Amazon Product Listings – Potential Problems

Amazon product listings can often be problematic on initial set up.  As with Google and other Comparison Shopping Engines, they have their own input formats and some unique to them including the Amazon specific attribute known as an ASIN number. Each time a new product to Amazon  is uploaded it is assigned a number.  However if the product is already being listed on Amazon by them or another merchant then it’s your job to find the number and assign it to your products. The ASIN number is linked with the relevant product GTIN (typically a barcode) to help Amazon index and relate products in searches.  There are few exceptions to the need to list a product with a barcode in our experience, which for many merchants is an immediate problem.

Much like the latest Google Shopping changes, the data quality criteria seem to have sparked many debates on forums around ‘Seller vs. User’. The requirements of both sites are there to enhance the user experience by allowing products to be found and compared easier.  However, this means that potential sellers have to go to greater lengths to supply this additional information. In some cases merchants are really struggling to locate the required data which is causing all sorts of problems in being able to get their products approved.  In many cases the demands are seen as too high to get started at all.

Some complications about listing on Amazon have been experienced due to the suspect nature of the barcodes stored. It appears from our perspective, that this operates on a ‘fastest first’ approach whereby the first merchant to associate a bar code with a product is deemed accurate whether this information is correct or not. Therefore, all following sellers listing this product have to use the barcode and ASIN number associated with the product according to the primary seller. This can make finding existing ASIN and GTIN numbers a long, arduous task.

We have seen merchants encounter problems with EANS in Amazon being associated with an incorrect (and different) product, meaning that they are unable to match the right one, or inadvertently appear to be selling a different product, which when ordered they haven’t got.  In certain cases this has caused negative feedback and a de-listing of the store.

The demands of Amazon, Google etc do make life harder for sellers to list, not least the storage of the right data in the right formats across several channels.

If you are encountering problems with loading your feed to Amazon, Google or anywhere else then please don’t hesitate to contact me, particularly if you are encountering the types of issue I’ve covered.

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