The "Buy Box" is the box on a product detail page where a customer starts the purchase process by adding an item to their shopping cart. Each product in a marketplace has its own product detail page, which can include the same products from different sellers. This means, as a seller, getting visibility on the product pages is a significant challenge, and differs from optimizing other online sales channels. When a user clicks the “Add to Cart” button, they’re buying from one merchant and one merchant only – the buy box winner. The Buy Box winner for a product is selected from the pool of eligible sellers offering that product based on, among other things, price and availability.
The "Buy Box" owner on Amazon, Google, etc. typically receives the default sale whenever a customer adds the product to their cart from the search page or from the highly visible top of page "Add to cart" button.
How sellers can increase their chances of winning the Buy Box
To be eligible for display in the buy box, you must the marketplaces criteria and have products that are buy box eligible. Each marketplace has a different set of key performance indicators to help decide who receives priority.
- Pricing: Since we look at the price the customer will pay (price + shipping), price your products competitively, including the shipping rates. The lowest price doesn't guarantee winning the Buy Box, as pricing is just one factor that is evaluated. Other sellers, your competition, may undercut you by pennies in order to steal the sale.
- Availability Keep stock available: If you have no current stock for a product, you cannot win the Buy Box. Use inventory planning best practices to keep your popular products in stock. Update your inventory: Customers who submit orders for products that are not in stock are likely to leave negative feedback, especially around the holidays. To ensure that buyers cannot place orders for out-of-stock items, keep your inventory updated. Plan vacations: If you are going on vacation, make sure that customers are not left waiting for orders to arrive.
- List accurately: Carefully title, describe and categorize items and their conditions to avoid customer confusion.
- Ship accurately: Customers might leave negative feedback if they receive the wrong item. Build reliable fulfillment and shipping procedures to prevent this.
- Ship on time: Customers expect to receive their orders by the estimated delivery dates. This is especially important around the holidays. Ship order with enough time to meet or beat the estimated delivery date then confirm shipment to avoid unnecessary cancelled orders. If you are not going to make the estimated delivery date, notify your customer right away, even for issues outside of your control (for example, a natural disaster or carrier issue).
- Communicate with customers: Nothing is more frustrating to a customer than not knowing the status of their order. Notify customers when an order is delayed and respond quickly to customer contacts requesting order updates. The right communication at the right time can help build trust between you and the customer.
- Provide excellent customer service: Provide post-transaction support (refunds, returns, and exchanges) to help ensure customer satisfaction.