Changes to Amazon’s Best Seller Rank Calculation
Best Seller Rank (BSR) is a metric commonly used to measure product performance. MPS strategists regularly monitor this metric across client catalogs and noticed a shift during the week of May 25. Specifically, many products saw unexpected improvements to their BSR.
What’s New with Amazon’s Best Seller Rank Calculation
In the past, Amazon assigned each child ASIN its own BSR. For this reason, brands could have several variations of a parent ASIN within the category’s ‘Top 100’ list. For example, more than one flavor of a specific brand of chips could be best sellers within the grocery category. But with the recent update to how Amazon calculates BSR, this is no longer the case.
Rather than assigning each child ASIN its own BSR, Amazon is now taking a collective approach across parent ASINs. Now, an item’s BSR combines the sales velocity of all child ASINs in a family variation.
When clicking between children ASINs in a variation, each will show the same rank. Because of this, only one variation in a family will be listed as a best seller. However, these products are likely to earn an improved position due to the combined rank of all child ASINs. This is especially true for parent listings with several strong child ASINs.
Finally, price ranges are now listed at the bottom of each placement and are representative of the entire product family.
As mentioned, product families with many strong child ASINs could benefit from this change. When this is the case, parent ASINs have a much stronger ability to earn the ‘#1 Best Seller’ badge.
However, it’s important to note BSR doesn’t have a direct impact on how products rank in search results, where the majority of consumers find and purchase products. As a result, MPS doesn’t expect this to affect overall sales for the vast majority of brands.
Amazon’s BSR calculation creates less of an opportunity for brands to earn more than one position in ‘Top 100’ lists. Now that only parent ASINs will represent all variations, brands will lose visibility across a single product set.
Although BSR is helpful in measuring product performance, it doesn’t impact an item’s search ranking. Therefore, there isn’t a need to make strategic adjustments at this point. With this, it’s worth taking note of any changes in BSR, especially if they had items that were ranked #1. From there, brands can leverage this new power of combining ASINs into a parent variation. MPS strategists will be handling instances on a case by case basis and optimize accordingly.