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What is Amazon’s BSR? What Does BSR Mean for Sales?

What is Amazon’s BSR? What Does BSR Mean for Sales?

If you’re interested in using Amazon to expand your eCommerce business, then you need to know how the platform’s BSR plays into your sales.

What is Amazon BSR? And what does BSR mean for brands and retailers that want to optimize their online sales?

The retail platform’s BSR – or Best Sellers Rank – is the metric that Amazon gives to marketers and businesses to help them understand how their products perform. Being able to take advantage of this tool and to understand how it effects your rankings is crucial to being able to grow your sales.

Amazon has become such an important retail marketplace that it’s essentially impossible for businesses to ignore the potential. Just a few years ago advertising on the online marketplace giant reached nearly $10 billion in US ad revenue – nearly 8% of the digital ad market in the US. That was before the global shutdown. By the end of 2021 it could be more than a tenth of total US ad revenue as marketers continue to realize the platform’s potential. eMarketer data suggests that in 2020 alone Amazon grew by more than 40% for net US digital ad revenue. Soon it could make up 1/10th of all US ad spending, making it a threatening force against other marketing giants like Google or Facebook.

Afterall nearly 9 in 10 shoppers say they are most likely to buy from Amazon over other marketplace sites!

All this means that being able to grow your average BSR is critical to online success and long-term revenue growth.

But what is BSR on Amazon? In order to increase your Amazon sales, you’ll want to understand how to track your Best Sellers Rank. So here’s Amazon BSR explained, and how to find it.

What does BSR mean on Amazon?

The Amazon Best Sellers ranking metric is based on sales amount and is updated regularly to reflect recent and historical sales of every item sold on Amazon.

What does BSR stand for?

BSR, or “Best Sellers Rank” is sometimes called “sales rank” and is the score that is assigned to products based on historical sales data. The Amazon algorithm automatically calculates this ranking by using the number of recent sales and historical sales data relative to other products in the same category. The BSR for products updates hourly.

There’s a distinction here between “recent” and “historical” sales, since even though BSR is calculated on all-time sales, recent sales are given more weight than older sales for determining BSR.

According to their guidance for sellers, Amazon’s definition of BSR is more for ranking data than actual sales data:

While the Amazon Best Sellers list is a good indicator of how well a product is selling overall, it doesn’t always indicate how well an item is selling in relation to similar items. We created category and subcategory best seller lists to highlight an item’s rank in the categories or subcategories where it really stands out.

This means that brands and businesses can use this metric to understand the average ranking of their products in Amazon’s search results pages (SERPs). They use sales data based on the most popular subcategories in which a product is ranking. From there the BSR is showcased on the products detail page – like in the image below.

An example of BSR on an Amazon product page

The more sales a product gets, the lower its BSR number. So a lower number is better. Products with low sales have high BSR’s.

How to find BSR on Amazon

The easiest place to find the BSR for a product is on the Amazon product detail page in the “Additional Information” section for the product.

Here you can see the BSR score as well as the category (or categories) that the BSR is given for. For products that haven’t sold yet, or without enough date, the BSR will show as “none.”

For sellers and retailers the BSR for products can also be found in Seller Central for their seller’s account/shop. Businesses can find BSR for their product inventory within their Seller Central account. Here’s where to find BSR on Amazon’s Seller Central platform:

  • Navigate to Reports in the top navigation bar.
  • Select Business Reports.
  • Select Inventory in stock in the left side column. For sellers that are registered brands, select Brand Performance.
  • The Sales Rank data for each of their products will be available in the last column.
The BSR column in Amazon Seller Central

What is the “Best Seller” badge, and how can you get one?

Best seller badges are awards provided to Amazon product ASINs that claim the rank as #1 in a featured category with at least 100 products.

An example of a Best Seller badge shown for a product on Amazon

The best seller badge is a little orange ribbon-like icon with the text “Best Seller” that’s shown in the top left corner of a product’s picture when it’s displayed in product listings. In order to get a Best Seller badge, the products have to meet the ordering thresholds that are placed on ASINs which are different for different product categories/marketplaces. And of course… be a best seller.

According to Amazon’s information for Seller Central users:

We do not show best seller badges on product detail pages for stores where orders of the child ASINs are assigned to the parent and a sales rank is generated for the parent ASIN. We keep revisiting and experimenting with this criteria to ensure our best seller badges continue to be useful to our customers.

So how do you get a Best Seller badge? Well businesses can only do that by selling the most products within a certain category over time, basically by having the top BSR. And how do you improve BSR? Well there’s no plain-and-simple way that works immediately. But it is possible to optimize product listings to improve both SEO and PPC advertising success within the platform, which can in-turn improve BSR. More on that below.

Here’s more concrete info on BSR explained – straight from Amazon – as it relates to receiving a badge:

  • These badges are given to ASINs that are featured in their respective category, with at least 100 products.
  • They must meet “order thresholds” which are different in various marketplaces.
  • Badges are not shown on product detail pages for stores where child ASIN sales are assigned to parent ASINs. This BSR definition for Amazon is specific to sales of descript child ASINs.

What does BSR mean on Amazon for product/ASIN variations?

According to their FAQ page for sales rank, the way product variations are handled depends on the “website display group” or WDG of the parent ASIN.

What is BSR for Amazon product listings that are set up as children/variation of certain product? Amazon’s BSR definition explicitly says that “[…] In some stores, we add up all the sales for a child ASIN and apply it to the parent ASIN.” In these instance they will have the same rank.

In some stores, the sales will be counted separately – meaning that the sales rank will be calculated separately as well. Businesses just have to make sure that child and parent ASINs are assigned to the same website display group, and that parent ASINs have the right browse category assigned. If not, then sales rank for variants might appear different.

How to improve your Best Sellers rank: Amazon’s BSR explained

With the BSR definition Amazon has ­given, businesses and retailers know what metrics can affect their product rankings.

But the truth is, improving or optimizing for BSR is not trivial. Afterall if it were easy, everyone would be gaming it!

Like we mentioned above, Amazon’s definition of BSR is calculated with metric data from recent sales, compared to competitor product sales in the same category. That means the only way to get a higher BSR is to get more sales (it’s in the name!). The best way of doing that is to take advantage of what’s known about Amazon’s A9 product ranking algorithm to improve product CTR, rankings, and conversions.

There are known strategies for increasing your amazon sales/rankings. They can involve both search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) style advertising on the Amazon platform. Generally speaking these are both effective ways to improve rankings. Better rankings leads to more brand visibility, which leads to more sales, which leads to higher BSR.

Focus on intent driven keyword strategies that can be built into your custom ads, product listings, and product descriptions. Amazon’s advanced A9 algorithm means using high-value, accurate search terms that are specific to each individual listing and that are ideal for your target shopping demographic. Next, further optimizing product listings means researching keyword strategy, implementing high-value content, focusing on UX, optimizing titles, writing detailed bullet points/descriptions, taking advantage of backend keywords, and more.

Doing that means leveraging better click-through-rates (CTR) and conversion rates (CR) to improve rankings in the algorithm.

What about advertising? Is Amazon advertising worth it? The algorithm doesn’t discredit conversions/clicks that are made via ads – meaning that paying to rocket product listings to the top of search results, or in front of shoppers on detail pages can rapidly boost metrics that can improve rankings. In short: ads can be a super great way of improving product rankings! Ultimately that means fast revenue, and fast sales!

According to Amazon’s BSR meaning, this is the only real way to grow sales rankings. Since Amazon rankings are driven by shopping behavior like CTR and verified reviews, the better your products perform early on, the faster you will grow in rankings over time.

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