How To Win the Amazon Buy Box—Tips for 2023
Updated · Mar 06, 2023
Selling on Amazon has many advantages, the biggest of all being that you’re selling on the most used marketplace on the web.
However, therein lies the main challenge—other sellers, including Amazon itself.
In order to edge out the competition, and stake a claim to buyers, you need to win the favor of Amazon, and be allowed into the promised land of… The Buy Box.
Join us as we discuss how to win Amazon buy box space in 2022.
What is the Amazon Buy Box?
The Amazon buy box is the most prominent way in which buyers on the platform can add an item to their cart. Take a look at the photo below in which the buy box is highlighted in green:
Because there are many sellers on Amazon, there are many reselling items as retailers.
The buy box gives preference to particular sellers and sees them getting more sales because their offer is front and center. It’s estimated that 83% of sales on the platform go to the businesses featured in buy boxes.
How Does The Amazon Buy Box Algorithm Work
The buy box works on a rotation system.
No one seller holds the buy box for an indefinite amount of time. Instead, it’s shared.
For example, looking at the photo above, you can see a seller called “Olive Branch Enterprises” occupied the buy box for this product at the time we viewed it.
Throughout the day, sellers who have won the box will have their offer in it for a percentage of the time. Two sellers could get a 50/50 split, or a strong seller could get as much as 80%, while other smaller sellers share the rest.
Amazon itself can occupy the buy box too. It’s probably the toughest competition.
Amazon Buy Box Eligibility Requirements
In order to even be eligible for the buy box, a seller must meet a few minimum requirements.
Professional Seller Account
First up, the seller must have a professional seller account on Amazon.
Secondly, a seller must be selling new items.
Winning the buy box can only be done with new items.
However, for some items, like books and video games, there’s a second buy box that appears further down the listing for used goods.
Items Must Be In Stock
The buy box will only feature items that are in stock and ready to be shipped immediately.
If a seller wins time in the box but doesn’t have any stock, the box will immediately rotate to the next seller.
Amazon dropshipping stores can win the buy box.
As far as we’ve found dropshipping won’t negatively affect your chances on its own.
You can check your overall buy box eligibility in your settings.
Go to Seller Central > Manage Inventory > Preferences > Buy Box Eligibility > Tick The Box.
The eligibility of each item will now be displayed.
How to Win the Amazon Buy Box
The truth is that there is no way to “hack” the buy box system and guarantee that your offering is front and center.
In order to stand a chance of being featured, you’re going to have to emulate Amazon.
That’s what Amazon wants, for all of it’s sellers to be more like it, and offer the optimal customer experience.
Amazon’s algorithm awards the buy box to sellers that have optimal offerings.
This means good metrics and excellent service.
Amazon is notoriously pro-consumer, and it considers only those who can offer Amazon customers the best as being worthy of being awarded buy box wins.
Good Seller Metrics
The metrics a seller must have center around speed, customer service, and quality products.
When considering sellers for the buy box, Amazon takes into account a few things.
First is the order defect rate of a seller.
A lower defect rate is better, naturally.
Next, it looks at customer ratings and reviews.
It considers the average of all ratings, plus the volume of ratings, and the speed at which customers leave them after receiving the product.
In other words, Amazon favors sellers who see a high volume of positive and enthusiastic customer interaction.
For Amazon buy box wins, it’s therefore important to try and stoke engagement with your customers.
Encourage them to leave feedback, and raise any concerns with you before escalating grievances to Amazon.
Fast Shipping Times
Another thing Amazon favors is sellers that offer quick shipping times.
While shipping times are important, they aren’t the most important.
Amazon will often award time in the box to sellers that take longer to ship, but that offer a better price or have higher metrics.
Easy returns are an aspect of this. Amazon offers the ability to accept returnless refunds.
We have two suggestions for increasing your shipping times on Amazon below.
A very important thing, perhaps one of the most important, is the buy box price consideration. To be more specific the “landed cost’ of your offering.
This is the complete price of your offering, including shipping, taxes, and import duties.
The lower your landed cost, the more likely you are to feature in the buy box.
How to Increase Your Chances of Winning
There are two ways to increase your chances of featuring, and both involve handing over more control to Amazon.
After all, who can do Amazon better than Amazon can?
Here are some extra tips on how to win the Amazon buy box.
Fulfilled By Amazon
The first way to boost your chances of winning the buy box is by doing business through the “Fulfilled By Amazon” program.
This will see your inventory being kept at an Amazon warehouse for the fasted dispatch possible.
It also gives Amazon the ability, and responsibility, of packing, tracking and delivering the item.
Besides boosting your shot at the Amazon buy box, it’ll also save you time, effort, and some expense when it comes to order fulfillment.
The second way you can increase your Amazon buy box percentage chance is by joining the “Self-fulfilled Prime” program.
With this, you fulfill your orders and pledge to do so in two days with free delivery.
In return Amazon, like a king dubbing a new knight, bestows a Prime badge upon you, which you display on your offers.
By offering a quicker delivery at no cost, your chance of featuring in the buy box is increased.
Now you know how to win Amazon buy box space.
There’s no guaranteed way to get there. No easy trick.
Instead, you must emulate Amazon in every way possible in order to deliver the fastest, cheapest, and best customer experience possible.
In the kingdom of Amazon, the ecommerce emperor favors those that do as it does.
If you’re selling on Amazon, it’s definitely something to focus on if you want to boost your profit margins.
Garan is a writer interested in how tech reshapes the environment, and how the environment reshapes tech. You'll usually find him inoculating against future shock and arguing with bots.