In 2017, $142 billion of Amazon’s sales went directly through the Buy Box, and nearly half of that amount went back into the pockets of third-party sellers. With facts like these, it’s clear that the Buy Box is, and will continue to be, the single largest revenue-generating opportunity for online marketplace sellers.

However, selling on Amazon is also becoming increasingly complicated. It’s never wise to completely ignore any metric that impacts the Buy Box, since an extremely low score in any one area will always negatively affect a seller’s Buy Box share. However, once sellers master what Amazon considers to be the most the most important metrics, they can focus on the lesser known, customer-centric nuances driving its elusive algorithms.

Sellers might be surprised to learn that there are a lot more factors that determine the Buy Box winner besides price point. To win the Buy Box more often and sustain greater profitability, sellers should adopt proactive, holistic e-commerce strategies that consider how factors like inventory, shipping, returns, and pricing will affect one another in both the short- and long-term. Most importantly, sellers should maintain a customer-first strategy to establish an engaging buying process and encourage repeat purchases.

Here are four lesser known variables that impact Buy Box share, and what you can do to effectively navigate them:

Customer Response Time

While initially believed to have little effect, this metric now plays a big role in Buy Box outcomes and encourages communication, transparency, and overall better customer service from third-party sellers. Based on brackets for reply times within 12 hours, 24 hours, and beyond, Amazon checks the average customer response time for the…