How To Win The Amazon Buy Box

win the amazon buy box

Every Amazon Seller wants to win the Amazon Buy Box, and it isn’t hard to establish why. This modestly-sized block of pixels on a computer screen appears in front of thousands upon thousands of potential customers every single day.

In fact, it is such an effective selling tool, that the Amazon Buy Box accounts for 82% of all Amazon sales – closer to 90% on mobile devices! For reference, through the first 3 months of 2021, Amazon made $8.1 billion in net sales.

The scale of exposure and sales numbers makes it a prime candidate for all businesses aiming to scale up as quickly as possible. A perfect slice of cake that every Amazon Seller is looking for a piece of.

So how can you stand out? How can you win the Amazon Buy Box? What does it take for a business to achieve this level and contest against thousands of other retailers?

We’ll get there – don’t worry.

What Does It Look Like When You Win The Amazon Buy Box?

How Does The Amazon Buy Box Work?

Doesn’t The Lowest Price Win The Amazon Buy Box?

So How To Win The Amazon Buy Box?

Summary Of How To Win The Buy Box

How To Optimise Prices To Win The Amazon Buy Box

How To Optimise Other Metrics To Win The Amazon Buy Box

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What Does It Look Like When You Win The Amazon Buy Box?

Presumably, we have all ordered something from Amazon at some point. Many of us are guilty of ordering something completely unnecessary (also known as Wine and Amazon Prime!)

amazon buy box

As you view a product the Amazon Buy Box appears on the right-hand side of the screen. A small window offering you the quick chance to “add to basket” or “buy now.”

This is the Amazon Buy Box – and it is the primary way that Amazon customers purchase their selected products. Best of all – they do not question who they are buying from. Simply that their needs are fulfilled. They potentially do not even know it is from a third-party seller (ie. you!)

How Does The Amazon Buy Box Work?

Firstly, “winning the Amazon Buy Box” is slightly misleading. In truth, third-party sellers win a share of the Buy Box which is then rotated over time based on the share each third-party seller earns.

To win a share of the Amazon Buy Box, the Buy Box algorithm analyses the offers of each product from multiple sellers. The algorithm will then study price, seller history and many more factors (we’ll cover that further down) in order to distribute the shares of the Amazon Buy Box.

Doesn’t The Lowest Price Win The Amazon Buy Box?

It is a common misconception that the lowest offers automatically win the Amazon Buy Box. It would create a constant war of underbidding until businesses would lose profits or skimp on quality.

As customers desire the best balance of quality and price – the Amazon Buy Box algorithm makes sure that it is provided.

So How To Win The Amazon Buy Box?

Like we mentioned earlier, there is a delicate balance of different essential factors that you need to bear in mind. Throughout this list you will encounter a mix of minimum requirements for Buy Box eligibility as well as some recommendations for optimal performance.

Landed Price

There are two prices for each product on Amazon, the listed price and the landed price. While your listed Reliable Incomeprice may be competitive, the landed price (the complete price including shipping and VAT) may be somewhat higher.

It is essential to:

  • Be aware of the VAT and shipping prices involved with your products
  • Adjust your listed price accordingly if necessary

However, you must remember: it is not necessary to undercut your profits to win the Amazon Buy Box. Low price is an important factor to the Buy Box algorithm, but if you make up for it in the following business metrics you can maintain marginally higher prices than other retailers and still win the Amazon Buy Box!

Shipping Time

Shipping time is another key metric in determining who wins the Amazon Buy Box.

These times are divided into several brackets:

  • 0-2 days
  • 3-7 days
  • 8-13 days
  • 14+ days

A huge number of Amazon products can potentially expire – or even be ordered in time for Birthdays, Anniversaries etc. The quicker that you can ship your products, the better your chance to win the Amazon Buy Box.

It is safe to say that you should avoid a shipping time of over two weeks.

Fulfilment Method

Fulfillment method is the third of the primary deciding metrics that the algorithm measures. Now there are multiple options of fulfilment available, and these are:

  • Fulfilment By Amazon (FBA)
  • Fulfilment By Merchant (FBM)
  • Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP)

FBM Sellers face a distinct disadvantage when it comes to the Buy Box, despite the potential for businesses selling large products to make huge savings on shipping costs by shipping directly to customers.

FBA sellers have the advantage due to the nature of the FBA program (for more information view our FBA guide.) The sellers receive an automatic perfect score for categories such as shipping method, on-time delivery and inventory depth.

SFP sellers also had the edge to win the Amazon Buy Box due to the Seller Fulfilled program which allowed sellers to warehouse their own goods. These sellers required excellent performance metrics and a strong record of delivery time and quality assurance.

Stock Availability

No product, no sales. It is as simple as that.

If your stock availability is zero, you are unable to win a share of the Buy Box and it will automatically rotate to the next potential retailer. 

On rare occasions, customers can “backorder” a product through the Buy Box with the understanding that it will not be ready immediately. However, sellers with immediate availability are always favoured over these circumstances. 

Customer Feedback Results

This covers both the quantity and the quality of your customer feedback.

Higher 5-star reviews are always preferable. However, hundreds of 4-star reviews are worth more than a handful of 5-star reviews as they show a history of satisfied customers

Late Shipment Statistics

Your late shipment rate is the number of orders shipped that are later than the stated ship date.

You can find your late shipment statistics within Seller Central, and remember that a late shipment rate of over 4% will severely hamper your efforts to win the Amazon Buy Box.

On-time Delivery Statistics

This should not need explaining by this point.

Your on-time delivery statistic is the number of successfully completed deliveries before the estimated delivery date. Just like your late shipment statistics, you can find your personal stats in Seller Central for the last 7 and 30 days.

To win the Amazon Buy Box, you must maintain an on-time delivery track record of 97% or greater. 

Tracking Rate

Your valid tracking rate is a brand new feature introduced by Amazon to provide a distinction between average and high-performing Sellers.

Amazon Sellers must offer valid tracking numbers for all their products. It is a method to keep angsty customers satisfied as they can monitor where their ordered packages are at any moment.

To ensure your eligibility and win the Amazon Buy Box, you must maintain valid tracking numbers for over 95% of all your products, without exception.

Customer Response Time

Customer service is vital in business, regardless of which particular sector you are in, and Amazon highly values Sellers that maintain this level of professionalism. customer support

Amazon monitors the customer response times of all Sellers for the last seven, 30 and 90 days at any given time. If the average response time is over 12 hours (or worse, never replied to!) then Amazon will respond by restricting your access to the Amazon Buy Box.

Sellers should be aware that some customers do not require replies, but you can still receive a negative value if you fail to reply. Make sure that you mark these messages as “no response needed” to avoid sanctions and maintain your eligibility to win the Amazon Buy Box.

Sales Volume / Inventory Depth

With great power comes great responsibility. With the Amazon Buy Box, comes a great number of sales.

It goes without saying that the Buy Box can boost your sales to levels previously not yet reached, but if you do not have the inventory to keep up with the sales – then there is no point. Amazon takes this in consideration when it comes to awarding the Buy Box to Sellers. Businesses with larger inventory, excellent stock history and consistent sales will always receive a priority over smaller, more insecure businesses.

Cancellation and Refund Rate

Your cancellation rate is the number of orders cancelled before being shipped to customers. Your refund rate is the number of orders refunded after shipping.

To ensure that you can still win the Amazon Buy Box, these numbers must remain under 2.5%.

Careful Of These New Metrics

While they currently have no impact on Buy Box eligibility, Amazon has introduced two new metrics for Amazon Sellers. As prevention is better than a cure, it is best to bear these two new metrics in mind as Amazon may soon include them within the Buy Box algorithm.

They are Customer Dissatisfaction Rate and Return Dissatisfaction Rate.

But we’ll cover those another time.

Summary Of How To Win The Buy Box

All of these factors play a part in both your eligibility to win and your percentage share of the Amazon Buy Box. Every single one of these rates and metrics play a factor in deciding which businesses get the biggest slice of the pie.

So here’s a little summary for you:

Amazon Buy Box Metric


Landed Price

Existing price

Shipping Time

0-14 days (lower is better)

Fulfillment Method


Stock Availability

As much as possible

Customer Feedback Results

Number of Reviews > Rating of Reviews

Late Shipment Statistics

Less than 4%

On-Time Delivery Statistics

Greater than 97%

Tracking Rate

Greater than 95%

Customer Response Time

Under 12 hours

Sales Volume / Inventory Depth

High Sales Volume, Extra Inventory

Cancellation and Refund Rate

Less than 2.5%

As you can see a great deal of these factors simply rely on doing good business, and building up a history with Amazon. However, the first factor is pricing – so how can you make the best choice for your products?

How To Optimise Prices To Win The Amazon Buy Box

Product pricing is one of the most essential factors when it comes to the Buy Box. Price too high and you will be underbid by your competition. Price too low and you’ll not reduce your overall profitability, you’ll be advertising that your products are “cheap.” 

That is where a product profitability tool comes in. 

Product Finder is an essential resource for retailers looking to win the Amazon Buy Box. It provides in-depth analyses of products being sold including Amazon fees, profitability, and the pricing level required for buy box eligibility.

This simple tool changes the game for businesses looking to consistently win the Amazon Buy Box on a regular basis.

How To Optimise Other Metrics To Win The Amazon Buy Box

As far as other metrics are concerned, you only need one other tool to maximise your business effectiveness.

If you want to succeed and avoid lowering your metrics, the best option is an Amazon Marketplace solution, such as Seller Central Connect. Not only do automated tools optimise your workflow and increase reliability, they offer a whole range of added benefits which can be viewed here.

With the combination of Product Finder and Seller Central Connect, you can provide top-level business through Amazon and rake in more sales than ever before once you win the Amazon Buy Box.

Get in contact with a member of our team today to hear more about how these tools can change the way you do your business. Or feel free to check out our resources page for more guides, tips and tricks for online businesses!

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