Ecommerce Marketing: Think Inside the Box

The Amazon platform offers many obvious advantages to savvy merchants. But why stop there? Access the platform’s ‘buy box’, and you’ll grab even more action.  You may be wondering, “What’s the  Amazon buy box?” A fair question. Basically, it’s a white-shaded area displayed just right of the product page. In this space, brands display additional products of their choosing. Be aware, however, you’re dealing with a gated community – merchandise requires permission to enter this domain. Basically, the seller must qualify for the privilege.

Whether your products are in or out depends on certain seller metrics. If a brand’s metrics reach a specified level of excellence (as designated by Amazon), the gate is open. If not, you’re out in the cold, restricted to presenting only one paltry item on your product page. That isn’t necessarily a bad position to be in. Nevertheless, showcasing additional wares opens many new and potentially profitable possibilities. The more the merrier, as they say.

How can a brand boost its excellence rating? One way is to generate ample responses in the customer feedback section. Don’t rely on customers to take the first step. Many a satisfied shopper, busy with other cares, simply won’t participate without a nudge. That nudge is easily provided by a sweeping email campaign. Ping your customer base with requests for feedback, and you’ll likely stir up many an enthusiastic response. The more you get, the higher your excellence score.

Another effective score-raiser is the well-stocked inventory. Brands must ensure their products always are available and ready to ship. Digitally conditioned customers don’t like excuses and delays when it comes to product delivery. Neither does Amazon. Do yourself a favor and keep a close watch on product inventory.

Finally, brands should use the fulfillment by merchant (FBM) option whenever appropriate. Essentially, the Amazon FBM gives merchants complete control of the entire shipping and handling operation. When exercising this option, sellers don’t pay the applicable shipping fees to Amazon. Instead, they deploy their own, personally selected providers. Amazon is out of the loop.

Not every product fits the FBM model. This option is best used for wares sold exclusively in the merchant’s own store.  Additionally, it works well for limited volume shipping. If your product fits either or both these categories, FBM is the way to go.

If you have any questions or comments about the Amazon buy box, or about any other brand-related topic, feel free to send them our way.