How to stay competitive on Amazon: the Buy Box and repricing software
Editor’s note: This is a guest blog by Chris Dunne from RepricerExpress
Competition on Amazon has never been more intense. Staying ahead of your competitors, retaining sales and Buy Box placement are the biggest challenges most third-party sellers face. That’s where repricing software can help…
What’s the Buy Box?
On Amazon, multiple sellers are attempting to sell the same product including Amazon itself (in many cases). The Buy Box is the box on the product detail page which includes an “Add to Basket” button that makes it very convenient for shoppers to choose this seller.
There is no additional fee for being Buy Box eligible, however, sellers must maintain specific levels of performance, in order to retain this status. If you’re not currently Buy Box eligible, you can work on improving your seller performance metrics such as Order Defect Rate and overall seller feedback ratings.
Once, you’re Buy Box eligible, your placement within the Buy Box can be largely governed by price—which is why anyone seriously selling on Amazon needs to put repricing strategies in place to consistently maintain healthy sales.
In Q3 2016, Amazon.com recorded revenue of $32.71 billion, with around 82% of that going through the Buy Box. With those sort of numbers, it’s easy to see why every seller is clamoring for a piece of the Buy Box.
Increase your chances of winning the Buy Box
Amazon doesn’t reveal its exact algorithm for winning a share of the Buy Box but price and feedback are widely regarded as two of the most important factors.
Delivering an outstanding customer experience is the best way to achieve Buy Box eligibility and win your share of sales.
1. Price Competitively!
Price is without doubt one of the most important Buy Box criteria. Online shoppers trust that they will find low prices on Amazon so ensure you keep an eye on your competition, including the current Buy Box winner to stay competitive.
With all sellers being equal, Amazon lists products in order of Price + Shipping, and that carries into the Buy Box unless one of your other metrics are below standard.
2. Shipping Performance
Amazon places a huge emphasis on fast and hassle free shipping. If you think you’re going to struggle to meet the high standards expected, then you should consider using Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA).
With FBA, Amazon takes responsibility for any problems with fulfillment and these won’t affect your seller metrics. We strongly advise all sellers to keep a close eye on their Order Defect Rate (ODR) and Perfect Order Percentage (POP) metrics.
3. Keep Stock Available
Obviously, if you have no current stock for a product, you cannot win the Buy Box. Ensure you stay on top of your inventory management and have your most popular products in stock.
Keep your inventory quantity up to date. You don’t want a customer to place an order for an out of stock item, as delayed shipping could result in negative feedback on your Amazon account.
Finally, if you’re going on vacation, make suitable arrangements to ensure that customers aren’t left waiting for orders to be fulfilled.
4. Customer Service Matters
Providing excellent customer service is a great way to ensure customer retention and build loyalty.
Conversely, consumers who have a bad customer experience may never return and an estimated 95% will tell friends and family about their unpleasant shopping experience.
Customer service is very important to Amazon, and it’s widely regarded as the world’s most customer-centric business. Excelling in all customer service related metrics is the key to success on Amazon.
5. Protect Your Seller Rating
Sellers looking to win the Buy Box should aim for a seller rating of at least 90%, and ideally over 95%.
Many sellers on Amazon manage to maintain a 100% feedback rating by managing their feedback using automated tools such as FeedbackExpress.
Negative and neutral (or three star) feedback can affect your seller rating and Buy Box chances so ensure you do your best to resolve any issues around these. Remember, sellers can update and remove feedback for up to 60 days after leaving.
You may even be able to get Amazon to remove it if the buyer has has left a product review on a seller feedback review (and vice versa).
Repricing software enables scalable growth
Repricing software allows Amazon sellers to automatically compare their product prices to competitors and adjust them accordingly.
Information that Amazon releases to the public domain and historical sales data on the marketplace, shows that price matters (as well as other seller metrics including your seller feedback rating).
Price can have a major impact on your sales, product visibility and Buy Box chances (more on that later). Therefore, sellers need to continually ensure their products are priced competitively. When you have hundreds or thousands of products to reprice regularly, doing this manually becomes unrealistic—so many sellers turn to repricing software.
Repricing software like RepricerExpress can help sellers to automatically manage the prices of their products, adjusting them regularly to ensure they are well ranked and visible—even when are asleep!
Sellers are required to set minimum and maximum sell prices for their products so they can ensure they sell an item at the margin they want, and never outside of the range they’re comfortable with. Within these set parameters, the software automatically manages the prices and adjusts them continuously.
Saving time is just one of the reasons sellers choose to use RepricerExpress. But, it is the access to valuable sales data, the increase in sales, profits, GMV and Buy Box placement that keeps them using it.
Executing a Repricing Strategy
Sellers should use a pricing strategy in line with their overall business strategy. It is important your repricing software allows you to decide who you want to compete with and who you don’t want to compete with.
Everyone is different, so there isn’t a one size fits all for sellers. With a modern repricing solution, you are able to match your repricing rules to your own business.
With RepricerExpress you get a super-fast repricing solution that is really easy to setup and works across Amazon and eBay. Plans start at £35/$50 and include a free 15-day trial for you to try out and see if it works for your business.
Sign-up today using the promo code “PAYONEER10”, and you can enjoy 15 days of Amazon repricing for free (no credit card required), then get a 10% discount on your first month’s subscription.
If you have any further repricing queries, get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our great customer support team will get back to you asap.