There are numerous factors that eventually end up influencing a particular product’s buyability. We shall deal these in two sections, this article covering the first section.
Although a seller has a total control over parameters such as efficiency of his services, fulfilment is one factor that highly impacts the buy box share. Sellers have two options for fulfilment:
- FBM – fulfilling all products by themselves
- FBA – Fulfilment by Amazon, whereby the whole product catalogue is dealt by Amazon
Usually, sellers end up with a mix of these two methods as it provides real strategic management. Fulfilment by Amazon significantly affects your buy box ownership and for those sellers who do not yet have their products in the buy box, it helps them to have a speedy acquisition. But, it is important to identify products that actually show a good improvement in buy box ownership through FBA (some products may perform well through FBM itself).
Fulfilment latency is also an important factor that impacts the product buy box. Latency is basically the shipping time – time taken for the seller to ship out the product after receiving an order. Sellers are required to enter their estimated shipping time in the product specific feed entry. Remember NOT to leave it blank as Amazon picks up a default value of 1-2 days which might not be realistic for you. If your shipping time does not match with the one entered, it will negatively affect your seller rating. For obvious reasons, lower latency times hike up the chances of buy box ownership.
Landed price is the total cost that needs to be paid by the customer; the product price and shipping cost added together. Fulfilment and landed price happen to be the most prominent factors for the buy box ownership.
The lower the landed price, the higher chances of winning the buy box. Amazon strategies highly depend on pricing, so sellers have to be ready for certain amounts of sacrifices or use innovative price listing ideas. Repricing solutions are also available for sellers for a closer monitoring. For example, considering the same product above, other sellers have the following criteria:
There are two sellers that have a free delivery option but the landed price is high and that is why Amazon gives the buy box to the seller above, who has a lower landed price than others.
There are many Amazon metrics for the buy box that are dependent on the customer but landed price is one factor that is complete control of the seller. One point that may be utilised by sellers is to embed the shipping costs into the product price. Free shipping tends to attract more customers. At the same time, you have to make sure that your landed price is not rising up; it’s a game of optimising for the best solution.
Seller rating is an Amazon automated overall assessment given to sellers based on their performance on the marketplace and it reflects how well you are handling your inventory management, order management, fulfilment and customer service. Here is how the account health looks like in a nutshell:
This criterion is judged by a number of metrics. We shall look into each one in detail.
- Oder defect rate
ODR is the percentage of orders that have been reported with any type of issue divided by the total number of orders for a particular product.
Amazon recommendation for the above metric is less than 1%. There are three components that constitute the overall ODR:
i. Negative Feedback
Negative feedback rate is the number of negative feedbacks that you receive from all the orders you fulfil.
ii. A-to-Z claims
This is claim from a customer to receive back funds in case of repeated order defects or likes
iii. Service chargebacks
This is similar to A-to-Z claims but in perspective of card payments and bank issues.
- Recent Customer Metrics Data
This metric compiles your performance with respect to the customers on Amazon. It is also governed by three components.
i. Late shipment rate
Failure to send a shipment confirmation through Amazon within 3 days of your expected shipment timeframe adds on a late shipment.
ii. Pre-fulfilment cancel rate
This is the rate at which a cancellation of an order occurs from the seller, before shipment confirmation through Amazon. This usually occurs due to stock issues.
iii. Refund rate
A refunded order is one that you refund for the customer post a shipping confirmation. This does not always end up negative.
- On-time delivery score
On-time delivery is a direct and close measure of how well you manage your inventory and efficiency in fulfilment areas. Amazon recommendations for this metric are on the higher side and this is comprises of 2 components.
i. On-time delivery rate
This is the percentage of the orders you have shipped that have been received on or before time.
ii. Tracked delivery rate
This is the percentage of your orders that have the facility of order tracking.
- Buyer-seller contact response time
This is one of the metrics that related to customer service quality. A late response is considered as a reply sent to buyer post 24 hours of customer message or inquiry. Amazon research proves that orders that have efficient communication receive 50% less negative feedback. Once a communication has been completed, a seller can mark it as ‘no response needed’ so that he is not penalized for a ‘no response’.
Although this metric does not match in weight when it comes to buy box share influence, it is directly related to it. Amazon works on a customer oriented process and therefore sellers with a high positive feedback are likely to win the buy box share.
There are 2 factors that are included in this metric:
i. Seller feedback score
The total of your 1 to 5 star rating are translated to calculate the total positive ratings using the following rules:
- 1 – 2 stars: negative
- 3 stars: neutral
- 4 – 5 stars: positive
These details are not displayed on the product page, you need to scroll through all offeres to view this score for the sellers.
ii. Seller feedback volume
This refers to your total customer feedback received in the past 12 months. The final score is calculated as the total number of positive feedbacks divided by the total number of feedbacks. Having large volumes of feedback increases customer confident in buying from you and thus accelerates the purchase decision. The general score in this category is 7 – 9 %, and not usually less than this.
Product discoverability and buyability are the key concepts of increasing sales on the Amazon marketplace. Some of the factors that are related to these concepts have been described above herewith. There are other factors also that affect the buyability which will be discussed in part II of this topic. For further information, you may log on to www.bmconsulting.co.