On Amazon’s marketplace, sellers compete for the Buy Box both with other sellers and with Amazon itself. In some cases, Amazon may take the Buy Box away altogether, which is commonly referred to as “Buy Box suppression”.
Amazon uses a variety of factors to determine who wins the Buy Box.
This post will cover:
- What is the Amazon Buy Box?
- What is Buy Box Suppression?
- Amazon’s Marketplace Fair Pricing Policy
- Reasons for Buy Box Suppression
- Losing the Buy Box to Other Sellers
- Tracking Buy Box Trends
What is the Amazon Buy Box?
The buy box is simply the section on the right in an Amazon product detail page containing the product price, shipping information, inventory availability, seller name, fulfillment details, and the “Add to Cart” and “Buy Now” buttons.
Because 82% of Amazon sales go through the Buy Box (and even more for mobile purchases) the Buy Box is highly coveted by Amazon sellers.
Amazon sellers compete with one another to win a share of the Buy Box. For more popular items with multiple sellers, sellers may rotate their spot on the Buy Box, even sharing with Amazon itself. The seller who is in the Buy Box at the time of a customer’s conversion will capture the sale.
In the image below, the Buy Box is the rectangle located on the right side of the Product Detail Page. Within the Buy Box, the text says “Sold by Gorman Gear”. Whichever seller’s name appears on the “Sold by” line will win the sale. If you’re the only seller in the product listing, then you’ll always win the Buy Box.
What is Buy Box Suppression?
In some cases, Amazon may take the Buy Box away altogether. Sellers sometimes call this “Buy Box suppression”. You can tell that a Buy Box is missing/suppressed when the “Add to Cart” and “Buy Now” buttons are hidden from view. Instead, to see the standard buying information and place an order, shoppers must click “See All Buying Options.”
Amazon’s Marketplace Fair Pricing Policy
One of the most frequent questions we get at Envision Horizons is “Why doesn’t this item on Amazon have the buy box?”
The most common reason for a missing / suppressed Buy Box is Amazon’s enforcement of their Marketplace Fair Pricing Policy. This policy effectively allows Amazon to penalize sellers by taking away the Buy Box if their product is offered at a lower price elsewhere online. The only way to prevent being penalized by Amazon is to standardize your pricing across online marketplaces and control your distribution network. Even if other sellers don’t appear in your Amazon listing, they can still trigger a suppressed buy box by selling the product at a cheaper price elsewhere online.
7 Reasons for Buy Box Suppression
The reason for not having the buy box is typically one of about 7 different things. The Amazon buy box is usually not showing because:
- The price of the item is lower elsewhere, so Amazon has suppressed the Buy Box to enforce their Marketplace Fair Pricing Policy.
- Similarly, the item is listed at too high of a price on Amazon .
- Promotional activity. This piggybacks off of the high-pricing reason. If you run promotions for an item and revert back to the regular price, Buy Box suppression could be triggered.
- A lack of a Prime (FBA) offer can make an item not have the Buy Box.
- Very slow sales volume can suppress the Buy Box.
- New products. This reason can be confused with reason #5. Some new listings can take a week or two to get the buy box.
- Low seller rating score can impact buy box visibility.
Losing the Buy Box to Other Sellers
Losing the Buy Box or not being eligible for the Buy Box are both different situations from Buy Box suppression.
Amazon has requirements that must be met for a seller to be eligible to win the Buy Box. Not all sellers will be qualified to win the Buy Box.
If you are eligible to win the Buy Box, you still may have to compete with other sellers to win a share of the Buy Box. For more popular items with multiple sellers, sellers may rotate their spot on the Buy Box, even sharing with Amazon itself. If one seller is significantly stronger than the rest, their percentage share of the Buy Box will be higher.
The primary reason you might start losing the Buy box is if another seller is listing your product for less, or offering faster shipping.
Read our post “Why am I Losing the Buy Box?” for more information.
Tracking Buy Box Trends with myHorizons
With myHorizons’ Buy-Box Trends page, you can simplify the process of tracking Buy Box wins and losses by viewing your accounts’ ratio of wins, losses, and no Buy Boxes. Track Buy Box prices to stay competitive and toggle different views to generate a list of each status. myHorizons is making selling on Amazon less stressful and more profitable by automating Amazon brand management. Find more information on if myHorizons is right for you, or schedule your own personal demo here.
Get Assistance Running Your Amazon Business
If you want assistance running your Amazon business, or are curious about how to reach your full potential selling on Amazon, see if you qualify for a free audit from Envision Horizons.
Also, consider subscribing to a software solution such as myHorizons. Easily stay up to date on your brand’s performance during Prime Day across sales and advertising, and get automated brand management suggestions from our new machine learning tool.
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