Amazon listings and the case of the missing buy-boxes

A missing buy-box doesn’t sound important it just means Amazon has removed the “Add to Cart/basket” button from your listing, and replaced it with a “See All Buying Options” button instead. However, a missing buy-box can cause mayhem for your conversions. After all, winning the buy-box is incredibly important to your sales. It is the easiest and quickest way for consumers to make a product purchase. Since it requires the fewest clicks on the part of buyers, the winner of the buy-box usually makes more sales than others in the same listing. Not only this, if you think that no buy-box might in fact help your listing get more views than if it did, you would be sadly mistaken. Listings receive less traffic than before if they are missing the buy-box.

Consumers tend to be nervous of new things online, so when customers find that the expected “Add to Cart” button isn’t an option on the product listing they tend to become a little apprehensive of the entire buying process.

Listings without a Buy-Box can't be used in Sponsored Product campaigns

Why might a buy-box go missing?

The biggest reason as to why your buy-box has disappeared is that the product isn’t priced where Amazon thinks it should be,  Amazon will actively choose to disincentive a purchase and drive the customer to another product that’s priced more appropriately. This is because Amazon prides themselves as being customer-centric; Amazon wants its users to find the right product for the right price and will punish any sellers that try to exploit them.

Most sellers experience a missing buy-box during the first month of becoming a Seller on Amazon.

Causes of a missing buy-box on your Amazon listing

  • You’re a new third-party (3P) seller – There is a testing period to verify your ability to consistently handle Amazon’s shipping requirements
  • You are not Prime Eligible – If your product isn’t Prime eligible & you’re the only one selling the ASIN, you may not get enough traffic to your product page to create enough order experience data that shows you can meet Amazon’s performance requirements
  • Your product’s sales volume is too low – If your product is struggling to sell Amazon might decide to remove the buy-box claiming it is not eligible
  • Your product is less expensive on a third-party site – Amazon has eyes and ears everywhere. If you are selling your products elsewhere for a lower price Amazon will find it and suppress your buy-box for that item on Amazon until you lower the price so customers won’t have a bad customer experience of noticing they could have gotten it cheaper elsewhere.
  • A product similar to yours on or off Amazon is less expensive – Sometimes it doesn’t matter if the product is exactly the same on another site. Amazon might suppress the buy-box if they discover a cheaper but similar product of yours on the site or even elsewhere.
  • Your product’s Amazon price is higher than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) – If a 3P seller raises the product price up by more than 5% of the list price that Amazon has on record, they will suppress the buy-box for that individual seller.
  • Amazon is reviewing your product’s authenticity – Rather than remove a listing straightaway, if Amazon gets complaints that your products are not authentic they will slow down sales by removing the buy-box to make sure that the rest of stock is authentic to buy.
  • Amazon 1P isn’t able to procure selection from the brand – In short, if an Amazon wholesaler decides to remove a product from being sold to Amazon, they will remove the buy-box temporarily.
  • Your seller rating has dropped – The buy-box is a privilege so if your rating drops below 90% Amazon will remove this benefit.
  • Your listing is broken, and Amazon needs to fix it – Sometimes Amazon suffers from technical issues and some listings might lose their buy-box for no reason other than a mistake or glitch.
In all these cases it is best to contact Seller Support to understand exactly why the buy-box has been suppressed and come to a conclusion as to how to fix this issue.

More than 80% of all Amazon sales come from the Buy-Box

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