Double the Fun: Amazon’s Second Buy Box is Set to Shake Up the Marketplace Game!

Second Amazon Buy Box coming in June 2023 - Read all about the current development around Buy Box 2!

Amazon’s second Buy Box has everyone buzzing: Gamechanger! Revolutionary! In fact, things could change not only for customers, but marketplace sellers will also have to adjust to new conditions. Until now, the Buy Box was known as the small yellow shopping cart field on the product detail page. In the future, however, there could be two versions of it on every listing.

Get ready for a shopping revolution on the world’s biggest marketplace! The days of a single seller hogging all the sales from the Buy Box could be over, as Amazon rolls out the option for at least two sellers to share the spotlight. Discover how these changes will shape the future of online shopping, and whether dynamic repricing for Buy Box placement is still relevant – read on!

What Effect Does the Buy Box Have On Performance?

Cracking the Amazon Buy Box is the holy grail for online sellers, and for good reason – a staggering 90% of sales happen through the little yellow button on the product page. 

In the fiercely competitive world of online retail, mastering the intricacies of the Buy Box algorithm can mean the difference between just getting by and running a thriving business, especially for those selling wholesale. The ability to win and maintain the Buy Box not only helps to boost sales but also increases visibility on the platform, creating a positive feedback loop that can drive sales even higher.

While there are several factors that determine eligibility for the Buy Box, such as product availability, price, and seller performance metrics, understanding and optimizing these elements can be a challenge for many online sellers. However, those who successfully crack the Buy Box can unlock enormous potential for growth and profitability, solidifying their position as top performers in the ever-evolving world of e-commerce.

The introduction of Amazon’s second Buy Box is more than just a second chance for online retailers – it’s a gamechanger. Now, also second-placed merchants have a chance to shine and attract attention with their offers. It is to be expected that with the increased visibility of the second offer, it will generate more sales and the distribution will change fundamentally: Instead of 90 % / 10 %, a different distribution is now conceivable, such as 50 % / 40 % / 10 %. But that remains to be seen.

A Little Bit of Background: The Birth of Amazon’s Second Buy Box

As is well known, Amazon has a dual function as a platform: the company operates a marketplace where sellers can sell their products and acts as a seller itself.

It’s no secret that Amazon has access to an abundance of data sets and non-public business information from third-party vendors. As a data-driven company, Amazon has the ability to leverage this information to drive its own growth and success. It is also clear that Amazon can use the information gained for its own success and growth. Amazon has already been criticized several times for taking advantage of competition law and influencing the awarding of the Buy Box.

What happened before: The European Commission initiated an investigation in mid-2019 and set out in a preliminary view at the end of 2020 that Amazon may no longer use the data for fair competition on the marketplace. So far, so good.

But now we come to the most critical argumentation for the introduction of Buy Box 2 on Amazon. In the second investigation, the Commission wanted to know:

1. How it comes about that the respective Buy Box winner is virtually the only merchant who is awarded the sale, and
2. What the relationship between the awarding of the Buy Box shares and the use of the FBA programme on the part of the merchants is.

The win-win situation for Amazon was more than clear to the Commission:.
The shopping cart field and Prime program interaction has two major consequences. Firstly, it unfairly favors Amazon’s own offers and those of sellers using Fulfillment by Amazon. Secondly, it makes it difficult for consumers to see the offers of online retailers who do not use FBA. This means potential buyers might miss out on better deals.

The Birth of the Second Buy Box on Amazon

After facing the threat of a significant fine for its business practices, Amazon was forced to make the following commitments:

  1. Amazon assured not to utilize non-public data of independent sellers for its own sales, 
  2. to treat all offers in the shopping cart field without favoritism, 
  3. and to display a competing offer alongside the Buy Box offer, provided the competing offer has a significant difference in terms of price and/or delivery.

By June 2023, the implementation of the second Buy Box must be completed across all EU countries, except for Italy. Additionally, Amazon has made the following binding commitments regarding the Prime program (Amazon FBA):

  • Establish non-discriminatory conditions and criteria for qualifying merchants and their offers for the Prime program. 
  • Allow Prime sellers to choose freely their logistics and delivery service providers and negotiate terms directly with their selected companies. 
  • Not use information obtained through Prime regarding the terms and performance of third-party carriers for its own logistics services.

Revolutionary! Gamechanger! – Reaction of the Professionals to the 2nd Buy Box on Amazon

The recent introduction of the second shopping field on e-commerce platforms has already triggered a flurry of reactions from industry experts and online sellers alike. Ingrid Lommer from Internet World Business picked up on Ronny Marx’s #Gamechanger hashtag and examined the first changes that Amazon may already be testing.

Among those most affected by the new development are marketplace sellers who are keen to understand how being placed in the “wrong” Buy Box will impact their advertising and advertising budget. As per the rule, “whoever owns the Buy Box has to pay for the advertising,” adding another layer of complexity for online retailers. Additionally, there is some confusion regarding the potential design of the second Buy Box, which is currently causing more confusion than enhancing user experience.

The ongoing discussion around implementing the second Buy Box on product pages and in search continues, with retailers and agency managers raising questions about Buy Box monitoring and how competition between two offers will develop. These concerns were highlighted in a recent post (only available in German) by Michael Frontzek, reflecting the need for more clarity and information around the implications of the second Buy Box.

As the industry continues to grapple with the impact of this development, it is clear that the introduction of the second shopping field will have significant implications for online retailers. Only time will tell how the e-commerce landscape will evolve in response to this latest change.

The Second Buy Box and Repricing

The criteria for selecting the winner of the 2nd Buy Box have not yet been determined. It is uncertain if the second offer will only be placed with FBM or if bundles will be eligible.

However, one thing remains unchanged: price is still a decisive factor in Buy Box allocation. Sellers who optimize their pricing have a good chance of being at the top of the list and winning visibility and sales.

This is where repricing tools like SELLERLOGIC come in, as they enable the seller to take full control of the product price and win the Buy Box – whether it’s No. 1 or No. 2. The introduction of the second Buy Box opens up the possibility of achieving similar visibility  with a higher price, making repricing tools more important than ever.

“Technically, no changes have been announced by Amazon so far. I assume that FBM sellers will have higher chances of generating more sales with the second Buy Box, but that remains to be seen. Our recommendation is and remains to track your own performance, adjust prices dynamically and be clear about what is right and important for your own business.”

Igor Branopolski, SELLERLOGIC

Final Thoughts

The recent introduction of the second Buy Box on online retail platforms has sparked hope for fairer competition among many online retailers, particularly those competing against the e-commerce giant Amazon, as the Buy Box serves as a critical success factor on the platform. Despite this positive development, the extent of its impact remains uncertain, and the ongoing discussion is largely speculative at this stage.

Interested parties can already get an initial impression of the potential impact of the second Buy Box by exploring offers that are already advertised with both Buy Boxes. However, the editorial team is more focused on the reactions of potential buyers to the new development. Will the introduction of the 2nd Buy Box cause more confusion among customers, or will it serve to resolve the issue in regard to two crucial points? Firstly, that prices for the same product can vary widely, and secondly, that Amazon is not the only seller on the platform.

While the hope is that the introduction of the second Buy Box will lead to increased competition and more transparency for buyers, it remains to be seen whether or not this will be the case. As the e-commerce landscape continues to evolve, it will be interesting to monitor the impact of this development on the overall dynamics of online retail.

Image Credits: © Porechenskaya – / European Commission

Enables, by means of dynamic and intelligent price control, to place the products in the Amazon Buy Box and sell them at the highest possible price.
Monitors FBA processes for possible errors and assists sellers with their refund claims against Amazon. The seller sends the cases to Amazon via copy & paste.
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