The Amazon Buy Box Algorithm is a tricky thing to master. Even the most popular brands don't have it down. This issue compounds when you recognize your products under effect by an Amazon suppressed listing. If you've ever asked, "why is my Amazon listing blocked," this article will help you answer that question.
In this article, we plan on digging into two significant areas of review: reasons for losing the buy box and senses Amazon may suppress your product listing.
1. "Missing Buy Box" Impacting your Amazon Sales?
As a quick review, the Amazon Buy Box is a section on the product details page. Looking at the image above, you know the buy box functions when you see "add to cart." Otherwise, you would see "see all buying options," meaning you compete with others for top billing.
However, not all products are automatic candidates for the buy box. In this case, you will receive one of two messages:
- "Lost Buy Box"
- "Missing Buy Box"
This situation may mean your product lacks the qualifications to be part of the buy box or lost the buy box because someone is doing it better than you. Regardless, your next step is to find out why this is happening.
You Have Received an Authenticity Complaint
One of the most crushing complaints you can receive is an authenticity complaint. An authenticity complaint happens when a buyer determines that the item they received does not meet your quality requirements. For example, if you sell a USB-C phone charger and ship an older charger style, you will likely receive this complaint.
During this process, Amazon gives you the approach of what you need to do to handle these complaints. However, you will immediately see that your listing doesn't have Buy Box.
Amazon will always give you a plan of action that requires you to communicate with a specialist if this happens. Unfortunately, this area is also rife with competitors making fraudulent claims. To ensure you get immediate notification of Amazon Buy Box changes, DataHawk has an Amazon Buy Box tracker for this purpose.
2. Top Reasons for Losing the Amazon Buy Box
If the Amazon Buy Box algorithm gives you the "see buying options" screen, that means you have lost the buy box. AT this point, you have already discovered how to get Buy Box on Amazon; you need to retain it.
Typically, these are the reasons for losing your listing:
- Someone else is providing a more competitive price
- Someone has submitted an authenticity complaint
- You have received too many negative reviews
- There's something wrong with your listing
- You are new and not Prime Eligible
The Amazon Buy Box Algorithm Prefers Competitive Pricing
If your listing doesn't have Buy Box, the most common reason you lose comes back to pricing. Pricing wars on Amazon are all too common. With Amazon being the most customer-centric company in the world, they always want to have the best.
There are many reasons Amazon can see your pricing as non-competitive:
- Another seller is offering promotional pricing
- An off-site location is offering better rates
- Your pricing is higher than MSRP
- Similar products (both on the site and off of the site) have better rates
The product you sell can be the same or similar to other products. When wondering how to get Buy Box on Amazon, the idea is to be comparable to other products by offering the most competitive quality and pricing.
Your Seller Rating Has Gone Down (Too Many Negative Reviews)
A large part of the Amazon Buy Box algorithm comes back to your quality as a seller. If you receive too many negative reviews, your seller rating will go down. This issue will toss the buy box over to someone who has a higher seller rating.
To avoid this, you need to focus on the quality of your product. As an FBA seller, this means ensuring solid inventory, having vital customer service, and low defect rates.
You don't have to have the lowest price among the competition, but you need to justify the cost by focusing on quality. Ensure that you have a streamlined customer-centric process to ensure an excellent overall experience.
You will need to work hard to drive down your refund rate and focus on quality products to receive more positive seller feedback.
There is Something Wrong With Your Listing
If you are wondering, "why is my Amazon listing blocked," that may come down to a change in tracking features. As one of the largest companies in the world, the Amazon Buy Box algorithm receives regular updates. It's up to you as a seller to keep track of when those changes occur.
This process may involve checking your Amazon product summary or changing to add a few additional images. Maybe you have a keyword that isn't appropriate for the listing. Keep your eyes open for Amazon updates to ensure you change things when needed.
Handling an Amazon suppressed listing is a constant maintenance project. Be sure you don't find yourself there through regular updates.
You are a New Seller
Third-party sellers receive a bad rap when it comes to starting. They receive the least amount of support, cannot take advantage of seller-fulfilled Prime, and need to work twice as hard to ensure a good buying experience.
Whether you are new to Amazon or have been around a while, you can relate to this situation. You know that the only thing you can do is follow best practices, offer an authentic product, and keep grinding. Sometimes, presenting your product cheaper at first may draw in that base of reviews you need to be genuinely competitive.
3. Why Amazon is Suppressing the Buy Box (and How to Fix Them)
While the above situations are the most common reasons for you to lose the buy box, you can also have an Amazon suppressed listing for the following reasons:
- Incomplete information: Examples include jewelry with invalid gem types, luggage in the wrong department, and children's clothing with an improper label.
- No main image: You do not have a primary image selected (or no image uploaded) on your product.
- You have a title that is too long (it must be under eighty characters)
- You don't have a long enough product description: Product descriptions should be extensive and include various vital keywords to improve your SEO.
- You have a product without a valid category type (i.e., putting flannel jackets as part of camping equipment).
In this case, there are two ways to fix a suppressed listing:
How to Fix a Suppressed Listing from Your Seller Account
If your listing doesn't have Buy Box, your first step is to access seller central. If the issue is limited to a small handful of items, follow these instructions:
- Go to the Inventory tab
- Select "Manage Inventory"
- Select "Suppressed"
- This page will show a list of suppressed listings; you can sort them by type of issue.
- For simple errors, enter any missing values.
- For more complex issues not available in the visible cells, select "edit" and follow the process to fill in the more complex product issues.
If the issue is related to image guidelines, check out the Product Image Requirements page.
How to Fix Multiple Suppressed Listings Using an Excel File
Seller Central allows you to modify items in bulk by uploading an Excel file. If you want to save time, follow these instructions:
- Under Inventory, go to "Inventory Reports."
- Select the "listing quality and suppressed listing" report from the drop-down menu.
- Select "request report," ensuring the file type is Excel (new)
- Download the report and update it using the "accepted values" under the "data definition" tab under suppressed listings
- Save changes go back to Inventory under "add products via upload." Be sure to select the "listing quality and suppressed listing file" under file type.
The entire process saves you time to focus on other things, but the report can take up to 24 hours to update.
4. Five Seller Strategies to Avoid or Resolve Amazon Suppressed Listing
Many of what we discussed in the previous section are common reasons for having an Amazon suppressed listing. This section will provide you some tips you can use to improve your rating and reduce your chance of losing to the Amazon Buy Box algorithm.
#1: How to Focus on Competitive Pricing Without Driving your Price Too Low
The most inexperienced sellers who try and answer the "how to get Buy Box on Amazon" question always fall into the same old idea: If you want to draw more sales, drop your price.
However, this is only one aspect of competitive pricing. You also have two other options:
- Match the price of the competition
- Exceed the cost of the competition
Much of this depends on how much of a profit margin you want. Loss leaders, which is the most common pricing strategy, try and get their prices as low as possible. They sell products that are made of inexpensive materials using inexpensive labor.
As an FBA seller, you might have a high-quality product, meaning that the other two options will be preferable.
Premium pricing, for example, is the act of raising your price above your competitors. This strategy brings up the classic persuasion technique of expensive=good. You can justify your cost by focusing on features, quality of build, and the benefits above your product.
When doing this, you need to ensure that your product has the keywords in that premium category. Otherwise, you may find more benefits from being in the middle. DataHawk has an Amazon SEO strategy that may help you out with that target.
#2: How to Ensure You Offer Authentic Products
Authenticity complaints are some of the most painful things. To address this issue, you need to have a process for confirming authenticity. You can do this through a couple of means:
- Perform research to ensure the manufacturer of your products isn't known for producing low-quality material.
- Request a third-party inspector to observe the site to ensure all quality requirements are met.
- Test the product yourself in comparison with other similar products.
- Ensure your product description avoids "fluffy" dialogue that paints the product to be higher-quality than it is.
Authenticity is found both in customer interactions and through the products themselves. Provided that you are upfront with your product's quality (while not detracting it compared to others), your customer will be more understanding of what you offer.
The usage of informal but appropriate dialogue is critical in this case. If you still wonder how to get Buy Box on Amazon, having a brand that is as genuine as your product is an excellent step in that direction.
#3: Focus on Becoming an FBA Seller
The fulfillment method associated with your product will determine its ranking. FBA sellers (Fulfillment by Amazon) are those who have their inventory managed by Amazon. This focus ensures that Amazon is held responsible for your products. Given that they have access to enhanced features (like Prime), they always receive top billing.
Keep in mind that this will still mean that inventory management is up to you. So if you plan on selling in high quantities, make sure you have your inventory management planned ahead of schedule. Your pre-fulfillment activities are just as important here.
Your other options are Fulfillment By Merchant (FBM) and Seller-Fulfilled Prime (SFP). FBM receives the lowest priority by far, but FBM may be more suitable if you keep a small inventory of heavier items.
To become an FBA Seller, focus on creating your account, adding your products, and shipping them to the nearest fulfillment center. Check out Amazon's site for further details.
#4: Utilize Your Amazon "Request a Review" Button
The answer to "why is my amazon listing blocked" may come entirely from a lack of reviews. To address this, you want to be sure you take advantage of your resources. For many sellers, this is already handled for them. The "request a review" button is a great way to reach out to people for others.
Amazon's system is built to request reviews from people after some time. The problem with these requests is that they are impersonal and may not be great if they've dealt with a negative experience. The generic nature of the button by itself is excellent for people who are already enjoying your product.
By requesting a review in a more personal area, you can directly address people's concerns by encouraging them to contact you if anything is wrong. Just familiarize yourself with Amazon's TOS on review requests.
#5: Create an Amazon Brand
Brands on Amazon have so many more options when it comes to analytics. If you wonder why your listing doesn't have Buy Box, Amazon Brand Analytics can tell you. This tool provides you with a wide variety of tools to engage with customers.
The idea is to create targeted advertising with the data from Brand analytics. You can follow the entirety of your buyer's journey from when they saw your product to reviews on third-party sites handled by Amazon. This strategy allows you to remind prospective buyers that your product still exists strategically.
Combine this with the high ratings that come with being an FBA seller, and you provide yourself with a robust combined knowledge base. This information allows you to address quality issues, reduce cancellation rates, and kill item suppression chances.
5. The Final Ultimate Tip on How to Get Buy Box on Amazon
Those who wonder why their listing doesn't have Buy Box all come back to the same list of issues: not having an engaging offering to increase their sales rank. Many sellers assume that focusing on the administrative functions of the buy box will help them.
While managing inventory and having vital customer service is a start, it doesn't focus on the big picture.
The idea is to create an engaging product listing through a detailed product description that addresses all potential reasons for and against buying your product. Sit down and start composing a list to yourself of all the possible reasons people would object against buying your product.
For additional brainstorming sessions, ask people to know about their objects and reasons for buying your product. The point is to focus on a big-picture view of the benefits supported by data. As a seller, you can't afford to not think of the bigger picture.
There are a variety of answers to the "why is my Amazon listing blocked" question. In most cases, those issues may come from an update in the algorithm or another reason to have an Amazon suppressed listing. Regardless of the reason, Amazon Seller Central's "manage inventory" screen will have the details.
As an active seller on Amazon, you can't afford to overlook the buy box. Whether you've lost it or it's missing, data and reasoning will be important here. Here at DataHawk, we understand the struggle of tracking that box, which is why we've created a tool for it.
Please keep your eyes open on the blog this month as we continue to talk about exciting changes and strategies for your Amazon Seller account. Thanks for reading!
While Amazon suppressed listings can come as an initial shock, the gre...