Here’s the most effective tricks, hacks, and schemes you can use to rank your new product on Amazon quickly…
Hack #1 – Winning the Buy Box
As an Amazon seller, you need to know how to win the Buy Box. This is a crucial part of successfully selling on Amazon, especially if you’re not creating and manufacturing your own products.
Here’s an example of what it means to win the Buy Box:
Of the 20 sellers for this product, only 4 of them are shown on the product page. You can bet that these four sellers are getting most of the sales for this listing…
If you’re one of the 16 losers for this product, what could you do to win the Buy Box?
Important Buy Box Metrics
First, let’s take some time to review known Buy Box metrics. They can basically be grouped into three categories. For reference, you can see the first page of sellers for the kettlebell listing above, shown to your right.
Pricing! – This is without a doubt the most important Buy Box metric.
Even though the image of the product listing above says that there are other offers “from $15.65”, closer inspection of the listings reveals that those cheaper options are actually more expensive once you take shipping into account.
By default, Amazon lists products on this page in order of Price + Shipping, and that carries into the Buy Box unless one of the other metrics are way out of whack.
Shipping Performance – Amazon puts an enormous priority on fast, hassle-free shipping for their customers. That’s why they encourage sellers to use their Fulfilled by Amazon program.
Shipping performance includes a number of individual metrics, including Order Defect Rate (ODR) and Perfect Order Percentage (POP), both of which we talked about in our last post on Amazon ranking factors.
- ODR (Order Defect Rate) is how many orders are cancelled, returned, shipped improperly or get negative feedback for any reason.
- POP (Perfect Order Percentage) is how many orders go perfectly smoothly without any customer intervention.
Amazon also keeps track of how often you run out of stock, so try to maintain a 100% in-stock rate.
Seller Rating – It seems to me that the magic number for seller rating is 90%.
The listings shown to your right are a great example. Every seller on the first page has a 90% rating or above. However, you can see that a seller with a 90% rating ranks higher than a 100% rating. It seems that as long as you hit 90% positive feedback, anything extra won’t have a huge impact on the Buy Box.
Conversely, it’s uncommon for a seller with a <90% rating to win the Buy Box.
How to Win the Buy Box
One of the top sellers you see in the list above is WayFair. As I was poking around Amazon, I noticed them showing up a ton in our searches. They have over 200,000 reviews and this seller clearly knows what they’re doing… Just about every item in their shop is winning its Buy Box.
You can see another of their Buy Box-winning products below, shown here from inside their Seller profile shop:
So, what are they doing right? What are the specific steps to win the Buy Box? Turns out, there are only two:
- Make sure you’re eligible – Your product must have the same ASIN as the listing you want to be featured on (more on this below). You also must meet all the criteria listed above.
- Lower your price – If you’re eligible, pricing is pretty much the sole determining factor. All you have to do is find out what your competitors are selling your product for, and offer to sell and ship it for one cent less. Voila, you rank higher in the Buy Box.
- Use Fulfilled By Amazon – You’ll get a special orange Fulfillment By Amazon icon (see above) on your seller listing when you use FBA. You’ll also be able to compete on Amazon Prime listings, which is reason enough to join by itself. Plus, Amazon is constantly trying to push sellers onto FBA, so the sooner you hop on the bandwagon, the more rewards you’ll reap.
(NOTE – While lowering the price is certainly a good strategy to rank higher, it is not always a good long-term business strategy. You do NOT want to compete on price alone, as this will only start a price war/race to the bottom)
Hack #2 – ASIN Piggybacking
If you know how to win the Buy Box, your earning potential on Amazon instantly skyrockets. One of the most powerful tactics you can use is ASIN piggybacking.
Here’s how it works:
- Identify a successful non-unique product and find its ASIN. It will be listed in the Product Details section of the product listing. (shown below)
- Research the manufacturer to figure out how you can start reselling the product for yourself. Find out how much it will cost wholesale, and calculate what it will cost you to ship. Is there room between that number and $0.01 less than the current Buy Box-winning price for you to make a profit?
- If the answer to and #2 is YES, contact the manufacturer and start selling. You’ve just found a gold nugget!
- If the answer to #2 is NO, you may still be able to work out a special deal with the manufacturer if you ask for it. However, if you don’t think it’s worth it, look around for other products in the same niche… Chances are, there’s money to be made on a slightly lower ranked product.
Blackhat ASIN Piggybacking
As you can probably guess, some sellers have developed a blackhat form of ASIN piggybacking. Basically, it involves finding knockoffs of popular products and listing them with the same ASIN as their non-knockoff counterparts.
This works because the process Amazon uses to identify and spend misleading sellers is extremely cumbersome. The seller whose listing is being illegitimately piggybacked has to order one of the suspected counterfeit seller’s products to prove that it is indeed a different product.
It should be noted here that Amazon doesn’t have anything against selling cheap knockoffs. They just don’t like it when you lie about what it really is or who really made it. So, I’m not telling you this method because I condone it, but merely to keep you informed doesn’t Amazon seller. Someday it could happen to you!
In order to keep your ASIN piggybacking above the table, make sure that you’re shipping the exact same product – with the same brand, SKU and manufacturing code – as the listing you’re trying to piggyback.Continue to Part 2