The Amazon sales rank is an hourly updated measure of the relative sales performance for products sold via Amazon. Tracking Amazon sales ranks can be used as a good indicator of sales performance in real time, as well as for powerful competitive sales analysis.
From an Internet marketing perspective, having a real-time record of the changes in an Amazon product’s sales is incredibly useful for gathering intelligence on conversion rates and ROI (Return on Investment).
This article will show you how to use Amazon sales tracking to:
- perform a competitive sales analysis of products within your niche
- use Amazon sales rank tracking to provide insight and intelligence on Internet marketing campaigns
Before we begin, it’s important that you know…
How to track Amazon sales ranks for any product
There are a few services that provide Amazon sales rank tracking. Some are free, some are paid. The service we will use for the sake of this discussion is RankTracer because it is the only service in the world that provides accurate sales estimates, powerful graphing features, reports, alerts and more goodies that we need for a good Internet marketing offensive.
How to use RankTracer – Amazon sales rank tracking and analysis
RankTracer costs from around 3c per day to track a product on a single Amazon locale.
Assuming you are happy to part with this amount in order to gain valuable marketing insight for your marketing, we can get started:
- Create an account on RankTracer
- In your analytics workstation, search for the products you want to track, decide on the subscription duration, locale (i.e. us, uk, de), and add to cart
- Repeat until you have added all the products you wish to track
- Click “Checkout” from the main menu (top right)
- Follow and complete checkout to activate your subscriptions
RankTracer automatically starts adding hourly sales rank data to new sales rank tracking subscriptions, but its best to give the system some time to build up a bit of data (initially, there is no data at all).
Overview of the analytics workstation
RankTracer is a fairly powerful, full featured sales analysis tool so it does take a moment or two to familiarize yourself with the interface. Here are the main features:
- The default view is “overview” under “manage” (in the analytics overview menu, top center)
- Also available under “manage” is custom “graphing“, subscription renewals and new “purchases“, and “groups” for categorizing products
- Other analytics menu options include “information” that provides an account overview, “reports” for setting weekly or monthly amazon sales reports, and “display” for controlling which groups are to be shown on the main page
- Below the main menu is a subscription overview for each product tracked, and this has some sales and sales rank stats, “sales rank alert” settings and “quick graph” features
Internet marketing: Competitive sales analysis with Amazon sales tracking
While using Amazon sales ranks as a measure for sales performance will never give you perfectly accurate numbers, it certainly gives you a very good picture of how products are competing within their niche (for a few cents a day this beats forking out thousands of dollars for Nielsen PoS data).
To gain powerful competitive sales analysis features for your product(s) using RankTracer, do the following:
- Track your product and any other competitors you want to compare (Hint: you can use some of RankTracer’s sales rank tools to get this info)
- “Create a comparison group” by clicking the “groups” link in the analytics menu and give it a meaningful name (i.e. “Drupal development books“)
- Include only the products you wish to perform analysis on – you can edit this at any time
- Click on “graphing” and select your comparison group for display
- Be sure to click the “advanced options” to control the graph parameters
Included in all graphs are the average sales rank over the timeline as well as an accurate sales estimate for each product over the selected timeline. For example, the main image in this post was created using this procedure and is a competitive analysis graph of the sales of leading Dummies titles.
Real time Internet marketing intelligence with Amazon sales ranks
Let’s say you are trying out a new landing page or performing split testing, or any other SEO or Internet marketing related activity – you can even use Amazon sales rank tracking to measure the effectiveness of new ad campaigns.
To gather real-time marketing intelligence:
- Choose a marketing campaign to implement
- Drive traffic to your product’s Amazon buying page (make sure you are tracking it on RankTracer before you start driving traffic, otherwise you won’t be able to see any changes in sales)
- Analyze RankTracer’s sales rank data for any spikes in sales or changes in sales patterns
- Compare these changes to your Internet marketing initiatives
This can be extremely useful in determining the ROI on advertising. If you are tracking a product that sells on average 20 units a day, and after initiating an advertising campaign, the sales jump to 50 units a day, you can perform your ROI calculation by comparing the advertising cost to the increase in revenue derived from the additional 30 unit sales per day.
Additional Amazon sales tracking benefits & considerations
It’s important to note that RankTracer cannot provide sales data retrospectively. If you think you would like to have a record of your products and competitor’s products sales performance, then it is vital that you begin tracking their sales as early as possible.
Building up an historical sales history is also extremely useful as a general marketing practice because it helps pinpoint any 3rd party coverage that lead to sales (for example, unsolicited reviews, mentions in forums, coverage in the news, etc), and helps to direct your marketing efforts going forward.
Do you track the Amazon sales of your products and those of your competitors? Please share what insight you’ve gained from doing this, and how its helped your Internet marketing.