Amazon Sales Rank Explained

Amazon Sales Rank is also called Amazon Best Seller Ranking or BSR. It mystifies many sellers because they find it difficult to understand how rankings are determined by Amazon.

According to Amazon, “The Amazon Best Sellers calculation is based on Amazon.com sales and is updated hourly to reflect recent and historical sales of every item sold on Amazon.com.”

Amazon goes on to say that basically, this is an indication of how a product is selling compared to other products in that category. So, a product with an Amazon Sales Rank of 1 is the product purchased most in that category. You can see the best selling products easily within search results by looking for the ‘Best Seller’ badge.

amazon sales rank

It’s important to note that when searching without selecting a category, customers may see multiple ‘Best Seller’ badges. This is because they are seeing the best selling items in more than one category in their search. Each main product category has its own ranking hierarchy, so only products within the same category are considered when the Amazon Sales Rank is calculated. But products can have an Amazon Sales Rank for more than one sub-category.

For example, the journal that is highlighted in the image above is ranked #1 in the category ‘Message Pads’ but is #610 in ‘Office Products.’

amazon sales rank

You can see the Amazon Sales Rank (or BSR) in the Product Information section of the product listing. You can also see when a product is ranked #1 under the product listing title.

amazon sales rank

How is Amazon Sales Rank Calculated?

As with most things, Amazon does not explicitly explain how it calculates Sales Rank. However, there are plenty of theories out there about how it is calculated. Some people think that sales only within the last 12 hours count towards your Sales Rank, while others argue it’s 24 hours or even more. There is evidence, though, that suggests that a longer period of time is more likely the case. This is because products that aren’t purchased within the last 24 hours would then all have the same rank and would eventually cause the ranking system to fall over the span of many weeks. So, Amazon must be taking a longer period of sales history into account for sales rank calculation.

Sales made outside of this time period may or may not have any bearing on Amazon Sales Rank. It’s assumed by many that more recent purchases carry more weight over those that are considered ‘older.’ The assumption is that products with more recent sales will have a better Sales Rank than products that have sales that were made less recently, even if both products have the same number of sales.

Amazon takes that sales information (during the specific time period Amazon has chosen for making calculations) for each product within a category and weighs them based on how recent those sales were made. Then they compare those values and sort the products in the category in descending order, which gives each product their Sales Rank. Again, this is not explicitly stated by Amazon but it is a good theory as to how Amazon Sales Rank is calculated.

How Can You Improve Your Amazon Sales Rank?

When it comes to how to improve your Sales Rank, there is a simple answer to this question: get more sales than your competition. Now that may not seem like a simple answer, and really, it isn’t. There are a lot of different ways you can go about beating your competition, whether it is optimizing your listings, using PPC, or getting better product photos.

If you want to learn more about Amazon Sales Rank, our friends at Jungle Scout have a great article you can check out!

Meet the Author: Jessica McCune

Jessica's creative problem solving skills, combined with her background in digital and social media marketing and her experience in community management makes her a perfect liaison between Marketing and Sales. When she's not brainstorming new ideas across the organization or developing and delivering solutions for sales and their clients, she likes to spend time with her husband and daughter.

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