Why Amazon Wholesalers Should Use a Buy Box Tracker

When you sell on Amazon, you face a lot of competition, especially if you are a wholesaler or reseller. Tons of sellers are competing to dominate the same listing as you for customers, vying to win the Buy Box or Featured Offer. You know, the square with the big “Add to Cart” and “Buy Now” buttons. That’s why tools like Buy Box trackers are so critical to your success.

The Buy Box is a bit of a black box (pun intended), without clear instructions on how to win it. Amazon uses a combination of price (probably the biggest factor) plus Prime shipping eligibility, account health metrics, and more to highlight what it believes is the best offer. That offer changes often, as sellers join or leave the listing, change their prices, go out of stock, and restock. 

If you tweak your price or start using Fulfillment by Amazon to win the Buy Box more often, you’ll need a way to track whether those changes are working or just thinning your margins. How do you know if you’re winning the Buy Box at any given time or whether your Buy Box wins are increasing?

You could, of course, refresh the customer-facing listing throughout the day and take note of the Buy Box changes you see, but this is pretty unsustainable to do manually… especially if you have many products, or like to sleep once in a while. 

Buy Box Tracking Software

That’s why smart sellers invest in software to track how often you’re winning the Buy Box and when you lose it. The best Buy Box tracking software will also include information on the offer that successfully secures the Buy Box if it isn’t yours. This includes details such as price, shipping speed, and (of course) whether or not this offer is from a fellow third-party seller or Amazon itself.

Ideally, the software will also give you a history of the Buy Box wins and losses over some time, so that you can visualize patterns. Notice whether winning offers have better seller ratings than yours or if another seller is racing you to the bottom on price.

Getting the full story means you can take action to increase the percentage of time you’re winning the Buy Box. Improve your feedback, tweak your price if needed, or make sure you are staying in stock consistently. (Of course, there’s software to help you with all of this too.)

Best of all, monitoring the Buy Box means that if you make a change to your offer, you can see quickly whether you won the Buy Box as a result. 

Handling Silent Suppression

Another essential feature of your Buy Box tracking software is notifications if the Buy Box is being suppressed. This means that Amazon has removed the Buy Box from the listing completely, and shoppers have to click a tiny link that says “See all buying options” before they can purchase.

Buy Box suppression happens if none of the offers are eligible for the Buy Box, whether due to poor metrics, slow shipping, high prices, or some other factor. Even if you have the only offer for a product, the Buy Box can get suppressed if the same product is being sold at a lower price somewhere outside of Amazon. 

Of course, you may need to adjust your price to become Buy Box eligible again. If you’re the one selling the item for a lower price elsewhere, you can raise the price off Amazon, or lower the price on Amazon. If you’re not the lower-priced seller, you may have no choice but to lower your price on Amazon, or wait it out and hope the other seller will eventually go out of stock or raise their price.

Before doing anything, check to see whether the competing seller’s lower price is violating the manufacturer’s Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) policy. If so, you can report this MAP violation to the manufacturer. Hopefully, this will get the other seller to raise their price, or lose their wholesale relationship with the brand, reducing your competition and improving your chance of winning the Buy Box. Respecting MAP policies are critical to maintaining healthy relationships with wholesale suppliers, so be certain that you’re not going to violate it yourself before making any price adjustments. 

Leverage Knowledge for New Deals

MAP is important on Amazon too. If a seller continually lowers their price to win the Buy Box, they might violate MAP. If you’re tracking the winning Buy Box prices—and are scrupulous about adhering to MAP yourself—you have a point of leverage when arranging new wholesale deals.

Popular brands often have lots of wholesalers already, and convincing them to make an agreement with you can be difficult, especially if you’re fairly new to the space. When you go to a new supplier asking for a wholesale agreement, first, research the Amazon listing and other online listings for their products. If you notice MAP violators, mention this, and explain that you can track MAP violators on Amazon and help protect the brand’s pricing and reputation. Emphasize your willingness to share information with the manufacturer to help them enforce MAP. 

Also, the manufacturer or brand may only authorize a select list of sellers to resell their items on Amazon. If your Buy Box tracker includes robust information about competing offers, you can also share information about those competing offers with the brand to help them detect any unauthorized sellers who might be selling damaged or ill-gotten goods.

At a minimum, this knowledge should help you look better in the eyes of the manufacturer, showing that you know Amazon well and that you’re on their side when it comes to protecting their brand’s reputation and pricing. Better yet, this knowledge might even help make your case for an exclusive reseller agreement, reducing competition dramatically and solidifying your position on and off Amazon.

Knowledge is Power

It’s always good to know more about your business’s health and the competitive landscape. Start using an Amazon Buy Box tracker today to improve your sales and your wholesale agreements.

SellerPulse by eComEngine is one great software choice. It tracks Buy Box wins, losses, and suppressions, providing you with instant alerts as well as a history of events. And, it collects key details about the winning offer whenever you lose the Buy Box, showing the seller’s price, seller feedback rating, fulfillment channel, and whether the offer comes from Amazon itself or another third-party seller.

Plus, even when you’re winning the Buy Box, SellerPulse has other alerts to let you know that a new seller has joined your listing. It also provides alerts when products go out of stock, listings get deactivated, or images and other details are changed. You can also bundle SellerPulse with FeedbackFive to improve your feedback score and chances of winning the Buy Box.

This blog was contributed by our partners at eComEngine

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