Understanding Buy Box and Retaining Brand Value
The Amazon experience revolves around competitive pricing and customer satisfaction. Plain and simple, it is not in Amazon’s best interest to police your brand. Amazon does not care about MAP. The sooner you accept this – the sooner you can move on from the frustration. The entire concept of Amazon is to rally more sellers around an individual listing with the goal to drive prices down and improve customer experience. While favorable to buyers, this can certainly disrupt a brand’s value and how they are perceived in the marketplace. One of the ways Amazon pushes this buyer-centric policy is via the “Buy Box.”
Buy Box and Brand Value
The buy box is the box on a product detail page where customers can begin the purchasing process by adding items to their shopping carts. One of Amazon’s key features is that multiple sellers can offer the same product. If more than one eligible seller offers a product, they may compete for the Buy Box for that product. The Buy Box algorithm measures multiple performance-based requirements. While Amazon does not specify the specific targets for becoming Buy Box eligible, they paint a clear picture. Overall, you are competing for outstanding customer experience. On a more specific level, eligibility is tied in with your product’s pricing, availability, fulfillment, and customer service.
While this strategy is certainly appealing to buyers, brand value can often become damaged in the process. Pricing, brand perception, and B2B relationships may become jeopardized. Sellers begin to rely on automated repricing software which will often further drive down prices as sellers compete for the Buy Box. In comes the domino effect as a widespread price-drop takes place across the platform. Customer perception is now at risk as prices continue to drop. Suddenly, your entire strategic pricing model is put in jeopardy.
Off-brand product pages may begin to emerge. Anyone who has your product has the ability to create a new listing as long as it is in stock and in new condition. Once 3rd party sellers begin to sell your product, you lose control over your brand. They may post incorrect product info, poor quality images, or prices outside of your current strategy. This becomes frustrating for brands who have worked hard to develop a consistent sales channel.
Retaining Brand Value
Begin by applying for the Amazon Brand Registry. The registry helps you protect your registered trademarks on Amazon. By registering you are inviting a more accurate and trusted experience for your customers. Your enrollment in the Amazon Brand Registry provides access to powerful tools including proprietary text and image search, predictive automation based on your reports of suspected intellectual property rights violations, and increased authority over product listings with your brand name.
Use automated software such as www.mappolicypartners.com to keep track of everyone violating your products. Take advantage of MAPWatch’s investigation team to help you unmask unauthorized sellers. Create iron-clad MAP agreements and policies with your partners. We already put together an article for you dedicated to creating a MAP policy (https://mappolicypartners.com/blog/posts/how-to-create-a-map-policy).
If you need assistance or consultation, reach out to us. We are here to assist in protecting your brand from unauthorized sellers, but also to help you retain your brand’s value. While it is time-consuming and frustrating to properly police the marketplace created around Amazon’s Buy Box, we are here to help.
We hope to hear from you soon!
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