6 Strategies to Win the Amazon Buy Box
Need to increase your Amazon sales? You'll need to develop a Buy Box strategy! Add these 6 tips to your game plan and dominate the Buy Box!
The Amazon Buy Box is the ultimate fight of champions for Amazon sellers. Like Charon who provides passage for souls on the river Styx, the Amazon Buy Box is the gatekeeper that controls which businesses will thrive and which businesses are dead on arrival. If you shop on Amazon, you are probably already familiar with the Buy Box. Whenever you go onto a product's page, the Buy Box allows the buyer to buy the product now or add it to their cart. Underneath the buying options, the box notes the seller for the product and the shipping method. Amazon takes into account multiple logistics such as the location of the buyer, the selling price, and the fulfillment method to determine which seller would be best to fulfill the order. Then, Amazon will rotate the sellers to ensure that all potential sellers have an opportunity to make a sale. We touch on the Amazon Buy Box in our blog on 3 Hacks to Beat Amazon Top Sellers.
If you are an FBM seller, these tips will be extra valuable since you will be competing with both FBA and other FBM sellers. Amazon curates the Buy Box for FBM sellers solely based on price, shipping, and other logistics we'll cover below. If you use FBM, then you will need to strategically manage your product to be more valuable than FBA listings.
FBA sellers have it a bit easier since Amazon will automatically pick the FBA seller as long as they fulfill the same criteria. Whether you sell through Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) or Amazon FBM (Fulfillment by Merchant), all sellers need to develop their strategy to win the Buy Box. Without a strong and developed Amazon Buy Box strategy, the listings you post for your products will never make it to the top of the Buy Box and you can kiss any potential sales goodbye.
In this blog, we'll be going over 5 different strategies that you can implement into your FBA or FBM Buy Box strategy that can give you the edge over the competition. Without further ado, let's get to it!
Buy Box Price on Amazon
The first contributing factor to the Buy Box that FBA and FBM sellers have to consider is the selling price for their items. For FBA sellers, your price just needs to be the same as the other FBA sellers. Since Amazon will curate the Buy Box, as long as your product is the same price as the other sellers, Amazon will automatically revolve the seller until you are the product provider. While this means that you can't monopolize the product, it means everyone will get a piece of the pie relatively evenly.
For FBM sellers, the price plays a huge part in your Buy Box strategy since Amazon curates the Buy Box entirely differently. Instead of revolving all the sellers around, Amazon will prioritize the seller with the lowest price for that product. This means, the lower your price, the higher the chance of winning the buy box. We recommend that if you an FBM seller and you want to have an advantage in the Buy Box, price your product at least 15% lower than the lowest FBA seller's price. This is where it gets tricky because that 15% can impact the profitability of your product. Be sure to take that into account before you sell through FBM or source a product. If the 15% bites into your profit margins, you may want to reconsider selling that product.
Amazon Prime Shipping
The next strategy to take into account for your Buy Box strategy is the shipping method. For FBA sellers, this process is quite simple since most products at Amazon Fulfillment Centers are eligible for Prime shipping. This provides an added benefit for both the seller and the buyer since the seller can provide more incentive for the customer and can get rid of more of their stock. On the other hand, the customer also gets their items promptly rather than waiting the normal shipping period of 5 to 7 business days. If you are an FBA seller, ensure that your products are eligible for Prime shipping so you can add this perk to your Buy Box strategy.
As with FBM, sellers should consider utilizing the fastest shipping method. Note that once again, this can severely impact the product's profit margin if the shipping method costs too much. But, FBM sellers need to provide potential customers with a similar shipping time as FBA sellers. The faster the delivery time, the likelier that you win the Buy Box and capture the sale.
Selling on Amazon Reviews
Reviews are the lifeblood for Amazon and online shopping in general. Most if not all online shoppers rely on Amazon reviews to find the best products and identify the best sellers. Like product reviews, seller reviews indicate the efficiency and productivity of the sellers. Sellers with good reviews will thrive in the Buy Box while sellers with a lot of bad reviews will barely survive. Along with the rating, the amount of reviews also plays a crucial part in your Buy Box strategy. Amazon will reward sellers with higher quantities of reviews with more Buy Box wins because they have earned that trust from Amazon. If you do not have any reviews or only a few, it will be infinitely harder to win the Buy Box.
What does this mean? If you are a new or inexperienced seller, you probably have little to no reviews on your account. That is perfectly fine! Everyone has to start somewhere! As you continue to sell more and more, you will obtain more seller reviews and build your Amazon Buy Box strategy. Whenever you make a sale, remember that the buyer can give you a good or bad review depending on how you fulfill the order. Keep this in mind whenever you sell, the top priority is satisfying the customer.
Amazon Sales History
Sales history is important to both FBA and FBM strategies when Amazon is picking the winner of the Buy Box. While sales history is the sole determining factor, Amazon will consider the seller's performance metrics to ensure the seller has a good track record. This means your key performance indicators such as how long it takes for you to ship products, return rate, and defect rate will contribute to Amazon selecting your listing to represent the Buy Box. This isn't surprising at all. On Amazon's end, they want to make sure the seller they choose does not have any prior incidents or problems in the past. If you have a bad sales history, it'll be harder to win the Buy Box.
What does this mean? Have high urgency and high priority for all sales. Make sure to inspect all of your products for any defects and to ship items as soon as possible. Remember that every sale can potentially help or harm your sales history, so try your best to satisfy your customers because your Buy Box strategy relies on it!
Condition of Products
The condition of the product plays a minor but important role as well. For FBA sellers, more likely than not, you are selling new products. The product's condition will play a bigger role for FBM sellers who are more likely to sell used products. Amazon's Buy Box will also prioritize new condition products overused since most Amazon shoppers want new products. You cannot impact the Buy Box if you are selling used products. Just keep in mind that new condition products will have higher sales potential than used products when sourcing for your inventory.
WARNING: Sold and Shipped by Amazon
The last and probably most important strategy when developing your Amazon Buy Box strategy is...
STAY AWAY FROM PRODUCTS SOLD AND SHIPPED BY AMAZON. Some listings will explicitly state that the products are being sold and shipped by Amazon. If that is the case, RUN. Stay away from that product and look for another that is not sold by Amazon.
This is not because you're scared, but simply because you cannot beat Amazon at their own game. Not only can Amazon match your lowest price point, but they can also even go lower and intentionally LOSE MONEY because they are a multi-billion dollar company. They do not mind losing a couple of bucks on a single product because it’s crumbs to them. Remember when we said Amazon curates the Buy Box? Well, because they curate the box, if they match the lowest price, Amazon will curate the Buy Box to win automatically.
What does this mean? You will never win if you're fighting the giant that is Amazon. That is okay! There are millions of other products that are not sold by Amazon that are profitable and can help you grow your business.
Becoming Buy Box Experts
With these 6 strategies, you can become the next Buy Box expert and dominate the next Buy Box you compete in. Remember, whether you're an FBA or FBM seller, or whether or not you're competing with Amazon or other sellers, your business will grow if you continue to develop your strategy and build a strong sales history. The only way to do so is to keep on selling and keep grinding to strengthen your business.
Even if Amazon takes over your Buy Box, don't worry! We can help you find new profitable items that you can use! If you're searching for new products that are profitable and non-competitive, check our Product Tracker and Sellgo's other tools that can help turn your business into another giant.