Icecat has become one of the few, selected content partners of Amazon to automatically push a brand’s product content through its Amazon Feed Specification (AFS) program into Amazon Vendor Central. This in addition to the use by Amazon of the Icecat XML interface, and the automated generation of so-called NIS (New Item Setup) templates in behalf of brands selling through Amazon.
Electronics brands Denver and Smartwares, Groupe SEB (domestic appliances), and puzzles and toys brands Jumbo and SES Creative, participated in the AFS pilot through Icecat.
AFS enables vendors to fully automate item lifecycle management and procurement through Amazon Vendor Central, and thus replaces the cumbersome manual data-entry in Excel, and upload through the mentioned NIS templates. Now, vendors, brands and distributors with a Vendor Central account, can automatically create items from their systems, and directly submit additional product content to Amazon via Icecat. Vendors also receive an automated report about whether their items are accepted or not, and what content needs to be improved.
AFS is rolled out category by category, and country by country. Icecat is supporting all AFS main categories such as Computers and Electronics, TVs and Monitors, Toys, Office supplies, Domestic Appliances, Sports & Recreation, Pet Care, and Entertainment & Hobby.
Icecat offers a delivery module which aggregates all the required product information from the Icecat database, merges it with additional Amazon-specific information such as price and ASINs (Amazon Standard Identification Numbers), transforms this data into the required Amazon format, and publishes it all to Vendor Central. Icecat’s automated solution helps vendors to reduce the time to market of their products, as well as the internal resources to manually fill in the NIS templates. Furthermore, product information in Icecat is also pushed to many other sales and marketing channels, thus optimizing the entire syndication process of the brand.
Next to the initial supported countries – the USA, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Spain – the AFS program is now expanded to the Netherlands, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Mexico and Canada as well. All “hardline” categories are supported and softlines (fashion & apparel) will be launched soon.
What data types are supported? All product data currently entered through NIS templates including images are replaced by the more efficient input via the AFS-API. Further, there is a pilot possibility to push data without prices and add this later on in Vendor Central.
A+ page content is not yet submitted through AFS and still needs to be inputted manually in Vendor Central. The expectation is that AFS will allow for the automated upload of rich media assets in a later stage.
Who can participate? All vendors holding a Vendor Central account can participate in the AFS program through Icecat.
Despite the interfaces being automated, gathering the data that is currently required by AFS, still requires a hands-on project-based approach. It’s not only about pushing existing rich product content, and combining it with price and availability files, but also about completing the product data to meet the mininimum requirements of Amazon. Syndy is involved in such Amazon data completion projects, providing an interface to brand editors to review the data that is to be sent to Amazon.
See for more details the Manual for the Icecat Amazon Upload through AFS.
Read further: News, Partners, amazon, ecommerce, feed management, PIM, productdata, syndication, Vendor Central
When you say 100% information, does that also include images and all categories on Amazon? If not, please don't say 100% it is misleading.
Thanks for your comment. Images will be included in AFS as of August based on Amazon development plan. Then we will be able to push them along with other data. All hardline categories are launched for the program for US and EU5 countries. Rest of the countries and softline categories will be launched during 2019/20. 100% of information refers to 100% of AFS required information. Please email me @ email@example.com for further information.
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