Why Having The Buy Box Is Important & How It Works
I know you already know this, but I want to take a moment of your time to emphasise some interesting points that you may not be aware of.
In 2017, $178 billion in revenue went through the Amazon US marketplace alone.
How much of this do you think went through the Buy Box?
A huge $142 billion of sales went through the Buy Box.
Over half of the products sold on Amazon are sold by third party sellers.
So not only is Amazon the largest online marketplace in the world, it's the biggest opportunity for people like you and me to make money online.
IF we have the Buy Box.
Let's Play True & False
1. The buy box always goes to the lowest priced seller
False - whilst having the lowest price on a listing may increase your chances of getting the buy box, there is significant evidence that it does not guarantee it. Whilst Amazon want their customers to experience cheap prices, it is in no ones interest for price wars to take place which wipe out the profit for everyone, Amazon included
2. If you are FBA you increase the chances of getting the Buy Box
True - Amazon prioritises FBA sellers over Merchant Fulfilled sellers, even when the FBA seller price is higher.
3. Amazon rotate the Buy Box equally amongst FBA sellers
False - Amazon do rotate the Buy Box, however they would only share it equally between sellers if all of the sellers were rated as the same standard by Amazon. A seller with a high amount of positive feedback will get the Buy Box more often than a seller with negative feedback. (Interesting side note - if a customer returns to a product page within an hour of first visiting it, they will see the same seller with the Buy Box as they saw originally IF the sellers metrics remain the same. If a price changes then they may rotate the Buy Box)
4. Amazon Never Share The Buy Box
False - A lot of people are nervous about going on a listing that has Amazon on it. Basically the way it works is the Amazon treats itself as having perfect metrics. So on that basis it would give itself the Buy Box most of the time if it was up against a seller who did not have good seller metrics. However, if another seller on the listing also has perfect or near perfect metrics, then Amazon will share the Buy Box with it. It is even possible to win the Buy Box from Amazon if you have great metrics and have a lower price than them (if they choose not to match your price)
5. Having The Buy Box Is Even More Important When Customers Are Shopping On Their Mobile Phone (Cell Phone for my North American friends)
True - when customers are browsing Amazon on their phone either online or via the app, the prominent Buy Now button will give the sale to whoever has the Buy Box. Important point - on mobile, Amazon does not show the option for the customer to see Other Sellers on Amazon
PLEASE NOTE: There will be exceptions to the above. Amazon will behave differently on some products and in some categories, for reasons only known to themselves.
Here is another example of why having the Buy Box is super important (although I think I must have convinced you already) - your customers can place an order on Amazon using your voice using your Amazon Echo (also known in my house as Alexa). When you say "Alexa, order a Paw Patrol Rubble toy" who do you think she is going to give the sale to? It certainly isn't going to be the seller who doesn't have the Buy Box.
In the next blog post I run a guide to running your Amazon account to optimize your chances of getting more Buy Box action. CLICK HERE to read it.