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How to Win the Amazon Buy Box Consistently in 2022: Everything to Know

May 6, 2022

80%-90% of all Amazon sales go through the buy box. But, it’s tricky to beat the algorithm and increase your visibility. Here’s how to win the Amazon buy box consistently in 2022:

  • Have a Professional Seller Central Account ($39.99/month).
  • Choose FBA as your fulfillment option over FBM. This choice guarantees good metrics for shipping time, late shipment rate (<4%), valid tracking rate (>95%), and on-time delivery (>97%).
  • Keep your product’s landed price competitive. The lowest price doesn’t always win.
  • Use an automated Amazon repricer tool to monitor competitors.
  • Ship products within 2 days or fewer.
  • Do not run out of inventory.
  • If possible, create your own private label product with logo and trademark. Then, you will be the only seller.
  • Sell new products, not used.
  • Create accurate listings. This will help customers understand your product and will help with your order defect rate, cancellations, and refunds.
  • Follow up with customers to ask for honest reviews.
  • Respond to customers within 12 hours.
  • Use a customer response tool.
  • Sell quality items that won’t break during shipping.
  • Replace a product for free before offering a refund. Also, communicate with your manufacturer or supplier when issues with a product come up. Then, they can fix the issue for future orders.
  • Follow Amazon’s Terms of Service, especially for customer responses and feedback. 

As an Amazon FBA seller, you will need to understand how to win Amazon buy box. Once you win it, you will need to increase your buy box wins percentage.

What is the Amazon Buy Box Algorithm?

The Amazon buy box algorithm weighs metrics against different sellers vying for the same buy box. The algorithm will choose which seller wins according to different variables such as price, seller's reputation, shipping times, in stock, & more.

The exact buy box algorithm is undisclosed, but there are certain factors that affect it. First, the algorithm works by comparing products, then applying seller performance. So, you might lose the buy box for one of your products, but win with another.

Finally, the algorithm applies each factor differently according to product and/or product category. For one kind of product, shipping time might be the most important metric. Or, the physical location of the inventory might be the driving factor behind who wins the buy box.

What is A10 Algorithm?

Even though Amazon is a marketplace, it really operates as a search engine. Think of A10 as a large machine- the buy box algorithm is just one essential moving part. Here’s what this new algorithm looks at:

  • Buyer Intent. A10 places actual buyer searches above profitable products. This favors the customers over the sellers.
  • Seller authority. This is the part of the algorithm that considers if you have won the buy box. A10 will consider your positive (and negative!) feedback, return rate, and how long you have sold on the platform before promoting your product.
  • Inventory. This algorithm will favor you if you offer a wider variety of products, from different product categories, that appeal to more customers.
  • Links from outside of Amazon. Adding links to your products on a personal blog or social media is more effective than PPC with A10.
  • Click-through rate and conversion rate. Keep your click-through rate high and get as many conversions as possible.
  • The biggest change from A9 (the previous main algorithm) to A10 is that Sponsored Ads won’t be as important. PPC is still important, and your campaign can help you get some extra sales. But, PPC won’t help with visibility as much as it did in the past.

What is the Amazon Buy Box and How to Win the Buy Box in 2022

What is Amazon Buy Box?

On Amazon, there can be many sellers selling the same product through the same product listing. In this image, the seller is Pet Neat Excell Store. As long as they have the buy box, they will get every sale from customers who click “Buy Now”.

There are many benefits to winning the Amazon Buy Box. These include boosted sales and visibility. But also, you cannot run Amazon PPC ads unless you own the buy box. So, your product must be buy box eligible for the greatest chance of Amazon FBA success.

the amazon buy box

How Can You Become Buy Box Eligible on Amazon?

Amazon buy box eligibility used to be known as “Featured Merchant.” Being buy box eligible means you have the chance at winning this coveted spot. To become Buy Box eligible on Amazon, you must have a professional Amazon seller account, have great customer service & shipping stats, follow TOS, and sell new products.

  • Have a professional Amazon Seller Central Account. This is $39.99/month.
  • Run your Amazon store with good customer service and shipping tactics. This includes a low order defect rate, which is based on customer feedback, refunds, and A-Z claims.
  • Follow Amazon’s Terms of Service.
  • Sell new products, not used. Amazon has a different box for used and new products. In addition, media products generate their own "buy used" box.
the amazon buy box
new and used box

The new and used box, used for products other than media.

media buy used box

The media buy used box.

How Can You Check if Your Products are Eligible for the Amazon Buy Box?

How do I know If I have the buy box? Within your professional seller central account, go to Manage Inventory. Your Amazon buybox eligibility is between “Sales Rank” and “FNSKU”.

where to find if youre eligbile

How Long Does it Take to Become Eligible for the Buy Box on Amazon?

Starting an online business on Amazon in 2022 takes time. In fact, it can take about 3 months to launch your first Amazon FBA product, which you will need to do before becoming eligible.

After launch, you should be eligible right away if you are the only seller of your product and are using FBA. The longer you sell, the more chances you will have of winning the buy box. 

If you’re using FBM, you will need to reach an appropriate number of orders before becoming eligible. This number differs depending on your product category.

How to Increase Buy Box Wins on Amazon

Winning the buy box isn’t permanent. Rather, focus on heightening your chances of keeping it most of the day.

What Factors Determine Who Wins the Amazon Buy Box?

Besides setting up your buybox eligibility, these factors heighten your chances of winning:

  • Fulfillment method ( Amazon FBA )

  • Landed price (includes shipping)

  • Shipping time

  • Late shipment rate

  • Valid tracking rate

  • On-time delivery

  • Order defect rate (ODR)

  • Feedback score

  • Feedback count

  • Customer response time

  • Out of stock rate

  • Refund rate

buy box metrics

Fulfillment by Amazon ( Amazon FBA )

Use Amazon FBA. Amazon prefers FBA sellers over FBM. FBM sellers can win the buy box, but it’s rare. Plus, Amazon automatically rewards FBA sellers with perfect performance variables in these categories: 

  • Fulfillment method
  • Shipping time (should be 2 days or less)
  • Late shipment rate
  • Valid tracking rate
  • On-time delivery

So, selling Amazon FBA is the most important factor to consider.

However, Seller Fulfilled Prime members will beat out FBA. This special tier allows the best FBM merchants to use Amazon prime. Thus, they have access to Prime members, and a higher chance at winning the buy box.

Price

Your landed price, which includes the price of the product and shipping, should be competitive. Generally, the cheapest price wins. But this isn’t always the case. The buy box algorithm favors lower prices. However, if selling metrics are higher for one seller over the other, the algorithm may choose the more expensive seller. In this way, keeping your account healthy can help you expand your profit margins.

If your performance metrics are low, you might want to lower your prices to maintain the buy box. This can lead to a price war, spiraling down until your profit margins are miniscule. Don’t be afraid to share the buy box with other sellers. Focus on your metrics instead. 

Use an Amazon Repricer Tool

Watching competitors’ prices takes up a lot of time. Use automated pricing tools to stay up to date. You can set these to alert you when prices change, or change prices for you entirely. Some options include the Amazon automate pricing tool (under the Pricing tab in your account), BQool, and Alpha Repricer.  

Inventory Stock

Running out of inventory is one of the easiest ways to lose the buy box. Request and check inventory reports regularly. Plan to keep up with demand, especially for Q4. 

The location of your stock can also affect your wins. This is one reason FBM sellers have multiple warehouses throughout the country. If your product is physically located closer to a customer than another seller's product, there is a higher chance that you will win the buy box.

Sell Longer

The Amazon buy box algorithm will favor sellers with a stronger history. Amazon may not feature your product for 2-6 months. 

Again, FBM sellers will need to sell even longer and reach their appropriate number of sales (according to the product category) before winning the buy box.

Shipping Times

Keep your shipping time to 2 days or fewer. Maintain a late shipment rate of less than 4%. You must deliver some products, like perishable goods, even faster. Products that offer shipping over 14 days won’t get the buy box.

Account Health Metrics:

  • Tracking. Your valid tracking rate (VTR) should remain above 95%. Amazon looks at this metric within the last 7 to 30 days. This means that you must provide a valid tracking number for almost all of your customers. If you’re not using FBA, provide a tracking ID along with the name of the delivery carrier and service.
  • On-Time delivery stats should stay above 97%, also within the last 7 to 30 days. Remember, Amazon FBA takes care of this for you. If you’re not using FBA, mail your product within 24 hours or on the next working day.
  • Order Defect Rate. Keep your ODR below 1%. This number is based on A-Z claims, service chargebacks, and feedback scores. To help combat this, create accurate product listings so that customers understand what they are buying. Also, do everything you can to make your customers happy. Note: Amazon removed the Perfect Order Percentage Score from Seller Central. 
  • Cancellations. Maintain a cancellation rate of less than 2.5%. Write accurately detailed product descriptions so that confused people don’t return what they buy.
  • Refunds. Avoid refunds as much as possible to keep your refund rate as low as possible. Sell quality items to combat this, and offer to replace a product for free to calm an upset customer. 

Seller Feedback Metrics:

  • Customer Feedback. Aim for a high feedback score and high seller feedback count. The more reviews, the better. Grow your collection of reviews by following up with customers after purchasing to ask for an honest review. But be careful. You can only do this within Amazon’s Terms of Service. You can’t outright ask for a positive review, but you can provide an excellent product and experience and earn one.
  • Customer Response. You must respond to customers within 24 hours to follow Amazon’s policies. Even if the message does not require a response, you must mark the message so the Amazon algorithm recognizes it. Responding within 12 hours is ideal, but also difficult to provide if you’re trying to make passive income. Use software like Sellics to free up time.

How to Check Buy Box Percentage

Wondering how do I find my buy box percentage? It’s in your Pricing Dashboard:

pricing dashboard percentage

Does Amazon Rotate the Buy Box?

Yes. If you share the buy box with other eligible sellers, Amazon will rotate the buy box between you. This allows all eligible sellers to be featured. It also serves Amazon’s best interests because they can continuously show high-performing sellers with full stock. But, customers don’t notice. This is because Amazon will show only one seller per hour to a single customer, and if they place the item in their cart, the same seller remains.

How Often is Buy Box Rotated?

This rotation happens every 15 to 60 minutes. Amazon will feature higher performing sellers for more of the day than low-performing sellers. Sometimes, if a seller does not meet performance metrics, they will lose the buy box before their shared time is up.

What is Buy Box Suppression?

Buy box suppression happens when the buy box says "see all buying options" instead of "add to cart."

see all buying options

The most common reason for this is that Amazon thinks all sellers have listed the product's price too high.

If you are the only seller on your listing, buy box suppression can still happen to you. If you can't keep your Amazon buy box eligibility, Amazon will limit your buy box access in this way.

What is a Good Buy Box Win Percentage on Amazon?

If you have the best metrics, you might have the buy box 70% of the time, while a seller with worse customer feedback practices has 25%, and someone who is running out of inventory might have 5%. Aim for the highest percentage of Amazon buy box wins possible. Even if you are a high performing seller, you will share your listing with other sellers with your same product.

What Does 100 Buy Box Mean on Amazon?

If you see a 100% by your buy box ranking, this means that you have won the buy box the majority of the time. This will happen most if you are selling Amazon FBA private label.

Winning the Amazon Buy Box New Seller

If you want to win the Amazon buy box as a new seller quickly:

  • Choose Amazon FBA as your fulfillment method.
  • Sell your own private label product under your brand.
  • If you choose another kind of Amazon FBA business model, price match your competitors. Then, focus on bringing your metrics up and building sales history.

Conclusion: What is the Amazon Buy Box and How to Win the Buy Box in 2022?

The Amazon buy box is one of the most important parts of selling FBA products. And, beating the Amazon buy box algorithm can be challenging. However, if you can meet all the qualifications for eligibility, as well as work towards building a quality Amazon business, it is possible to win the buy box and keep it for most of the day. 

For more information on running your FBA store in 2022, learn How to Start an Amazon FBA Business.

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