Amazon Buy Box

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While Amazon generates over $250 billion in sales every year, over 90% of those sales are attributed to the Amazon buy box. For any seller who wants to increase sales on Amazon sales, winning the buy box on the product detail page is critical. Consequently, retailers featured on Amazon’s buy box sell more products.

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The Amazon buy box is a section on the right side of an Amazon product detail page where customers can add a product to their cart or “buy now.” For the majority of items, there will be a number of buying options for the buyer. When a buyer selects, “Add to Cart”, the seller who has theBuy Box at that moment in time (the Buy Box winner rotates but more about that later), gets that all-important sale.

Source: Amazon

A Buy Box on Amazon allows customers to make a quick purchase without considering who they are buying from (Amazon or a third-party seller). Since not all sellers are eligible to win the Buy Box,

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  • Amazon doesn’t share the Buy Box . Although Amazon often wins the Buy Box on listings that it sells on, third-party sellers can win a share of it.
  • The lowest price always wins the Amazon Buy Box. Price is a major factor in the Buy Box algorithm but not the only one, e.g. fulfillment method.
  • You can keep the Buy Box to yourself . No one is guaranteed exclusive access to Amazon’s Buy Box. Other merchants can appear at any time.
  • You need to turn Buy Box eligibility on. Amazon decides if you’re eligible for the Buy Box, not you.

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To qualify for eligibility for Amazon Buy Box, here are four main criteria sellers must have:

  • Professional Seller account: Only sellers with a Professional Amazon Sellers account which costs $39.99 per month are eligible to win the Buy Box. Individual or Basic Seller accounts are not eligible.
  • Buy Box eligibility: A seller must be Buy Box Eligible (previously called Featured Merchant) for the product in order to compete for a share of the much-coveted Buy Box for that product’s sales. Sellers can be eligible to win the Buy Box for some products and not for other products. Sellers can fast-track their way to Buy Box Eligibility by using Amazon FBA. To be Buy Box eligible, your Order Defect Rate, Cancellation Rate, and Late Shipment Rate metrics must be in good standing.
  • Item condition: Items that are used cannot win a Buy Box position over a new item—instead, there is now a Used Buy Box which is separate from the main Buy Box.
  • Stock availability: An obvious one but if you don’t have an item in stock, you can’t win the Buy Box with the exception of a back-ordered item.

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Sellers are constantly changing their product prices in order to win the Buy Box. In many cases, even a few pennies can tip the scales in their favor. There are 3 ways in which you can consistently change the price of your products:

  • Manual repricing: Manual repricing involves manually updating your prices for each ASIN.
  • Rule-based repricing: Rule-based repricing examines the prices of the competition and re-prices according to predefined rules. While this method is easier than manual repricing, it also has some major downsides like time consumption, conflicting interest, and price limitation.
  • Algorithmic repricing: This is considered the most sophisticated and revolutionary repricing option because it takes into account all the variables that affect your chances of winning the Buy Box.

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To win a share of the Buy Box, sellers need to improve their metrics without forfeiting performance in other areas. It is not always easy to find a perfect balance between customer support, price, and several other factors. However, to ensure your products are Buy Box eligible, do the following:

  • Go to the “Manage Inventory” section in your Seller Central account.
  • Click “Preferences” in the right-hand corner and then “Buy Box Eligible” in the dropdown menu. This will add another column that simply states yes or no for Buy Box Eligibility on your products.

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  • Select the right fulfillment method. While Amazon allows merchants to use their own fulfillment process or fulfillment providers to sell on Amazon, Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is becoming the most popular choice due to its benefits in the buy box and elsewhere. However, if you want to run Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM), you need to be shipping products and dealing with customers at Amazon’s high standards.
  • Make sure that your product’s landed price is affordable. Since many Amazon sellers are constantly changing prices to edge one another out on the buy box. Ensure to keep your prices low and consistent with other merchants on the site.
  • Build your Amazon account health. This is very important because Amazon favors reliable sellers because they’re more likely to ship products on time, sell high-quality products, and offer superior customer service.
  • Speed up your shipping time (FBM Only). Since Amazon calculates how well you’re are doing with shipping based on your projected shipping time and actual shipping time, it is important you ensure a quick delivery. Generally, Amazon weighs shipping based on the following shipping time frames for Amazon sellers: 0-2 days, 3-7 days, 8-13 days, and 14+ days.
  • Be priced competitively: This does not mean having the lowest price. If you don’t want to reprice manually consider using repricing software to save time and keep your prices competitive.
  • Improve your Seller Feedback score. Your Amazon feedback rating is constantly updated based on aggregate reviews from Amazon orders and is an average of all seller feedback ratings.
  • Keep products in stock. Keeping your inventory information up to date is just as important as having inventory available. If you tell Amazon a product is available, and you can’t fulfill an order, you run the risk of incurring negative reviews — a major factor for seller ratings.
  • Focus on the important metrics: Some sellers might choose to focus on those metrics which have the most impact on the Buy Box. Your seller feedback score is an important metric. This is one of the reasons sellers use Amazon feedback software like FeedbackExpress.
  • Improving seller performance: Use Amazon Seller Central to identify the key areas of performance you need to improve on.
  • Know your metrics: Sellers should be aware of their seller metrics in Amazon Seller Central.

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While it’s important to understand what it takes to win the Buy Box, it’s also important to understand the reason for your failure to win. Here are some probable factors:

  • Your price is too high or too low: If your price is too high or too low in comparison to the average price, you might lose the Buy Box, even if you’re the only seller on the listing.
  • Unhealthy account: Finally, if your Account Health falls below certain thresholds, Amazon may also remove your Buy Box privileges. Furthermore, if your seller privileges are suspended or one of your ASINs is suppressed, you will lose the Buy Box.
  • Another seller joins your listing: Often referred to as ‘hijacking,’ if the listing was a private label product of your own creation, by setting their price lower than yours, Amazon’s algorithm awards the new seller the Buy Box.