Mobile is where it’s at.
Over the 2014 Holiday season nearly 60 percent of Amazon customers shopped using a mobile device. On Cyber Monday alone Amazon customers worldwide ordered more than 18 toys per second from a mobile device. This is incredibly significant, and it can now officially be said that mobile is here to stay.
Over the last few years e-commerce pundits and retail experts have been discussing the growth of mobile as an e-commerce platform, and with these impressive statistics mobile is now a mature, legitimate e-commerce platform in its own right, and no longer a niche source of income for online sellers.
This has, and should, also change the way many online businesses treat the platform. And it is no different for marketplace merchants plying their wares on Amazon.com.
As any Amazon seller knows, the key to accruing a large amount of sales is winning the coveted Buy Box. But the thing many sellers may not realize is just how much more crucial winning the Buy Box is for a mobile device. The role that the Mobile Buy Box plays is absolutely critical, and here’s why.
On a mobile device, the customer has to scroll down a vertical chain of information. The Buy Box appears directly beneath the product image and price, so if someone likes what they see, there is no reason to scroll down any further. They can click “Buy now” immediately to place their order, without having seen any other product offerings.
This is unlike a desktop, laptop or tablet. On these devices, all the product information for a particular item appears on one page and the shopper is presented with a number of other purchasing options in addition to the Buy Box. Yes, a shopper is still likely to buy from the Buy Box, but on a mobile device that likelihood increases substantially.
Therefore, with the rise of mobile shopping, a seller needs to make even more of an effort to win this prized piece of online real estate.
The way sellers can increase their chances of winning the Buy Box on a mobile device is essentially the same as the methods utilized for winning the Buy Box in general. Best practices include:
- Focusing on feedback: Any negative feedback can have a massive impact on your Buy Box share. Contacting customers who have given you negative comments within the last 365 days, and doing whatever you can to resolve their issues and have them remove their complaints, will have a profoundly positive impact on your bottom line.
- Shipping on time: According to Amazon’s scoring system a late delivery is nearly as bad as no delivery at all. If you promised to ship within two business days, set yourself a mental deadline of one to ensure there is no risk of you breaking your promise.
- Using FBA: If you decide to use the Fulfillment by Amazon service, you’ll be one step closer to winning that Buy Box. Amazon considers itself to have perfect scores across multiple variables, making it much more likely for an FBA seller to do well.
- Pricing smart: Lowering your price will usually help you win Buy Box share, but it will severely eat into your profit margins. Understanding your competitors for each and every product you sell, and pricing your items to match your performance as a merchant, is absolutely critical to both ensure sales and maintain a healthy profit margin.
- Responding to customers quickly: Amazon doesn’t know what your customers are asking you, but they do know how long it takes for you to reply. Even small queries and comments need to be responded to within 12 hours for Amazon to know that you prioritize your (their) customers and have their best interests at heart.
Play it right and the Mobile Buy Box will be within arm’s reach.
Shmuli Goldberg is marketing director of Feedvisor, a fully algorithmic re-pricing and business intelligence platform that helps marketplace sellers maximize profitability.