The Buy Box is the main conversion point on Amazon, making it the most important detail on your product listing. Buy Box Suppression on Amazon is an enemy to executives because it hinders your brand’s visibility and blocks sales. Not to mention the time and resources it takes to restore your Buy Box.
Pattern is an ecommerce accelerator who understands Buy Box suppression and provides the resources and expertise for brands around the world to take control and continue growing profitably. Keep reading to learn 4 ways Buy Box suppression blocks sales and what you can do about it.
To ensure we’re on the same page, let’s start with defining Buy Box Suppression. Buy Box Suppression is when Amazon removes the bright yellow ‘Add to Cart’ and ‘Buy Now’ buttons on your product listing and replaces them with a subtle gray ‘See All Buying Options’ alternative.
While you may have previously faced losing the Buy Box to other sellers, suppression is different. When the Buy Box is suppressed, no seller wins the Buy Box for that ASIN—it’s not just you being blocked, it’s anyone selling that product. However, similar to losing the Buy Box, customers can still purchase from you, it just becomes much harder.
In order to purchase from you, customers now have to click the gray ‘See All Buying Options’ button, scroll through the list of sellers, and click Add to Cart on your listing.
Why does this happen? Funny enough, it’s Amazon’s way of supporting customers. Amazon wants to provide the lowest price, so it scrapes prices from across the web to find lower priced competitors. If Amazon finds a lower price for the same product elsewhere, it will suppress the Buy Box until the price on Amazon is equal to or less than the prices found elsewhere.
While this sounds like a simple fix, it always takes longer to get out of suppression than to get in. And in the meantime, suppression blocks your sales in more ways than you may realize.
While Buy Box suppression has an immediate consequence of adding more steps to the purchase process, it affects your sales beyond creating friction for customers.
Every product you sell on Amazon gets a Best Seller Rank (BSR) that communicates how well it’s selling in its category. Just like golf, you want a low BSR—being the #1 best seller is better than being #86. The higher your BSR, the less relevant you are in your category, the worse you rank for search terms, and ultimately the harder it is for customers to find your listing.
But when Amazon suppresses your Buy Box, your sales decrease and your BSR is raised, penalizing your product even after you’re no longer suppressed. At Pattern, our brand managers know how to help you improve your BSR, search rank, and sales, even after suppression.
Because your BSR is so important to your Amazon business, you’ll have to spend time improving the rank when it increases. In order to fix your BSR, you’ll have to solve the price difference causing your suppression, which may include identifying and removing unauthorized sellers. Then you’ll have to re-gain traction to increase product sales, which may mean running promotional discounts that give up margin or increasing ad spend to drive traffic.
Whatever strategy you use, improving your BSR will take time and resources away from other important aspects of business, and may impact your short-term goals. With Pattern, our team becomes an extension of yours, handling the extra tasks needed to get back in control on Amazon so you don’t miss a beat.
The longer your Buy Box is suppressed, the longer you are sitting on your inventory. Depending on your product category, old inventory can be a death sentence for sales. If you have food or supplements with expiration dates or fashion products that go out of style, time is of the essence.
Even without time sensitive products, being overstocked can complicate inventory planning and sales forecasts, consume your Amazon storage allowances, and force you to discount and liquidate what you are unable to sell, opening the door for leaky distribution.
Stale inventory is never ideal for any brand, in any category but can become detrimental on Amazon. At Pattern, we work with you to find the best liquidation strategy since, through our model, we’re just as on the hook for old inventory as you are.
74% of U.S. consumers begin their product research on Amazon, so it’s vital to be available on the marketplace. If you’re not showing up on Amazon, new customers may have a harder time finding your brand. In turn, they may not look for you when shopping in-store.
When your Buy Box is suppressed, you don’t just lose Amazon sales, you lose the opportunity to build awareness and generate sales across other channels. Following the ecommerce equation, revenue = price x traffic x conversion, Buy Box suppression eliminates your price control, bars your traffic, and complicates your conversions. In short, you block the profitability flywheel. At Pattern, we specialize in keeping your growth and profitability flywheel running strong across all sales channels.
Pattern helps you take control to prevent the unauthorized, lowered prices that cause Buy Box suppression on Amazon. With brand control, we help you better forecast, efficiently advertise, and improve your BSR.
Using expert strategies, proprietary technology, and experienced legal partners, Pattern simplifies and expedites removing unauthorized sellers, stabilizing online price, and taking control of the Buy Box.
Ready to stop Buy Box suppression? Get in touch today.
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Entering the ecommerce landscape is a huge undertaking for any brand—it usually requires a large investment in resources and expertise to really be successful. Any brand can quickly get in over their heads trying to navigate the nuances of SEO, fulfillment and logistics, distribution control, listing optimization, and meeting the numerous other requirements and administrative tasks to show up well on marketplaces.
Unfortunately, because it’s so easy for third party, gray market, and unauthorized sellers to obtain and sell products online, many brands find themselves pressured to execute an ecommerce plan without the right resources to succeed on marketplaces and their other channels.
So, for brands looking to enter the ecommerce space or improve their current and future performance, it makes sense to partner with an ecommerce consultant.
Pattern’s global presence and proven success with hundreds of brands has allowed us to develop highly effective ecommerce consulting services. We can guide your brand to navigate issues both large and small in marketplaces worldwide. To maximize your ecommerce efforts, you’ll need to understand what an ecommerce consultant does and how to select one who drives the right value for your brand and products.
An ecommerce consultant is a specialist in the ecommerce space who can give you personalized guidance on how to market your products and grow their presence on digital marketplaces.
An ecommerce consultant should be able to analyze your brand, audience, category, opportunity, and current roadblocks and help you understand how to utilize your resources (or what resources are missing) to be most effective in capturing your opportunities in the ecommerce space.
Not sure how to evaluate a consultant? Here are 4 key attributes to look for as you make your choice.
At Pattern, we prioritize brand obsession for a reason—we know that a brand-centered mindset makes a crucial difference in the outcomes and results our partners achieve. So in our experience, when you begin your search for an ecommerce consultant, it’s important to look for a partner who is specialized in ecommerce, invested in the product, and passionate about helping brands build and improve their strategies. Typically, this means finding someone that consults exclusively for ecommerce marketplaces, rather than choosing a consultant who offers many different services.
It’s also important to avoid choosing a consulting partner who can’t deliver the right experience for your brand. The best indication of whether your potential consultant can do that is to review their history, data, and results with other brands. Ask if they’ve helped others in your selling category, if they’ve solved specific issues your brand is facing, and why they feel you are a good fit. The key is to leave the conversation feeling confident that you understand your consultants’ capabilities and whether or not they match up with your needs.
It’s best to pick a consultant who knows how to guide a brand onto and through multiple marketplaces worldwide. You’ll want to take a look at your long-term strategy and think about the regions and platforms you’re currently on and where you might want to take your brand in the future. If your consultant is truly great at what they do, they’ll be able to help you perform well enough with your current product roadmap that it’ll be a no-brainer to expand your presence at the right time.
The most effective partnership with an ecommerce consultant will be able to give you both recommendations and point you to solutions for making those changes in your planning, processes, and execution. Your time and money is valuable, so you want to make sure that you’re spending it as efficiently as possible as you follow your consultant’s advice. So, before you commit to an ecommerce consultant, ask about the resources and concrete solutions they typically recommend to the brands they work with.
Finding an ecommerce consultant that checks the boxes can be a difficult task. At Pattern, our entire focus and drive centers around giving brands the tools and resources they need to succeed on domestic and international ecommerce marketplaces.
With over 100 global ecommerce consultants across 10 global offices, we have the right tools to partner with brands across the world to achieve better ecommerce success. We give specialized advice, then make sure our partners have all the adequate SEO, social media, CRM, Amazon multi-channel fulfillment services, and ecommerce outsourcing services they need.
Interested in ecommerce consulting services? Set up a call here to learn what Pattern can do for your brand on global marketplaces.
If you’re interested in expanding your brand internationally, you’re probably familiar with Tmall. Tmall is Asia-Pacific’s (APAC) largest marketplace, and indisputably the biggest ecommerce powerhouse in the world. It represents a huge opportunity for many brands, but entering the space is also a big challenge to take on.
At Pattern, we recommend brands looking to enter international markets should first focus on dialing in their domestic presence. Once you’re satisfied that your brand is well-represented and optimized locally, you’re ready to think about tackling new regions, like APAC, and launching on marketplaces like Tmall. Our top advice for entering Tmall is to understand and strategize around its three most important metrics: service, delivery, and content.
Service, delivery, and content ratings are the three elements that make up Tmall’s Detailed Seller Rating (DSR) score. Each component is scored on a scale of 1-5 that is displayed publicly on your brand’s Tmall flagship store page. This is meant to help consumers decide whether or not to purchase your products.
DSR scores are important because they’re highly influential in driving conversions—customers see DSRs as a way to quickly understand if a brand is trustworthy and worth buying from. They also matter quite a bit to Tmall itself—they monitor these scores and will take action to close flagship stores with low scores.
Let’s go over each element of the DSR score and some steps you’ll need to take to achieve high ratings.
Service is a huge ecommerce component in APAC marketplaces. In most other regions, product listings are static, and consumers use content and reviews to make a decision about what to purchase. On Tmall, consumers want to interact with your brand and test its validity before buying—each transaction takes at least one human interaction to convert.
So, to get a great service rating, you’ll need to have a large, established customer service team dedicated to Tmall sales that can offer real, human touchpoints and very fast response times. To get an idea of the speed your agents should be capable of producing, in our Tmall benchmarking exercise, 92.5% of brands’ customer service agents replied to queries via live chat within 30 seconds, 5% replied within one minute and the remaining 2.5% of brands took longer than a minute. So, look for a Trade Partner (TP) that has enough resources to compete with those numbers, support your sales, and maintain a good DSR score.
Another thing you’ll really want to focus on is a high-quality delivery experience for consumers. As in other regions around the world, Tmall consumers have high expectations for their delivery experience. In our Chinese consumer polling report that targeted consumers buying from Tmall Global, we found that 6% expected same-day delivery, 15% expected next-day delivery, and 46% expected 2-5 day delivery.They want to receive their products fast and they want the products to be undamaged and pristine upon arrival.
So, to achieve a high score for your delivery capabilities, we highly recommend partnering with a TP or ecommerce accelerator like Pattern (which serves as a TP) who has the ability to facilitate your distribution. Make sure your TP has the right infrastructure in place to support high-quality logistics experiences for all of your consumers—they should have an established, well-oiled delivery process in place and the capability to fluidly add you to their current fulfillment system.
As in every digital marketplace, content is a huge component of the decision-making process for consumers on Tmall—they can’t touch your product with their hands or see it in person before buying, so it’s important they’re empowered to make a good decision on whether or not to purchase based on the videos, images, and copy.
The goal is to make all of the content and relevant information on your flagship site easily-accessible—consumers should be able to visit your page and make a decision about whether or not to buy without navigating to a new site/page and taking their conversions with them. Images with text and extensive product details are a great way to do this, as well as making sure your service team can speak to all aspects of your product with any consumers (via text or chat).
As the world’s foremost brand partner for ecommerce acceleration, Pattern truly understands the significance of international expansion. With regional offices around the world, Pattern knows how to successfully launch and grow brands on Tmall and other marketplaces, with the data, insights, and marketplace intelligence to build the metrics that matter.
It’s important to have a fantastic brand presence, a knowledgeable guide, and a clear go-forward strategy for your best chance at success. With our in-country resources, expert teams, and extensive experience in growing brands around the globe, Pattern can help you get there.
Set up a call to get your international expansion strategy in motion.