Just Win the Amazon Buy Box Baby!

Check out this Buy Box below...

Look to the right of your main product image on one of your Amazon product pages. This is the Buy Box. After the words In Stockis the Sold by your company's name? If not, you're losing sales and losing money to other sellers. It could be one SKU. Or maybe all of your SKU's.

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Amazon Buy Box example

 

In this case, the Seller HealthStorePro has Buy Box authority. And you don't – which if you're the manufacturer and brand owner, is a problem. This will get worse unless you take steps to regain it.

It may be maddening to see customers, distributors, and other online Amazon retailers selling your products and often mis-listing information. All too often it's most likely less than your Minimum Advertised Pricing (MAP) and maybe even near Distributor pricing. Your own Amazon sales suffer. Maintaining pricing consistency is gone. You're competing with everyone including customers  to sell your own product.

But keep in mind Amazon encourages price to drive downward for their customers. If you want Amazon shoppers to buy from you and you alone, as I believe they should, then win the Buy Box and win your sales and branding back. 

There's no set formula but you can improve your chances. Here's how.

 

Tips to Win the Amazon Buy Box

Become Buy Box EligibleAmazon Seller Central display

Known previously as Amazon Featured Merchant Status. It means you’re a proven Amazon Pro Seller and eligible to win the top Buy Box spot. You'll need a Pro Seller Account (vs. an Individual account) and two to six months selling history with high performance levels such as:

  • History of successful selling. Fulfilling many orders successfully shows Amazon you're a trustworthy seller delivering a positive customer experience.
  • Excellent customer service. Customer responsiveness, order ship speed, number of perfect orders, condition of shipped products, and number of cancelled orders.
  • Good customer metrics. Shows Amazon you're reliable. Amazon wants to reward the Buy Box to these sellers.

Know how to check your Buy Box eligibility?
Follow these steps on Seller Central:

  • Go to your Inventory Tab, select Manage Inventory
  • Select Preferences (gray box at far right) 
  • Within Column display section find & check Buy Box Eligible box
  • Save changes at bottom
  • Now select Show When Available within drop-down menu
  • Go to Manage Inventory, look at the Buy Box Eligible column
    at a particular SKU and you’ll see a “yes” if product is eligible

 

Fulfill your products via Amazon Prime FBAFulfill Via Amazon Prime (FBA)

You can usually win the Buy Box straight away via FBA Prime with the lowest "landed" price. It may not apply to all products. But having Amazon do fulfillment and customer service via FBA positions you well in Amazon's eyes as a 3rd Party Seller (3PS).

Can't do FBA? Consider Seller Fulfilled Prime if you can qualify. In all cases, make sure your fulfillment is outstanding. Consider expedited shipping in addition to your standard service.

 

Get Excellent Seller FeedbackGood Amazon seller feedback promotes Buy Box authority

With Amazon, their customers come first. What they say about you as a Seller matters. The Buy Box will be more attainable via positive seller feedback.

Not sure how to get Seller Feedback? Try sending automated e-mails via 3rd party services like Seller Labs' Feedback Genius. We can show you how to create branded e-mails with a Seller review link.

Keep Amazon customers happy and engaged. And delight them with a good in-box experience also.

 

Don't Ship Late

For FBA this won't apply. But if you ship merchant fulfilled (FBM), then having products arrive at the customer's location late – especially three days or more, means you'll be penalized. Make sure orders get there early or on time to increase Buy Box eligibility.

 

Use Amazon FBA PrimeAlways Stock Enough Inventory

Show Amazon you can manage demand. That means no out of stock items. Plenty of stock is key. Not necessarily thousands of units. But simply maintaining just a few units of a popular fast-selling product won’t promote Buy Box success. Multiple customers can at the same time add items to their cart. You never want them disappointed at checkout when they find their item just sold out.

Maintaining fresh inventory prevents customers from purchasing what you don’t have. Reduced seller metrics mean less Buy Box wins. When high demand hits at peak holidays, Amazon typically rewards Buy Box authority to sellers with higher inventories.

 

Offer a Competitive "Landed" Price

Landed means "including delivery." If a competitor sets a lower price, you'll need to monitor and lower your price. This can become frustrating if not painful. But you'll really want to stay in a price range generally lower than competitors. Getting sucked into the bottom-end price can do major damage to your margins, relationships with distributors and brick & mortar stores. It's bad for business. And to Amazon, it raises red flags as possible counterfeit products. 

Keep tabs on pricing trends or use an automated re-pricer tool such as RePricer Express.

 

Invest in Automated Tools

We like subscription-based tools such as AMZ Alert which helps with everything from review management to suppressed listing alerts. Get instantly alerted when you receive a review of three stars or less. Craft automatic responses for ASINs you’re monitoring. Get better aware of other problems such as suppressed listings.

 

Enforce Distribution Removing Unwanted SellersEnforce your brand's distribution on Amazon effectively

Are unwanted sellers out of control? 

With so much potentially lost revenue at stake by not winning Buy Boxes, it may be necessary to get the help of a 3rd party company like E-Enforce, to stop unwanted sellers.

E-Enforce offers solutions to stop unauthorized sellers and online infringers intellectual property rights. They have proven cyber and legal based methods to prevent dilution of MAP.

You can put a stop to reputation damage and erosion of your brand's equity. On Amazon, unauthorized sellers don't have to comply with your established quality, packaging, and service controls. Without those controls, you get bad customer reviews and confused and unhappy customers.

 

So Just Win the Amazon Buy Box Baby!

You'll be on the road to increased sales velocity, improved branding, and stronger shopper engagement.

But don't just stop at these tips, check out our Free 10 Tips to Amazon Success.

As always, when it comes to specialty food and Amazon, we're here to help.

CLICK HERE to book a strategy call with me.

Happy Amazon selling!
Lou

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About Lou Nicolaides

Lou Nicolaides

I specialize in helping specialty food brands create tasteful Inbound Marketing strategy. I’ve been in specialty food marketing for over 20 years. Prior to opening LM&S, I served as Director of Marketing for Sweda, Marcomm Manager for The Nutro Company (Mars, Inc.), Director of Marketing for Helen Grace Chocolates, and Marketing Manager for Tivoli Brands/Brenner Foods, Inc. Prior to that, I self published a guide to LA’s coffeehouses. Get in touch with me if you are looking to grow your specialty food brand with online marketing!

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