What is the Amazon Buy Box?
The Buy Box is the white box on the right-hand side of a product detail page on Amazon where a customer clicks to add the item to their basket (or to purchase if one-click purchasing is turned on).
82% of Amazon sales go through the Buy Box, and the percentage is even higher for mobile purchases — so it’s really important to know how to win the Buy Box for your products and fend off the competition!
A Buy Box on Amazon allows customers to make a quick purchase without considering who they are buying from — this could be Amazon or a third-party seller. If none of your listings are winning the Buy Box, you won’t be making any sales.
When a customer selects, “Add to Cart”, the seller who has the Buy Box at that moment in time gets the sale. The Buy Box winner rotates between sellers who have Buy Box Eligibility and who are competitively priced — read on for an overview of this and other key factors to consider below!
How does the Amazon Buy Box work?
Not all sellers are eligible to win the Buy Box. Amazon rotates the Buy Box between multiple sellers, based on various factors. Below is a handy at-a-glance summary of each factor you need to consider!
This is perhaps the most important variable considered by Amazon, and there are three main methods:
- FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon)
- FBM (Fulfilment by Merchant)
- Seller-Fulfilled Prime (SFP)
Amazon is, of course, going to favour Sellers who are able to have the product shipped to the shopper with Prime.
Put simply, this is the amount of time a seller takes to ship an item, and this is a key factor for winning the Buy Box. If a Seller is using FBA, their products are eligible for Prime delivery (typically 1 day, sometimes same day delivery) — and gives them a better chance of winning the Buy Box.
Shipping time is arranged into the following brackets, which only includes working days: 0-2 days, 3-7 days, 8-13 days, 14 or more days.
The lowest price doesn’t guarantee that a Seller will win the Buy Box, but a higher price other sellers will probably mean losing it.
A good Seller Rating, using FBA and good feedback means you can probably price the item slightly higher than third party sellers who are self-fulfilling orders.
It’s usually impossible to win the Buy Box if the item is out of stock, and it will rotate to another seller.
Sometimes a product can be listed as “backordered”, with a note on the product page, so the customer understands that it is not immediately available and will be shipped once stock is available.
Valid tracking rate
The percentage of total packages shipping with valid tracking. Sellers should provide a valid tracking number for 95% of packages shipped — any less than that could affect your chances of winning the Buy Box.
Order defect rate (ODR)
This consists of three metrics:
- Negative feedback rating
- A-Z guarantee claim rate
- Service chargeback rate
Using these three metrics, Amazon calculates how many orders were defective. Seller with an ODR over 1% will be penalised.
Late shipment rate
The number of orders shipping later than the expected ship date. Handling times can be set in Seller Central, with the default setting being 1-2 business days.
Aim for a late shipment rate below 4% to boost your chances of winning the Buy Box!
Delivered on-time rate
The percentage of orders that buyers received by the estimated delivery date. Sellers should aim to deliver 97% or more of their orders on time!
Customer response time
Replying to customers within 12 hours is thought to increases your chances of winning the Buy Box. Amazon checks responses for the last seven, 30 and 90 days, comparing them across competing sellers.
Please note that sellers can avoid picking up negative points by marking as “no response needed”.
This rating is reflected by all feedback scores the seller has received over the last 30, 90 or 365-day periods. You can view this information in Seller Central. Bear in mind that the most recent feedback has the greatest impact!
This refers to the number of buyers who provide seller feedback — the higher, the better!
Inventory depth/sales volume
Winning the Buy Box is very unlikely if your products are frequently out of stock.
Amazon favours sellers who have enough stock to satisfy the demand created by the Buy Box. If possible, maintain a large inventory with consistent sales, and a good stock history!
As you can see, winning the Buy Box is a complex process, but now you have plenty of useful tips on how to increase your chances! The Buy Box winner can vary at any time, so it is essential that Sellers keep an eye on their Buy Box win percentages within their Seller or Vendor Central accounts.
If you would like any further advice or expertise about how to win the Amazon Buy Box, or if you need help with any element of your Amazon listings, please get in touch and find out how marketplace amp can amplify your sales. You can also see if you are eligible for the Buy Box here. We’re proud to work with national and international consumer brands — find out more about our work here.