Amidst the endless array of products vying for attention, there exists a coveted position that every Amazon seller dreams of attaining—the “Featured Offer.” This prime digital real estate on an Amazon product listing unlocks your endless selling potential when you have it, but failing to secure the Featured Offer can sabotage and spell doom for a seller.
But what exactly is the Amazon Featured Offer, and, more importantly, how can you secure it for your own products? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll unravel any mysteries surrounding this sought-after designation, providing you with actionable insights and strategies to propel your Amazon business to its true potential.
Understanding the Amazon Featured Offer
In this blog post, we’ll unravel the mysteries surrounding Amazon’s Featured Offer, exploring what it is, why it matters, and how sellers can leverage it to their advantage. Let’s dive in and demystify this crucial element of the Amazon selling experience.
What is the Amazon Featured Offer? (Formerly Amazon Buy Box)
Once referred to as the “Buy Box” or “Amazon buybox” and sometimes still known by those designations, the Featured Offer is the product listing Amazon chooses as the default choice when a customer adds a product to their cart. Amazon claims the process is automated based on a proprietary algorithm to enhance customer satisfaction.
When customers click Add to Cart or Buy Now on a product page, the eventual sale goes to the owner of the Featured Offer. If you’re selling a product and don’t own the Featured Offer, customers will have to go out of their way to find your offering.
Why the Featured Offer Matters
At last check, 82% of all sales on Amazon come via the Buy Box. And that number climbs even higher for mobile purchases. When you consider some items are sold without a buy box, that 82% figure looms even more significant. With an average of $385 million in sales daily on Amazon, it’s safe to say the Featured Offer matters in a major way for sellers looking to score as many sales as possible.
Without ownership of the buy box, a seller’s opportunity for sustained success ranges from slim to none. But with the buy box, a seller can maximize sales and control your e-commerce destiny.
Amazon Featured Offer Eligibility Requirements
Believe it or not, not all products can receive the Featured Offer. For example, books aren’t eligible for the Featured Offer. Additionally, items sold by sellers not on a Professional selling plan cannot own Featured Offers.
- A Professional selling plan
- Well-stocked inventory history
- Fast delivery times and accurate tracking
- Items must be new or like-new goods
You can find your Amazon featured offer eligibility status (formerly referred to as Featured Merchant Status) by entering your Seller Central account, selecting Inventory → Manage All Inventory → Preferences, and checking the Featured Offer Eligible option. This page shows a column showing your ASINs, buy box eligibility status and lets you view featured offers if applicable.
Factors Amazon Considers for the Featured Offer
So how does one obtain the treasured Featured Offer? Unfortunately, there is no surefire formula to follow. Amazon states the criteria for the Featured Offer varies from category to category, so there isn’t an exact method to check whether you should or should not own the Featured Offer.
However, Amazon lists several best practices that play a substantial role in the featured merchant algorithm. Below, we’ll dive into the elements that come into play when determining who owns the buy box.
Since Amazon bestows the Featured Offer label on products likely to lead to satisfied customers, seller history is paramount for securing the Featured Offer. If your account has been plagued by issues, warnings, and complaints, obtaining the Featured Offer can be long, arduous and potentially fruitless.
As Amazon scours product markets to denote the Featured Offer, a poor or mixed seller history can prove to be a tiebreaker when all else is comparable.
Amazon states Featured Offer products are typically at or below the price of competitors in the market.
According to a poll of customers across e-commerce marketplaces, 80% of consumers list competitive pricing as an important factor in determining which product(s) they purchase. Customers love finding value in their purchases; nobody enjoys feeling ripped off. Amazon takes customer satisfaction seriously, ranking first in the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index (ASCI).
Therefore, Amazon intentionally seeks out products at or below market value, increasing the likelihood of a customer walking away feeling like they found a bargain.
When you remember the Featured Offer exists to help customers find products to satisfy their needs, it checks out that shipping plays a role in determining which product gets highlighted for the Featured Offer. Amazon Prime members are accustomed to the free, two-day shipping that transformed e-commerce over the years and upped the standard on online purchases. When customers must pay extra for shipping or deal with slow shopping, it stands out and leaves them feeling sour due to feeling like they’re receiving second-rate service.
The saying “Availability is the best ability” has been overused in sports to the point of becoming cliche, but it accurately sums up this aspect of landing the Featured Offer designation.
Have you ever purchased an item online, only to be notified that the product was out of stock? Pain. If you know this struggle, then you know the unsatisfied feeling of going back to purchase a less preferred version of the item you thought you bought hours or days ago.
When Amazon designates the Featured Offer, it’s vital that the product be available to complete the purchase.
Customer Service Metrics
Much like a credit score can make or break your ability to procure a home or car, your Amazon seller metrics can do the same with your odds of becoming the Featured Offer. Several unique metrics evaluate customer service on Amazon.
Sellers can find details for various metrics within Seller Central by going to Account Health. Within this tab, sellers can find their overall account rating, an all-in-one number from 1 to 1,000 (the higher the number, the better the score) that quickly displays how Amazon views your seller account.
It’s certainly worthwhile to periodically check on these metrics, as Amazon tracks them for a reason, often playing a role in other opportunities.
5 Tips to Win The Amazon Featured Offer
In the fiercely competitive arena of Amazon’s marketplace, securing the coveted Featured Offer position isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity for long-term success. To emerge as the default choice for discerning shoppers, you must master optimization basics and keep your listing in tip-top shape. Here are five strategic Amazon seller tips for winning the buy box in this digital marketplace battle:
1. Choose Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
Since fast and free shipping is a primary selling point to the 170 million Amazon Prime members, one of the most beneficial things an Amazon seller can do is join the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) network. Choosing FBA guarantees free shipping and getting orders to customers within two days—or even enables next-day or same-day delivery when possible.
Providing customers with free shipping or shipping faster than other sellers can also increase your likelihood of becoming the Featured Offer. Although possible, sellers are highly unlikely to top FBA sellers when it comes to shipping speed and cost, both critical factors that play into customer satisfaction.
For those interested, you can look into the fulfillment methods of your competition by going into Market Intelligence and performing a search for your product. Among the many columns, such as monthly sales and revenue and review quantity and average rating, the Fulfillment column informs you if the competition is Amazon, FBA, or FBM.
If you’re not in the FBA program, you face an uphill battle to capture the Featured Offer.
2. Maintain Competitive Pricing
One of the key factors Amazon considers when selecting the Featured Offer is pricing. Competitive pricing on Amazon plays a pivotal role in convincing its algorithm that your product is the best choice for customers.
First and foremost, understanding your product’s competitive landscape is paramount. Research your competitors’ prices for similar products. But how can you stay in touch with the ever-changing market?
Viral Launch offers two tools that can save you time and help you strike a balance between profitability and competitiveness.
First, Listing Analyzer features a Competition Analysis tab. Listing Analyzer examines every aspect of your Amazon listing for an unbiased, data-driven report to see how you stack up against the competition. Within the Competition Analysis tab, you can quickly compare key aspects of your Amazon product to your competition, including pricing.
While Listing Analyzer surveys the entire market, Competitor Intelligence zeroes in on a specific competitor to see how you measure up against them individually in various metrics such as Units Sold, Revenue, Reviews, BSR, and Price. Additionally, you can check Price over time for competing products, allowing you to see the pricing and promotional behavior over months or even years.
These tools do all the tracking and monitoring for you, saving you precious time while providing a more comprehensive picture of pricing in the larger market and with specific competitors.
3. Improve Your Seller Metrics
Going back to the credit score analogy, there are smart and efficient ways to improve a credit score. The first step? Diagnosing what’s holding it back. Similarly, we recommend monitoring your seller metrics and running diagnostics on your metrics to see how you can improve your account health the most with minimal effort.
Several unique metrics evaluate customer service on Amazon. While the algorithm remains proprietary, Amazon specifically calls out the following metrics when detailing how sellers can improve their odds of acquiring the Featured Offer:
- Order Defect Rate (ODR) – Measures account activity components such as negative feedback rate, A-to-Z Guarantee Claim Rate, and credit card chargeback rate.
- Pre-Fulfillment Cancellation Rate (CR) – The pre-fulfillment cancellation rate calculates the frequency of seller-canceled orders (not including customer-canceled orders and refunds).
- Late Shipment Rate (LSR) – Tracks orders that ship after the expected ship date.
- Valid Tracking Rate (VTR) – Based on tracking information (such as incorrect tracking numbers, which can disrupt the buying experience).
By keeping these customer service metrics in tip-top shape, you can dramatically improve your odds of winning the Featured Offer placement while increasing the likelihood of repeat customers thanks to your reliability and willingness to serve the customer.
4. Consistent Inventory Management
Maintaining consistent inventory management on Amazon is crucial for ensuring a seamless shopping experience for customers and maximizing your sales potential. Although no seller wants to pay more for items to sit in warehouses unsold, running out of inventory can create issues with receiving the Featured Offer and mitigate the benefits of selling out due to increased demand. To avoid running out of stock, there are a few things a seller should do to maintain healthy inventory levels at all times.
Within Seller Central, select the Inventory tab and navigate to Manage FBA Inventory to set up Replenishment alerts to be notified when in-stock items run low. Checking seasonal trends within Market Intelligence can help you forecast rises and falls in demand. so you can replenish inventory appropriately when your product market sees an increase or decrease in demand. Additionally, making sure your Amazon sales strategy aligns with your inventory is critical for maintaining products during more promotional periods.
If, for any reason, you know you won’t be able to manage your storefront, Amazon recommends setting your account to inactive to avoid costly out-of-stock orders and negative reviews from customers. An influx of either can dig a hole for your account health that sets you back in sales and in hopes of obtaining the Featured Offer.
Consistent inventory management on Amazon is essential not only for meeting customer expectations but also for avoiding storage fees, out-of-stock situations, and potential account suspensions.
5. Automate Reviews & Actively Seek Customer Feedback
Perhaps the most challenging thing an Amazon seller can do is consistently garner positive reviews without incentivizing customers. And while onerous, there are things you can do to maximize your review count and review rating with Amazon’s terms of service.
The Viral Launch Market Intelligence Chrome extension permits subscribed users to Review Automation, a built-in functionality to request reviews for all eligible orders in just a few clicks. With this, sellers can request reviews from individual orders without navigating into the order details for each.
Also, it can be just important what you don’t do to juice up your review count. Since keeping your account healthy on good terms with Amazon plays a role, sellers must resist the urge for black-hat tactics such as Facebook review counts or purchasing reviews from sketchy sites or services that put your standing with Amazon at risk. Amazon and the FTC take review fraud very seriously, with new punishments that go beyond jeopardizing your ability to sell products on Amazon.
As a bonus, any increase in positive reviews has a multiplier effect, leading to more sales as consumers gain trust in your product. And more purchases give you greater opportunity for even more reviews and, of course, the money that comes with those additional sales.
By automating your review generation process and saying no to illicit reviews, you can accumulate steady reviews without worrying about deep legal or financial trouble.
Amazon Featured Offer Recap
Landing the coveted Featured Offer can exponentially increase sales for your Amazon business. Because of this, Amazon sellers must do everything in their power to land this prime digital real estate.
By mastering these elements, you can drastically increase your chances of being the default choice for Amazon shoppers, ultimately driving success for your online business.