According to Amazon, the decisions you make for each step of selling on Amazon impact your performance standing, and your performance standing impacts your Buy Box eligibility. Learn more about Amazon inventory management, seller central, Fulfillment by Amazon and more.
Here are a few ways to improve your chances of winning the Amazon buy box:
1. Achieve Featured Merchant Status
Only sellers with a Featured Merchant status are eligible to win the Buy Box 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.
- Be Known as a Positive Seller
Buyers rate the merchant using Amazon’s star rating system from 5 stars (best) to 1 star (worst).
If products are classified correctly, and the buyer receives what they expected and on time, then the seller will have happy buyers. Refunds, claims, and negative feedback work against sellers. 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, (free shipping is always a plus) shipping speed, customer service and more.
- 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. Manage inventory across all channels so you can rest assured that the ‘available to sell’ levels that are synced to each channel are accurate.
- 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.
- 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.
- Be Patient
It takes time. In most categories, you are not eligible for the Amazon 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.
Learn more about winning the Amazon Buy Box in our How to Win the Amazon Buy Box eBook.