A New Way to Help Win the Amazon Buy Box
By Ina Steiner
As we noted yesterday, retailers and sellers on eBay, Amazon and other marketplaces routinely adjust their product pricing to remain competitive. Many online merchants have turned to repricing software to help them automate the process and free up their staff's time, as did Alan Cohen of ecomElectronics.com, who uses AppEagle across all of the channels on which he sells.
Now there's a software that uses a "self learning" algorithm to make "smarter" repricing decisions on the fly. Feedvisor introduced machine learning technologies into what it calls its "the world's first algorithmic repricing solution." This tool is exclusively built for Amazon, arguably the most competitive marketplace.
With Feedvisor Version 2.0, merchants don't set up rules to dictate how to price their products. Rather, sellers set specific business goals, such as "sell this amount of stock," or, they can tell the program to maximize profitability even though it means selling less.
While at first glance it may seem the lowest price wins the buy box on Amazon, that's not actually the case. Feedvisor's Shmuli Goldberg said Amazon uses a great number of factors to assign the buy box - "Amazon wants it to go to the best product," he said.
Unfortunately, Amazon doesn't reveal details of its algorithm, but merchants have a good sense of many of the factors that it takes into account. Goldberg said this includes seller ratings, the number of returns claims against the merchant; and shipping times. Being out of stock on a product can also knock you down in Amazon's algorithm, he explained.
The key to Feedvisor's machine learning is that it learns how effective a price change was. If a seller's competition drastically changes his or her rules, "we learn what those price changes are," Goldberg said, "within a couple of hours and iterations."
The top categories in which repricers are used include electronics, home and garden, toys and apparel - Feedvisor does not work in the books category. The company does not charge per listing or SKU - it takes less than 1 percent of the selling price every time the merchant wins the buy box.
Goldberg said the new version of Feedvisor also introduces a suite of actionable analytics and alerts. "Online marketplace sellers are now able to see which items are not selling, which are not priced competitively, and what products have seen a spike in sales and will soon run out of stock."
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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