Are you ready to win the Amazon Buy Box battle?

Introducing the tool that will identify your weaknesses and help supercharge your Amazon sales and marketing strategy

The Amazon Buy Box doesn’t look like much. It contains a ‘Buy Now’ button and an ‘Add to Cart’ button and you’ll find it nestled at the top right hand corner of most Amazon product pages. Despite its humble appearance this is where more than 83% of conversions take place on Amazon, accounting for a staggering $374bn in sales last year alone. Needless to say, the Buy Box is hot property with brands and resellers alike fighting fiercely to ‘win’ the Buy Box and get their products featured.

Winning the Buy Box is far from simple, however, with brands having to apply a series of unwritten rules to their product pages if they want to secure the Buy Box. These rules are complex and incredibly difficult to apply manually. The good news, however, is that digital shelf analytics (DSA) technology can automatically audit your progress for you, identify where you are going wrong and show you how to drastically improve your Buy Box strategy.

Choose a Buy Box-friendly business model

The first consideration when fighting for Buy Box dominance is which of the four Amazon business models you adopt. Brands that choose ‘Fulfilled-by-Merchant’ (FBM) status, for example, share the smallest proportion of their profits with Amazon and so generally find it the most difficult to win the Buy Box. Meanwhile Amazon Vendor sellers (who balance lower margins against higher sales volumes) generate greater revenue for Amazon and so the platform makes it easier for them to win the Buy Box.

Other key considerations – such as content correctness, product availability and customer nurture – can be incredibly difficult to audit and align with Amazon’s constantly changing requirements across hundreds of products. The good news is leading DSA solutions can do this job swiftly, easily and straight out of the box. DSA solutions (such as Detail Online), can automatically pinpoint where your product pages fall below the required Amazon standard. This means you don’t need to commit precious time, money and resources in an attempt to audit Amazon product pages manually.

Content is king on Amazon

When it comes to making your product page Buy Box-worthy, content is king. The more detailed and the higher quality your content, the better. Amazon primarily looks for a keyword-rich title and product description, text with the right character count, a compelling bullet-point list describing your product and a series of large, high-resolution product images. Video is another powerful content format – 83% of Amazon customers say they have made a purchasing decision based on video alone.

To make compliance even more tricky, the full requirements for product title, bullet points, images and video vary according to product and are incredibly detailed. Despite this complexity DSA ‘spiders’ are perfectly capable of auditing thousands of product pages, alerting you when content on your product pages fall below the required standard.

Do you have the availability?

Amazon also ranks your product listing based on availability – do you have the stock and are you able to fulfil the order now? Or will customers be kept waiting? As you can imagine, availability is even more critical for time-sensitive Prime orders. This is another variable that market-leading DSA solutions can monitor automatically, sending you alerts if your stock levels become dangerously low, so you can act before your Buy Box status is threatened.

Ensure your customer nurture is on track with digital shelf analytics

Amazon also ranks sellers on how effectively they nurture their customers. Do you respond to customer questions promptly and do you provide answers that satisfy their questions? If you respond to customer queries within 12 hours you increase your Buy Box ranking. If more than 10% of messages are answered after 24 hours, or never replied to at all, this will have an adverse effect on your rating.

Also, do your products attract positive reviews? Amazon analyses customer feedback (positive, neutral and negative) over the past 30 days, 90 days and 365 days. If your feedback is at least 90% positive, you’ve got the best odds possible of winning a Buy Box. This ability to keep customers happy and share swift and insightful information is another positive step towards winning the Buy Box. The best DSA solutions can help you stay on track, highlighting if a product doesn’t have enough reviews and whether customer questions are being answered on time and to a high standard.

Keep a close eye on your competition

Ensuring your ducks are in a row is important, but brands fighting for Buy Box status must also keep a close eye on the competition. That’s because if a third-party seller outperforms you and wins the Buy Box, bad things start to happen. For a start Amazon will most likely switch off your paid-for marketing so it disappears from the product page. That’s because Amazon does not want to promote a product if it is sold and fulfilled by a third party as this will erode its margins. Amazon will also revoke your ‘Sponsored Product’ status for the same reason. To add insult to injury, you will most likely have to cut your product price if you want to win back the Buy Box, cutting margins for Amazon and your brand.

This all makes for grim reading, so it clearly makes sense to monitor resellers closely. The good news is that technology can do this task for you, automatically identifying and monitoring the product page activity of hundreds of resellers in near real-time every day. DSA-generated actionable insights can help you to spot when your resellers improve their product page performance. For instance if they start using an impressive new video or improve their reviews/Q&A output.

Protect your Buy Box status with digital shelf analytics

DSA can also help you spot aggressive sales tactics before they can do damage to your Buy Box status – for example Amazon vendors selling cut-price stock. This kind of actionable insight can encourage you to investigate further and has the potential to reveal vendors who have sourced your products through unauthorized channels or are selling counterfeit goods.

Needless to say Amazon, like most ecommerce platforms, doesn’t like it when third-party solutions are used to audit vendor activity on its site. It’s response when it detects a DSA spider is to bombard it with scrambled data which significantly reduces accuracy and can give brands a false impression how well they’re doing. Leading solutions such as Detail Online, however, feature an AI-powered validation loop which interrogates data and confirms it is accurate.

Winning on Amazon is a complex and never-ending battle, waged against hundreds of competitors, with rules that are constantly changing. This can be a daunting challenge for even the biggest brands. Luckily, technology is on hand to do the heavy lifting, automatically auditing hundreds of product pages, so you don’t have to and giving you the precious actionable insights you need for Buy Box success.

Originally published Mar. 05, 2021, updated Mar. 08, 2021
Joakim Gavelin
Joakim Gavelin
CEO, Detail Online

Joakim has spent 25 years in merchandising and conducting audits in physical stores, and for the last 5 years he has been applying the same principles online. The tactics include promotion, presentation, visibility, stock situation, position on shelf, share of shelf etc., which all affect conversion in e-commerce.

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