SmartScout’s accuracy vs Amazon’s reliability

I’m Scott Needham, the founder of SmartScout.

I’ve been selling on Amazon for a decade across all categories with over 100k products. Yet, I’m still learning. We get asked some questions about our accuracy quite often.

Is SmartScout Accurate?

We have built many sales projections models. Our analysis shows that we are within 80-90% accuracy on most brands and products. We organize the top selling products on Amazon. We don’t track all 500 million products, but the 30 million that actually generate revenue. Sure we miss a few products that get a sale here or there. But working with thousands of brands, we have built models that are reliable and eye opening.

Are Other Tools More Accurate?

I doubt it. I’ve demoed them. I’ve tested them. I’ve heard many anecdotes about how off they are. There’s two reasons why SmartScout is both more accurate and a better tool.

  1. We account for variation pages. We divide the revenue of a sales rank across all the products. We also are looking at the reviews per child ASIN. In other words, this is the most accurate way to determine where the sales are happening across a variation page. Variation pages are very popular on Amazon.
  2. We show our work. Instead of getting fixated on the estimate sales numbers. You can see each product’s sales rank. We even show these over time how they move up and down. This can give a directional view of what’s going on and how a brand is succeeding (or not!)

I Found a Brand That Is More Inaccurate Than 20%. Can I Still Trust SmartScout?

One of the unique propositions of SmartScout is that we show our work. Estimate sales are based on Amazon sales rank. There might be instances where a category grows faster/slower than we accounted for and pushing our estimates off. Though in these cases SmartScout is directionally correct. In other words, all other products in the category will move up/down in a relative fashion. We stand by our market share as a more reliable accuracy because the estimation model will work.

If the single point of value to you is the revenue number that SmartScout puts next to a brand, then SmartScout might not be the tool for you. The power of SmartScout is in showing trends, market share, competitor ad strategy, SEO and more.

How Does SmartScout Create Estimates?

We create our estimate revenues based on Amazon best sellers rank and the category. Sometimes products don’t have a sales rank as Amazon’s category system is incomplete and a “work in progress”.

Should I Just Use Another Tool’s Extension?

Here’s a non SmartScout estimate of a product with variations. I’m sorry buddy, but not every single style is getting 19,446 monthly sales.

Here’s a SmartScout result on the same product. By handling variations more intelligently, we’re able to get our estimates much more to the real spot. Variations are popular among Amazon sellers for good reasons. So getting this right is key. As you can see below, the sales estimates are handled differently on an ASIN by ASIN basis on a variation page. Leading to the best estimates that can be made without having insider information.

What About Products That Don’t Have an Estimate?

Unfortunately, many products do not have a sales rank. For whatever reason they have been removed from the categories they apply to. This is true to about 5% of Amazon products.

Additionally, we have seen many products that do have a sales rank but it’s not on a major Amazon category. Take a look at iPad cases for example. This top ranking product is only in the Tablet cases category.

We bring in all the relevant data. Number of reviews per child ASIN, Average Buy Box Price and Average number of FBA sellers but what we can’t give you is an estimated revenue.

We do make updates to our models regularly. We are trying to expose all the relevant data that you could hope for with your business, but unfortunately we can’t get everything. We’re just doing our best to be a step ahead of the competition and based off of what I’ve seen as a seller, we are succeeding.