Have questions about the Buy Box? Seller Snap AI Amazon Repricer has compiled this list of Frequently Asked Questions from over 500 Amazon Sellers to help clarify what you need to know.
FAQ #1: What is the Buy Box?
The Buy Box is the box at the right side of the screen where users can “Add to Cart” or “Buy Now.”It is estimated that the Buy Box is responsible for around 80%-90% of sales. The goal of the Buy Box is to give the buyer the best option out of all the offers for any specific product. Amazon’s Buy Box algorithm is tightly guarded but we do know that the lowest price doesn’t necessarily guarantee the Buy Box. The best example is a Fulfilled By Amazon or FBA seller will generally be able to win the Buy Box at a higher price than a competing FBM seller.
We also know that positive customer feedback and feedback count are a factor but not as significant as some people may think. In addition, we suspect that Amazon promotes its own agenda in terms of making the marketplace competitive. Meaning, the Buy Box algorithm won’t always seem “fair”.
💡Pro Tip: When competing for the Buy Box it’s important to understand what factors you can control to help put yourself in the best position to sell. For most sellers, those factors are price and reviews. We recommend doing your homework and finding quality tools to help you manage them.
FAQ #2 Why is the Buy Box sometimes suppressed?
Amazon tends to suppress the Buy Box if the current “best offer” is not competitive enough compared to other offers online. This measure was put in place to help Amazon ensure that the customer is getting a better deal on Amazon than on any other marketplace or online store.
A suppressed Buy Box has the potential to negatively affect buyer behavior by creating a situation where the buyer has to take an extra step and make another decision. Seller Snap’s Amazon Repricer can help you filter these pesky listings by creating rules and/or conditions to follow, should your listings become suppressed.
💡Pro Tip: As important as the Buy Box is for sales, customers coming to Amazon will still make purchases when the Buy Box is suppressed. Therefore, if the Buy Box is suppressed and you are the best-priced offer you will likely still get sales without the need to sit at your minimum price.
FAQ #3 Is there a Buy Box for Private Label products?
The short answer is “yes.” A better question to ask “Is the Buy Box still relevant for Private Label sellers?” Again, the answer is “yes”, but it is important to note that the Buy Box is most relevant when you are competing with other sellers to obtain it.
When you are the only seller of a product, winning the Buy Box is not a factor and so the strategy for competitive products doesn’t necessarily work for Private Label products. We need to find some other method of determining the best price at any given time. The biggest challenge in repricing Private Label products is insufficient sales data to make effective repricing decisions in real-time.
In order to compete in an environment like the Amazon Marketplace, it is important to actively reprice, which can be a challenge as your product catalog expands, and repricing is a 24/7 on-going project.
💡ProTip: Private Label repricing is time-intensive. If you have the resources to front-load the work of setting up the logic of a repricer that supports Private Label, you will have an edge on the competition. Just remember you will still need to have semi-regular maintenance to keep up with the fluctuating competition.
FAQ #3 What is the difference between rule-based Amazon repricers and an Artificial Intelligence Amazon repricers?
On one hand, rule-based Amazon repricers are usually pretty cheap, starting at around $25-$50 a month (Amazon even offers a free one in Seller Central). They are easy to understand and you can easily monitor if they are doing their job. However, you will need to continuously adjust the settings, depending on how fast the competitive landscape is changing on the products you sell, which could end up being a very time-consuming process.
After all of the setup, rule-based Amazon repricers also struggle to bring up the price on a listing and do not focus on specific metrics such as profit. In addition, there is the potential for some trial and error when setting up and testing your rules.
AI, on the other hand, learns from the competitive environment and can change strategy and aggressiveness depending on the specific situation. Seller Snap’s AI repricer is easy to set up and can be used with no assembly required.
💡ProTip: There is no single catch-all repricer. When considering which one to choose, do not just focus on the price of the subscription. Take into account the value-added (sales vs ROI) and time-saving aspects.
FAQ #4 So who benefits from rule-based Amazon repricers?
If you are just getting started, rule-based Amazon repricers will help you remain competitive and give you the time to learn what your competition looks like. Rule-based Amazon repricers are also good if your competitive landscape is such that the repricing decision is simple and there is no need for a “fancy” repricer.
💡ProTip: If you are just starting out, rule-based repricing is the way to go. Start with Amazon’s then expand to a third-party repricer as you grow.
FAQ #5 What is Buy Box rotation?
Buy Box rotation is when Amazon will share the Buy Box between two or more sellers at the same price. Most often Buy Box rotations will happen when all sellers are offering their item at the same price, with the same fulfillment method. There are also situations where the BB is being rotated and sellers with better ratings get a higher share.
💡ProTip: When rotating the Buy Box do not be the one to lower the price, because you will likely be responsible for bringing down the value of the listing.
FAQ #6 What is SFP?
SFP, or Seller Fulfilled Prime, is a program for top FBM (Fulfilled by Merchants) sellers who store, pack, and ship their own orders. In addition to having their own warehouse and Amazon professional Seller Account, sellers need to meet specific criteria including:
- Sellers must ship over 99% of orders on time
- Sellers must have an order cancellation rate of less than 1%
- Sellers must buy shipping labels through the Amazon Shipping website or the Buy Delivery Services
- Sellers must deliver orders with Amazon supported Seller Fulfilled Prime carriers
- Sellers must agree to the Amazon Returns Policy
- Sellers must allow for all customer service questions to be dealt with by Amazon.
FAQ #7: National vs. Local Buy Box
Local Buy Box is most relevant when talking about SFP. This is because SFP is treated like an FBA Prime offer in terms of Buy Box relevance. Meaning, if a seller is SFP in a specific region it will win the Buy Box over FBM and more expensive FBA offers. The caveat is that SFP is only relevant to the predefined region in which the seller can maintain the 2-day shipping standard of Amazon Prime.
FAQ #8: How often can 3rd party Amazon repricers reprice?
As specified by Amazon, all third-party repricers can reprice up to 30 times an hour. Any more than that sellers can run the risk of being throttled or intentionally slowed down.
💡Pro Tip: If you have more that one storefront (i.e. US, CA, MX or Pan EU), this will also eat into your throttling limit.
FAQ #9: What is the difference between the new and used Buy Box?
When talking about repricing, the majority of the effort and focus is on the new Buy Box. This is because generally speaking, the “new” Buy Box is the primary Buy Box on the page, and where the users click “Add to Cart” or “Buy Now”. There is sometimes a used Buy Box as well, that will slide open and closed when engaged by the user. These two Buy Boxes differ as they serve different purposes for different customers.
💡Pro Tip: Most Amazon repricers aiming for the Buy Box only focus on new goods as it is the most competitive space. Optimize your repricer to make sure you are getting the Buy Box at the highest possible price
Amazon Marketplace’s consistent growth is what drives the constantly updated nuances of the Buy Box, the Buy Box algorithm, and the strategy of third-party sellers in the market place. It is important for individual sellers to manage and monitor the parts of their strategy that are within their control, like pricing and reviews. In addition, understanding factors outside of their control, like competitors fulfilling through SFP or the price in which a Buy Box is suppressed, will allow sellers to adjust their strategy and find tools to better help them compete for the Buy Box. In turn, giving them an edge on their competition when competing as a third-party seller on the Amazon Marketplace.