According to Amazon, the decisions you make for each step of selling on Amazon impact your performance standing, and your performance standing impacts your Amazon Buy Box eligibility. Here are ways to improve your chances of winning the Amazon Buy box.
1) Achieve Featured Merchant Status
Only sellers with a Featured Merchant status are given Buy Box Eligible Status in their category. Featured Merchants must have at least 3-6 months of selling history and/or order history (varies by category). This is based on several factors, most notably the order defect rate. Refund claims and poor feedback factor in. Other factors include how long you have been selling on Amazon, how many sales you have made, how many orders you have cancelled before delivery, how many orders customers have reported as late delivery and what options you give customers for shipping.
2) Be Known as a Positive Seller
- Buyers rate the merchant using Amazon’s star rating system from 5 stars (best) to 1 star (worst).
- Positive feedback: 5 or 4 stars; Neutral feedback: 3 stars; Negative Feedback: 2 or 1 stars
- Amazon calculates a buyer feedback score using the following methodology:
- SUM (positive feedback) / SUM (all feedback) for feedback left in the last 30, 90, 365 days, and lifetime.
If products are classified correctly, and the buyer receives what they expected and on time, the seller will have happy buyers. Refunds, claims, and negative feedback work against sellers and will not improve your chances of winning the Amazon Buy box. Avoid scenarios where mistakes can happen and when they do, remember that to Amazon “the customer comes first.” To surpass customer-satisfaction metrics for your category, offer excellent shipping options, shipping speed, customer service and more. Also, consider looking into eCommerce product reviews to improve your brand and avoid this from happening.
3) Maintain Your Available to Sell Levels
Amazon awards the Buy Box to sellers with sufficient stock on hand to meet customer demand. It’s important that you consistently monitor stock levels, particularly during busy buying seasons or with special offers. Visibility into your product availability is critical. The last thing you want to do is disappoint a buyer with an ‘out of stock’ label. Amazon Inventory Management is critical across all channels so you can rest assured that the ‘available to sell’ levels that are synced to each channel are accurate
4) Manage Fulfillment and Shipping
Consider taking advantage of Amazon’s fulfillment service known as Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). With FBA, Amazon handles your product fulfillment and customer service. This can result in consistency of timely deliveries which could elevate your seller ratings. All FBA inventory is also eligible for the Amazon Prime program, which offers buyers shipping and customer service benefits. Some categories require FBA to win the Buy Box. Make the decisions that work best for your business and ensure that you improve your chances of winning the Amazon Buy box. There are both pros and cons when using amazon to manage inventory, so be aware of these things before getting involved.
5) Competitive Pricing
Lower priced sellers and those that include shipping with the purchase are given an advantage in the Amazon algorithm. Amazon considers the total price of an item, with shipping costs factored in, as opposed to the product price alone. Sellers should take shipping costs into account when applying pricing strategies.
6) Be Patient
It takes time. In most categories you are not eligible for the Buy Box right away. You need to develop your business on Amazon and build a positive reputation before you can qualify for the Buy Box. Your sales history is an important aspect – both number of sales and customer satisfaction on those sales.
To learn more about how you can improve your chances to win the Buy Box, check out: How to Win the Amazon Buy Box eBook.