How does the Buy Box Algorithm Work?


We have explained lots of different factors to win the buy box in 2018, but one thing is clear that there are no set rules or list of tasks that you follow to winning the buy box every time. There is a complex algorithm that takes into account several things to determine the buy box winner.


Purpose behind the Algorithm?

Algorithm is based and designed to deliver the best value for money to the Amazon’s customers. It determines the best offer/seller that has the combination of low price, fast free shipping, less returns and high seller performance.

This buy box algorithm mainly works to achieve Amazon’s goal to offer the best possible shopping experience to their customers. Therefore it seems too good to be true that buy box formula only take price into account to allocate the buy box. We have seen several gurus and experts claiming that the low price offer lands in the buy box most of the times, they are simply ignoring all other important factors.

Since it is highly unlikely to know the exact Buy Box algorithm specially being outside of the core development team of Amazon, all I can explain to the best of my knowledge and experience is the following:


How the Amazon Buy Box Algorithm Works?

Its not very difficult to understand how buy box algorithm works as most of the sellers already know the factors that are vital for winning the buy box. When a visitor loads product detail page, during those milliseconds interval algorithm kicks in to predict the seller that offers the most value to the customer. It does it by breaking down the eligible sellers’ performance into several factors and then evaluate them by comparing with the other sellers’ performance factors.

The weights assigned to each performance evaluation factor can change from product-to-product or a category-to-category. The algorithm is so smart that even if a seller losing buy box to a competitor on the product “A” that seller could win the buy box from the same competitor on the product “B”.

Here’s a quick example for easy understanding, consider that a product for which on time shipping matters the most such as a birthday card, then shipping time may have more weight than other variables. In this case, a seller that offers one day shipping will clearly have advantage on that who ships in two days. For another product such as bathroom accessories, shipping time may have less impact and low price have more impact on the algorithm’s evaluation procedure.


Wrapping Up

Main take away for the sellers here is to put their efforts for improving all the performance indicators as much as they can. Avoid the common misconception of lowering the price to win the buy box. This will not only start the price war but also lower your margins, so try to improve all the factors that will help you win the buy box often and also increase repetitive sales. You can also keep an eye on the buy box using the buy box tracker to see the offer rankings, low and high price and other useful data. You can sign up 10-days free trial to see how this and other useful tracking features can help you improve overall performance of your Amazon business.

Matt Mikaelson
Matt Mikaelson
Marketing Executive
Matt Mikaelson is a Marketing Executive at AMZ Insight who trusts in the power of research. He specializes in data services, tech trends, marketing analysis and industry insight. It is his belief that data always tells a story, so he enjoys collecting marketing numbers, studying their impact on businesses and how they can be manipulated to market leadership visions. Matt is an expert in, and an enthusiastic student of, digital marketing, consumer behavior, content marketing, ecommerce, online marketplaces and market research.