The Amazon Buy Box – You know the Secret Formula Right?
If you’ve not read this article before, then you’re in for a treat as the Amazon Buy Box pretty much obey’s the formula and has been proven to do so time and time again.
If your new to Amazon, then in short the holy grail of Amazon is the blue buy box and if you’ve not come across the buy box before, you cannot miss it, it’s blue and on the right hand side of almost every product on Amazon.
Hey, they’re infectious! There is one over to the right :)
When there is only a single seller fighting for the buy box, there can only be one winner, but when there is two or more sellers, then assuming that everything is even, you can win the Amazon Buy Box with the formula in this article.
The Amazon Buy Box Factors
However there is a but… This assumes that everything is equal and we know that nothing is ever a level playing field, especially when it comes to marketplaces and Amazon, well is not always even either (see this article Why do eBay Sales Stay Consistent? for further reading).
There are many factors that influence who gets the buy box on Amazon and ChannelAdvisor points out the obvious in their help file, as a reference, I have put an amended table below.
|Factor||What Amazon is Considering||Winning Practices|
|Featured Merchant Status||How trust worthy you are based upon account history.||Being noticed by the Amazon account managers.As ChannelAdvisor suggest, it doesn’t hurt to ask Amazon support about your “Featured Merchant Status”|
|Price||What is your product price? What is your shipping charge?||Low total price, including product price and shipping|
|Availability||How many do you have in stock? How quickly can you ship?||Quick and consistent fulfillment|
|Volume||Do you sell many of this product?||Consistency|
|Refunds||How often do you issue a refund for seller error?||Low refund rate|
|Customer Feedback||How do customers rate your service?||Low negative feedback ratings|
|Customer Support||How quickly you deal with customer queries||Answering in less than 24 hours, 7 days a week (yes that’s weekends included)|
|A-to-z Guarantee Claims||How often do you get returns?||Low A-to-z claims|
A Special Note on FBA
But that’s not all, because we have not included the “motherload” which is “Fulfilment By Amazon” AKA “FBA”.
FBA means that the seller has one or more of their products in Amazon’s fulfilment centres and because Amazon have it, have verified it’s condition and knows it can get the product out to its Amazon Prime subscribers, then it promotes FBA held items heavily against seller fulfilled items and routinely it’s going to take a hefty price difference to shake FBA products out of the buy box, or is it?
The Amazon Buy Box Rule?
If you have had a slap from Amazon, whether that’s an account warning or a suspension and very worryingly even if it was not your fault and a mistake on Amazon’s part (we have this documented in a support email back from Amazon) then this can count against you if everything is even.
But course your business exceeds in every area on Amazon, you are the perfect seller, well second to Amazon that is, so for the following to work, we’re assuming that everything is level.
So to the “Amazon Buy Box Formula”:
(Lowest Selling Price – 2.7%)
= The Buy Box, For Longer
By taking away 2.7% off the lowest selling price (including postage) and an extra penny, you receive the Amazon buy box for much, much longer.
It took me ages to work this out, testing, refreshing over many days its this worked out to be the lowest % and value I could get trigger the buy box and for it to stick.
The minus one penny is in the formula for the lower priced goods in the sub £20 area, it always seemed to take that extra penny to kick the box into action.
There are a few clauses, on the accounts I tested this out on, they were ALL of a great standing with Amazon, no major issues and all had long track records of great service. The other is none of these accounts were using FBA (Fulfilment By Amazon). FBA is a lethal advantage as I mentioned above, to shake FBA items takes a little bit more.
Also none of the products that were tested on were over £50, I am sure there is alterations in the trigger for the buy box, the percentage is likely to be a lot less than 2.7% at these levels.
I would like for you to try this on ONE product for ONE day and let us know your results.
I know that several of the readers here have used this formula to great success over the past year since I first published this article, what I’d for you to do is try it for yourself for a day and let me know your results here by leaving me a comment below.
Alternatively if you have been using it, let us know your feedback as the formula does move around in different categories and price brackets, again let me know in the comments box and of course if we lost you anywhere in this article, don’t hesitate to ask in the forums.