1. What is Amazon Featured Offer?
To become featured is to maintain the front-most position on an Amazon listing. That means when people click the “buy now” button, it’s your inventory that’s added to the cart.
People often refer to it as the Amazon Buy Box. It’s called this because of the prominent box directing shoppers to the “buy now” buttons. Sellers who do not win the Buy Box are stuck in the “Other Sellers” section. This means the customer would have to scroll down to see your offer. In the worst-case scenario, you are stuck between the Other Sellers and Buy Box, reducing your chances of converting to dismal numbers.
The Value of Having an Amazon Featured Offer on Your Product Listing
The Amazon Buy Box, or Featured Offer, is the quickest way to enter a prospective buyer’s shopping cart. It is confirmation from Amazon that you offer the best shopping experience.
The value of being in the buy box can be the difference between making tens of thousands of sales. You are on the front page of a product category that customers want. Outside of establishing yourself as a recognizable brand on Amazon, it’s one of the most direct ways for you to sell a single product quickly. Success in one area impacts your profile.
For example, the order defect rank on your profile indicates what you offer, not the listing. Failing on one listing is likely to impact your sales ranking on other listings.
2. What is Amazon’s Plan for Amazon’s Featured Offer?
The Amazon Featured Offer has a plan of focusing on those that offer the best overall customer experience. Here’s a quick rundown of everything that means:
- You strive to have a low defect rate
- This product is the lowest price of all the offerings
- Your customer service is excellent
- You have non-existent late shipment rates
- Your seller rating is incredibly high
You have to be the best seller among all the options. That means you have to be competitive and have a quality product and process.
Under the process, Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) Sellers receive the highest potential marks. FBA Sellers have access to prime. Also, handing off logistics to Amazon, a company that excels at it, is one way to solve many of your shipping problems.
3. How to Get it for Your Listings
Getting the Amazon Buy Box for your listings requires you to meet multiple requirements. First, Amazon needs to check the eligible offers you have available.
How To Be Sure Your Amazon Products are Eligible for the Featured Offer
There are two steps you can take to be sure of your eligibility. Your first step is to be sure that you have a Professional Seller Account.
How To Get A Professional Seller Account
You can check your current account type from your Seller Central dashboard. If your account settings tell you that you have a Professional Selling account, you do.
If not, simply change the account type under the available dashboard. Professional selles have access to additional perks:
- No per-item listing fee
- Additional seller tools for analytics tracking
- Creation of new Amazon product pages
- Ability to apply promotions to your listings
- Usage of Amazon Marketplace Web Service
Becoming a professional seller makes sense for people who plan on selling more than 40 items per month and want powerful tools to sell more. You need to be a Professional Seller to win the Amazon Buy Box.
You also need to be sure you have eligible products.
How To Be Sure Your Products are Eligible for the Amazon Featured Offer
After confirming your account eligibility, you can check your products. To check your products, access the “Manage Inventory” page.
The “manage inventory” page will allow you to select a “Buy Box Eligible” option. After selecting it, select “Save Changes” at the bottom of this screen.
The next screen will display all of your products with a “Buy Box Eligible” column. The status will be affirmative or negative for each product.
Eligible sellers and products are just the beginning of becoming the Amazon Featured Offer. Amazon also tracks additional criteria regarding seller performance.
4. Four Criteria You Need To Meet To Win The Featured Offer Slot
Competitive Pricing Will Win The Amazon Buy Box
Under the “Manage Pricing” page you will find the average cost your competitors are pricing their products at. Combining this with data from the “Pricing Dashboard” will show how your price compares to other sellers.
Regardless of how good you are, Amazon understands that a crucial part of the customer experience involves searching for cheaper options. Customers will almost always go for the lowest price. Many other companies offer price matching on their products to meet this demand.
Almost any listing will show that the lowest price wins. You can get insights on competitor landscape and pricing using DataHawk's Amazon market research.
Your goal is to be the cheapest available option within reason. Don’t fall victim to pricing wars with larger stores; bigger entities almost always have the ability to price out the competition.
Providing An Excellent Customer Experience Wins The Buy Box
You might think it is good customer service on Amazon. While it is different from any self-owned frontline, good customer service starts with these three metrics:
- Order Defect Rate - The number of orders you have returned due to cosmetic, technical, or mechanical issues.
- Cancellation Rate - The number of people who cancel the order before or after shipment.
- Late Shipment Rate - The percentage of times your shipment arrives past the suggested arrival date.
Your Account Health page reveals a combined view of these three statistics. These are color-coded, with green being the best and red being the worst.
Issues you may find on the account health page are usually related to whether or not your products are of sufficient quality. People aren’t likely to return or cancel the order if they see you as a high-quality provider. Being an FBA Seller solves most issues with late shipments, as Amazon handles logistics.
On the other hand, Fulfillment By Merchant (FMB) Sellers needs to have a straightforward and efficient process. Using mainstream providers like UPS and FedEx are typically best for this. You need to be sure to create something of an assembly line for quick shipment. That way, these items go from the cart button to their pocket in record time.
Being Excellent at Inventory Management Will Help You Win
A common struggle for young Amazon sellers is inventory management. Managing inventory feeds directly into your sales volume, as you cannot sell products without having them in stock.
Inventory management is a big part of maintaining ownership of the Amazon Buy Box. Stockouts are known to ruin your chances altogether.
Here are a few things you need to know when tracking stock:
- The holiday season typically causes increases
- Amazon Prime Days are around June, which always increases sales
- Track the inventory currently in transit as if it isn’t in stock
- Setup notifications as you get close to running out of inventory
The best advice on inventory management is almost always to assume you’ll need more. While storage fees can be an issue, it’s a far more pressing issue to run out of inventory. If you don’t plan on keeping the item on your product list, be doubly sure that your listed stock is accurate. This situation is common if you upgrade to a better version of the item with a new Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN).
Be (Kind Of) Patient
Regardless of your insanely high-performance metrics, time will always be a factor. A short period of good ratings doesn’t mean as much to Amazon as someone who has been maintaining decent metrics for years.
As a young seller, you will typically find yourself losing out to older sellers in the game. Many know how to use Amazon to their advantage, even if you bring in a much higher quality product. You can be aggressive and plunge into the market with different ad campaigns, but that can be costly. As a smaller seller, it’s almost always easier to target a less competitive market.
Eventually, your long-term goal should be to expand out of that market. For example, if you want to sell blenders eventually, start with less competitive cookware.
5. How Can You Fight Competition for The Amazon Featured Offer
So now that you know about the requirements of the Buy Box, it’s up to you to take the next step. But with anywhere from five to twenty sellers competing for the same slot, how do you differentiate yourself?
Below are some extra tips you can use to remain competitive:
Setup A Notification System on Price Changes
If you are incredibly close to your competition regarding performance metrics, competitive prices are vital. Some competition is so heavy that competitors are winning the Buy Box by pennies.
With this in mind, installing some third-party software to track your price changes is crucial. It keeps you competitive and allows you to respond should competitiveness change. You can use Datahawk’s Amazon Product Analytics tool for this.
Think of it as a process similar to Amazon’s DSP. Programmatic advertising changes your bid threshold when advertising becomes more competitive. As the barriers to entry grow, you can either choose to increase your investment or change your strategy. Awareness is a big part of remaining competitive in any industry.
Create An Amazon SEO Strategy
Part of gaining exposure requires a long-term strategy. An SEO strategy allows you to target essential keywords in your niche. An SEO strategy also enables you to avoid reliance on PPC, likely saving money in the process.
Hitting relevant keywords for your niche can essentially give you sales for smaller investments. For example, a lower-ranking seller could potentially gain long-tail keywords. For example, using “beach towel” as a seed keyword could be enhanced in the following ways:
- Beach towel for adults
- Beach towel four-pack
- Oversized beach towel
- Beach towel set
It’s vital to be as detailed as possible to meet that buyer’s intent. Deciding to be even slightly broad in your keyword use can be a mistake, even if you are a prominent seller.
Include A Product Insert With Instructions
We have already discussed in-depth Amazon product inserts in one of our earlier blogs. While we’ve mentioned that they can be tricky, they offer many benefits you should be taking advantage of.
Product inserts can encourage reviews (without incentives), drive traffic to lead to social media pages, and provide a thoughtful thank-you note. However, one crucial area these inserts can cover is simple start-up instructions. Your Order Defect Rate will likely go up when people don’t know how to use your item. Even with simple products, “user error” isn’t something customers like to accept.
To avoid user error, provide detailed instructions on how to use the item. Include images with those instructions for as much detail as possible. You might think your product is simple, but you can’t get in the head of every customer. Instead, you must always be thinking of how to make things easy for them. Despite how handy Seller Central can be, its tracking abilities are somewhat lacking. That’s why you should consider third-party seller support.
For tracking your buy box potential, Datahawk’s Amazon Buy Box Tracker has actionable data. You can monitor price variations, trends, and the number of sellers in your niche. This information allows you to make strategic decisions. It will also tell you the percentage of time that other buyers win the box. Being inspired and improving upon product listings goes back to that Amazon SEO we talked about earlier.
6. Amazon Featured Offer FAQs
- How is the Featured Offer Percentage Calculated?
The featured offer percentage is the total page views of the featured offer divided by the number of page views of products you have. It’s great for determining the value of the featured offer compared to what you are already gaining.
If you aren’t the featured offer, you will see a line where there would typically be a percentage. Otherwise, this ratio will dictate how you stack up against your competition.
- Can Customers Leave Negative Feedback With Stockouts?
The front end involves product reviews that dictate customer experience with specific items. On the backend, seller feedback is what you receive when something goes wrong. That means buyers can leave negative feedback when you need to return their money.
With stockouts, not only do they drop you from the current product listing, but you have the potential for needing to cancel orders. From our earlier section, you know that a higher-order cancellation rate drops your overall rank.
- How Long Does It Take To Become The Amazon Featured Offer?
Amazon doesn’t typically like to share its algorithm’s secrets. As a result, there’s no specific answer for how long it takes to win the Buy Box. However, some sellers can grab it within five days.
New sellers are less likely to win the buy box but have potential if they find early success and happen to maintain it.
- Are There Situations Where Nobody Wins The Buy Box?
You won’t find an empty buy box on any top listings, but it is possible if you dig deep enough. When no one wins the buy box, it is likely related to the following issues:
- There are no buy box eligible sellers on the product listing
- The price is above Amazon’s recommended MSRP
- Amazon can find lower prices on other sites.
When the buy box is empty, users will typically be shown a “see options” graphic where there would normally be an “add to cart.”
- Do Shipping Rates Affect The Amazon Buy Box?
Professional Sellers can adjust their shipping rates outside of Amazon’s normal range. This situation is standard for FBM sellers who have unique shipping options.
However, shipping rates well above the standard option are usually considered to be unreasonable. As a result, Amazon will remove those listings from the front-end slot.
If you are competing with an FBA seller, you will almost always lose to them. That’s because Amazon Prime offers one-day shipping at meager prices. Even large corporations are unable to compete with this level of prowess.
Becoming the Amazon Featured Offer is game-changing. Winning the box means Amazon recognizes you as one of the most compelling offers on their platform. This win offers a consistent source of income for both large and small sellers.
Data is always king when it comes to winning the Buy Box, so use Seller Central’s metrics. Make sure to use the tools available to you when you subscribe to an enhanced Professional Selling account.