With more product searches beginning on Amazon than any other search engine, failing to do all you can to get your listings to the top of the relevant search results pages can seriously impact your reach (and subsequently sales, but that’s another article).
But what does it really take to get your Amazon listings ranking higher?
In short, search-engine optimisation (SEO).
Or more specifically, Amazon SEO.
Now while you can see a more comprehensive list of Amazon ranking factors here, throughout this guide we will be focusing on one area in particular – the Amazon Best Sellers Rank, otherwise known as Amazon BSR.
In fact, we'll detail what exactly Amazon BSR is, how the Best Sellers Rank is calculated, what you can do to become an Amazon Best Seller and even how BSR compares to Amazon's Choice.
What is Amazon Best Sellers Rank?
The Amazon Best Sellers Rank pretty much does what it says on the tin – it ranks products in terms of how well they are selling, with the BSR determined using both historical and recent sales data.
More specifically, it assigns each product with a score, which specifies where that Amazon product ranks within the categories and sub-categories it is listed in.
So, where can you find the Best Sellers Rank?
While Amazon Best Sellers can indeed be identified through their distinctive orange badge on any Amazon search results page, you can instead head straight to the Amazon Best Sellers page and select a specific category or sub-category to see the top 100 products within that category.
Alternatively, you can see any given product’s BSR from the listing itself, like in the example below.
How is Amazon Best Sellers Rank calculated?
We’ve already touched on the fact that Amazon BSR is calculated using both recent and historical sales data, but what does this actually mean?
Well, the first thing to note here is that Amazon BSR is calculated hourly, meaning that if a product sells a lot, its BSR should in theory increase within an hour.
Don’t expect it to soar to the top of the bestsellers list though.
Because to avoid continuous fluctuations, Amazon do also take your previous sales data into consideration, using a combination of both to determine your sales rank.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that if you’re selling across Amazon’s international sites, your product’s Best Seller Rank will be calculated independently against the products listed on that specific site.
Regardless of which Amazon sites you sell on though, you can in fact track changes to your BSR using a number of Amazon seller tools. AMZ Insight and Jungle Scout, for example, both offer Amazon Best Seller Rank Trackers.
How can you become an Amazon Bestseller?
So, what’s the secret to increasing your BSR and becoming an Amazon Bestseller?
And lots of them.
Now while it really is that simple, you should still be striving for consistent sales, as the Amazon Best Sellers list is updated hourly.
Which raises the question – how can you sell more on Amazon?
The first place to start is with your listings.
After all, the different elements of these listings (product title, photos, price, keywords, product description etc) are taken into consideration when Amazon decides who to award the Buy Box to (more on that here), which is a sure-fire way to boost sales. It’s therefore crucial that your listings are optimised accordingly.
You shouldn't just craft your product listings with Amazon's algorithm in mind though, because getting a prospective customer to the product page is only half the challenge.
More specifically, you also need to be using these listings – particularly your product description and images – to convince the shopper to complete the purchase.
Additionally, securing more customer reviews can also help to boost sales on Amazon – subsequently improving your BSR.
From a housekeeping point of view, it’s also important that you’re picking your category correctly when listing your products on the marketplace.
Amazon's Choice vs Best Seller
While this article focuses primarily on Amazon Best Seller Rank, it’s worth clearing up any confusion about how Amazon BSR differs from Amazon’s Choice.
The main difference to note here is that Amazon’s Best Seller badges are limited to 100 per category or sub-category, which means that multiple Best Seller’s may be highlighted on a single search query, whereas Amazon’s Choice is awarded to a single product per search term.
As an example, a search for “water bottle” on Amazon serves more than 60,000 results, with seven best sellers highlighted on the first page alone, compared to the one Amazon’s Choice badge. Keep in mind that by hovering over the orange Best Seller badge, you will see the exact category the product is a best seller in.
Here’s the thing though.
Amazon aren’t clear about how they award their Amazon’s Choice badge, or how often they change it.
What we can assume, however, is that it is determined by an algorithm, much like the Amazon search engine algorithm – A9 – which considers ranking factors such as keyword placement, .
In fact, when looking at the Amazon’s Choice recommendation for “water bottle” we can see that it is Prime eligible, has 4.6 stars out of 2,472 customer reviews and also offers free UK delivery for non-Prime orders.
It is also in the top 100 best selling products for the Home & Garden category and has a high BSR (#4) for the “Canteens and Water Bottles” sub-category.
So while Amazon don't tell us the exact factors, we can draw some insights from existing bestsellers.
How to anticipate sales from the Amazon Best Sellers Rank
When it comes to sourcing popular products to sell on Amazon, the Best Sellers Rank can provide a whole lot of insight.
Now while it would of course be better if Amazon told us the actual number of sales another seller's products generate, they don't.
What the BSR can do, however, is provide an indication of expected sales volumes.
In fact, according to Web Retailer, products that have a BSR between 8,000 and 10,000 will typically achieve around 4-6 sales per day, whereas those with a BSR of 5,000-8,000 can generate 6-10 daily sales and those ranked between 2,000 and 5,000 tend to see around 10-20 sales.
Unsurprisingly, products that sit within the top 2,000 can achieve a whole lot more.
Here's the thing though.
You can't rely solely on the numbers, because not all BSR's are equal.
More specifically, you will need to take into account the time of year and product category, as these will influence demand.
Let's say you sell garden furniture.
Given that there are more than 100,000 products listed within this category, having a BSR of 5,000 would put you in the top 5%.
That said, a product that sits in the top 5% of a less popular product category, for example musical instruments, would generate fewer sales, even if the BSR was a lot higher.
Ultimately, product demand will depend on what it is you're selling and when, however this should still be able to act as a rough guide.
Have a read of this article for further guidance on identifying best selling products to sell on Amazon.
Quick tips for increasing Amazon BSR
While we've already covered the impact of boosting sales to increase your Amazon BSR, below we have included some quick tips that you can implement to help boost your best seller rank.
Invest in Amazon Sponsored Products
A surefire way to increase exposure of your products is by investing in Amazon's advertising programme, Sponsored Products.
More specifically, Amazon Sponsored Products are image ads that are served across the marketplace, including within the organic search results.
In fact, you will be able to bid on certain keywords to ensure that your listings only appear on the most relevant search queries.
For more guidance, we've put together an article that covers this Amazon advertising option here.
Populate hidden keywords
If you've read our Amazon SEO article which covers keyword placement, you'll know that the back-end search terms feature in Amazon Seller Central gives you an opportunity to provide the marketplace with more information about the product - information that isn't visible to the customer.
In fact, it works in a similar way to metadata on website pages, which tells Google and other search engines what your page is about.
With this in mind, if you've not already populated this feature with relevant keywords, you could be impacting your ranking position and subsequently BSR.
Use compelling product images
The images you use in your listings not only help to encourage click-through's, but they also play a key role in securing the sale.
Now while there are a number of Amazon image requirements you must comply with, a few best practices worth noting include the use of high-resolution images that support the zoom feature, using images that include size references, and ensuring that all images are well-lit and convey the product's details.
Secure more product reviews
Positive product reviews influence sales in two ways.
To start with, they boost your chances of ranking higher on relevant search queries.
Perhaps more importantly though, they act as social proof, convincing other prospective customers to purchase.
While offering exceptional customer service can certainly help encourage your customers to leave positive reviews, for the most part obtaining them will take a bit of work. To help with this, we have created an Amazon feedback request template for you to use.
With Amazon leading the way as the dominant search engine for product discovery, it's important that you're doing all you can to increase where you rank in relevant search results.
Your Amazon Best Seller Rank is one of the many factors that can influence this.
That said, while striving to improve your BSR is certainly important, it is only one part of a much larger challenge in standing out on Amazon and overcoming the competition.
What works for you? Drop us a comment below and let us know how you've increased your BSR and more importantly grown your business on Amazon.