Amazon to Introduce Selling Partners Vendors API
Automating the exchange of data with Amazon VendorCentral has long been a particularly difficult challenge for vendors. Creating accurate orders has required intensive workaround methods like manual file import and export procedures and data scraping techniques. Software solutions based on EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) are also common, but as this is an outdated and highly regulated technology that has been around for over 40 years with relatively little change, these tools lack the efficiency that many vendors are looking for.
Using an API (Automated Protocol Interface) is the simplest way to process orders; APIs allow near-instantaneous automatic communication between different pieces of software, allowing users to quickly and easily link their own order processing software to Amazon’s system. However, vendors have never had the option to use API available to them, despite sellers and affiliates having both had access to APIs on Amazon for several years.
As of May 2020, this is now set to change. Amazon is currently in the process of deploying an API for their VendorCentral hub. According to job postings, the company has been recruiting engineers to work on a VendorCentral API. Further, a new API category has appeared on the Case Log in VendorCentral, and AMZ Group has also uncovered several internal documents from April 2020 (including an API reference guide and an implementation roadmap calendar) indicating that this development is on its way.
Key Benefits of Using an API for Retail Procurement
Having an API available for use will greatly improve the efficiency and profitability of many Amazon vendors. APIs provide many benefits to retail procurement businesses, including:
- Reduced costs
Using an API greatly reduces the need for manual data input while managing purchase orders, leading to lower overall labor costs.
- Fewer process errors
While manual input processes are notoriously fallible, an API processes orders based on the exact information provided by Amazon. This allows it to maintain near-perfect order accuracy regarding both product type and quantity.
- Improved vendor performance
An API provides swift feedback that can improve a vendor’s lead times as well as their confirmation and fill rates, allowing them to process more orders and potentially win more business.
- Timely automated billing
Vendors can use an API to quickly submit highly accurate software-generated invoices and get paid on time for each order they process.
- Fewer chargebacks
Amazon’s chargeback fees are charged if a vendor fails to comply with the company’s guidelines regarding shipping and fulfillment. Automated systems like an API follow precise rules and work in real ...