The only publicly visible metric of product performance by Amazon is Best Seller Rank associated with each product or its variation, in a particular category.
How does BSR is calculated? I guess very few people at Amazon’s core development team would know better. Since Amazon never published any detailed document including all the factors effecting BSR, Amazon sellers always have guess, assumptions and estimations. Moreover these assumptions are result of their own experience from product ranking and observing BSR dance or technical analysis.
If BSR number is higher, it means, sales are low and if BSR is smaller number, it means sales are increased.
BSR & Keyword Ranking
BSR, for sure is a function of sales or no sales. When an item is listed and there is no sales, the BSR will never be displayed, for obvious reason.
As depicted in above image, when you start, you will have no (or undefined) BSR, for obvious reason that, no item is sold, so far.
First order, you will have some big BSR jump. Primarily, it seems like, the jump height and distance will depend upon, how many sellers have made 1 sale in last X days. Plus the quality of sales will effect how much keyword ranking will improve.
At second order, Amazon will decrease your BSR (improved), how much? there will be couple of factors, including but not limited to just your sales but your competition as well. The keyword ranking will improve, you will move up depending upon, how many sales your competition made in last X days on same keyword.
Following are some main factors that contribute towards change in BSR;
- Your sales or no sales & your sales history
- Sales or no sales & sales history of your competition
- Your or your competitor’s sales momentum
- Quality of sales, during search did user came to your listing from Storefront page or search result page. The purchase was from Gift Card, the buyer was Prime or not etc
- Number of returns and their types
- Negative or Positive Reviews
- Sales of other products in your main and sub categories
- Time of day & day of week
- Shopping Spree
- Out of Stock shoots your BSR
Following is a graph using Helium 10’s Chrome extension. The product is best seller in one of its sub category.
The blue line is Selling Price, while pinkish is BSR. Notice the high spikes in the start. Notice down the road, the BSR got improved.
Now look at this item, ranked at last of page 7. Notice how many fluctuations are there and BSR is not getting stable.
To me, seems like its images and listing content are not perfect and its not ranked over main keyword.
Instead of worrying about your BSR, you should focus on factors effecting it
- Rank on more keywords
- Keep Sales Velocity & its Momentum up
- Better have dispose-off return handling or recall them to some 3rd party warehouse
- Keep your Review Ratings up. Do follow up with every review regardless of its ratings. Prove you care & respect your buyer’s opinion