All sellers on Amazon want to do whatever they can to make their businesses successful, and you’re no different.
There’s a lot you need to get right, from choosing the right product to sell to improving your processes and making sure your customers are consistently happy with your service.
But one area you can’t dismiss is the Buy Box, which is where the majority of the sales are made on Amazon.
Consistently miss out on this, and your business simply won’t grow as fast as you want it to. Miss out on it regularly, and your Amazon business could even fail.
As such, many sellers want to know how to “beat” the Buy Box.
That’s completely understandable. However, it’s important to know that there are no tricks or shortcuts you can use to cheat your way into being the Buy Box winner.
That being said, there are several steps you can take to dramatically improve your chances of winning the Buy Box more regularly.
In this guide, we’ll look at what these are to give you a heads up over your competition, win the Buy Box more frequently, and supercharge your sales.
- The Amazon Buy Box is where most of the sales are made on Amazon.
- Failing to win the Buy Box frequently could hurt your sales and profits.
- Beating the Buy Box means taking on the Amazon algorithm.
- It involves providing a great service, generating lots of positive feedback, and ensuring you have a good repricing strategy in place.
- Winning the Buy Box regularly is about taking a long-term approach.
What Is the Amazon Buy Box & Why Does It Matter?
The Buy Box may be a new concept to new sellers on Amazon, and shoppers may not even realize that it exists.
But after you’ve been selling for a few days or weeks, you’ll know all about what it is and why it matters so much.
What It Is
The Amazon Buy Box is clearly visible on nearly all listings. You can see it by choosing a random listing on the Amazon website and taking a look. If it appears at all, it will be on the right side of the page.
It does not say “Buy Box” or have any other name. It’s simply an area of the page showing the price of the item and other information like the delivery date.
Below this information, there are two buttons: “Add to Cart” and “Buy Now.”
When the shopper clicks on one of these buttons, they may not realize it, but they’re choosing to buy their product from a specific seller.
There are often several sellers who are all selling the exact same product, and Amazon does not want the shopper to have to go through all their information and work out who they should be buying the product from. Instead, it makes the process easy for them, as it does with everything else.
How does Amazon choose which seller’s product will be added to the cart? Because the seller is the current Buy Box “winner.”
Amazon uses its algorithm to determine which seller is most worthy to hold this coveted position at any particular moment in time.
The shopper makes a purchase, they receive their product, and they have no idea about what’s going on.
And all the while, a brutal battle for the Buy Box is being waged behind the scenes by the sellers.
Why It Matters So Much
It’s fairly obvious why the Buy Box matters so much for sellers.
As a seller, if you consistently fail to win the Buy Box, that means other sellers are winning it in your place.
As mentioned already, the vast majority of the sales occur in the Buy Box. Again, it’s obvious why this should be.
Shoppers don’t want to waste time choosing a seller. They can if they want to, but if all the sellers are selling the same product, the shopper is happy to let Amazon make the decision for them. So all they have to do is click a button when they want to make a purchase.
You want to be the seller they “choose,” and to do that you need to increase your Buy Box percentage. Even if you can’t win it all the time, you can take steps to win it more frequently.
Beating the Buy Box Means Beating the Algorithm
So, back to that idea of “beating” the Buy Box.
While it’s not about cheating the system (good luck with that!), you can and should do everything possible as a seller to win it.
Essentially, that means following Amazon’s own guidelines.
Amazon wants to reward the sellers who do a great job, and giving them the Buy Box is one way to do that. So you should simply do what Amazon wants you to do and reap the rewards.
Amazon uses its own Buy Box algorithm to determine who wins the Buy Box at any one time. Like any other algorithm, this takes many factors into consideration to determine the winner.
Amazon does not publish this information and it does not reveal the details of its algorithm, just like Google does not reveal its secrets.
But it gives us all a clear guideline to the factors that matter the most. At the same time, trial and error has also led many sellers to get a more detailed understanding of what they need to do in order to beat the Amazon Buy Box algorithm.
We’ll look at the main factors next. For now, remember that the algorithm is constantly working, 24 hours a day, analyzing information and determining who should win the Buy Box at any one time.
When a seller wins the Buy Box (hopefully you!), that does not mean you have won it for good. You just hold it for the time being. That’s a great position to be in, but it won’t last forever.
If the algorithm determines that a different seller should hold it an hour later, you’ll lose your position.
The competition is constant, and what you want to do is win it as frequently as possible.
5 Top Strategies to Beat the Buy Box
If you want to beat the Amazon Buy Box, there are several things you can start doing right away. None of these on their own will suddenly make you the Buy Box winner. And remember, you have to keep working on them consistently.
But if you want to dramatically increase your chances of winning the Buy Box, here are the top 5 things you should start doing today.
1. Keep Your Customers Happy
One of Amazon’s primary goals is to provide customers with a great experience from start to finish.
The shopping experience is incredibly easy, everything is straightforward, and Amazon’s customer service has an excellent reputation. Happy customers come back frequently and spend more money, so it just makes sense to provide a great experience.
A big part of providing a good overall experience falls on the individual sellers operating in the Amazon marketplace. Amazon wants you to provide a fantastic experience too, and it will reward you for doing so.
Keeping your customers happy sounds quite vague, but it’s one of the most important things you can do if you want to consistently win the battle of the Buy Box.
One way to show Amazon that you’re providing a great experience is to get lots of positive reviews from your customers.
All else being equal, if you get more positive reviews than your competitors, you stand a good chance of winning the Buy Box more frequently.
Provide a Detailed and Honest Product Listing
Getting lots of good reviews reflects good seller practices. If you’re doing everything right, you’ll generate reviews naturally over time.
One of these is making sure your product listing is honest and making no false claims. You must ensure the product the customer receives is exactly what they’re expecting, though this is more of an issue for private-label sellers.
Always Answer Questions Promptly
When a customer asks you for something, don’t leave them waiting. Reply within 24 hours and preferably sooner. This will show that you’re attentive to their needs and keen to help them.
Resolve Disputes Quickly
If you do get involved in any disputes, make an effort to resolve them as soon as possible.
This is always going to happen from time to time. Try to avoid it, but make sure you provide a professional and helpful service to resolve problems as quickly as possible.
Join the Vine Program
Providing a great service is one thing, but sometimes you need to do more if you want to get more reviews.
You may have a great product and provide a great service, but reviews are just slow to start coming in. If you have under 30 reviews, you can sign up to the Amazon Vine program.
Amazon invites customers to join the program who have reputations for leaving excellent and detailed reviews. They’re known as Vine Voices.
You can submit your product and pay a $200 fee. Vine Voices can then choose your product and you must send it to them without cost. In return, you should receive a detailed review.
It won’t always be positive, but it will be honest. As long as you provide a great service, you should end up with several detailed reviews, and this can help to get the ball rolling.
Ask for Feedback
Another thing you can do is simply ask your customers for seller feedback.
If you’ve ever bought anything online, which is likely, how often did you remember to leave a review without being prompted? Perhaps not so often.
The fact is, we all lead busy lives. When you buy a product, unless you’re blown away or really angry with it, most customers will simply go on with their lives and not make the time to leave a review.
But a gentle reminder can make all the difference.
Fortunately, Amazon allows you to send a reminder. This is a manual process, and you can go into your Amazon Seller Central account and find the option here. Then just click the button to send a manual email reminder to the customer.
You can’t edit the email to encourage positive reviews, but a simple reminder is often all it takes.
Even better, you can automate the process of sending multiple requests if you have lots of customers rather than sending them all individually.
You’ll need to use third-party review software such as to do this. There are several options available that provide this feature such as FeedbackExpress and this can help speed up the process considerably and lead to more reviews.
When you start getting your review process up and running, it shouldn’t take long to generate more reviews, and this can help you win the Buy Box more frequently.
2. Create an Advanced Repricing Strategy
One of the best ways to beat the Buy Box in 2023 is to ensure you’re using an effective repricing strategy.
Not sure what repricing is?
Repricing is simply the act of changing the price of your product listing. If you increase or decrease the price even once, you’re repricing it.
But a repricing strategy is a lot more advanced than that.
Amazon Loves Competitive Prices
Let’s get to the heart of the matter.
Amazon wants its marketplace to be the most affordable place online for shoppers where people can find everything they need, but at affordable prices. As such, they come back, Amazon makes more sales, and everyone’s happy.
It makes perfect sense, therefore, that Amazon wants sellers to price their products competitively.
If you’re selling a product for a price higher than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), you can be sure Amazon won’t like this one bit.
This means shoppers can find the product cheaper on another website, and that’s not the game that Amazon wants to play.
By making your price more competitive, you can make it more appealing to shoppers, and Amazon is more likely to reward you with a bigger chance of winning the Buy Box.
You Must Compete with Other Sellers
Now, let’s say there are 10 other sellers all selling the same product on Amazon. You’re competing with them to win the Buy Box. If all your other stats are equal, the seller offering the lowest price has a better chance of winning the Buy Box.
So, you have to compete with the other sellers.
But this can be a time-consuming task. If one seller reduces their price, you need to check it and adjust the price of your product. With multiple sellers, it’s easy to see how this can quickly become a full-time job.
That’s where you can benefit from automated repricing software like Repricer.
Save Time with Repricing Software
With repricing software, you can set it up to scan your competitors’ product listings and react immediately when they change their prices. Then you don’t have to worry about missing out on a price change.
If one of the sellers changes the price, you may not see it. They win the Buy Box and make lots of sales without you realizing, and you’re missing out.
With automated software, you can set it up and forget it.
Even better, you can set rules for it to follow. If you’re worried about a race to the bottom, set a minimum price that your product should never go below, so you know you’re still making profits.
There’s a lot more you can do if you want an advanced repricing strategy. It’s not always about having the lowest price, and there are situations when you may want to increase the price of your product, like if your main competitor runs out of stock.
Then you can win the Buy Box even with a higher price and make more profits.
So experiment with repricing software, try out Repricer on a free 14-day trial, and you may find it to be the most effective way to boost your Buy Box efforts.
3. Let Amazon Take Care of Fulfillment
As already mentioned, if you want to beat the Buy Box, you must play by Amazon’s rules. It wants you to provide a great service to its customers and make your prices competitive.
It also wants you to provide a fantastic delivery service, so you need to make sure the products you send out arrive on time and in great condition to keep customers satisfied.
You have the choice of dealing with fulfillment yourself or letting Amazon take care of it with its Fulfilled By Amazon(FBA) service.
While you don’t have to use FBA to win the Buy Box, it certainly helps. Why?
Because Amazon has perfected its fulfillment service. It knows that it provides a great service, a fast shipping time, and delivers products in good condition while providing excellent customer service.
It stands to reason that it wants to promote products that it knows will arrive quickly and in great condition, so it may give your product more chance of winning the Buy Box if you use FBA.
That doesn’t mean you have to use FBA. You could use Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM) if you want, but the challenge is likely to be greater.
If you’re not winning the Buy Box as often as you should be, and you’re not currently using FBA, it may be time to try it out and see if it helps.
4. Ensure Adequate Stock Levels
One thing Amazon does not want you to do is win the Buy Box and then run out of stock due to a sudden rush of orders.
This can happen. If you see a sudden surge in demand because you win the Buy Box, Amazon won’t be happy if you can’t deal with the orders that come in.
As such, if you’re running low on stock, your chances of winning the Buy Box go down dramatically.
Essentially, you won’t be Buy Box eligible if you don’t manage your stock efficiently.
That means keeping your stock consistent, reordering well before you run out, and generally staying on top of your game.
Inventory management can be a complex task to get your head around, especially if you’re just starting out. It involves maintaining good relationships with your suppliers, keeping a very close eye on your stock levels, knowing when to order the next batch in, and avoiding having too much in stock.
If you need some help, you may want to use inventory management software. There are several options on the market. You can even use Amazon’s free inventory management tools available for FBA sellers in Seller Central.
Don’t take your eye off the ball. Keep on top of your inventory management and win the Buy Box more frequently.
5. Maintain a Low ODR
Finally, make sure you keep a very close eye on your seller metrics.
Amazon takes a lot of factors into account when determining whether you’re doing a good job as a seller. It monitors your stock levels, as mentioned above. It checks your reviews to see whether customers are satisfied with your service.
It also checks certain stats that can impact your Buy Box efforts, and one of these is the Order Defect Rate (ODR).
This measures how many orders are returned because of a defect. This could be sending the wrong item, an item that arrives damaged, an item missing from the order, or when you receive negative feedback.
It’s expressed as a percentage, and it affects Amazon Buy Box eligibility. It should be under 1% if you want to win the Buy Box, and a bad score could even lead to your account being suspended.
Essentially, it gives Amazon a good idea of the service you’re providing. The lower the percentage is, the better.
So make an effort to keep it low. Provide high-quality products and good packaging, take great care to send the right products, and always deal with customer complaints quickly and efficiently.
Focus on Long-Term Strategies
All of the above five areas are things you can focus on to improve your Buy Box efforts.
Providing a good service overall, making sure your products arrive on time and undamaged, dealing with customer issues, and making sure you’re competitive on price are all important.
These are all ways to beat the Buy Box.
However, remember that the battle is competitive. You may face competition from many other sellers, and they’re all doing their best to win the Buy Box too.
You can’t win it all the time, but you can increase the amount of time you hold it, leading to more sales and more profits.
The most important thing to remember is that you should always focus on a long-term strategy. All of the above points are ongoing processes, and you can never simply win the Buy Box and decide you’ve done enough. It’s a constant battle.
You should always monitor your key performance metrics, keep a close eye on your competitors and monitor their strategies, go above and beyond consistently, and be in it for the long haul.
The Buy Box is the place you want to be. If you sell on Amazon and you want to increase sales, boost profits, and grow your business, don’t dismiss how important it is.
Success on Amazon is all about winning the Buy Box more frequently, spending more time as the winner, and beating your competition.
If you want to “beat” the Buy Box, you should focus on playing by the rules and doing what Amazon wants you to do in terms of providing an excellent service.
As well as simply providing the best service you can, the most important thing to do is compete on price. Get an automated repricing tool and set up your repricing strategy to give your products the advantage.
Competing on price is far from the only thing that matters, but it’s one of the most important ways to improve your chances of winning the Buy Box more frequently. Plus, the extra sales you make can easily cover the cost of the software.
So take a proactive approach, boost your Buy Box efforts, and enjoy long-term success on Amazon.