The Buy Box: Amazon’s most coveted sales tool. Many believe that it is responsible for 90% of all Amazon sales. Virtually all of Amazon’s successful selling strategies point to it. But how can you expect to compete with more established sellers, or even with Amazon itself?
What is the Buy Box and why do I need it?
First, you probably want to know what the Buy Box is. I have marked it with a red rectangle in the image below.
Only one seller can have the Buy Box at a time. Whoever has it at a specific time gets the largest and most visible “Add to Cart” button on the page. It is also the price and shipping information of that seller who dominates the list.
The result: most people buy from the seller in the purchase box as instinctively as they click on the first result in a Google search.
How do I win the Buy Box?
Amazon’s requirements to win the Buy Box are strictly and vaguely alike in its definition. You can learn how to verify if your current listings are eligible here and then see the metrics to determine who wins it here. In short, you must do four things:
- Be an experienced Amazon seller with a professional account.
- Provide a variety of shipping options for any period of time, and offer free shipping whenever you can.
- Offer competitive prices.
- Deliver unbeatable customer service.
You can’t control how much experience you have on Amazon; For that, you just have to try to sell everything you can. Working in the other three areas will help with that.
Competing in shipping deserves its own item. You can also use FBA and let Amazon handle your shipment, becoming eligible by default.
The price deserves not only its own article, but its own blog! It is virtually impossible for humans to always find the perfect price point to maintain both the Buy Box eligibility and the highest possible profit margins. There are simply too many factors to consider, and we let our emotions get involved too often.
Using price review software for Amazon that processes big data is the best way to set all your prices at the perfect points. This software automatically adjusts its prices to deal with changes in supply, demand and competition. Machines can really do the job better than people in this case.
Everything else comes down to the most critical factor: your customer service. Therefore, we will spend the rest of the post at key point number 4:
Amazon customer service that wins the Buy Box
Regarding shipments, you can only use the FBA formula so that Amazon takes over your customer service and instantly obtain the Buy Box eligibility.
It is seductive and easy from the outside. But remember, Amazon rates are designed to make money using the FBA.
To make things more complicated, you will have to pay commissions added to those of the online sale itself for Amazon Logistics (FBA).
Wouldn’t you rather take home the FBA fees? Wouldn’t you rather keep sales commissions down so you can continue competing on the price without cutting your earnings?
You can absolutely win the Buy Box without FBA, if you are willing to invest in the necessary infrastructure and find the right employees. These are the challenges you can expect to find and how you can overcome them:
Knowledge is power. And at Amazon, there are so many rules and systems that many vendors don’t bother to get the knowledge they need to succeed before diving.
One of the most important rules to win the Buy Box is that it must have a very low order defect rate. That means few negative ratings, warranty claims from A to Z and chargebacks.
Another of the most important performance metrics is the cancellation rate. If a customer buys something and you cancel the order because it ran out of stock, that is considered against him. This should not happen more than once in a solar eclipse. If you do, the Biaworks management software and its method can automate the process and reduce this rate.
The last of the three main measurements is your Late Shipping Rate. Ship on time!
Amazon also states that eligibility for the Buy Box depends on “all available metrics,” so all its performance metrics are important to some extent.
Keep in mind that Amazon tracks customer satisfaction with its return and refund processing. It is essential to understand both Amazon’s return policy and Amazon’s refund policy so you know exactly what standards you must meet.
Learn the rules of the game. Then build your customer service by playing your game, and exceeding Amazon’s expectations, to win the Buy Box.
Customer communication and support infrastructure
Even more important than knowing the rules is how you and your business interact with your customers. Effective communication with the client basically comes down to three things:
- How fast responds. (Originally, I needed a 24/7 customer service for Buy Box eligibility, although it seems that Amazon has eliminated this requirement).
- How well you answer the client’s question.
- The diplomacy with which you handle the client: kindness, courtesy and professionalism are important.
Now, you can simply make your phone wake you up every time you receive an email. However, most likely some of your customer interactions at 3 in the morning go wrong, right? You need to sleep like any other person.
Start by creating a first-class customer service team and automate certain functions whenever possible.
Next, you need to solve your messaging infrastructure. Seller Central messaging is usually sufficient if it only sells on Amazon and has a low volume of support requests. You can even have multiple users in an Amazon account with specific permissions for each.
Things get more complicated if you also sell on other platforms like eBay or an e-commerce website. The more systems your support team has to use, the slower they will become.
You can use Gmail as your Amazon email service and manage support for Amazon and your own site in one place. But its customer service capabilities are limited if the size of the business is very large.
If you want to provide 24/7 customer service for your entire e-commerce operation (which makes much more sense than providing it only for Amazon), you’ll want to manage everything from one place. There are currently two main options to carry it out.
Messaging System Options
The first option that comes to mind is Zendesk. This award-winning customer relationship management software facilitates the provision of customer assistance with automations and a huge set of tools for customer and employee management alike.
Normally, Zendesk only works with standard email systems (like the one you would have on your own e-commerce website) and receives messages from Amazon as confusing as Gmail. But connect it with an Amazon courier and it will work like a dream.
You can also use Freshdesk. Freshdesk has also won its fair share of awards and is as effective as Zendesk.
Regardless of what you choose, you will have a system that facilitates complicated customer service situations. You can manage your international team and help buyers from Amazon, eBay and your own website from a single screen. This will allow you to provide decent Buy Box support no matter how huge the size of your e-commerce is.
Put all the pieces of the puzzle together
Having the right tools and knowledge will only take you so far. The rest comes down to how he uses them.
Price optimization tools only win the Buy Box if it gives them the flexibility to set competitive prices. Offering a million shipping options only helps if your customers receive their orders quickly and reliably. Even Amazon’s integration with Zendesk or Freshdesk will only make a difference if it provides exceptional customer service.
Ultimately, winning the Buy Box depends on the answer to a question: Do you work harder than anyone to make your customers happy? With these keys why not start right now.