For the allocation of the Buy Box, Amazon in the United Kingdom promises not to differentiate between online sellers who use or do not use Prime-related fulfillment services. “Eligibility for Prime and the Prime badge will not be a criterion when determining the Featured Offer.”
Amazon communicated this to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the United Kingdom. The watchdog initiated an investigation into the dominance of the market leader in ecommerce in the UK in the summer of 2022. Following a recent agreement, Amazon UK states that it will update its Featured Offer criteria in May this year.
The Buy Box is the space on a product page where customers can directly add an item to their shopping cart. If there are multiple sellers of a product, one seller is highlighted, deemed by Amazon to have the best offer. The selection for the Featured Offer is based on a mix of criteria, including price, current delivery time, and seller rating.
Featured Offer selection is based on a mix of criteria.
It is often assumed that Prime eligibility is a requirement to fill the Buy Box. Third-party sellers must meet certain delivery promises for this, which can be achieved by outsourcing fulfillment to Amazon (FBA) or by meeting the conditions themselves (Seller Fulfilled Prime).
Although Amazon does not explicitly comment on the current situation, the company promises that Prime eligibility will not be a criterion in the near future. “As we strive to show our customers the best Featured Offer on the product detail page, we will continue to ensure that the criteria used to determine the Featured Offer are non-discriminatory and treat sellers and Amazon retail equally.”
‘The criteria treat sellers and Amazon retail equally.’
Free and fast delivery, however, does remain a significant factor in increasing the chances of winning the Buy Box on its marketplace, notes Amazon: “Prime will continue to offer free and fast delivery, which are factors that customers value and therefore are relevant in determining the Featured Offer.”
Rival sellers’ data
Amazon has also asssured the CMA that it does not use rival sellers’ marketplace data to gain an unfair advantage. The market power of Amazon is also a theme in other European countries, as its websites fill half of Europe’s top 10 marketplaces.