Amazon’s APIs are continuously evolving so please note that information in this article was updated on January 3rd, 2023. I’ll do my best to keep this post updated as major API changes are announced by Amazon, thanks for reading!

If you’re looking to make sense of the Amazon APIs (application programming interfaces) currently available for Sellers and Vendors on Amazon’s marketplace platform, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve been working with these APIs for four years now as part of the solutions my team and I provide at MixShift.io and can honestly say, the Amazon API landscape isn’t particularly easy to figure out for those approaching it for the first time (and is tricky for those of us that have been at it for awhile to boot).

This article will break down each of the current Amazon marketplace APIs, who they are for, how to gain access, the general data available in each, helpful links and resources, and some sample use cases for why you might want to consider utilizing the API data in the first place. You may be here because you saw a previous article I wrote on the topic, but most people find this article because they have been tasked with figuring out how to get Amazon data at scale for reporting and analytics, are looking to automate some tasks like orders fulfillment or detail page listing updates, want to programmatically optimize advertising performance, or maybe they’re just plain tired of pulling manual reports from Amazon — no matter the use case, this article will give you the overview you need and starting points required to begin working with the Amazon APIs.

If you’re looking for simple and scalable access to the Amazon Advertising API, the Selling Partner API (aka SP-API) or related data referenced in this article, please send us a note. MixShift (formerly Dash Applications) provides no-hassle, enhanced Amazon data and out-of-the-box smart reporting for Amazon agencies, aggregators, investors, and brands directly from the Amazon Advertising API and the Selling Partner API via our DATA STUDIO solution.

The APIs you’ll find referenced in this article are:

Amazon API #1: Selling Partner API

The Amazon Selling Partner API, or SP-API progressed a ton in 2022 and can be used by Amazon Sellers and Vendors alike for different purposes. MixShift uses the SP-API extensively in our solutions, enhancing and transforming the SP-API data while allowing our partners to customize the data for their own reporting and analytics needs within our platform or outside of it.

Generally, the Selling Partner API is Amazon’s attempt to consolidate all marketplace-related API activity for vendors and sellers, while bringing authentication workflows under a single API. Effectively, the SP-API is a direct replacement of the Marketplace Web Services API, or MWS API, which was only applicable and available for Sellers, not Vendors. The big benefit of the SP-API over the MWS API is that Amazon has integrated reporting and functional endpoints and reports for Vendors into the SP-API that weren’t historically available in the MWS API, bringing the beginning semblance of parity for automation and reporting data access across Seller Central and Vendor Central accounts.

From Amazon: “Selling Partner API (SP-API) is a modernized suite of REST APIs using standards that today’s developers expect, while making it as simple as possible to migrate from our legacy Amazon Marketplace Web Service (Amazon MWS) APIs. SP-API includes all the functionality available in Amazon MWS plus many new APIs; including APIs for vendors. SP-API is available for all registered developers worldwide.”

From Amazon regarding the purpose of MWS (SP-API accomplishes these same things now): “Amazon Marketplace Web Service (Amazon MWS) is an integrated web service API that helps Amazon sellers to programmatically exchange data on listings, orders, payments, reports, and more. Data integration with Amazon enables high levels of selling automation, which can help sellers grow their business. By using Amazon MWS, sellers can increase selling efficiency, reduce labor requirements, and improve response time to customers.”

 http://docs.developer.amazonservices.com/en_US/dev_guide/DG_IfNew.html 

Who is the SP-API for? Amazon Sellers on Seller Central, Vendors on Vendor Central, and Third Party Developers with a good Seller or Vendor relationship (in order to test and validate SP-API data and functionality though some sandbox functionality is now available).

What’s in the SP-API?: Amazon currently breaks out the SP-API data sets into ~37 different “APIs” or endpoints within the cumulative API, all with their own URL endpoints and protocol/parameter oddities. Most of these endpoints and protocols were taken directly from MWS and haven’t changed a lick. *Importantly, you should note that most endpoints are not available for Vendors, and are Seller-only endpoints. Per the image below, endpoints preceded by “vendor” represent Vendor-available endpoints in the documentation. Some of the commonly used endpoints include: Catalog Items, FBA Inventory, Feeds, Finances, Fulfillment Inbound, Listings Items, Notifications, Orders, Product Pricing, Reports (now includes Vendor Sales, Traffic, Net Pure Product Margin, Inventory, and Demand Forecast reports!), Vendor Orders, Vendor Shipments

Noted in #3 below, the “vendor” endpoints largely replace the functionality of the Vendor API and EDI integrations available in Vendor Central under Amazon’s Integration Automation Solutions for Vendors.

Selling Partner API | Mixshift

 

 

 

The SP-API endpoints for sellers and vendors per: https://github.com/amzn/selling-partner-api-docs/tree/main/references

Why you might need the SP-API: The SP-API data enables Sellers and Vendors to automate certain tasks related to their account, quickly access important data, and build processes for more efficient Amazon operations and analytics.

Common applications include utilizing Orders information for reporting dashboards, connecting Seller Central product listings to a content feed for real-time listing monitoring and content updates, monitoring seller Buy Box and pricing to ensure resellers are not usurping sales, managing inventory fulfillment and stock levels to ensure inventory availability in Amazon FBA centers, and managing PO’s or direct fulfillment orders as a Vendor.

Getting started with the SP-API: As a heads up for those considering integrating with the SP-API, just a friendly warning that it is not a particularly straightforward process. The setup, requirements, and general workflow design can be confusing and require support from Amazon. In particular, the SP-API authentication workflows aren’t consistent for Seller accounts and Vendor accounts using the SP-API, while the overall authentication process requires an account on, and setup within, Amazon Web Services (AWS), resulting in a more complicated process than good old MWS demanded originally.

Selling Partner API Docs for Getting Started: https://developer-docs.amazon.com/sp-api/docs/what-is-the-selling-partner-api

For those looking for good instructions to get started, check out this site from a charitable guy I ran across, Jesse Evers (thanks Jesse!): https://jesseevers.com/selling-partner-api-access/

From Jesse’s site, here’s a quick diagram showing the general SP-API registration and access process:

Selling Partner API Docs | Mixshift

 

 

 

General SP-API registration and setup workflow

Who can access the SP-API? Per the SP-API workflow diagram above, you will first need to create a Professional Selling Account on Amazon’s Seller Central platform, unless you are planning to create a private Vendor application. Seller Central is where you’ll create your SP-API application. Is it weird that you still have to have a Seller Account to be a developer on Amazon’s SP-API? Yes, very. But that’s the way she goes. You do not necessarily have to sell products on Amazon, but you will likely have to pay the $39.99 monthly fee to maintain a Seller account with access to the SP-API. As of this writing, this requirement is still true.

Seller Central Account Registration (US): Click here to register as a seller

Getting started with the SP-API: The link below allows you to complete the developer registration for the SP-API. You will need to have an eligible Seller Central selling account login already available to log in and complete the application process per the link included immediately above.

*Pro tip, make sure to use the same email address to register as a developer that you used to create your Seller Central account…it helps to avoid getting wires crossed with your Developer Profile:

SP-API Developer Registration: Click here to register as a developer

You will also need to setup an Amazon Web Services (AWS) account and Create an IAM user with Amazon to handle authentication and create proper security roles for your application:

Create a free account on AWS: Sign up for AWS here

Once you’ve been accepted as a developer and have set up your AWS account, you will then sign into Seller Central and go to Partner Network > Develop Apps to create and register your SP-API application.

Amazon API #2: Amazon Ads API

The Amazon Advertising API provides advertising data and management capabilities for both Seller Central and Vendor Central (formerly Amazon Marketing Services) advertising accounts. MixShift integrates heavily with the the Amazon Advertising API for our DATA MASTER, REPORT CENTER, and ADVERTISING CENTER solutions. Our solutions are built specifically to provide Amazon agencies, aggregators, sellers, and vendors with their own Amazon ad data straight from the API, along with an analytics and management platform that helps our partners explore and use the data for account optimization and management right away.

The Amazon Ads API has received dramatic upgrades over the last two years. From the protocols to the data available within the API, “facelift” does not begin to describe the work that’s been put into the Ads API in order to bring it to a competitive level with Google and Facebook’s advertising offerings. In particular, Amazon has aggressively grown its Demand Side Platform, or DSP, advertising offering that allows advertisers to programmatically advertise on and off of Amazon via display advertising, while also adding its own Attribution tracking and expanding the features for its anchor solutions like Sponsored Ads.

From Amazon: “The Amazon Ads API provides a way to automate, scale, and optimize advertising. Campaign and performance data for Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, and Sponsored Display are available through the API, enabling programmatic access for campaign management and reporting. Amazon Attribution (beta) insights are also available through the Amazon Ads API. Amazon Attribution can help measure the full-funnel impact non-Amazon Ads media such as search ads, social ads, display ads, video ads, and email marketing. Insights throughout the shopping journey including clicks, detail page views, and purchases can be utilized to optimize campaign ROI.

The API enables users to develop flexible solutions that meet their needs and goals, and to integrate more deeply with Amazon Ads. The API offers most of the functionality of the advertising console while enabling programmatic management, allowing advertisers to manage ads or ad groups based on pre-defined conditions.

The Advertising API is a robust tool for users with the development resources to manage implementation and versioning updates.”

Who is the Amazon Ads API for? Sellers on Seller Central, Vendors on Vendor Central, Agencies working with Sellers or Vendors, Anyone managing Amazon Advertising, Third Party Developers (though you’ll likely want to have access to a working Ads account in order to validate the data and functionality of the API)

What’s in the Amazon Ads API? The Ads API includes all of the data and management functionality you need to report, analyze, and manage your Amazon Ads campaigns. This includes information for advertising Profiles, Portfolios, Sponsored Brands, Sponsored Products, Sponsored Display, DSP, Attribution, Brand Metrics, and Bulk Operations. With access to the API, you are able to retrieve data for, and modify elements of, campaigns, ad groups, product ads, reports, targeting, negative targeting dimensions, and more.

Amazon Ads API overview docs: https://advertising.amazon.com/API/docs/en-us/info/api-overview

Amazon Ads API | Mixshift

 

 

 

The sections of the Amazon Advertising API

Some of the more recent endpoints added to the API include the Partner Opportunities, Test Accounts, Amazon Marketing Stream, Amazon Attribution program, Brand Metrics, and Amazon DSP. We also believe a new, but not yet publicly released, set of endpoints will include Amazon Marketing Cloud or AMC for those familiar with the program, which enables customer journey mapping utilizing Amazon’s first party data alongside your own first party data. These represent major initiatives for Amazon and will continue to be expanded in the coming months and years. As an advertiser, they are definitely solutions to check out and become familiar with as you look to continue evolving on the Amazon platform.

Why you might need the Amazon Advertising API: You can pretty much do anything advertising-related via the Amazon Ads API. There are of course some odd gaps and eccentricities of the API, but generally speaking, anything you can do in the Amazon Ads Console manually can be done in the API, and much more. Amazon stated at Unboxed 2022 that they were transitioning to an ‘API-first state’, which means all new releases will be available in the API before they arrive in the Console though Amazon has not yet made good on this promise.

If you’re managing an account or accounts with many campaigns and moving parts, the API can greatly reduce the time spent increasing budgets, creating new campaigns, adjusting creative, optimizing bids, harvesting keywords, and adding negatives. The Ads API also makes scalable analysis and reporting possible, something we at MixShift concentrate on while also enabling some of the optimization efficiencies mentioned above directly in the MixShift platform. The bottom line, if you’re getting tired of manually managing your campaigns and data for reporting/analysis because it’s eating up your whole day, it might be time to consider integrating with the Amazon Ads API.

Amazon Ads API | Mixshift

 

 

 

The typical Amazon Ads API user according to Amazon…note the emphasis on the need for “engineering resources” as a requirement for integrating with the API. Read: “It’s not for the non-technical faint of heart”

Getting started with the Amazon Advertising API: Per the image above, integrating with the Amazon Ads API should be done by a developer who is familiar with APIs. With that said, the Ads API is more stable and easier to use than the SP-API, and the authentication processes are much more straightforward, primarily leveraging Login with Amazon. The SP-API also utilizes Login with Amazon but has the additional AWS and registration requirements. For the Ads API, you don’t have to have a Professional Selling Account like you do for the SP-API, and can rather gain access with a regular Amazon login, though you will need to be granted access to the Amazon Ads Partner Network. A word of caution, it’s much easier to work with the API if you have an active advertising account as the current developer sandbox is limited.

First, you have to register for the Amazon Ads Partner Network, which is Amazon’s newly organized group that consolidates Agencies and Tool Providers into a single program.

Register for the Amazon Ads Partner Network: Join the Partner Network

Then, you’ll request access to the Ads API from within the Partner Network. I’m unable to provide a link for the Ads API access request as it is behind the Partner Network login.

Once you’ve been granted access to the API, you can head to Amazon’s API docs for an Amazon Ads API onboarding overview seen here: Getting Started with the Amazon Ads API 

Amazon API #3: Vendor Central API or EDI

With the release of the Selling Partner API mentioned in #1 above, the case for using the Vendor Central EDI or API integration is starting to weaken. At the time of this writing, most of the Purchase Order management and Fulfillment management functionality available via the Vendor Central “Integration Automation Solutions”, which encompass the API and EDI connections, are available via the SP-API. I’m not entirely certain what Amazon’s plan is in regard to SP-API and Vendor EDI + API parity. The current Vendor EDI and API integrations have outstanding differences in their functionality and data availability, making it difficult to say if the SP-API will eventually encompass the totality of functionality available via the combination of both the Vendor EDI and API together. With that said, it wouldn’t surprise me if Amazon continues to add features to the SP-API that you’ll want down the road, while not adding those same features to Vendor API or EDI endpoints. Amazon deprecated the Seller MWS API in July of 2022 in favor of the SP-API, but it would be difficult to fully the deprecate the Vendor EDI and/or API in the same manner as the Vendor EDI and API support much larger brands with more Amazon sway.

The Vendor API and EDI integrations are not quite two sides of the same coin. You can use either the API or the EDI integration to manage your Retail Procurement, the purchases and orders between Amazon and the vendor, and Direct Fulfillment for the purchases a vendor fulfills directly to the end customer. However, as noted in the “What’s in” section below, the EDI integration has some things the API does not, while the reverse is also true (I have no clue why Amazon created discrepancies and gaps between the two offerings other than that the API more closely reflects what’s currently available in the SP-API).

Alternatively, you could use the following sections of the SP-API as they are designed to accomplish the same fulfillment and procurement functionality but appear to yet lack the full API/EDI complement:

Vendor Direct Fulfillment APIs v1 Use Case Guide

Vendor Retail Procurement APIs v1 Use Case Guide

From Amazon regarding the Vendor Central EDI and API integrations: “Automate your business process integration with us and optimize your supply chain operations. Integration automation enables you to reduce manual operations cost, reduce process errors, improve performance, and reduce chargebacks. We offer both Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and Application Programming Interface (API) based easy-to-use integrations solutions which enable you to grow your business and maintain operational performance and cost at scale.”

Vendor Central EDI and API integrations | Mixshift

 

 

 

The Vendor Central API and EDI integrations found under “Integration” in Vendor Central

Who is the Vendor Central EDI or API for? Vendors on Amazon Vendor Central and Third Party Developers with a strong Vendor relationship

What’s in the Vendor Central EDI or API? The EDI and API integrations include endpoints to manage Item Inventory and Availability, Item Cost, Purchase Orders, Shipment Confirmations, Invoices & Credits, Packing Slips, Shipping Labels, Sales Data (ARA), and Remittances. However, not all endpoints are available in both the EDI and API per the chart below, which can make application building a bit of a juggling act.

Vendor Central EDI or API | Mixshift

 

 

 

Vendor Central business processes supported by the EDI and API connections respectively

Why you might need the Vendor Central EDI or API: If you’re a large brand that engages with Amazon in a vendor relationship, or what we’d call 1P (first party), you may find it advantageous to integrate with the EDI and/or API in Vendor Central. Primarily, you’ll be able to programmatically manage purchase orders Amazon issues to you for your products while also using the connection to manage the corresponding fulfillment of that order to Amazon or to end customers if you’re set up for direct fulfillment. Additionally, you can also check inventory levels, update items in your catalog, update the cost of a given item to you, check invoices, and get some sales data.

Getting Started with the Vendor Central EDI and/or API integration: To get started with the Vendor Central EDI or API integration, check out the link below within your Vendor Central account. Note that you’ll need to have an active Vendor Central account already live with Amazon in order to access these integrations. This is not really an option for developers looking to integrate with the EDI/API as a third party and you’ll need a Vendor partner in order to develop apps if you don’t have direct access to Vendor Central (as far as we know).

Integration Automation Solutions for Vendors: How to get started

Amazon API #4: Product Advertising API

One of the more confusingly named Amazon APIs, the Product Advertising API was designed for affiliates of Amazon who are part of the Amazon Associates program. The intent of the API is to allow affiliates to pull Amazon product listing details to display and promote products on their own sites. However, because software developers used the Product Advertising API to build Amazon listing and rank tracking software, Amazon has severely restricted access to, and usage of, this API.

EDI and API Integration | Mixshift

 

 

 

The Amazon Product Advertising API requires that you become part of the Amazon Associates program

From Amazon: Amazon has developed a world-class web service that millions of customers use every day. As a developer, you can build Product Advertising API applications that leverage this robust, scalable, and reliable technology. You get access to a lot of the data used by Amazon including the items for sale, customer reviews, seller reviews, as well as most of the functionality you see on Amazon.com, such as finding items, displaying customer reviews, and product promotions. Product Advertising API operations open the doors to Amazon’s databases so that you can take advantage of Amazon’s sophisticated e-commerce data and functionality. Build your own web store to sell Amazon items or your own items.

Best of all, Product Advertising API is free. By signing up to become a Product Advertising API developer, you join the tens of thousands of developers who are already realizing financial gains by creating Product Advertising API-driven applications and web stores.

Who is the Product Advertising API for? Affiliates of Amazon who have been accepted into the Amazon Associates program.

What’s in the Product Advertising API? The Product Advertising API allows affiliates to navigate Amazon’s results, find Amazon listing items, retrieve info about specific items, and create a shopping cart to name a few. The API primarily gives affiliates the ability to retrieve Amazon product listings and details to display on their own site, while selling directly to consumers that have visited the site. After an Associate has generated a sale, they receive a referral fee for any sales generated on their owned site.

Getting started with the Amazon Product Advertising API: First, you’ll need to sign up for the Amazon Associates program.

Register for Amazon Associates: Amazon Associates Registration

Then, you can register for the Product Advertising API from within the Amazon Associates console. The process for registration is described in the Product Advertising API docs here: Amazon Product Advertising API docs

Amazon Associates | Mixshift

 

 

 

You can only register for the Product Advertising API from within Amazon Associates

Summary

Amazon has been moving quickly on its APIs as of late, especially the Amazon Advertising API and new Selling Partners API. Amazon will undoubtedly add new endpoints and features while deprecating old reports and endpoints along the way. Hopefully, this article helped you better understand the current landscape and gave you the information you need to figure out your next Amazon data steps. If you ever have questions or need help getting access to your Amazon data for reporting or analytics, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team here at MixShift…we think about this stuff more than the average bear and would be happy to help.

Sam Hager | President MixShift

www.mixshift.io

E: sam.hager@mixshift.io

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