What FBA Sellers Need to Know About Amazon Sales Rank

— November 15, 2017

Every seller on Amazon wants to be one of the best. Being at the top means more traffic, more sales, and a better reputation. And one of the most direct ways of getting there is having a great sales rank on your product.

Breaking Down What the Amazon Sales Rank Means

Simply put, your Amazon sales rank or Amazon Best Seller Ranking (BSR)is how well your product is selling when compared to its category, with products being graded on a bell curve.

For example, if you sell t-shirts in Clothing and Accessories, then your t-shirts will be ranked against all other clothing and accessory items in that category. This gives both you and sellers an idea of what’s hot and what’s not.

A product’s sales rank is assigned a number, with the smaller the number, the better (the ideal is a #1 rank).

Because Amazon sales ranks for products can go into the millions, depending on how many items are in that category, it can be a pretty tough goal to break into the double or single digits. But it should always be your goal.

Lastly, each product’s sales rank is updated hourly, so don’t worry too much about your product’s rank sliding up and down. It happens.

What you want to look at is how it performs in general, i.e. does it fluctuate wildly, or stay roughly within the same spread? Is it just not making much progress? What factors will you have to introduce to get the rank to climb closer to #1? Speaking of the last point, let’s take a look at what you can do.

How to Help an Item’s Sales Rank Grow on Amazon

If you’ve been struggling with conversions, then we’ve got a bit of bad news for you.

Search data doesn’t affect sales rank at all. Conversions do.

Your items need to be selling in order to gain a better sales rank. Although, the bright side of this is that if you do have favorable search data, then you know exactly what area you have to target (conversion), as opposed to looking at more uncertainty, like how to drive traffic to your page in the first place.

Also, it helps not to pay too much attention to sales rank.

One factor that can affect the ranking is when your competitors had a stronger day or week than you did. You might have pulled in excellent sales for your targets, but could have a slightly-less-than-desirable sales rank simply because it didn’t perform as well as other products in your category.

It’s not a huge cause for concern, although you’ll want to act quickly and efficiently — a lower sales rank could potentially mean fewer visitors to your page, which could turn into fewer sales. Remember, your ideal goal should be consistent sales, not feast-and-famine sales.

But that kind of advice is a bit abstract, so let’s outline some solid steps you can take to increase sales rank, and sales in general.

  • Quality: If you consistently sell products that are of top quality and best in their class, buyers will notice. Shoppers are ready and willing to pay (extra) for an item they feel is of better quality, which is why places like Starbucks, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Lamborghini shops exist.
  • Availability: If your inventory is empty, there’s no possible way for consumers to buy a product. And if they can’t buy the product, then the item can’t compete against its category and have a sales rank. There’s more motivation than that for keeping a well-stocked inventory, but how it affects sales rank is one of the main ones.
  • High Volume Search Terms: You’re going to have to sleuth around a bit to find search term data, but using something like Google Trends or Amazon Retail Analytics helps immensely. Look for things like click-through rate on particular search terms to give you an idea of what buyers are typing in the most, and then use them for yourself. Whatever you do, don’t click on other people’s products. You’ll only be enhancing their search data, and giving them the idea that what they’re doing is working. Remember, lurk quietly behind the scenes. And if you want to take things a step further, buy your own product over and over again to boost its sales rank.
  • Reviews: This method takes a bit longer to see the results of, but builds a strong foundation. And can/should be used in conjunction with quality products. Focus on getting as many positive reviews as possible, so people can see your items are worth buying.

In terms of the last point, getting a good chunk of positive reviews should always be a goal of yours, not just when it comes to improving an item’s sales rank on Amazon. It builds trust in the community and enhances your reputation, two things which will serve you well when selling online.

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Author: Chris Dunne

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