Amazon Buy Box

What is the Amazon buy box?

The Buy Box on an Amazon listing refers to the ‘Buy Now’ button on the right side of the product detail page, where customers can click to immediately purchase - removing a lot of friction when purchasing from Amazon. 

With over 80% of purchases coming through the buy box, it’s easy to see how important it is as a seller to focus on winning that precious buy box real estate!

By gaining a greater understanding of the buy box, how it works in conjunction with Amazon’s A-9 search algorithm and what metrics give you the strongest chance of winning the buy box can put you in a great position to excel on Amazon. 

 

How does the buy box work?

Unfortunately, not all sellers are eligible to win the Buy Box. Due to increasing levels of competition on the marketplace, only sellers meeting strict eligibility criteria will be given the opportunity to win a ‘share’ of the buy box placement. After proving eligible at a seller/listing level, Amazon’s A-9 search algorithm will then use other factors to determine the best “offer” (which seller of that product) to the customer. This process pins competitors against each other, factoring in all variables and allocating a larger share of buy box placements to sellers determined to be top-ranking for that product.

Winning the buy box is a balancing act between offering the best price and best customer experience (shipping, customer service etc.) on Amazon - Having the cheapest price does not guarantee you will win the buy box placement. 

There is no hack to winning the buy box, rather, you must regularly monitor and improve on a number of metrics.

 

If I am the only seller of a product, am I guaranteed to win the buy box?

Amazon will only highlight offers that it is confident will present a great experience for buyers i.e. its customers.  This means there may be circumstances in which a third party offer would be ineligible to be displayed as the Featured Offer (i.e. something sold by a seller other than Amazon themselves) even if it's the only offer for an item.

For example, an offer would be ineligible if the third party has a history of providing a poor customer experience or presents a high risk of fraud or abuse. Similarly, an offer at a price that is uncompetitive, for a product that is not available or cannot ship to a customer’s location, or for a product about which there may be product-quality or customer-experience concerns may be ineligible to be displayed as the Featured Offer.

Note Amazon does not always promote itself as the buy box winner (usually but not always). If an Amazon retail offer is out of stock with no outstanding purchase orders and that same product is available at the same or a lower price from a Prime-eligible seller with a high-performance rating, then the Amazon retail offer would not be the Featured Offer.

 

How to win the Amazon buy box

Key requirements

Highest impact on Buy Box

Amazon professional seller account

Use FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon)

Amazon account in good standing

Seller fulfilled Prime

Items NEW, in stock

Sale price (price + shipping)

Selling for at least 3 months

Delivery time

 

A seller using FBA has their orders fulfilled by Amazon's high-quality fulfillment services.  Quick, reliable shipping is what customers want.  FBA provides sellers with items being labeled as Amazon 'Prime' eligible and helps seller performance. The featured offer (buy box) is based on factors affecting customer experience, and FBA generally provides a better and more reliable experience for Amazon’s customers than fulfillment through other means; accordingly, that difference may be reflected in the offer that is featured.

 

Buy box metrics cheat sheet

All metrics to focus on, to win the buy box:

Metric (highest to lowest priority)

Definition 

BB Eligibility criteria

Recommended 

Lookback period

Fulfillment method

How do you ship the item?

FBA/FBM

FBA or Seller-fulfilled Prime

Real-time

Final sale price

Price + shipping

Lower is better

Lower is better

Real-time

Shipping time

How long does delivery take?

Less than 14 days

Up to 2 business days

Real-time

Order defect rate

Negative feedback + chargeback rate + A-to-Z claim rate

<1%

0%

Last 90 days

Valid tracking rate

Deliveries with valid tracking

>95%

100%

Last 30 days

Late shipping rate

Orders shipped after expected shipment date

<4%

0%

Last 30 days

On-time delivery rate

Orders delivered on-time

>97%

100%

Last 30 days

Feedback score

Total feedback received

Higher the better

Higher the better

All time

Feedback count

Total customers that have left feedback

Higher is better

Higher is better

All time

Customer response time

Response time to customer issues/queries

24hrs or less

Less than 12hrs

Last 90 days

Inventory depth

How often do you run out of stock?

Lower is better

Lower the better

Last 90 days

Cancellation rate

How often do you receive cancellation requests?

<2.5%

0%

Last 30 days

Refund rate

How often do you receive refund requests?

Lower is better

Lower is better

Last 30 days