The Amazon SP API has recently replaced its Marketplace Web Service (MWS), introducing several new automation features for vendors and addressing privacy concerns.
If you’re an Amazon developer or seller, there are some things you need to know about what SP API can do for you.
What’s different from Amazon MWS – Amazon Selling Partner API?
The SP API is REST-based and uses JSON-based standards, unlike the XML-based MWS. It provides extra features and APIs that vendors can use, and allows OAuth 2.0 authorisation.
SP API also offers a sandbox mode, allowing developers to make the best Amazon apps possible without affecting data. And most importantly, it allows developers to build software specifically for vendors’ needs.
In this article, I’ll go through SP API’s new offerings and impact, and what the Amazon SP API means for MWS users.
New Features & Benefits
The benefits of the SP API include:
- A sandbox environment with sandbox endpoints
- SDK generation support
- Customisable authentication and permissions
- Global support for SP API applications and endpoints for all regions with integration options
- Dynamic usage plans with automatically adjustable rates
- RDT support for PII protection
These new offerings can automate inventory, listings, orders, payments and more for Amazon vendors, allowing them to save time and costs and free up resources for product development.
Long-Term Impact for Sellers
All future Amazon merchant developments will only be possible with SP API. That should be borne in mind by sellers as they have to adapt their businesses to the service.
This could mean, for example, recruiting more Amazon SP API-trained developers, and updating vendors’ privacy policies. The former is an excellent investment and knowledge-sharing opportunity, whilst the latter can increase trust in the business by consumers.
The automation brought by the SP API can also allow businesses to grow by reducing time spent on mundane tasks such as inventory or invoicing. The large scope of integration opportunities and opportunities for discovery insights provided by the API that allows it to pull data from Vendor Central and Seller Central would allow them to scale their offerings.
A good example of that would be a data silos with data about sales, or most frequent searches of SKUs. The vendors can get powerful analytics from that and base many decisions, such as marketing strategies.
What Do the Experts Say?
Overall, the response to the SP API has been positive. For instance, experts at the Canadian Edi2XML SaaS provider confirms that SP API’s authorisation process “makes it safer for the Seller to Authorise an application of a developer, that was revised and approved by Amazon” and that SP API “treats data as REST-compliant resources that can be accessed and modified via standard HTTP methods”.
In fact, many SaaS experts have already been busy creating solutions for the API. For instance, Germany-based CEO of DeltoLogic Jakob Wolitzki created a tutorial for integrating SP API with Google Sheets and Python for efficient order automation. You can find the Jakob's repository here.
What Does This Mean for Merchants Using MWS
At the moment, it’s not mandatory for MWS merchants to migrate to SP API. However, MWS will eventually be deprecated and fully replaced by SP API. Merchants that wish to continue working with Amazon should sign up for updates about this and SP API’s other notifications. If this project isn’t feasible by a vendor’s own efforts, they can use external vendors as well.
Below is a timeline of the upcoming MWS deprecations:
- July 31, 2022: Termination of support for “Orders”, “Reports” and “Merchant Fulfilment” API calls
- September 1, 2022: Termination of support for all public applications that use MWS Product API (Catalog Items, Listings Items)
- December 31, 2022: Termination of support for all public applications that use other MWS APIs
Migration will therefore become a necessity after December 31, 2022 for public developers. Private MWS developers can integrate at any time. This migration guide can help. However, to save time, we recommend that you hire an expert company (like us) for the migration process. Get in touch with our team today!
To sum up, Amazon SP API will fully replace MWS by the end of 2022, and vendors should be prepared to take advantage of the API’s features. The automation and integration opportunities, coupled with increased privacy protection, should be a huge boost for businesses that sell on Amazon and want to stay competitive in the age of digital transformation.