Product return reduction has a significant result on your brands' profitability. Let's look at 6 tips that you can apply to prevent eCommerce returns.
How Brands Prevent Losing the Buy Box
Each variable that affects the Buy Box-win is connected, influences the success of your product and brand, and thus the winner of the coveted buy button.
If the Buy Box suggests your competitors over you, you're probably missing out on a great deal of money. It is not self-evident that you win and keep the buy box as a brand or manufacturer. When multiple sellers are selling your product at the same time on the same marketplace, there is competition for which seller will 'win' the Buy Box — also known as the 'Add to cart' button—. Marketplaces algorithms identify who has the best offer. This offer 'wins' the buy button. This way, marketplaces guarantee their customers you are a reliable seller providing high-quality products and top-notch customer service.
What is the Buy Button or Buy Box?
The buy button or buy box refers to the yellow/ orange button, which indicates: 'Buy now' or 'Add to Basket'.
Not all sellers are eligible to win the Buy Box. On Amazon, a seller can only compete for the Buy Box when meeting the below criteria:
- Has an Amazon Professional Seller account. Sellers with a Professional Seller Account are eligible for Amazon Buy Box while individual sellers are not.
- Is "Buy Box-eligible," a status awarded to experienced sellers who have spent time selling on the Amazon platform. Selling some items through Amazon's fulfillment services (FBA) may help new sellers.
- Sell new items. There is a separate Buy Box for second-hand items.
As a Vendor, can I still lose the Buy Button?
Keeping a position in the Buy Box is an ongoing challenge, and with the growing online competition, it has become more challenging than ever.
Being a vendor and directly selling to Amazon doesn't assure you of winning and keeping the Buy Box. A vendor can lose the buy box due to performance issues. Third-party sellers can 'steal' your Buy Box position if they beat you in: Stock availability, Price, or Customer Satisfaction.
The Variables that Affect the Buy Box Win
Whenever a seller is 'Buy Box-eligible,' most marketplaces algorithms look for 'the best offer.' The seller with a combination of outstanding:
- Chances of conversion
- Product information
- Customer satisfaction
Factors that affect a sellers' chances of winning the buy box.
Product Information & Content
Products with a good description rank highest in search results and have more chances of winning the buy box. Retailers want you to match your product content as closely as possible to what consumers are looking for and expecting from your product, and you should want the same to keep customers happy. Clear and correct product titles and descriptions prevent customers from buying the wrong product based on inaccurate assumptions.
Product videos and images help the customer make an informed buying decision.
Review count: The Higher, the better
More reviews = more sales. According to Bazaarvoice:
- 1 review = 10% lift in orders
- 50 reviews = 30% lift in orders
- 100 reviews = 37% lift in orders
- 150 reviews = 41% lift in orders
- 200 reviews = 44% lift in orders
Use product reviews to optimize your product content with the language used by shoppers. In combination with many reviews, optimized product content provides new and unique information to your product pages. It will improve your product's findability, leading to more product page traffic and conversions.
More conversions will lead to more product reviews!
Price: The lower, the better?
Sellers who offer the lowest pricing options on a marketplace can take over the Buy Box from you as a brand owner/vendor. On the other hand, if your products have (near)perfect performance metrics, you may be able to price higher than other sellers and still win/keep the Buy Box.
Make sure your products' landing prices (total price with shipping included) are competitive and avoid price wars - an attempt by a market participant to undercut competitors by continuously lowering product prices to capture greater market share.
To keep prices stable and competitive and be aware of losing the Buy Box, it is necessary to monitor listings and prices constantly. The prices of sellers on the platform and external sites of retailers and even competitors.
If product listings are presented as out-of-stock, a marketplace allows other retailers, sellers, and 3P sellers who are eligible can take over the Buy Box quickly.
Running out-of-stock can not only ruin your sales but also your relationship with Amazon. The more frequently your products run out of stock, the fewer chances you have of winning the buy box. The algorithm prefers sellers that have full inventory most of the time.
High Search- and Category Ranking
About 90% of the sales on Amazon are generated on the first three pages of search results. Whether somebody can find your product on these top three pages depends on the right keywords you use. Marketplaces show your product in search results if the words that the shopper uses in the search bar appear in your product description, title, and bullet points.
Besides using the right keywords, profit margins, best-selling products, personal brands, local availability, and same-day delivery help you rank higher in search results.
With Amazon Sponsored Brands, you put your entire brand in the spotlight instead of one product. An advertisement is displayed at the top of the search results, including multiple products and your brands' logo.
Amazon Sponsored Ads are ideal for generating more orders, for instance, if you are new on the marketplace or introduce new products.
As we pointed out before, higher sales are automatically translated to better organic search results, leading to more visits to the product detail page. Getting more orders results in more reviews. With reviews, you can optimize your product and content. More reviews = more sales. More conversions will lead to more product reviews! And so on!
Review Rating - Most recent is most important.
According to PowerReviews, purchase probability peaks when a product's average star rating is 4.2 or higher.
Short customer response time
Reply to customers within 12 hours. If the contact response time is slow, the buyers may become frustrated, leading to negative feedback.
Low Return Rates
Make sure you analyze your return data and address the products with the highest return rates and volumes. High return rates negatively influence winning the buy box on marketplaces!
Keep your return percentage as low as possible. The best case is when your Return Rates in the last 90 days are less than 1%.
Each marketplace assigns a relative weight to each 'Buy Box-criterion' based on that criterion's importance. The order fulfillment variable, together with price and shipping time, is usually the most pressing!
Overview of Amazon variables
|Variable / Metric||How important?||Definition||Best way to win||Minimum||The period that metric impacts the Buy Box|
|Product Price||Very Important||The total price plus shipping||lowest is better||Current|
|Order fulfillment||Very Important||How the seller ships the item||FBA||FBA / FBM||Current|
|Shipping time||Very Important||The time it takes to ship the products||<2 days||<14 days||Current|
|Late shipment rate||Important||Number of orders shipped later than the expected ship date||0%||4%||7-day or 30-day period|
|Feedback score||Important||Total of all feedback the seller has received||Higher is better.||Lifetime. The most recent is most important.|
|Customer Response Time||Important||How long the seller takes to reply to the customer||<12 hours||<24 hours||Last 90 days|
|Review Count||Important||The number of reviews||Higher is better||Constant|
|Return rate||less Important||How often do customers return products||Lower is better||<1%||Last 90 days|
|Availability rate||less Important||How often the seller runs out-of-stock||Lower is better||Last 90 days|
How Can SiteLucent Help Brands Win the Buy Box?
The variables we talked about are more an indicator of success on the digital shelf than a goal.
SiteLucent software continuously crawls eCommerce shop and marketplaces shelves, including amazons', looking through the customer lens to capture anything a shopper can potentially see.
Why? Because product detail pages are full of eCommerce touchpoints that are helpful to monitor for you as a Brand-owner or eCommerce professional.
We collect data that can help you protect your brand from price wars, be brand-compliant on reseller sites, and be findable and available there where you should be!
Are you selling your brands' products on multiple online channels, including marketplaces?
We'd love to show you how your brand and products can:
- Drive eCommerce sales
- Be brand-compliant on all eCommerce channels
- Avoid channel conflicts
- Lower return rates
- Win the buy box
- Or all of the above!