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Quick Guide: 

  1. What are the reasons for losing the Amazon Vendor Buy Box?
  2. Best Practices and Influencing Factors of Your Buy Box Eligibility
  3. How to Avoid Losing Buy Box?
  4. Structurize a plan to Identify the Problem
  5. Lost Buy Box Already? Here’s What You Can do to Make a Comeback?

Being an Amazon seller, winning the buy box is pivotal to increase your sales. Everyone knows this. If the Amazon vendor Buy Box recommends, you bag around 90% of the sales of that particular product. But, what if the Buy Box recommends your competitors over you? You’re losing a great deal of money. 

Yes! Amazon with its algorithm compiles the same products from different sellers and identifies who provides the best offers and recommends that particular seller to its buyers. Through this, Amazon buy box conveys its customers you are a trustworthy merchant providing high-quality products and top-notch customer service. Often, for an FBA seller, winning a buy box becomes easy.

Being a buyer-centric platform, Amazon chooses you for the vendor Buy Box winner based on the buyers flexibility. Of course, there are few factors based on which Amazon picks the Buy Box winner. We listed them below for you. 

  1. Selection: If your product is available to ship right away to the customers.
  2. Value: The best price of the product you offer. 
  3. Comfort and Satisfaction: Depends upon the prime benefits you provide.

Maintaining a Buy Box demands high consistency. With the intense competition gearing up, winning the buy box has become harder than ever. Being a vendor and directly selling to Amazon, you’d expect to win the Buy Box always. But the reality speaks something else.

1. What are the reasons for losing the Amazon Vendor Buy Box?

There are two main reasons why you can lose the vendor buy box. While performance issues account for a major part. Hijackers, on the other part, account for a minor loss too. However, hijackers can steal your Buy Box only if they outperform you in any of the above factors. 

Note: Sellers with a Professional Seller Account are eligible for Amazon vendor Buy Box while individual sellers are not. 

2. Best Practices and Influencing Factors of Your Buy Box Eligibility

Effective supply chain and inventory management are the top most strategies to influence the Amazon vendor Buy Box eligibility. Sellers with their own inventory are eligible to get their hands-on Buy Box. The logic is simple. You should keep your inventory updated regularly, respond to your customer queries on-time, and ship your items as per the schedule. If the inventory is not properly updated, the product listings are displayed as ‘out-of-stock.’ This is applicable to all the marketplaces you sell. Once the product is out-of-stock, Amazon gives the opportunity to other retailers who have their own inventory. Therefore, if you fail to meet the above requirements, a 3P seller who is eligible can take over the Buy Box swiftly. 

With our experts, we are here to guide you on how to win back amazon Buy Box.

Pricing Conquers All 

In order to enhance customer experience, Amazon gives huge significance to the pricing strategy. This e-commerce giant wants to stay ahead of the competition when compared to other online retailers and e-commerce platforms. Therefore, sellers who offer the lowest pricing options have the ability to grab the Buy Box. If a seller offers less price when compared to Amazon’s price, it means they are using a predatory pricing strategy or they bought the product for a better wholesale price. 

If this situation persists, Amazon lists those particular products under the CRaP (Can’t Realize any Profits) list – Amazon’s label for the items that are structurally unprofitable to sell on its marketplace. CRaP and Amazon vendor Buy Box relationship is mutual. If the product is listed under CRaP, it’s seller loses the Buy Box. On the other hand, losing the Buy Box constantly lists the item under CRaP. 

3. How to Avoid Losing Buy Box?

Now let’s talk about how to reduce the risk of LBB. Remember, the early bird gets the worm! Follow the below set of actions to prevent the risk of losing Buy Box. 

Beware of the CRaP List

As mentioned, getting listed under CRaP is a direct road to LBB. Of all, consumer products have a greater chance to get into the list. Heavy shipping costs and low per-unit pricing create a low or almost non-existing margin for these sellers and risk them into LBB. Furthermore, you can identify such items and take measures by following the signs. Here are a few of them:

  • Amazon no longer markets these products itself.
  • Using the AMS margin, a seller cannot target the products.
  • You cannot find the ‘Save & Subscribe’ option anymore. 
  • Amazon doesn’t opt to order such products from you again.

Usually, CRaP products tend to fall in one of the following buckets:

  • Heavy or Bulky items
  • Products that are constantly ‘out-of-stock’
  • Too much inventory – Because having too much inventory, you can lower the price which does not match any other seller.
  • Lack of price integrity across several digital platforms
  • Displaying inconsistent sales
  • Not optimizing the retail shipping and pricing economics as per the digital environment

Ultimately, if your product is listed under one of these categories, you have a high chance to fall under the CRaP list. Also, your product sales may see a decline too. 

4. Structurize a plan to Identify the Problem

To find a solution, you need to identify the problem first. Identify which of the above problems are your products facing. Then, structurize an action plan to resolve the issue. 

Always go with the following 3Ps:

  • Product
  • Pricing
  • Process

Product: Reconsider your packaging. Reduce weight through appropriate packaging. 

Pricing: Evaluate the profit margin of your products. Calculate landing costs of the item on Amazon, as well as other sales channels and e-commerce platforms. For more details on how to calculate the landed price click here.

  • Control Your MAP: Experts suggest that a brand or a seller should enforce a Minimum Advertising Policy (MAP) to prevent other sellers from undercutting your prices. Because of the cost efficiency, merchants can enjoy higher profitability and their items are less likely to be a part of the CRaP list. 

Process: With a good product and pricing strategy it is half-work done. But, the most crucial part of the entire wheel is fine-tuning the Process. Right from how well is your inventory stocked-up to taking care of your entire order fulfillment process, to how efficiently are you handling your customers, everything matters in the process. Amazon’s automation helps you attain success in this part. In this process, aligning with Amazon’s marketing strategies will help you reach more customers and the sales flow simultaneously.  

A few of the below actions can mitigate your issues in the process flow.

With an effective supply chain structure, you can highly influence your retail sales on Amazon. 

Manage your Inventory and Logistics

During the order management, running out-of-stock can not only ruin your sales but also your relationship with Amazon. Identify the best process to manage your stock in the inventory effectively to stay in the Buy Box. Analyze your logistics and plan well for seasonal fluctuations and discounts. This is flexible if you have some stock reserved in your inventory. 

Get a Grip on your Supply Chain 

In addition to the inventory, control your distribution firmly. Based on the marketplaces you sell, Amazon offers different distribution agreements and reseller policies. Using these agreements, you can limit or prevent resellers to offer your products on the same platform. In case, if you don’t want to use distribution agreements and still need to gain control of your supply chain, you can introduce a serial number system for all your items. Especially in the US, this particular policy is quite effective as it is easier to identify the issue and enforce your MRP/MAP policies accordingly. Besides, you can join the Amazon transparency program to overthrow counterfeit and create serialization before the product reaches the customer. 

5. Lost Buy Box Already? Here’s What You Can do to Make a Comeback?

Despite following the necessary measures, losing Buy Box can be daunting. First, you need to be aware that you lost the Amazon vendor Buy Box. Therefore, you need to constantly track LBB and your listings. This is crucial to preserve your brand and sales too.

Do not Lower the Pricing of Your Products

Out of anxiety, this is the first thing that pops out in your mind. 

But, this is strictly a NO! Why?

Because reduced prices are applicable to all your listings in the inventory and also to the products that are in the Amazon fulfillment centers. This costs you big time. Also, once you win the Buy Box, it is almost impossible to negotiate your prices back. 

So, what’s the next step? 

We came up with few proven strategies which work on diverse timelines that can help you win the Buy Box. 

On a Short Term Basis – 

Additional Seller Account Comes Handy

For instance, if a product sale is not performing well, be a seller yourself and start selling the products. This option is optimal for LBB and CRaP listing sellers too. Using this account, you can push the sales, keep your brand visible, and retain the sales as well as your product portfolio intact.

Limited-Time Offers

Now we suggest you lower your price without having the pain to re-negotiate your prices with Amazon. Offering discounts for a limited duration makes your price more feasible than your competitors. You are likely to win the Buy Box and increase your sales simultaneously. 

Note: To master this strategy, you need to justify your profit margin first.

Medium-Term Plan –

Reinforce Your Supply Chain 

Before you jump into the action, try to identify the dark spots ahead. Most common ones are:

  1. Someone undercuts your prices
  2. Counterfeits and Unauthorized sales 

a. Someone undercuts your prices: There are two ways to deal with it.

Warn these sellers about their violation of your MAP/MRP policy. If the situation persists, follow your distribution policies to take necessary actions. 

Reconsider the prices of your listings. Without violating the laws or policies, make sure the new price of the product is financially untenable for the resellers.

b. Deal with fake sellers and counterfeit

This is a common problem for most of the successful Amazon sellers. To start with, do the basic scare tactic. Send a ‘Cease and Desist’ message through the Amazon platform and warn them with the legal action. If this fails, learn more about this particular unauthorized seller. Try to track the product using the serial id and identify the supply chain. Using this, you can find if the seller is authorized or not. Based on your marketplace’s distribution agreements, you can take the necessary action to mitigate this issue.

Long Term – Refine Your Process

Refining processes such as inventory management, structuring your supply chain, and tracking your logistics can take a while to fall into the place. Once they are refined, winning back Amazon vendor Buy box becomes easy. That being said, we are providing you a checklist of items that helps you identify the most common logistical problems in your supply chain.

  • Whether your manufacturer is ready to meet the unplanned deadlines
  • Keeping the shipment process intact
  • Ensure that all your teams are establishing clear communication to meet the strict deadlines of Amazon.

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