Selling successfully on Amazon without the buybox
The problem that plagues many of the direct-to-consumer brands we work with is that they don’t make it into the Amazon buybox for their top-of-the-line products. On the one hand, it cannot be legal, as retail sales are only possible for certain players, for example in the health sector. On the other hand, the brand strategy may be behind it. Many brands don’t want to engage in a price war with their dealers because it devalues the brand and lowers margins. However, without the buy box, it is not possible to place sponsored product ads in many marketplaces, which are at the heart of many scaling strategies. There are also isolated problems when the market plays out retailers’ product content against the better branded content.
What is the Amazon Buy Box?
Amazon is a platform that offers countless products from a wide variety of categories. The products are available in various versions at various dealers. There are also so-called resellers who offer the same item on Amazon. Unlike the resellers, who experience no restrictions, the dealers have to share a product detail page with one and the same product.
If the customer is now interested in the goods in question, he will be redirected to the product detail page with more information. On the right side of the page is a small, white box – the Amazon Buybox. The box gives the potential buyer clues about the price, shipping and seller. The yellow marked buttons show the shopping cart field and the buy now button. If the user decides to buy, he will automatically select the winner of the buy box.
What does this ultimately mean for sellers? About 90 percent of all purchases are made by clicking “Add to Cart”. In other words, the seller in this area wins the most time. Of course, this in turn means that any entrepreneurial ecommerce enthusiast worth their salt is constantly looking for ways to get into the Amazon buying box.
What criteria must be met to qualify for the Amazon Buybox?
To be eligible for the Buybox, you must meet certain criteria that will allow you as a professional seller to win the coveted “Add to Cart” box based on high performance. What does Approved Seller status do for you? Firstly, increased visibility, because even if you are not in the buybox itself, you are entitled to a placement in the “More Buying Choices”, making you more attractive to buyers. However, let’s focus on the buy box here. While there is no set formula for entering or winning the buy box, there are a few requirements you must meet to be eligible:
- An account with a proven seller.
Only sellers who have paid for an account with a professional seller are eligible. Anyone with a Single Seller Account (“Basic Account” in Europe) is not eligible.
- Amazon Buybox Eligibility.
Check your status in Amazon Seller Central. A high performance seller who takes into account everything that makes the shopping experience great for your customers.
It must be a brand new item.
Your listed item must be inventoried. The sale box simply goes to another seller if there is no stock.
But what if I, as a retailer, cannot meet the criteria?
Solution approaches for different business strategies
- Sale of exclusive products
As a brand, I can differentiate my range and release part of the range to retailers and sell another part exclusively to end customers through marketplaces. This offers the advantage that products can be played with the right content and with the ad formats relevant to the strategy. In this strategy, coordination with the board of directors, purchasing, sales and other stakeholders is absolutely important, as well-designed products naturally arouse the desire of retailers to sell them, shifting the problem only to new products.
- Collaboration with top retailers
In principle, brands and retailers pursue the same interests, ideally both parties want to maximize product sales. So why not collaborate here? As a brand, I ideally work with the top retailers, send content and ideally switch SPAs myself through the retailers account. Of course, as a brand, I am not allowed to dictate the retailer’s prices, but I can still pursue a scaling strategy and continuously grow in marketplaces.
- Marketing budget focus on branding
If both of the above solutions are not possible or only partially possible, I should not ignore channels such as Amazon , OTTO , Zalando and Co as a brand. A large part of the target group now buys on marketplaces and brand growth can still be achieved with retail media measures. Banner ads, sponsored brand ads, homepage teasers, category ads, social media ads, offsite ads and the like can also be placed without an Amazon buy box and increase brand presence, top-of-mind awareness and purchase intent. The most important thing here is the measurability of success. Visible impressions, an increase in search volume for branded keywords or user surveys are good measures for measuring success outside of sales figures.
Do you need further support for getting the Amazon buybox? We are glad to help you! Simply arrange a non-binding consultation and ask us your questions!