(Additional) Secrets to Successful Selling on Amazon: Part II

April 8, 2014

Marketplaces ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

You asked. We listened.

In February, many of you joined ChannelAdvisor Marketplaces Services Team Lead John Bryan for an informative webinar, “7 Secrets to Successful Selling on Amazon.” During the webinar, John dispensed wisdom on selling your products through the popular marketplace giant.

Amazon-logoWe were overwhelmed by the positive response to the webinar, and even after it ended, you flooded our inbox with additional questions about the marketplace.

We get it. Amazon can be complicated. And we’re here to help. Over the months of April and May, we’ll be posting a five-part follow-up blog series based exclusively on your questions and broken down by topic. (Read Part I on fulfilment by Amazon.)

This second instalment, focused on the Amazon Buy Box, features 12 of your most pressing Buy Box questions answered by our ChannelAdvisor experts.

Q: Does the Buy Box apply only for a specific segment of items, or does it apply per company?

A: The owner of the Buy Box is determined for each item. As a seller, you must first meet the selling standards to be eligible to win the Buy Box. These standards include strong customer service and a low Order Defect Rate. After you’re deemed eligible, pricing, fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), availability, etc., come into play for each item.

Q: Should I respond to positive customer feedback on Amazon? Would it affect the Buy Box?

A: Responding to positive feedback isn’t required and doesn’t improve any of your seller metrics on Amazon.

Q: Can you explain how volume of inventory would affect the Buy Box if I have the lowest price and use FBA?

A: This relates to the volume of inventory that you’re selling. Amazon is anticipating that the Buy Box will lead to more sales, so they want to ensure that sellers with the Buy Box have enough quantity to cover that demand. To make sure you hold on to the Buy Box, you’ll need to keep up with the large order volume and maintain availability.

Q: How much inventory should I have available to be considered for the Buy Box?

A: Again, Amazon wants to be sure you’re ready for increased customer demand. There’s certainly not a specific number you need to have available, but you should probably have more than 10.

Q: Do I need to worry about the Buy Box if I’m the only seller of my product?

A: It’s not as relevant if you’re the only seller, but it will come into play if additional competition appears. But yes, you still need to meet the Buy Box requirements even if you’re the only seller.

Q: I’m an Amazon professional merchant who was recently awarded the Buy Box without FBA. Since having the Buy Box, I haven’t received any sales. I’ve asked Amazon to remove the Buy Box from my account because it removes the curiosity factor. Without the Buy Box, my price wasn’t displayed, which resulted in more sessions and conversions. Am I making the right decision by asking Amazon to remove it?

A: If Amazon is willing, it might be better to test the Buy Box on a few products rather than roll it out on every product you sell. Statistically, most sellers find the most success after winning the Buy Box.

Q: How do I become a Featured Merchant?

A: Amazon uses customer metrics to determine which sellers should have Featured Merchant status. Included in these metrics are ODR, other seller performance metrics, your history on Amazon and the shopping experience you provide to customers. Read more about how the different metrics are evaluated at both ChannelAdvisor and Amazon.

Q: If I’m using FBA, does the Buy Box pertain to me?

A: Yes, it pertains to all sellers. Using FBA helps with winning the Buy Box, but it’s not an automatic way to win it, either. Pricing and the other Buy Box considerations still come into play.

Q: If I can’t use FBA, and I sell items that a dozen other sellers have, what’s the best way to win the Buy Box?

A: Obtain and sustain Featured Merchant status. Provide strong customer service and satisfaction while maintaining consistent order processing. And make sure you’re always competitive on price by using a repricer.

Q: What repricer tools do you recommend?

A: ChannelAdvisor offers an Amazon Repricer that allows sellers to set up rules for their products, competition, and margins. Retailers can also preview any SKU in real time to see where that product would be priced with it.

Q: If Amazon lists an item that’s out of stock, can it still have the Buy Box even though my product has a higher price?

A: Amazon ultimately makes the decision of who owns the Buy Box, but we haven’t seen an out-of-stock product in the Buy Box when other competitively priced products are available.

Q: Is the Buy Box available for individual sellers?

A: Yes, if you sell your product, you could win the Buy Box. However, you must meet the criteria. For more info on the Buy Box and how a seller’s listing gets there, read here.

Check back next week for the third part of this blog series, where we’ll tackle your questions about Amazon keywords.

Blog post by Luke Evans, manager, marketplaces services, and John Bryan, team lead, marketplaces services at ChannelAdvisor. 

Winning the Amazon Buy BoxFor more information, download the full webinar or the tip sheet “Quick Tips for Winning the Amazon Buy Box.”