The Amazon Buy Box is the goose that lays the golden egg for ecommerce merchants. Not only does it make the buying process much simpler for customers, but winning on this platform can significantly increase your sales and give you more control of your brand on Amazon.
Buy Box listings are chosen by Amazon based on how well sellers meet Amazon criteria, but just because a brand wins the Buy Box doesn’t mean it will maintain it. Sometimes a brand will fail to be eligible (they run out of stock, can’t meet Prime shipping requirements, etc.), but other times, a brand’s Buy Box will disappear without warning or indication of risk. This is called Buy Box suppression, and it can have serious ramifications for sellers.
What is Buy Box suppression?
Buy Box suppression happens when the “click to cart” button is removed from a listing—typically, customers will see a button that says “See All Buying Options” in its place. Suppression forces customers to take a few extra steps to purchase a product. Without a one-click option, the chance customers will buy a product from you plummets.
Overall sales of a product will tank when the item is suppressed. Decreasing sales also leads to decreasing overall rank. Along with affecting sales, suppression can erode customer trust in your product, your relationship with Amazon, and retail partner relationships, leading you to the Profitability Death Spiral.
Why Does Buy Box Suppression Happen?
In many cases, Buy Box suppression happens because no seller is eligible to win the Buy Box. Maybe seller metrics have dipped below standard, their listings are incomplete, or their customer service isn’t great. More often than not, however, Amazon price fluctuations are the culprit.
Amazon sets lower prices on their top selling products to drive sales and stay competitive. Their pricing model is centered on offering consumers the best price (or perceived best price) they can find, and Amazon takes active steps to ensure they’re the marketplace offering it.
Amazon scrapes the web to find out if an ASIN is being sold cheaper on another retailer’s site. If they find your product being sold by another retailer at a price lower than what you’re offering it for, you could see your Buy Box removed. Amazon will suppress the Buy Box to protect customers from paying more than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price, or MSRP.
Here’s an example of a listing being suppressed because the cost is lower elsewhere.
Not only does suppression happen when other sellers lower their prices, but it can happen if the price on a product makes a sudden increase.
For example, if an item on Amazon has been selling for $9.99 for the past year and suddenly the price jumps to $12.99, this could trigger Buy Box suppression.
How Do You Stop Buy Box Suppression?
In many cases, buyers can stop suppression by making sure their account metrics are in good standing and their listings are complete. When it comes to pricing-induced suppression, the best prevention method is to monitor the listings of other sellers and lower your prices accordingly to remain competitive.
With millions of vendors on Amazon and other ecommerce platforms, monitoring of any kind may sound daunting, but there are tricks and tools your brand can use that can help.
One way brands can see what other sellers are charging is by using the predict tool on Amazon. You access it by clicking “Products” then “Product Details,” followed by “Pricing” and then “Price Changes.” This tool shows if other marketplaces have moved first on lowering a price.
There are plenty of other tools that brands can use to monitor price as well.
The following tools and Chrome extensions to compare a product across the web to other marketplaces:
These tools are for monitoring price fluctuation:
Another helpful tool that change the price of your product throughout the day so you’re always on top of sudden price drops from other retailers is RepricerExpress.
Win the Buy Box With Pattern
By making sure your seller performance and account health are in good shape as well as watching prices on the market to stay competitive, you can help your brand take back the Buy Box and stop Amazon from removing it.
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 and efficiently advertise. 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.
Want to learn more about how Pattern helps brands avoid Buy Box suppression and win the Buy Box consistently? Contact us to discuss how your brand can win the Buy Box.