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.
What is Buy Box Suppression?
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.
4 Ways Buy Box Suppression Blocks Your Sales
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.
1. Your Best Seller Rank (BSR) Goes Up
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.
2. You Lose Time and Resources Fixing Your BSR
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.
3. Your Inventory Goes Stale
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.
4. Impact on Your Offline Channels
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.
How Pattern Helps
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.