If you are a seller on Amazon, understanding sales rank will probably make or break your business. The BSR or Amazon sales rank is one of the most misunderstood and complicated aspects of selling online. Too many sellers assume they understand sales rank but only come to the reality that they don’t after seeing their products sitting idle on the inventory shelves since the day they sent in their first shipment. Most Amazon sellers assume that if a product has a good sales rank, it will inevitably sell quickly. This notion falls apart when the sellers realize most of their inventory isn’t selling at all, and the scenario worsens when the prices of their products start to plummet.

Sellers on Amazon are competing to improve their Best Seller Rank and to get their products into the Buy Box. By simply scanning a wooden chopping board, ranked 300,000 can give you more information than you think.

Hence, understanding sales rank is critical for your Amazon business. For every Amazon seller, getting the best possible Best Seller Rank is the aim of the game. It is a clear indication that you have beaten your competition and the sales are coming in fast.

Failure to understand sales rank means:

  • You will waste time on products you should have passed
  • You will miss out on opportunities to pick the right amount of products
  • You will lose money by pricing products incorrectly
  • You will invest in products that won’t sell

In this ultimate reseller’s guide to sales rank, you will discover the truth about Best Seller Rank, what you can do to boost it, including why it matters and when it doesn’t.

What is the Amazon Best Seller Rank?
The Best Seller Rank (BSR) or the Amazon sales rank help sellers in determining the sales performance of a particular product within a specific category that they wish to sell in. Every product on Amazon has a numerical sales ranking, where lower numbers mean the products are more profitable. Amazon ranks products based on recent sales volume and historical sales data of the product and the ranking is updated hourly to reflect past and current sales of every product sold on Amazon.com. In addition, every category on Amazon has its own individual sales ranking system, including each sub-category as well. The lower the number, the better the rank.

Although factors like keywords, reviews, and price are taken into account with BSR, that’s not entirely true. They sure do impact the number of sales you make but not primarily; hence, they indirectly affect the sales rank. We will understand what affects the BSR later in this article.

What is the purpose of BSR?
A BSR or a higher product sales rank may help the product listing move on top of Amazon’s search results. Moreover, improved BSR can also give you more visibility because Amazon’s algorithm automatically promotes bestselling products under the ‘customers who also bought’ section.

Ultimately, the critical part of the Best Seller Rank is the Best Sellers list. The products listed on top for their categories are displayed on Amazon’s “Best Seller” list.

How is the Best Seller Rank Calculated?
As said earlier, the Amazon sales rank is calculated on an hourly basis based on three key factors – category, recency, and sales.

#1 Category

The Amazon sales rank positions items in comparison to one another in the same category. This means a product can have different ranks in different categories. Amazon’s algorithm is designed to care more about the top-level category. In simple words, Amazon’s algorithm is more likely to favor top-ranking products in department categories like “TV, Appliances, Electronics.” That is, if a buyer types a keyword in Amazon’s search bar, the algorithm will consider the sales rank for the appropriate department rather than specific categories.

But, if a buyer is looking within a particular sub-category, the algorithm will likely look at the sales rank for that specific category. That is if a buyer filters his/her search to look specifically in the “TV, Appliances, Electronics” sub-category “Televisions,” Amazon’s algorithm will take into account the sales rank of the sub-category as it will prove more relevant to the buyer’s search.

#2 Recency

The Best Seller Rank is not the bestselling product of all time. Putting it in another way, the #1 sales rank at present means the product is the bestselling product in that category recently. The timeframe is taken into account by the Amazon algorithm, and as the BSR fluctuates every hour, the algorithm emphasizes on a new volume of sales over the growing number of sales.

For example, if a wooden cutting board had 15 new sales in the last hour and a sushi knife had 25 new sales, the sushi knife with 25 sales will likely have a higher sales rank. On the other hand, if the sushi knife has 10 new sales, the wooden cutting board may be able to knock into a more top ranking over the filter.

The BSR updates on an hourly basis taking into account the sale of the last hour and day.

#3 Sales

Since the Best Seller Rank is based on recency, it is a poor indicator of cumulative or past sales. The sales rank can fluctuate drastically every hour, day, or even week because it looks at sales in the recent past. But according to many Amazon resellers, the total sales volume also plays a critical role. In order to gain the number one spot, you will still need to sell more units than your competitors in that particular category.

For instance, a wooden cutting board is at BSR #25, and a sushi knife is BSR #15. Now, over the past quarter, the wooden cutting board has had 150 units sold, and the sushi knife has had 1500 sales. In the last hour, the wooden cutting board sold 15 units, and the sushi knife sold 1.

Even though the wooden cutting board sold more units in the last hour, the sushi knife still has more volume over time. That means it won’t move the sushi knife’s BSR ranking by much. The wooden cutting board may proceed to BSR # 16, but those last hour sales may still not be able to compete against the historical 1500 sales of the sushi knife.

Predictive Sales
The Best Seller Rank may consider the cumulative sales because Amazon incorporates a predictive analytics algorithm that looks at the recent and historical data for determining whether the product is down or trending. Items on the upsurge usually have a higher sales rank than those that are slowing down or stagnant.

For example, the wooden cutting board has only sold 200 units. And in the past quarter, it has sold 2000 total units. This indicates the Amazon algorithm that the wooden cutting board is exploding in popularity; hence it will boost the sales rank.
The sushi knife, on the other hand, has 1500 total units sold in the last quarter. And in the past day, it only sold 15 units. This signals the Amazon algorithm that the sushi knife is slowing down in popularity.

Despite the fact that both the products have sold over 1000 units in total in the last quarter, it is ultimately the recent quantity that signals Amazon algorithm whether the product is trending in the market or not.

Do Reviews Matter?
Some resellers, especially the beginners, assume that the Best Seller Rank takes into the account ratings or reviews. But the fact is it doesn’t.

The sales rank solely looks at the sales data, both historical and recent. The Best Seller Rank metric doesn’t account for rating average.

But ratings and reviews still matter for the optimization of your product’s listings. In order to win the Buy Box and convert customers, substantial quality of positive feedback and ratings is essential.

Indeed, the reviews and ratings of a product are more favorable metric in Amazon’s A9 algorithm over the Best Seller Rank.

Is the Best Seller Rank Important?
Truthfully speaking, the Best Seller Rank is for assessing the product and its performance than optimization. In most cases, the resellers are fixated over sales rank since they want to feel like they are the best in the particular niche category. However, the Best Seller Rank doesn’t change your visibility or optimization that much unless you are ranked #1 for your category.

In other words, the sales rank is not directly linked with organic search results ranking. On the other hand, the Best Seller Rank can change drastically as the hour passes. So it is ineffective to get fixated over a number that constantly changes that incorporates numerous uncontrollable variables.

In conclusion, if your products are of high quality, appropriately priced, have positive reviews coupled with strong marketing and optimized listings, you will convert more sales. And ultimately, when your product sells more, your Best Seller Rank will be higher.

BSR is just an indicator of the health of your product, especially when you see it improving over time.
Another scenario when the Best Seller Rank can prove to be useful is when you are planning about stocking new products. Analyzing the sales rank of similar products from your category can help determine exactly how many units of the product your competitors are selling every month.

Tips for improving Amazon Best Seller Rank
If you are getting started on Amazon, BSR is an important metric to understand. BSR determines where your items will list along with learning the velocity of your sales. For your product to succeed on Amazon, it needs to show up on the search results’ first page. Recent changes to Amazon’s A9 algorithm have put the resellers in a dilemma, as there aren’t any exact criteria for determining the BSR. However, there are a few approaches, if implemented perfectly, will ensure that your item has a better chance of making it to the first page of the search results.

#1 Understanding the keywords better

The keywords are part of the most search queries. The primary keywords affect the core of the product you are selling and its name. You need to determine what keywords are suitable for your product and populate your listing with them. The best way to keyword research is to search for your product on Amazon. You will see the most appropriate items on the search results. Moreover, you can take help of the third-party applications for keyword research like our very own Product Spy Pro Keyword Research Tool.

#2 Optimized Product Listing

The goal of this step is to present your product in the most attractive way as possible to your potential customer base. This includes the product title, product description, and product images. Choosing the right words for your product title is critical for increasing your BSR. Lousy title means fewer sales. Ensure to use the primary keyword in the product title. When it comes to product images, they are the most influential factors in a decision-making process. Good product images will lead to increased sales. You need to keep your product images within Amazon’s image requirements. Amazon has some strict requirements when it comes to product images, so if you are just a newbie, we recommend getting your products clicked by a professional. At last, a product description is where your customers will get to know more about your product. You need to beautifully write the product description with a bulleted list with all the important keywords.

product description

#3 Product Ratings and Reviews

Another primary factor that drives sales and the BSR is the product review. The majority of online shoppers base their buying decisions on product ratings and reviews. Hence, you need good reviews of your product in order to improve its BSR. There are numerous legit ways to get good reviews like offering good-quality products, paying attention to customer queries, and more. You need to ensure that your potential customer base is satisfied in order to gather good reviews from them.


Succeeding on Amazon requires more than just finding the right product. The BSR rank is affected by how your product performs. Such aspects like good reviews, attractive title, and description, quality product images, etc. all play a vital role in improving your Amazon sales rank.

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