Situation: Owning the Buy Box to Power Double-digit Growth in a Mature Market Without Increasing Ad Spend
An enterprise seller from the electronics category was trying to achieve ambitious growth objectives in Europe while improving profitability, which meant decreasing ad spend. The UK team had identified a significant area for organic growth: owning the buy box on Amazon as often as possible to avoid losing sales to third-party retailers.
“Maintaining the buy box is a key driver for ‘free’ growth. Whenever we lose the buy box, sales go to 3rd party players, and they are essentially lost. Although these sellers are shipping our brand’s products, it’s usually all grey market and parallel imports. It undervalues our products and brings more price instability, which, in turn, other e-tailers complain about.”
Before any efforts were made to increase buy box retention, lost buy box rates were as high as 38% in European Amazon stores.
Once the team identified this issue as critical to the business, the key account manager for Amazon.co.uk started investing a lot of time and effort into finding and solving lost buy box issues. Although the brand was paying for a dedicated account manager at Amazon, the provided tools and weekly reporting proved insufficient. It was still necessary to manually crawl the product pages for about 50 ASINs several times per day. Even though this took 2 hours every day, lost buy boxes were still around 15%.
Solution: High-frequency Monitoring and Real-time Notifications
We set up a comprehensive dashboard for this customer, now used by over 100 team members worldwide. Our systems started monitoring around 100 000 product pages, including all Amazon stores, at a high frequency.
In the UK specifically, the Amazon account manager was able to:
- Create a custom group of products for his top 50 ASINS,
- Create an email notification for buy box losses on this group,
- Set it to "real-time".
Quickly, the time spent monitoring pages manually went from 2 hours a day to 0. He receives notifications for lost buy box events within 2 hours of them occurring; he can then investigate and solve them in minutes.
The buy box is generally lost because of an availability issue, or because a marketplace seller is offering a price that Amazon cannot beat. In both cases, it is the core of the account’s manager role to work out a solution that satisfies both parties. BlueBoard has helped our customer to maintain a productive, partner-to-partner working relationship with Amazon: “Since working with BlueBoard, we’ve been able to discuss issues as they happen as opposed to after it’s too late.”
Results: Augmented Amazon Seller Experience, Increased Sales and Productivity
- Within the first three months of using BlueBoard, the Amazon UK account manager was able to save 2 hours of tedious monitoring every day.
- The lost buy box rate dropped from 14% to 6%.
- Direct sales grew by 9% as a result. Other Amazon account managers in Europe (France, Germany, Italy…) saw similar results.
Conclusion: Dependable Monitoring Technology to Solve Distribution Issues Efficiently
We built our core monitoring solution for efficiency and trustworthiness. Brands cannot be successful online if they do not address the daily mishaps that naturally occur with multi-channel e-commerce distribution. We eliminate the hassle of manual monitoring to let e-commerce account managers focus on value-added tasks.
In this case, BlueBoard helped a key account manager to meet his sales target while freeing up to 10 hours a week for him to pursue new business opportunities.