periods (1-4 months ago) and scores a seller accordingly. If your ODR is 1% or higher, your chances of winning the Buy Box are slim. Moreover, a consistently high ODR may result in the removal of your selling privileges.

This is the culmination of all customer feedback (positive, neutral and negative) you received over the last 30, 90 and 365 days, with the most recent comments having the biggest impact on your score. Amazon also takes into account how many reviews you receive relative to your selling history. A feedback score above 90% is essential in obtaining the Buy Box.

When customers submit a valid return request, they expect to receive a prompt response and swift resolution. Amazon created the Return Dissatisfaction Rate to curb claims and negative feedback and help merchants understand where they need to improve. Sellers are rated good, fair or poor, based on negative return feedback, late response and invalid rejection rates.

Collaborate with your teamCollaboration is key to a successful customer support process. Balance the number of tickets across your team and assign queries according to specific skills and languages. Sharing knowledge resources on delivery, business and product information is essential to ensuring that your customer receives the appropriate response quickly and accurately.

Timing is everythingSend a request when the buyer is most likely to respond. Consider time zones, national holidays or other instances when they may not be available. Ensure that you schedule your request when the buyer has had a chance to use the product.

Offer more than they expectWhen requesting feedback, go one step further and provide your customers with any product resources that might entice them to throw an extra star your way, or include links to your seller feedback page for ease of reviewing.

Reverse negative feedbackFirst things first, personalize the response and apologize. Then switch to a positive tone and show the customer that you value them by involving them in the resolution.

What is repricing?Repricing comes with a bit of mystique. On its most basic level, it occurs when a seller changes a price of a particular product to compete with competitors who sell that same product. Prices can be lowered to be more competitive or raised to increase profits if you are a high-ranking seller and currently winning the Buy Box.

Manual repricing vs. automated repricingManual repricing can be both complicated and time-consuming. You need to constantly check competitor prices and manually adjust each SKU to respond to competitor movements. With manual repricing, you can run the risk of being too late to make the sale, or make a loss on your profit margin. With the huge number of price changes on Amazon per second, it is nearly impossible to maintain a successful pricing strategy when manually repricing.

The alternative and more streamlined method of repricing is to automate the process with a repricing tool, such as The benefit is that you will save time and ensure that you remain competitive with every other seller 24-7. 041b061a72


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