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Make the Amazon Buy Box Yours

Posted on 9.01.2016

With the kickoff to the 2016 holiday shopping season just months away, retailers are readying themselves for their most lucrative time of the year and that is going to mean doing everything in their power to capture Amazon's Buy Box.

Website Magazine spoke with Feedvisor's Peter Kearns about why the Amazon Buy Box is so important, what factors influence it as well as the secrets and strategies to capturing it more often.

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Website Magazine (WM): What is the Buy Box exactly and why is it so important for Amazon sellers to utilize?

Peter Kearns (PK): The Buy Box contains the orange and yellow boxes in the right hand corner of the product detail page. It allows Amazon customers to add the item to their cart or make a "buy now with 1-click" purchase.

The Buy Box is one of the most important elements for third party sellers on Amazon because 82% of Amazon website sales go through the Buy Box. This number is even higher with shoppers using Amazon's mobile technology.

Winning or earning the Buy Box is key to being a successful seller on Amazon because of the simple fact that if you're not winning the Buy Box, you're probably not going to get the sale. It's very important for sellers to understand the requirements for winning the Buy Box. Sellers must have a Buy Box strategy in order to be a successful seller and to avoid price wars, which quickly erode profit.

WM : Are all sellers eligible to win the Buy Box? What role do a seller’s responsiveness, reliability, and sales performance have on capturing this opportunity?

PK: All professional sellers are eligible to win the Buy Box. Amazon is obsessed with providing a great customer experience and has very high standards for shipping metrics and responding to customer inquiries. Making sure to respond within 24-hours (which is the Amazon standard) definitely plays into winning the Buy Box.

WM: Is there a secret to winning the Buy Box or are there strategies that can be employed?

PK: No, there is no secret to winning the Buy Box. The intention of the Buy Box is to provide customers with the best possible shopping experience and Amazon is very transparent about the requirements for being Buy Box eligible. The best strategy for sellers is to embrace the fact that Amazon is customer obsessed. Amazon always works from the customer backwards and sellers should do the same. Sellers should obsess over their metrics (things like on-time delivery, valid tracking numbers, price and shipping options), checking them daily, to make sure they're meeting Amazon's high bar. Amazon's algorithm will evaluate all sellers selling a product and award the Buy Box to the seller that is creating the best customer experience.

Amazon gives sellers clear visibility into how sellers are performing against their metrics with a performance dashboard showing green, yellow and red indicators in every area. Any metrics that are not green need to be addressed and fixed immediately.

If not, sellers can start to experience a decrease in Buy Box share or worse. Amazon has a very low threshold of tolerance for not meeting its performance requirements and will remove the seller's selling privileges until the seller is able to resolve the issues.

WM: In what way should retailers expect for the Buy Box to change over the next few years?

PK: Amazon is continuing to innovate in order to offer customers a better shopping experience. New programs like Seller Fulfilled Prime and Prime Now will provide customers with more Prime eligible products and faster delivery times. With this, Amazon will continue its emphasis on high standards. Sellers need to constantly be asking themselves if they're running a customer-obsessed business. It not, they will not be eligible for new programs which could also mean not being Buy Box eligible.

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