First, a comment needs to be made about the common abbreviation Amazon uses called “BSR” which stands for Best Sellers Rank. The Best Sellers Rank is Amazon’s internal ranking of best selling products per category and is continually updated on an hourly basis. Although Amazon has its own internal logic and algorithms it uses to rank best sellers, the BST may not be relevant for your needs.
Whether you are a new Amazon seller looking to source new products or an institutional research company looking to understand broad category trends, there are actually 3 ways of ranking best sellers on Amazon.
There are best selling products, which is measured in the number of units sold. There are products that generate the highest gross revenues, which is different than units sold. And finally, there are net sales which are the most profitable products on a per unit basis.
Whatever your reasons for analyzing sales on Amazon, or another eCommerce marketplace like Walmart or eBay, be sure to know which of the 3 measures are important to you.
If your interest is to study and understand industry trends, consumer behavior or consumer sentiment, then looking at number of units sold is a very useful metric. For example, let us say that one wanted to analyze the change in public behavior as a result of Covid-19, one way of doing so would be to the growth in hand sanitizer and facemasks both nationally and regionally. An analysis of units sold, spread over time and location, would be a good way of doing this type of study.
Alternatively, if you are an Amazon seller seeking to forecast product demand or forecast and identify new product opportunities, then looking at overall sales revenues for a product is helpful.
A third way of ranking best sellers on Amazon if profitability. If you are looking to find a specific product to sell on Amazon, then in the final analysis, net profitability per product may interest you more than total units sold or sales generated. Of course, if you are looking to identify \products to sell on Amazon, there are additional metrics you should look at such as the ratio of suppliers to total demand, but that will be the subject of a different blog.
In short, there is no single or correct way of ranking the best selling products on Amazon. Rather, ranking best sellers on Amazon should be based on what metric is important to you; number of units sold, total revenues, or total profitability. Now, research your eCommerce data, and go sell.