We resume our Amazon This refers to the situation where a sel… More series with a more in-depth look at some of the basics of selling on Amazon in 2022. Let’s talk about the Amazon Buy Box algorithm, eligibility, and ownership. Find out the difference between Buy Box Percentage and Buy Box Wins. Best of all, learn how BuyBoxBuddy can take the hassle out of selling.
Table of Contents
In our previous piece in this series titled “What It Means and Why It Matters to win the Amazon Buy Box”, we discussed how important it is to win the This refers to the situation where a sel… More, how it works, and how to boost Amazon Buy Box ownership. In today’s installment, we’ll delve a bit deeper and try to answer some of our readers’ most frequently asked questions.
Amazon Buy Box FAQ
Why Does Buy Box Eligibility Matter So Much to Sellers?
There are about 2 million third-party sellers on Amazon.com, according to the “2021 Small Businesses Empowerment Report”. Between them, they list some 350 million items, as RepricerExpress estimates. That’s 175 items each, on average.
Having the Featured Offer is how 83% of all sales on Amazon happen, CED Commerce claims. Without the This refers to the situation where a sel… More there to facilitate more than 4 out of every 5 orders, it’s hard to imagine the kind of sales levels Third-party sellers are independent indi… More sellers would have, or if they’d even bother listing on Amazon.
Why and How Does the Buy Box Rotate?
In simple terms, the This refers to the situation where a sel… More rotates because every merchant must get a fair chance at selling their item. Using a top-secret algorithm, Amazon determines which offer to feature and when based on 4 main criteria: fulfillment, metrics, price, and availability.
But Buy Box ownership is preferential. In theory, everyone gets an equal share, if their offer is identical. But if 1 of the offers is superior in terms of price, for example, that offer is favored by Amazon and given a larger share of the Buy Box.
Buy Box rotation is also quite random. Because a seller’s status can drop in an instant due to things like performance issues, stock shortages, and aggressive pricing, the Buy Box can go back and forth a lot. Improving any single issue is not a guarantee that you’ll reclaim the Buy Box.
Does Amazon Always Win the Buy Box?
No, not always. Amazon tends to have lower prices, faster shipping, and more available ‘New’ units than merchants. It’s also at the top of the eligibility funnel, followed by Warehouse Deals, FBA, and SFP. So, it’s not unusual for it to have the This refers to the situation where a sel… More for any single listing most of the time.
But any seller who can outdo Amazon in terms of price, shipping, or stock availability can pry the Buy Box away for a while. Unfortunately, they can lose it again in a heartbeat if they reprice the item too high or too low, their metrics plummet, or their A performance rating on a scale of 1 to … More score drops suddenly.
Does Every Product on Amazon Have a Buy Box?
No, not every product on Amazon comes with a This refers to the situation where a sel… More. Media items come with two of them (one for ‘New’ and one for ‘Used’ offers). So do listings with offers from Warehouse Deals and Amazon Renewed. All other product listings should come with a single Buy Box.
But certain conditions must be met for the Buy Box to be displayed. There must be at least one active Shipped by Amazon or FBA offer for that item listed as ‘New’. Otherwise, at least one of the sellers lower in the eligibility funnel (e.g., SFP or MFN) must meet 4 main criteria: availability, fulfillment, price, and metrics requirements.
Why Is the Buy Box Missing?
There are situations where you won’t see a This refers to the situation where a sel… More on your listing. Not even with several ‘New’ offers via Prime, ample inventory, stellar metrics, and little competition. The most likely scenario in this situation is that the listing was suppressed for pricing concerns.
As seen in the example on the right, none of the 3 ‘New’ offers are eligible. That’s because This refers to the situation where a sel… More suppression affects all sellers listing a product, not just the obvious rule-breaker. If your listing is suppressed and you want to check that you’re not to blame, here are the most plausible transgressions:
- Amazon thinks you’re breaking the Min. and Max. Price Validation rule with a price 6 times greater than recent values.
- One of your bundles or multi-packs is proportionally more expensive than individual units, which is against the Amazon Fair Price Policy, even if it genuinely costs you a lot more to fulfill.
- Amazon thinks you conspired with other sellers to ‘fix’ the price, which is against the Seller Code of Conduct.
- You tried to change your price too many times, exceeding your daily cap.
- You allowed your repricer to drag you into a Price War.
None of these situations would come about if you used a repricer like BuyBoxBuddy. Once you set your minimum and maximum price limits, you can rest assured that it will make the right price changes at the right time, without breaking any rules.
Why Is FBA Such a Big Boost to Buy Box Eligibility?
Why would sellers opt for Fulfillment by Amazon? FBA isn’t just a fulfillment channel; it’s a status symbol. It comes with the Prime badge, Free Shipping, customer service, and returns processing – all courtesy of Amazon.
This covers 3 of the 4 basic eligibility criteria for the This refers to the situation where a sel… More (availability, fulfillment, and metrics). So, with FBA, all sellers need to worry about is their price. Obviously, listings with FBA offers are very likely to have a Featured Offer. And where there’s the Buy Box, there are sales.
Anyone signing up to sell on Amazon today is automatically registered for FBA. Any ‘New’ offers they list as FBA or convert to FBA are automatically eligible for the Buy Box. With older accounts, sellers may need to register for FBA first, and then check their status online, as seen below.
How Do I Check If My Listings Are Eligible to Win the Buy Box?
As explained earlier in the series, you can check that a listing is eligible for the Buy Box by checking the corresponding columns on your inventory dashboard in Seller Central, as seen below. If they’re hidden, display them using official Amazon instructions:
Notice that your eligible listings are also usually the ones where you have the Simply the lowest price an Amazon… More. So, whenever you see an ineligible listing, check your price and adjust it on the spot. Another option is to type “This refers to the situation where a sel… More” into the Search bar at the top of the Amazon Seller Central is a portal or a h… More page. You can then check if you have the Buy Box for specific items.
How to Check Buy Box Eligibility with BuyBoxBuddy
It’s unlikely that you’ll have the time to check your This refers to the situation where a sel… More eligibility and ownership status in Amazon Seller Central is a portal or a h… More every day, tweaking your prices by hand. Instead, you could automate the entire process using BuyBoxBuddy.
The dashboard shows you not only overall sales and other helpful graphs and tables, but also SmartLists. These are items filtered and grouped together based on criteria like your share of Buy Box ownership or how your prices fare as compared to the Buy Box owner’s.
Using BuyBoxBuddy, you can select all listings with no This refers to the situation where a sel… More ownership for the day and apply custom rules to address the issues. For instance, you could look at all your listings with 0% Buy Box ownership and quickly change prices, stock levels, or fulfillment.
You could also look at your least competitive offers and see just how far off you are from the Buy Box price in your category (New/Used). You can then tweak your floor prices on the spot, while taking a look at up-to-the-minute graphs that show historical price variations.
What Does the Buy Box Win Percentage on My Listing Indicate?
There’s a metrics tab on the Amazon Seller Central is a portal or a h… More homepage called This refers to the situation where a sel… More Wins. It displays your Buy Box Percentage over the last 2 days and 30 days, respectively. Buy Box percentage is the number of times you owned the Buy Box when customers viewed the listing, divided by the total number of page visits.
Expanding the box will reveal your This refers to the situation where a sel… More Percentage for every market you list on. Clicking these percentages takes you to Pricing Health (fmly Pricing Dashboard). It features a Buy Box percentage graph as well as offers priced within a few percentage points of the Buy Box price.
Not bad. But what if your overall market This refers to the situation where a sel… More percentage doesn’t matter? What if you’re more interested in ownership instead? Say you want to boost ownership for all your items, even those that aren’t within the 5% price limit. Even worse; what if Amazon replaces this Amazon Seller Central is a portal or a h… More dashboard next month? You need more reliable, accurate, thorough, and actionable data.
BuyBoxBuddy can help with all of the above thanks to the built-in Pricing Strategies SmartList. So, you can fight for the This refers to the situation where a sel… More on your own terms, in real time, and automatically. Likewise, if you want to share the Buy Box or keep it at the highest possible price, you can do so with BuyBoxBuddy.
Thanks to its algorithm, BuyBoxBuddy can customize its repricing strategies for every item in your inventory, based on the competitive scenario. It can learn from the environment and adjust the strategy accordingly, so it’s virtually all you need to boost Buy Box ownership.
How Can I Track My Buy Box?
Tracking the This refers to the situation where a sel… More in Amazon Seller Central is a portal or a h… More isn’t all that easy or effective. After all, listings get page views all the time and the Buy Box can get passed around every few minutes. Monitoring metrics like Featured Offer % (a.k.a. Buy Box percentage), which relies on page views, can do more harm than good.
Also, you might think it’s enough to use the Automate Pricing tool in Seller Central to tweak prices automatically, with the Buy Box price as reference. But while it can prevent price wars, the tool can also make offers stay at rock-bottom levels for longer, minimizing margins.
The easiest way to track your This refers to the situation where a sel… More is to have BuyBoxBuddy do it for you. Not only will it monitor ownership and report back to you with real-time figures, but also apply your chosen pricing strategy instantly and automatically.
Using BuyBoxBuddy to Boost Buy Box Eligibility
BuyBoxBuddy can do more than just stop a race to the bottom. It can show you when you have the opportunity to win the This refers to the situation where a sel… More and enable you to fight for it, share it, or keep it at the highest possible price.
Also, it doesn’t just change prices; it shows you actionable sales and inventory analytics too. So, it covers the pricing aspect, the inventory availability issues, and shows data that feeds into your metrics as well.
As for the final Buy Box eligibility criterion, fulfillment, BuyBoxBuddy has SmartLists for that too. It shows you how well your items are performing, based on their fulfillment channel, and gives you the option to instantly make threshold price changes for individual or multiple items.
If you want to win the Amazon Buy Box more often, then try the newly released BuyBoxBuddy, our latest Amazon Repricer and This refers to the situation where a sel… More Optimizer. It’s live on our website and ready for a test run. US sellers can subscribe for free to boost their sales and revenue with help from our very own Amazon repricing experts.
With 20 years’ worth of experience, there’s no better team to walk you through complex solutions for your Amazon Buy Box algorithm, percentage, and ownership issues.
Melanie takes an active interest in all things Amazon. She keeps an eye on the latest developments and keeps Amazon sellers up to speed.