What is Sales Rank on Amazon?

What is Sales Rank on Amazon?

What is Sales Rank on Amazon?

What is Sales Rank on Amazon?

If you found this blog article, you may have asked yourself, “What is Amazon Sales Rank? or “What is BSR?

Amazon sales rank is a way to measure the organic page ranking of products based on their sales performance within one specific category on Amazon.

Sales rank is calculated and updated hourly by Amazon's algorithm, meaning that a product can rank anywhere from 1 to over 1 million within a given category.

Sales rank shows how well a certain product is currently selling compared to all the other products in the same category. If the Amazon sales rank calculated for a product is #1, then what you’re seeing is the current most-purchased product in that category.

If the Amazon sales rank calculated for a product is #2, you’ll know you’re looking at the second most-purchased product in that category, and so on.

This lets you understand how many other competing products are 1) selling on Amazon in a given category and 2) making more sales than your product, in that category.

Many readers often message us with the question, “What is a good Amazon sales rank?”

Obviously, the best sales rank on Amazon is #1, but getting into the top 3 products, will almost certainly lead to tons of sales. 

Getting in the top 10 is a healthy goal that will still give you plenty of sales to grow and scale your Amazon business.

How does it relate to Amazon Best Seller Rank?

Amazon Best Seller Rank (BSR) is the same as Amazon Sales Rank. 

‘Best Seller’ is the moniker Amazon assigns to any product with the most sales in its category (visible as an orange icon above the main product image on the page).

get amazon best seller badge

It’s important to note: Only products inside the same main category are considered when calculating sales rank.

Therefore, each main product category will have only one product in 1st place, one product in 2nd place, one in 3rd, etc.

But, since Amazon also has thousands of additional sub-categories for classifying products, a product can achieve sales rank in more than one sub-category.

This is why it’s possible to have multiple Amazon best sellers rank scores, across different sub-categories, for a single product.

How is Amazon Sales Rank Calculated?

Amazon is notoriously secretive about what’s under the hood when it comes to calculating BSR, so there are only theories and speculation about how it all works.

What we do know is this: only the sales volume is taken into account for BSR, and not other metrics like number of reviews, retail price, etc.

What isn’t clear, however, is just how long of a time frame Amazon uses to measure sales volume. Certain theories propose a window of 12 to 24 hours.

But, if only the sales number within the last 24 hours were counted, it would mean that all products not sold in the last 24 hours would all equal the same (lower) sales rank. But that’s not the case.

When sales aren’t being made, a product’s Amazon sales rank/BSR will drop systematically over the course of weeks and months – meaning that Amazon takes a much longer purchase history into consideration when calculating best sellers rank.

Does length of time between sales matter for sales rank?

Yes. Data shows that recent purchases are weighted more heavily than older purchases in the Best sellers rank on Amazon calculation.

  • What does this mean for you as an Amazon seller? It means a sale from 1 week ago is worth less to your Amazon sales rank than a sale made 3 days ago. Which is worth less than a purchase made 1 hour ago, which is still less than a purchase made 1 minute ago.

  • For example: Product X generated a high number of sales at the beginning of the week, and Product Y generated the exact same number of sales at the end of the week. Therefore, Product Y will have a better sales rank than Product X, since the sales were more recent.

So now, after tallying the total sales from each product and weighing them based on how recently they occurred within the last calculation period, Amazon compares the values and sorts all products within a category in descending order.

The position of a product in the Amazon best sellers rank list = its sales rank.

What causes Amazon Best Sellers Rank to change, going up and then back down?

Sometimes, there isn’t an obvious reason for major changes in the Amazon sales rank from one day to another.

New sellers must remember: sales rank isn’t updated in real time. For a product on Amazon that falls within the top 10,000 products in a category, Amazon updates the BSR/sales rank on an hourly basis.

For products ranked between 10,000 and 100,000 in the Amazon best sellers rank list, the sales ranking is recalculated and updated daily. Any ranking over 100,000 are newly recalculated monthly.

The takeaway being -- one additional sale of your product might not see an immediate improvement in sales rank for its relevant category.

It also means that just a single sale can have a tremendous impact on Amazon best seller rank.

sales rank drastic change on amazon

Assuming that products with a BSR/sales rank of 100,000+ are only sold once every few days, even one sale could lead to dramatic improvement in BSR ranking.

If the product doesn’t make any sales in the following days, the ranking slowly begins to drop.

How can I leverage Amazon sales rank to enhance my Amazon business?

The Amazon best seller rank can be used in a variety of ways that are extremely useful not only to new sellers and established Amazon seller pros, but also to a would-be Amazon seller looking to break in and corner their sector of market share.

Product research: Discovering highly in-demand products

When searching for new products to add to your product line, you can minimize your risk of investing in a slow seller with the aid of the BSR.

The BSR acts as a data point number that is updated hourly that gives you an example of selling history.

When selecting a new product for success on Amazon, the first question is whether it can generate enough demand from buyers.

The Amazon sales rank is one great way to gauge the demand for a given product. The better the sales rank (lower number = better ranking), the more sales it’s making on the Amazon marketplace.

As a rule, new sellers should search for products with a sales rank that is at least under 5,000, or even under 2,000 BSR.

Keep in mind, if you’re using free or paid sales tools like Jungle Scout (a tool we highly recommend and use everyday here at the Amazon Copywriting Brothers), it is giving you an estimate of products sold.

For the example, the data can be skewed by recent sales slumps or spikes.

use jungle scout to find winning products

When that happens the selling data history can move Jungle Scout’s estimates by more than 20% up or down.

Competitor benchmarking (gathering intel)

You can leverage BSR to spy on your competitors and engage in ethical reconnaissance.

Even seasoned Amazon seller pros can gather important info by scanning the Amazon best sellers rank list. 

By monitoring competitors and comparing your product with similar products from the highest-ranking competition (benchmarking), you can establish a standard for moving forward with your strategy.

If similar products have better ranking, that means there’s room for improvement in your Amazon product listing. 

In general, improving your listing will increase your Amazon product rank because it leads to more sales.

Monitoring the Amazon sales rank (also simply called “Amazon Rank”) for your own product page as well as those of your competition is crucial for determining how to best improve and optimize your Amazon listing.

How can I improve my sales rank on Amazon?

After scrolling through this overview of Amazon best sellers rank – what it is, how it’s calculated, how often it gets updated, and different ways to leverage BSR for successful selling on Amazon – let’s circle back to the real question on every seller’s mind: how can I improve my own BSR and what steps do I need to know to take to ensure I’m not wasting time or losing valuable sales.

The answer to increasing Amazon best sellers rank is simple, right? Make more sales on Amazon than your competitors! Cue muttering and eyerolling, ‘WOW, gee thanks, now I’m a millionaire’.

Okay, so the answer to BSR is simple. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to increase your BSR. Since Amazon’s sales ranking is a relative figure, you’ll have to monitor your own Amazon sales volume along with the BSR of your competitors.

If you sell 5 more units in a day, but your strongest competitor also sells 5 more units in a day, then your rankings won’t improve.

rankings to competition

It also means increasing your product ranking on Amazon means you’re selling more than the competitors ranked under you. At least for your category.

Inventory management is non-negotiable

Because higher sales volume leads to improved BSR rankings, it’s extremely important that you never run out of stock, or your Amazon best sellers rank will suffer.


If your product can’t sell, then its sales rank/BSR also can’t improve. Even worse, this situation can give the competition time to outmaneuver you!

Ultimately being out of stock means your hourly sales are zero, and we already learned that recent sales are one of the most heavily weighted factors for BSR.

That’s why inventory management is such a critical part of Amazon best sellers rank and how well a product performs on Amazon. It’s essential for sellers to replenish inventory in a timely manner, and to send enough to the warehouse to stay in stock.

The timing of all of this can be tricky, with many factors involved:

  • Restock limits

  • Seasonality

  • Past sales spikes & anomalies

  • Past stock-outs

  • Manufacturer blackout dates, international holidays, etc.

Effective inventory management is simply non-negotiable, and here’s why: when you forecast and manage inventory better than your top competitors, you win the game.

You’ll be the one making sales, improving sales rank, and climbing in BSR, while they stay stuck in un-stocked limbo.

An Amazon inventory management software like SoStocked, InventoryLab, or Gorilla ROI can make things much easier and offer a serious competitive advantage to savvy sellers.

Aside from inventory management, there are two major ways to improve your organic sales rank in Amazon search results.

The first is through sponsored ads (PPC) and paid Amazon advertising, though this requires an advertising budget.

amazon ppc sales for rankings

The other method is through proper listing optimization of your product page which includes: robust keyword research, benefits-driven copywriting, and effective optimization of your product description (SEO), photos, and images.

Listing Optimization is the Game-Changer

Sellers have the ability to pay for advertising both on Amazon and off Amazon in order to drive traffic that will improve Amazon best sellers rank, leading to many sales and increasing a product’s standing in relevant search results.

However, there's a far less costly -- but equally important -- method, and that's through product listing optimization:

  • Deep keyword research to increase visibility of your listing

  • Amazon SEO (keyword optimization) to improve page ranking by optimizing text fields for relevant keywords

  • Catapult your conversion rates with benefits-focused copywriting

  • Captivate customers with attractive eye candy by leveraging beautiful product photography & graphic design

  • Ongoing listing optimization

1. Deep Keyword Research

Keyword research is the foundation of listing optimization and is separate from, though related to, the process of product research.

product research vs keyword research on amazon

In search results, Amazon filters out all products that are not relevant to a customer search query by evaluating the keywords used in the query.

Explained in another way: if your product is missing important keywords then your product may not be able to rank for those conversion oriented keywords.

You can learn more about keyword research using tools available from industry-leader companies Helium 10, Data Dive, and JungleScout.

Or you can checkout our free article about explosive Amazon keyword research and keyword optimization.

2. Amazon SEO (Keyword Optimization)

Amazon SEO is the practice of optimizing your Amazon product listings with the goal of improving your organic rankings in Amazon search results. 

These improved rankings lead to greater visibility for your products (measured by more impressions), which should lead to more clicks and ultimately, more sales.

Organic ranking refers to a product’s non-sponsored rank position.

Amazon SEO is its own beast, fully controlled by Amazon’s A10 algorithm, and operates independently of Google SEO best practices.

Just like on Google, buyers on Amazon enter a keyword to discover what they're searching for and just like on Google, buyers mostly click on the first few search results, rarely clicking on a product ranked on the second, third, or later pages.

It is vital to understand that page ranking on Google =/= page ranking on Amazon.

There is a specific way to do things if you want to do them right. If you don’t incorporate the right keywords into the right places, your product listing is dead in the water.

The 4 primary text fields of an Amazon product listing that can be optimized for keywords are the Title, Bullet Points (also called Key Features), Product Description, and Search Terms.

If you want a more in depth breakdown of these terms with SEO keyword context you can checkout our Amazon Glossary of Terms article.

3. Benefits-Focused Copywriting

Copywriting is defined as the writing of text for advertisements or publicity materials. The purpose of copywriting is to elicit a response from readers/buyers/customers, aka driving someone to take action.

When selling on Amazon, the text specifically comprising the bullet points and description within a listing is known as the product listing copy.

advertorial and informational

Instead of focusing merely on the features that customers need to know (the what & how), it’s important to describe the benefits of the product (the why) to customers.

You want put yourself in the customer’s shoes and speak to them with emotion, painting a visual picture that connects to how their life will improve by purchasing your product.

4. Beautiful Product Photography & Graphic Design

Attractive, high-quality product images are hugely important for a improving both Click-Thru-Rate (CTR) and Conversion Rate (CR).

These are two essential factors which indicate to Amazon’s algorithm that a product is relevant to a customer.

To achieve consistently higher BSR best sellers rank numbers, it’s important to use all of the 7 images that Amazon makes available to sellers. You can also list videos that show up in the image carousel.

adding a video to your amazon listing

5. Ongoing Listing Optimization

Managing reviews and leveraging Amazon PPC are two important ways to continually optimize and hone your product’s listing into a well-oiled sales machine that is constantly climbing in Amazon best sellers rank (BSR) positions.

You can track keyword ranking with a tool like Helium 10’s Keyword Tracker, and continue to make ongoing micro-adjustments to your listing copy based on the ever-changing SEO market landscape.

We are always updating and improving our client’s listings with our Amazon Copywriting Services, which is why we are able to get them such incredible results.

You don't have to go it alone. We're here to help you.

Now, let’s take a look at actionable solutions that will help you, as a seller, achieve higher best sellers rank BSR status.

You could do all of this yourself. Because you’re awesome like that. But, you don’t have to.

We use our Competitive EdgeSquared method to dive extremely deep on keyword research, analyze the market and top competitors at a microscopic and macroscopic level, and smash through pesky writer’s block to deliver you an incredible listing that will see buyers practically tripping over themselves to click ‘Add to Cart’ while leaving the competition eating your dust.

Not convinced it’s worth it? Don’t worry. You’ll never be on the hook for anything.

We offer a FREE listing analysis that will allow you to identify any “leaks” in your product’s page optimization, estimate the costs to optimize, and proceed with multiple strategies to improve BSR on your own terms.

Learn more about our FREE listing analysis audit on our services page.

Of course, all listing optimization work is backed by our unbeatable 110% Money Back Guarantee.

Ultimately, if you are a seller on Amazon and you’re interested in learning how to raise your BSR please understand that the BSR is simply a byproduct of a killer Amazon listing.

When you focus on proper keyword optimization, Amazon product description copywriting or simply hire the best Professional Amazon Listing Service out there, your sales will increase and so will your BSR.