Amazon as a competitor
If Amazon is selling the same item that you are, then the chances are they will dominate the Buy Box. This is likely to be the case, almost regardless of what you do.
Let’s face it, their online reputation and history at selling is likely to be better than yours. Sorry, but let’s not delude ourselves.
Of course it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that Amazon is stacking the deck of cards in their own favour when it comes to the Amazon Buy Box.
But, let’s be realistic:
they are one of the biggest retailers in the world, have a great online brand, a fantastic reputation, great customer service, can ship items within minutes of an order being received and so on.Amazons fulfilment ability is sometimes incredible.
All of that means that when the Buy Box Algorithm runs to decide who can get the Buy Box, the scoring is likely to favour Amazon.
That does not mean that all is lost if Amazon are competing against you. No-one has stock levels that last forever, so at some point you can win sales.
We’ve seen this happen often enough to know, that when it does happen, your sales of the item can suddenly rocket when the opportunity arises.
So don’t despair if you find that Amazon are winning the Buy Box, just wait for your chance. Amazon Sellers can win with diligence, great systems and a little patience.
Winning the Buy Box is not all about price. You don't need to lower your price to win the Buy Box. Of course; price is important, let’s not pretend otherwise. However, ahead of price when it comes to winning the Amazon Buy Box is stock availability.
Amazon protect their online reputation carefully, aggressively even, so if they are not sure that you can fulfil the order then you won’t win the Amazon Buy Box.
If you are looking for evidence that stock levels are important to win the Buy Box then look no further than categories such as DVDs.
In categories such as DVDs if you want to win the Buy Box then Amazon make it clear that you must be using Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA).
With potentially fast moving goods, and highly competitive products, such as DVDs, Amazon has to be 100% sure that the order can be fulfilled and fulfilled fast.
Why should Amazon take the risk and allow a customer to place an order with a retailer who has run out of stock. Instead, if Amazon hold the stock on your behalf, at one of its Fulfilment Centres, then they are likely to favour that fulfilment strategy. And as explained above in some categories they insist on FBA for you to qualify for the Buy Box.
If you want to win the Buy Box make sure you have deep stock levels, if you don’t then winning is near to impossible. And of course if you don’t have stock then you simply will not qualify to compete for the Buy Box at all.