How To

Listing Guidelines for Amazon

Before listing your products on the Amazon Marketplace it is important to be aware of Amazon's listing requirements. Located within your Amazon Seller Central Account is an extensive series of documents that explain all of the different data requirements for products in all of the various Amazon categories. Familiarizing yourself with these pages and the documents located here is a fundamental step to listing successfully on Amazon.

Our integration with Amazon currently runs on an XML (Extensible Markup Language). Even though you have a Seller Central account with Amazon, you may still need to verify your account status, to see if it is capable of sending and receiving XML feeds. You can follow the directions on this page to determine if your current account is XML capable.

 

Prerequisites


The following topics should be reviewed before beginning these tasks:

If you already have a Pro Merchant Seller Central account:

If you do not have a Pro Merchant Seller Central account, register for one:

Please Note: If selling in multiple European locales consider utilizing Amazon's EU Unified Account which will allow you to list to multiple Amazon European marketplaces from a single Seller Central Account. If you are interested in learning more about expanding internationally, reference this strategy page. The North American Unified Account can provide similar benefits when selling in the US and Canada.

 

Video


Configuring Your ChannelAdvisor Inventory for Amazon – In this video you will learn how to determine categories to list to, get familiar with other Amazon requirements, and prepare your inventory accordingly.

 

Tasks to Complete


  1. Determine Your Amazon Categories
  2. Review Product Listing Requirements
    1. Inventory File Templates
    2. Browse Tree Guides
  3. Prepare your Inventory

 

Determine Your Amazon Categories

Amazon has over 30 categories that allow buyers to easily navigate to and purchase products of interest. When you move forward and begin completing the Amazon Setup Guide within the ChannelAdvisor application you will need to tell the software which categories you will be selling in. It is important to be aware of any category restrictions and required category approval when making these selections.

 

Amazon Category Restrictions

Before beginning the process of selling on Amazon, you will want to first determine if there are any restriction in place for the categories you wish to sell in. Possible category restrictions include:

  • Only new products can be listed
  • Amazon's approval is required
  • Certain products are restricted
  • Not supported by ChannelAdvisor

For questions on seller restrictions and the approval process for a particular category, please refer to Amazon's Overview of Categories information in Seller Central. Please refer to the ChannelAdvisor Amazon Product Categories page which lists all of the Amazon categories we support.

 

Review Product Listing Requirements

Amazon requires very specific product information from sellers that varies by category. To insure a smooth launch it is in your best interest to familiarize yourself with the various documents located within your Amazon Seller Central account. Based on your inventory and the Amazon data points that you choose to send, you may need to make certain adjustments to your inventory to coincide with Amazon's requirements.

There are two documents located within your Amazon Seller Central account that will assist you when reviewing what data is required for the products you plan on selling on Amazon:

 

1. Inventory File Templates

Amazon has a list of specific values that they will accept and in many cases require in order for a product to be listed. These values vary depending on the category you are listing in. Amazon provides a series of documents called Inventory File Templates that provide you with these requirements.

To access the Inventory File Template from Amazon Seller Central:

  1. Click Here or perform a keyword search in Help for "Inventory File Templates" and select the appropriate page.
  2. On the Inventory File Template page, scroll down until you find the documents (Inventory File Template and Browse Tree Guide (BTGs)) for your category.
  3. Click on the appropriate file in the Downloadable Documents section for your category. These are typically Excel (.xls) files.
  4. Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking at the Inventory File Template document:
    • Pay special attention to all fields that are marked as Required and note whether or not your inventory includes these data points.
    • Look at the other fields that are marked as optional or desired and decide which of these data points you would like to send to Amazon. Keep in mind that the more information you provide on your listing, the easier it will be to match your product to the Amazon catalog and/or create a new listing without errors.
    • Look for fields that may be conditionally required as there may be data that is required for certain product types within a category. For example, if you are selling sunglasses, you may be required to include a lens color value. The same value may not required if you are just selling eyeglasses in the same category.
    • Pay attention to the accepted Valid Values, usually located and outlined on the last tab of the document, for each field and insure that your inventory is set up to send the information according to Amazon's requirements.

 

2. Browse Tree Guides (BTGs)

Amazon allows shoppers to search for groups of similar products using the Amazon Browse Structure. By selecting from a list of criteria, a shopper can view a list of products that fit their specific criteria. In order for your products to be visible when shoppers use the Amazon browse structure to locate a category or product, you will need to send the appropriate browse information for each product. A full list of these values can be found within Amazon's Browse Tree Guides (BTGs) located in Amazon Seller Central.

To access the Browse Tree Guide from the Amazon Seller Central:

  1. Click here or perform a keyword search for "BTG" and select the appropriate page.
  2. Click on the Category you wish to view the Browse Tree Guide for. It is typically an Excel (.xls) file.
  3. The file will contain a tab with a Node ID, Node Path, Query column, and optional refinements.
    1. For UK, French, German and Italian sellers, take note of the Node ID. This number will need to be provided to properly categorize your products.
    2. For US and Canadian sellers, take note of the Query column. You will need to provide the value after "item_type_keyword:" to properly categorize your products.
    3. For all, always use the most detailed and "lowest level" node to describe your product.

 

Click to Enlarge

 

Prepare Your Inventory According to Amazon's Requirements

Once you have determined the categories you are going to sell in and have reviewed Amazon's data requirements, you are now ready to prepare your inventory. There are two scenarios that you will encounter when going through this process.

Scenario 1: Create Inventory Attribute

You would like or, if it is an Amazon required field, will have to send a data point that is not currently part of your inventory. A common example of this is the Item Type field (US and Canada Sellers) or Browse Node ID field (UK, French, German and Italian sellers). These are fields that are specific to Amazon and you probably will not have an attribute in your inventory that can be used to send this information. In this scenario, you will probably need to add a new attribute and populate that attribute with the values that Amazon accepts. To learn more about adding attributes please refer to the Using Inventory Attributes page.

Scenario 2: Transform Your Data to Meet Amazon's Requirements

You have the data point in your inventory, but your values don't match the values accepted by Amazon. For instance, in the Clothing and Accessories category for color, Red is an acceptable value. You happen to have a color called Fire Engine Red which is not a color value accepted by Amazon. Although you could create a new attribute for color in your inventory specifically for Amazon, it is far more efficient and highly recommended that you utilize a business rule or a lookup list to transform your color value into the value accepted by Amazon. These are two options available to manipulate your data into a value accepted by Amazon without having to clutter up your inventory with extra attributes. Please refer to the SSC page on Business Rules and Lookup Lists to learn more about utilizing these tools to manipulate your data.

 

Reference


Refer to the following pages for more information:

Before listing your products on the Amazon Marketplace it is important to be aware of Amazon's listing requirements. Located within your Amazon Seller Central Account is an extensive series of documents that explain all of the different data requirements for products in all of the various Amazon categories. Familiarizing yourself with these pages and the documents located here is a fundamental step to listing successfully on Amazon.

Our integration with Amazon currently runs on an XML (Extensible Markup Language). Even though you have a Seller Central account with Amazon, you may still need to verify your account status, to see if it is capable of sending and receiving XML feeds. You can follow the directions on this page to determine if your current account is XML capable.

 

Prerequisites


The following topics should be reviewed before beginning these tasks:

If you already have a Pro Merchant Seller Central account:

If you do not have a Pro Merchant Seller Central account, register for one:

Please Note: If selling in multiple European locales consider utilizing Amazon's EU Unified Account which will allow you to list to multiple Amazon European marketplaces from a single Seller Central Account. If you are interested in learning more about expanding internationally, reference this strategy page. The North American Unified Account can provide similar benefits when selling in the US and Canada.

 

Video


Configuring Your ChannelAdvisor Inventory for Amazon – In this video you will learn how to determine categories to list to, get familiar with other Amazon requirements, and prepare your inventory accordingly.

 

Tasks to Complete


  1. Determine Your Amazon Categories
  2. Review Product Listing Requirements
    1. Inventory File Templates
    2. Browse Tree Guides
  3. Prepare your Inventory

 

Determine Your Amazon Categories

Amazon has over 30 categories that allow buyers to easily navigate to and purchase products of interest. When you move forward and begin completing the Amazon Setup Guide within the ChannelAdvisor application you will need to tell the software which categories you will be selling in. It is important to be aware of any category restrictions and required category approval when making these selections.

 

Amazon Category Restrictions

Before beginning the process of selling on Amazon, you will want to first determine if there are any restriction in place for the categories you wish to sell in. Possible category restrictions include:

  • Only new products can be listed
  • Amazon's approval is required
  • Certain products are restricted
  • Not supported by ChannelAdvisor

For questions on seller restrictions and the approval process for a particular category, please refer to Amazon's Overview of Categories information in Seller Central. Please refer to the ChannelAdvisor Amazon Product Categories page which lists all of the Amazon categories we support.

 

Review Product Listing Requirements

Amazon requires very specific product information from sellers that varies by category. To insure a smooth launch it is in your best interest to familiarize yourself with the various documents located within your Amazon Seller Central account. Based on your inventory and the Amazon data points that you choose to send, you may need to make certain adjustments to your inventory to coincide with Amazon's requirements.

There are two documents located within your Amazon Seller Central account that will assist you when reviewing what data is required for the products you plan on selling on Amazon:

 

1. Inventory File Templates

Amazon has a list of specific values that they will accept and in many cases require in order for a product to be listed. These values vary depending on the category you are listing in. Amazon provides a series of documents called Inventory File Templates that provide you with these requirements.

To access the Inventory File Template from Amazon Seller Central:

  1. Click Here or perform a keyword search in Help for "Inventory File Templates" and select the appropriate page.
  2. On the Inventory File Template page, scroll down until you find the documents (Inventory File Template and Browse Tree Guide (BTGs)) for your category.
  3. Click on the appropriate file in the Downloadable Documents section for your category. These are typically Excel (.xls) files.
  4. Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking at the Inventory File Template document:
    • Pay special attention to all fields that are marked as Required and note whether or not your inventory includes these data points.
    • Look at the other fields that are marked as optional or desired and decide which of these data points you would like to send to Amazon. Keep in mind that the more information you provide on your listing, the easier it will be to match your product to the Amazon catalog and/or create a new listing without errors.
    • Look for fields that may be conditionally required as there may be data that is required for certain product types within a category. For example, if you are selling sunglasses, you may be required to include a lens color value. The same value may not required if you are just selling eyeglasses in the same category.
    • Pay attention to the accepted Valid Values, usually located and outlined on the last tab of the document, for each field and insure that your inventory is set up to send the information according to Amazon's requirements.

 

2. Browse Tree Guides (BTGs)

Amazon allows shoppers to search for groups of similar products using the Amazon Browse Structure. By selecting from a list of criteria, a shopper can view a list of products that fit their specific criteria. In order for your products to be visible when shoppers use the Amazon browse structure to locate a category or product, you will need to send the appropriate browse information for each product. A full list of these values can be found within Amazon's Browse Tree Guides (BTGs) located in Amazon Seller Central.

To access the Browse Tree Guide from the Amazon Seller Central:

  1. Click here or perform a keyword search for "BTG" and select the appropriate page.
  2. Click on the Category you wish to view the Browse Tree Guide for. It is typically an Excel (.xls) file.
  3. The file will contain a tab with a Node ID, Node Path, Query column, and optional refinements.
    1. For UK, French, German and Italian sellers, take note of the Node ID. This number will need to be provided to properly categorize your products.
    2. For US and Canadian sellers, take note of the Query column. You will need to provide the value after "item_type_keyword:" to properly categorize your products.
    3. For all, always use the most detailed and "lowest level" node to describe your product.

 

Click to Enlarge

 

Prepare Your Inventory According to Amazon's Requirements

Once you have determined the categories you are going to sell in and have reviewed Amazon's data requirements, you are now ready to prepare your inventory. There are two scenarios that you will encounter when going through this process.

Scenario 1: Create Inventory Attribute

You would like or, if it is an Amazon required field, will have to send a data point that is not currently part of your inventory. A common example of this is the Item Type field (US and Canada Sellers) or Browse Node ID field (UK, French, German and Italian sellers). These are fields that are specific to Amazon and you probably will not have an attribute in your inventory that can be used to send this information. In this scenario, you will probably need to add a new attribute and populate that attribute with the values that Amazon accepts. To learn more about adding attributes please refer to the Using Inventory Attributes page.

Scenario 2: Transform Your Data to Meet Amazon's Requirements

You have the data point in your inventory, but your values don't match the values accepted by Amazon. For instance, in the Clothing and Accessories category for color, Red is an acceptable value. You happen to have a color called Fire Engine Red which is not a color value accepted by Amazon. Although you could create a new attribute for color in your inventory specifically for Amazon, it is far more efficient and highly recommended that you utilize a business rule or a lookup list to transform your color value into the value accepted by Amazon. These are two options available to manipulate your data into a value accepted by Amazon without having to clutter up your inventory with extra attributes. Please refer to the SSC page on Business Rules and Lookup Lists to learn more about utilizing these tools to manipulate your data.

 

Reference


Refer to the following pages for more information:

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