How to integrate via EDI or API with Amazon Vendor Central or Amazon Seller Central
According to various studies on digital consumer habits, 100% of respondents have made purchases on Amazon Marketplace. This is not surprising, but it does underscore the importance for companies to have a presence on this major digital platform as part of their sales strategy, which is becoming increasingly influenced by the omnichannel nature of purchase processes.
It is necessary to have a presence on the Amazon Marketplace to optimize one's supply chain. There are two ways to do this: as a Vendor or Seller. EDI and API are two ways to connect to the Amazon platform .
The following article discusses the options that Amazon offers to its suppliers for selling products online, as well as how to achieve a full integration of your internal management system with Amazon's Marketplace. This would automate the exchange of messages with Amazon and end consumers, as well as synchronize product catalogs with the platform./p>
What is Amazon Seller Central and Amazon Vendor Central?
It is important to understand the different types of seller profiles that Amazon offers for companies selling products on its Marketplace. There are two types of sellers, depending on the final consumer of the product.
Amazon Vendor: Amazon's purchasing team buys the products and resells them to customers on the platform.
With Amazon Vendor Central, companies can become Amazon's suppliers and sell their products to Amazon. In this way, Amazon takes care of selling, promoting, and delivering the products to the final consumer. Usually, products that are sold in this way are labeled as "Sold by Amazon", which can be a sign of confidence for many consumers.
- To access the Amazon Vendor Central platform, you need a specific invitation from the Amazon buying team.
- They offer standard payment terms.
- You have less control over pricing and product promotion strategies.
Amazon Seller: The company sells directly to Amazon customers.
Amazon Seller Central is a platform used by companies to sell their products to Amazon users. In this case, the company has more control over decisions such as pricing. As for other logistical aspects such as shipping, customer service and returns, the company can either handle them directly or delegate them to Amazon.
- Any company can register and start selling.
- Payment times are reduced.
- Full control over item promotion and your product inventory.
- You can earn higher margins by controlling the selling price.
- Most brands use Seller Central.
WEBINAR | Integrate your ERP with Amazon Vendor and Seller Central
What are the different message flows that can be automated with Vendor Central and Seller Central? How to get the most out of automation and integration via EDI or API? These and many other questions will be answered in our webinar.
Duration: 50 minutes
Main advantages for Amazon Vendors and Amazon Sellers
Benefits for an Amazon Seller
- Data Analytics: The data that your company generates through selling products on Amazon Seller Central can be extremely useful for a variety of purposes, including making improvements. This data is not accessible to Amazon Vendors, making it even more valuable.
- Price control: as in the offline world, being able to make decisions about the price you set for your products is a great advantage. With this modality, you can control and mark prices with respect to the competition and maintain the prices you want at all times.
- The decision between an FBM or FBA program depends on several factors, including the quality of logistics services. If good logistics services are available, then the FBM program may be a better option. However, if not, then the FBA program may be a better option, as it allows Amazon to take care of the logistics.
Benefits for an Amazon Vendor
- Consumer confidence: The presence of the Amazon label on a product can instill a sense of confidence in potential buyers, which may in turn lead to a purchase decision.
- Amazon's marketing services: Amazon's marketing services can both help increase your product sales and are available to both sellers and buyers on Amazon Vendor Central, but sellers with access to Amazon Vendor Central have better options for launching advertising campaigns.
- A simplified business model: In this case, doing business is easy. As a seller, your focus is on fulfilling orders, invoicing, and avoiding returns.
- The potential for marketing programs unique to Amazon Vendors, such as A+ Content, to increase product appeal is significant. However, these programs are just one of the many promotional tools available to Vendors. Others include Subscribe & Save and Amazon Vine.
Logistics and product stock management with Amazon
Companies that are enrolled in the Amazon Seller plan can choose between FBM (Fulfillment by Merchant) or FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) for their logistics. FBM and FBA have different benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to decide which one will be best for the company based on their needs and capabilities. For example, an Amazon Vendor needs to have a certain logistics infrastructure in place to fulfill its purchase orders.
Logistics plans for Amazon Vendors
Retail Procurement: It’s called Retail because the vendor always ships goods to Amazon’s warehouses, following a standard retail procurement process.
Direct Fulfillment: This is a program in which Amazon transfers individual orders to sellers, who ship them directly to customers.
- AOC | Amazon Own Carrier: Vendor selects a 3PL contracted by Amazon. Amazon contracts and manages various 3PL’s who are made available to retrieve and fulfill orders to customers.
- VOC | Vendors Own carrier: The seller ships the product directly to the end customer using its own logistics means. The seller is responsible for creating the shipping labels.
Logistics options for Amazon Sellers
- FBA | Fulfillment by Amazon: Seller sells, Amazon picks, packs, and ships the product. Amazon handles customer service and possible returns.
- FBM | Fulfillment by Merchant: Sellers list, price, market, prepare and ship their products themselves.
How do I automate business processes with Amazon Seller Central or Amazon Vendor Central?
Amazon allows your suppliers to automate and integrate communications via EDI or via API.
Connectivity for Amazon Sellers
In the case of Seller Central, sellers can only connect to Amazon for message transfer via its API library.
The Selling Partner API (SP-API) is a set of API-based automation functionality designed for Amazon trading partners. It is an evolution of the Amazon Marketplace Web Service (MWS) APIs. Thanks to the API, product information such as prices, stock and catalog will always be synchronized in real time.
Some of the most relevant messages to exchange via API with Amazon are:
- Dispatch Advice
- Inventory Availability Advice
- Inventory Inquiry
- Purchase Order
- Status Report
The use of SP-API increases communication efficiency, reduces management times, and improves response times to customers.
Connectivity for Amazon Vendors
There are no restrictions for companies enrolled in the Vendors program, so they can transmit commercial and logistics messages with the Amazon Marketplace using either of two connectivity options.
EDI/SP API - Vendors can connect to Amazon Vendor Central via EDI using the AS2 communication protocol or using Amazon's Selling Partner API (SP API).
Messages exchanged via EDI with Amazon can be in the EDIFACT or X12 standard:
- Order Response - EDIFACT | “ORDRSP” - X12 |855
- Dispatch Advise - EDIFACT |” DESADV” - X12 |856
- Invoice - EDIFACT | “INVOIC” - X12| 810
- Label Request - XML | “SL”
- Label Response - XML | “SLR”
- Order – EDIFACT |” ORDERS” - X12 |850
- Inventory Availability Advice - EDIFACT | “IAA” - X12 | 846
- Purchase Order – EDIFACT |” ORDERS” - X12 | 850
Automation of message flows with Amazon via EDICOM's EDI platform
EDICOM's integration platform makes it easy for you to manage all your business flows electronically, using whatever ERP system, and whatever communication standards you use in your management system.
EDI helps you manage the exchange of commercial, logistical, or financial documents with any public or private partner, from your internal management system or CRM. The platform operates in SaaS mode in the cloud, managed by EDICOM technical specialists. They implement the necessary applications and resources to guarantee the uninterrupted electronic exchange of all your transactions.
The EDICOM platform can also connect to Amazon's API to integrate the necessary messages for exchanging information according to Amazon's requirements.
If you want to connect with Amazon using EDI or API, please contact us and we will help you set up your integration project.
Benefits of integration with the Amazon Marketplace
- Updated Inventories: Automate the updating of your product data on Amazon and any other Marketplace or eCommerce.
- Catalog Synchronization: Real-time synchronization of product data sold through Amazon with your ERP for efficient stock management at all times.
- Order integration: Immediate integration of purchase orders generated in the marketplaces with your management systems.
- Immediate issuance of invoices: Automatically issue invoices from orders and send them to Amazon or the end customer immediately after purchase.
- Integration with carriers: Integrate your sourcing management with your transport services and logistics operators for 360° communication.
- Delivery notices: This system will automatically send delivery notices to the Seller and Vendor based on the agreed upon flow.