How to win the Amazon Buy Box in 13 Steps
The Amazon Buy Box formula is the best-kept secret of the online giant and qualifying for this important field is not that simple. But which sellers are ideally suited for the Amazon Buy Box? The algorithm decides this based on various parameters. Only the best of the best sellers get into the Amazon Buy Box. Monitoring the performance is crucial.
But why is this so important?
The larger your share of the Buy Box, the higher your sales rate. After all, 90% of Amazon customers buy products by clicking on the Buy Box. It is therefore worth taking a closer look. In this blogpost we want to show you the most relevant metrics and how to win the Buy Box on Amazon in 13 steps!
Just starting on Amazon? Check out our best tips on selling on Amazon for beginners!
Most important Amazon Buy Box Requirements
Step #01: Shipping Method
The winner of the Buy Box must offer an optimal customer journey. Customer satisfaction should therefore be the top priority. That‘s why the shipping method is also important, as it determines when customers receive their goods. As an Amazon seller, you basically have three different options on how to handle your fulfillment.
Fulfillment by Amazon
Since the online giant places a very high value on the perfect customer experience, Amazon has developed a shipping method that ensures the highest possible customer satisfaction: Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). For the end customer, this means free and fast shipping, excellent service, an easy return process, and much more. The seller benefits from increased customer loyalty, the Prime label and the indication ”Shipped by Amazon”. As a seller on Amazon, you can select this option and send your goods to Amazon‘s logistics centers. Then, the online giant takes over from here. In many cases, FBA is the only possible answer on how to win the Amazon Buy Box.
One thing FBA sellers need to know: Even Amazon makes mistakes, and in many cases FBA sellers are entitled to reimbursements. Here we show you how to get your money back!
Fulfillment by Merchant
Alternatively, of course, you can take care of the fulfillment completely independently and thus handle all processes from A to Z yourself. However, these products do not receive the coveted ”Prime Label“.
Prime by Seller
Amazon provides the seller with specific information on the order‘s processing (e.g. the specification of which sender is chosen). Of course, these products are also provided with the popular Prime Label. With this label the largest buyer group at Amazon, the Prime customers, can be addressed.
To qualify for the Buy Box, the seller must use FBM. However, to win the Buy Box the sellers should bid on FBA or Prime by Sellers to meet the high standards of the online giant.
Step #02: Final Price
When talking about how to win the Amazon Buy Box, the final price is often confused with the price of the item. Instead, the final price is made up of the product price and shipping costs. Before setting a final price, you should ideally check the prices of your trade rival.
Your final price must be competitive. However, you should not rely exclusively on the lowest price. It is possible to use this method to compensate for other metrics, but in terms of margin, is not recommended.
Buy Box optimization tip: the lowest price is not always the winner!
When monitoring your competitors, you will probably notice that prices sometimes change several times a day. This is a sign that repricing tools are being used, which, through their automated price adjustment, gives users a significant advantage. Manual adjustment requires a lot of effort and time; a dynamic Repricer can take care of this task for you. To get the best price when winning the Buy Box, dynamic repricers are recommended, which automatically adjust your price to that of the competition and thereby get the best price for you as a seller.
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Step #03: Shipping Time
The faster the delivery, the better the ratings, and thus the chances of winning the Buy Box. However, delivery times often depend on the product category. Batteries or cosmetic products are quickly packed and shipped. Pieces of furniture or large electrical appliances, on the other hand, take several days to reach the customer. According to that, there is no clear answer on how to win on Amazon the Buy Box.
Buy Box Optimization Tip: Monitor your competitors and choose the best shipping method
Monitor your competition to get an idea of the delivery times of certain product categories: If your competitors promise delivery within two days for a similar product, this should also be a minimum requirement for you. But don‘t be overconfident about the delivery guarantee - late deliveries affect negatively your seller rating on Amazon and this has consequences for your scoring value and the positioning of your offers in the Buy Box. This value is only applied for merchants who process their own fulfillment. This metric is not relevant for FBA merchants since Amazon achieves the highest level of fulfillment with its own fulfillment at this point.
How to win as an Amazon seller: More Buy Box Criteria
Step #04: Order Defect Rate
The rate of defective orders is an important aspect for the rating of your seller profile. It includes all orders placed in the last 60 days with at least one defect - for example, a negative rating, an unaccepted A to Z warranty claim or a chargeback.
To win the Buy Box, the ratio should be as close as possible to 0%. If it rises above 1%, the seller account threatens to be deactivated.
Formula: Order Defect Rate
Order Defect Rate in % = (Orders with at least one defect / Total number of all orders) * 100
Step #05: Cancellation Rate before Order Processing
„When a seller cancels a customer‘s order before it‘s processed, it‘s usually due to the fact that the item is currently out of stock. This is how Amazon itself justifies the evaluation of this key factor.“
This value is also an important factor for the topic "how to win the Amazon Buy Box". It indicates the percentage of the orders that the seller has cancelled in the last 7 days and is considered an indicator of the seller‘s inventory management. It is relevant for sellers not using FBA.
For the win of the Buy Box, this ratio should also be as small as possible. It should generally not exceed the value of 2.5%, otherwise, you will be disqualified for the Buy Box.
Cancellation Rate before Order Processing in % = (Orders with cancellation / Total number of all orders) * 100
Formula: Cancellation Rate before Order Processing
Step #06: Late Shipment Rate
With Prime, Amazon has set standards in shipping in many ways. Customers want goods to arrive quickly and, above all, on time. Many of them rely on the expected delivery dates.
If these conditions are not met, customers are disappointed and have a bad experience with Amazon. This can lead to warranty claims and negative reviews, which should be avoided under all circumstances. FBA sellers do not have to worry about this rate.
A delivery is considered to be delayed if it was sent AFTER the expected shipping date has expired. The late delivery ratio indicates the percentage of all deliveries in the last 30 days that were delayed.
Like the previous values, this one also should be as low as possible to increase the chances of winning the Buy Box. A value of up to four percent is sufficient for qualification.
Formula: Late Shipment Rate
Late Shipment Rate in % = (Delayed deliveries / Total number of all deliveries) * 100
Step #07: Valid Tracking Rate
Sellers dealing with the issue of how to win the Amazon Buy Box should keep in mind the following: Tracking numbers are very important for the customer, as they make it possible to track the delivery and view the current status. Especially if the scheduled delivery date has not been met, many customers want to find out where their parcel is currently located, or whether it has perhaps already been left with a neighbour without them being informed.
Tracking numbers therefore also contribute to customer satisfaction. The key figure refers to the last 30 days and does not apply to FBA sellers. Ideally, it is 100%, but 95% is enough to qualify for the Buy Box.
Formula: Valid Tracking Rate
Valid Tracking Rate in % = (Deliveries with valid tracking number / Total number of all deliveries) * 100
Step #08: On-Time Delivery
Customers not only want to receive their goods as quickly as possible but above all, they want them on time. This also concerns indirectly customer satisfaction and therefore how to get the Amazon Buy Box.
For the calculation, Amazon uses the package tracking information and calculates the percentage of the deliveries in the last 30 days that arrived on time at the customer‘s location. Since the tracking number is important for determining punctuality, Amazon only considers shipments that have this option in its calculation.
For non-FBA customers, the rate of on-time delivery should be at least 95%, or better yet, aim for 100%, which increases the chances of winning the Buy Box. For FBA sellers, however, this figure is not relevant.
Formula: On-Time Delivery
On-Time Delivery in % = (On-time deliveries / All deliveries with tracking option ) * 100
Step #09: Return Dissatisfaction Rate
The dissatisfaction rate for returns measures the sum compared to all valid return requests and must not exceed 10%. It counts all requests that have not been answered within 48 hours or have been wrongly rejected. Negative feedback is also included in the calculation. Buyers expect to receive quick feedback on their complaints and to be able to return their purchases without any problems. Your goal as an Amazon seller should be to reduce negative feedback, disputes, and complaints.
To win the Buy Box, this ratio should be as low as possible. To qualify for the Buy Box, it should not exceed 10%.
Formula: Return Dissatisfaction Rate
Return Dissatisfaction Rate in % = (Negative return requests / Total number of all return requests) * 100
Step #10: Average Seller Rating and Number of Buyer Feedback
When thinking about how to win the Amazon Buy Box with a product, sellers must not forget the feedback from buyers, as the online giant evaluates all customer reviews from the last 30, 90 and 365 days. The most recent reviews have a higher impact on your metrics than older reviews.
A feedback score above 90% is important to qualify for the Buy Box. Reduce the number of negative reviews and increase the number of positive reviews - this improves your chances of making it into the Buy Box.
Step #11: Response Time
The perfectly structured Customer Journey is the key figure on how to win the Amazon Buy Box. Especially fast customer service is an important factor for the sales metrics at Amazon and therefore also for the Buy Box. Amazon‘s Service Level Agreement requires a response time of 24 hours - even on weekends and holidays. A late response or lack of response at all will have negative consequences on your Buy Box placement.
If you respond to 90% of all inquiries within a 24 hour period, you still have a good chance of winning the Amazon Buy Box. Nevertheless, the faster the better. If a customer inquiry does not require an answer, you can mark it as such and it will not be included in the evaluation.
Step #12: Dissatisfaction with Customer Service
There are many reasons to contact customer service. Whether it be questions about the delivery or complaints. In any case, customers expect a friendly contact person who will take care of their concerns.
When buyers contact customer service, they are asked whether their concerns have been resolved. If they answer “no“, the seller automatically receives a negative evaluation. This should not only be avoided with regard to the Buy Box, after all, you want to ensure that your customers are completely satisfied so that they recommend you to others, and come back to repetitively buy from you. So this is not even important on how to win the Amazon Buy Box, but to build a loyal customer base.
But it is also important to avoid any dissatisfaction with the customer service, since Amazon wants to provide its customers with the perfect overall experience in every case and therefore also places great importance to the fact that the winners of the Buy Box provide outstanding customer support. So keep this ratio as low as possible.
Step #12: Refund Rate
Refunds are unavoidable in online trading. Amazon does not want to sanction anyone for being particularly customer-oriented and making the return of items as easy as possible. Amazon itself does exactly that.
However, Amazon believes that if the reimbursement rate is very high, there is a fundamental problem with the seller that should be investigated. A low refund rate, on the other hand, shows Amazon that the seller can reliably deliver the described items. The reimbursement rate is the ratio of the reimbursements of the last 30 days and the total number of orders.
Formula: Refund Rate
Refund Rate in % = (Reimbursements / Total number of orders) * 100
Conclusion on how to win the Amazon Buy Box: Optimize your Metrics!
After all, it is important to position yourself in the yellow button. But is not clarified conclusively how the Amazon Buy Box works. Following rules the online giant has set is a must! This way, your own products are placed prominently and sales can considerably increase. For an Amazon seller, his Buy Box wins are extremely important since 90% of all sales on Amazon take place in this field.
Amazon is committed to provide its customers the perfect customer experience - so the high demands in terms of customer service are therefore completely understandable and, last but not least, expected in times like these.
The more professional you are, the more likely you are going to be the only winner of the Buy Box or at least be in the race competition to get a top position in it.