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Winning the Amazon Buy Box – the Unfair Advantage of the Right Data

With over 82% of sales generated through the Amazon Buy Box, it is indeed the Holy Grail for every Amazon seller. An advantage that not only guarantees for better trades but also higher visibility.

Besides this, Amazon’s net sales revenue has grown progressively in the past 10 years, reaching $178 billion in 2017 with over $111 billion in sales coming from Buy Box alone!

If your Amazon products do not yet have the buy box, the probability of making a sale or revenue is quite slim, even more of a reason why it becomes crucial to understand what the Amazon Buy Box is, how it works, and how to win your share from it.

Read on as we explore some key strategies that will help you win the buy box and keep your hold on it.

What Is the Amazon Buy Box?

The buy box is that little part at the right corner of a product’s page, where buyers click on to add items to their shopping cart. With different merchants frequently offering the same products, they compete with each other to win the buy box, which is exactly where customers usually start their purchasing process.

Screenshot of meal prep containers sold on Amazon


Amazon does not reveal any particular performance metrics that could help sellers win the Buy Box but after a lot of research, we’ve divulged ten likely factors most Amazon Buy Box winners have.

The Fulfillment choice – Is an Amazon Merchant or not?

By far, this is measured as one of the most crucial parameters for winning the Buy Box in your product page. Even if we set aside the fact that FBA sellers usually get higher preference in this regard – it makes sense for Amazon to place FBA on a higher scale.

  • Prime Eligible
  • On-time delivery
  • Best shipping method
  • Wide shopper reach

Amongst FBM sellers, the Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) products had a higher probability of winning the Buy Box.

Seller-Fulfilled Prime (SFP) is an Amazon Program that allows FBM (Fulfillment By Merchant) sellers access to Amazon’s Prime members without having the need to maintain their goods in the Amazon’s fulfillment center.

The only downside of the SFP is that not all FBM sellers are eligible for this method. Amazon requires you to have an impeccable track record for qualifying for it.

The Stock Availability – Are the stock levels optimal?

Stock levels play a huge role in deciding your chances of winning the Buy Box. If your stock levels are improperly maintained, the chances of winning the box are too low.

Perhaps, stock unavailability for one or two times sounds okay but if this is frequent, the chances of Amazon placing the Buy Box on a product page diminishes significantly.

Do the math and be sure to never go out of stock. Automated Inventory Alerts can show you low and out-of-stock inventory alerts, letting you know, in real time, when it’s time to stock up.

The alerts are precisely triggered based on the purchase order velocity which holds you from going overboard and stocking up too much and spending too much in the FBA fees.

Price – Is the lowest priced product?

The chances of winning the Buy Box saw a 2-fold increase when the product was priced the lowest.

Yet if any of the contenders had Prime eligibility with good ratings, they had 80% more chance of winning the Buy Box.

Therefore, it is highly advised to never enter that so-called “price war” unless you certainly can afford to. Analyze the numbers to see if it’s better profitably to obtain the Prime eligibility than getting into a price war which could affect your bottom line profits.

The Amazon Seller Performance – Is it on the upward scale?

Amazon invariably looks up at sellers who offer good customer value as a better seller. There are a couple of factors in your Amazon Account Health Report that contribute to increasing your chances of winning the Buy Box.

  • Order Defect Rate < 1 % for every 60-days
  • Cancellation Rate < 2.5% for every 7 days
  • Late Shipment Rate < 4%

Order Defect Rate < 1 % for every 60-days

An order is considered to be defective if it results in one or more of the following factors:

  • A negative review for an order
  • A-to-z Guarantee claim
  • Credit Card Chargeback

Amazon considers the ODR or the Order Defect Rate (ODR) as one of the key metrics to evaluate customer experience.

Sellers are expected to maintain an ODR < 1% to maintain their selling profile. An ODR below this affects your Buy Box percentage and could even result in the deactivation of your seller profile.

Cancellation Rate < 2.5% for every 7 days

The cancellation rate includes canceled orders that are initiated from the seller’s side. Amazon requires you to maintain a cancellation rate that’s below 2.5% for 7 days.

Late Shipment Rate < 4%

An order is considered to be late when it is confirmed to be overdue for shipping by three or more days.

However, the late shipment rates are only for orders that are fulfilled directly by the merchant, the seller fulfilled orders.

Excelling in the above-mentioned factors helps to not only pave the way to win the Buy Box but also, delivers an exceptional customer experience.

The customer rating – A stellar track record?

Feedback rating a seller has received in the last 1-month, 3-months, and 12-months with the recent feedbacks having the biggest impact. This metric can be easily viewed in your Amazon Account.

Providing good customer satisfaction has a higher perceived value.

Recent feedback has a big impact on winning the Buy Box. Amazon checks customers’ responses in the last 1-week, 1-month, and 3-months. It compares them with all the competing sellers.

Replying to the customers within 12-14 hours was found to improve the probability of winning the Buy Box.

On the other hand, if over 10% of the messages are replied to either after 24 hours or never responded, this leaves an unfavorable effect. However, this can be resolved. You can just mark by saying – no response needed. This can save a seller from being affected negatively.

Wrapping it up

Winning the Amazon buy box is a combination of several metrics to be constantly measured and improved. All these factors – FBA fulfillment, help you move closer to winning the Buy Box, depending on the seller’s performance, the consistency of their Amazon sellers performance. Ensure that you keep the standards up throughout your seller journey.

Author Bio: This is a guest post from Ankitha Nagaraj, the Customer Success Head at SellerApp.

SellerApp is an automated eCommerce analytics platform empowering sellers with data intelligence for optimized Sponsored Ads, Product Research and Amazon SEO.


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