If you’re a business that sells products in the ecommerce space and isn’t selling on Amazon, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to grow your company and increase your revenue.
Amazon has blossomed into a king in the retail space, running neck and neck with Walmart when it comes to competing for sales. The difference between the two companies is that Amazon allows almost anyone to sell their products on their platform.
Setting up shop on Amazon is a relatively painless experience, but while doing your research you’re likely to keep coming across one interesting acronym: ASIN.
If you’re not familiar with this term, why you need one, or how to get it, don’t worry – by the time you’ve finished this article you’ll be an ASIN pro.
What is an ASIN Number?
ASIN stands for Amazon Standard Identification Number. This is a 10 digit alpha-numeric code that Amazon utilizes to organize their internal inventory structure. Think about it: if everyone selling on the platform used their own SKUs and ID numbering, fulfilling orders would become a nightmare for Amazon.
As the name implies, the ASIN is only used by Amazon (and is often referred to as an “Amazon ASIN number”). If you’re not selling products on the platform, you won’t need the number.
Finally, every product on Amazon gets a unique ASIN number. The exception to this are books, which get an ASIN number identical to their ISBN (International Standard Book Number).
Why the Amazon ASIN Number is Important
Now that we know what the Amazon ASIN number is, let’s talk about why it’s important for both you as a seller and Amazon.
On the broadest level, the ASIN is important because it’s used to track inventory, index catalog pages for browsing and search on the site, and as a reference for all of the catalog data the company has. There are over 350 million products in the Amazon catalog, meaning a uniform management system to keep track of everything is a necessity and not a luxury.
Digging deeper, we find that the ASIN allows customers to better find what they’re looking for in search results. Not only will the ASIN take you directly to a product, it can help Amazon group similar items together so that they can better offer up alternative products that might also interest the customer.
At the end of the day, the ASIN number is important because it makes it easier for customers to find products when using search (by eliminating searches that return irrelevant results), and they allow Amazon to more effectively and efficiently track and manage the staggering amount of products stored in their various warehouses and listed on their website.
What are the Amazon ASIN Requirements for My Product?
The simplest answer here is that you need an ASIN for each and every product you sell on Amazon. And since Amazon’s ASIN numbers vary for each country, you’ll need different ASINs for each product if you’re selling them on Amazon UK or some other country’s version of Amazon.
If you offer a product in different sizes, or color variations, or with other differentiators, you’ll need a separate ASIN for each variety. In this instance, the product will get what is referred to as a “parent ASIN” and then each variation will add on an additional identifier to that ASIN to specifically mark the color or size or whatever other thing sets that product apart.
As you can imagine, this can get complicated quickly. If you’re selling shorts in three sizes and three different colors, you’re going to need nine ASINs to cover each of the possible configurations.
Fortunately, if you’re unclear on how this works, Amazon goes into more depth on it here.
If you’re a reseller selling a product that’s already available on Amazon, you won’t need to get a new ASIN. Instead, you can just use the existing one. However, if you’re a new seller with a new product, you’ll need new ASINs. We’ll talk more about the process for getting an ASIN in the next section, but remember that new sellers are allotted a limited amount of ASINs. As you sell more products, you’ll earn the ability to create more of these numbers for your products.
How to Create a New Product ASIN
If you’re ready to start selling a new product on Amazon, the first step in the process is procuring your ASIN for the item. This step isn’t particularly complicated. Here’s how to get an ASIN number from Amazon.
You begin the process by using Amazon’s “Add a Product” tool. This is the first step in creating a product page and setting up your item for sale on the site.
To create a new ASIN, you’ll need to know the product’s Global Trade Item Number (GTIN). If you’re not familiar with GTINs, don’t panic. These are commonly UPCs, ISBNs, and EANs and are found near the barcode of your product.
Amazon will use the GTIN to match your product to items already in their catalog or to create their specific ASIN.
You may be asking “What happens if I make this product myself and don’t have a GTIN?”
In this situation, you’ll need to complete an additional step and register your new product. You can get a UPC by registering through GS1 US or you can get an ISBN by going to ISBN.org. Manufacturers outside the United States will have to find their own country’s sites for registration.
Again, it’s important to keep in mind that Amazon limits the number of ASINs sellers can create. You can learn more about those limits here.
Using the add a product page is a great way to create ASINs for single products. However, if you’re looking to create a larger batch of ASINs, you’ll need a better solution. Luckily, there are multiple options.
1. Amazon Inventory Templates
Your first option is to utilize Amazon Inventory File Templates.
To start, you’ll need to go to the “Add Products via Upload” section of your Amazon Seller Account page.
Then you’ll need to find the category-specific file template you need and download it.
From there, you’ll need to manually fill in the file template and upload it to Amazon. Amazon will then work its magic, creating the new product listings and creating ASINs for all of them.
This is a great option for when you need bulk ASINs created. The downside is that it involves lots of Excel work and is not something you can automate.
The big downside to using the Amazon Inventory Template approach is that it doesn’t allow for automation, which means there’s still a lot of labor involved.
Automated feeds provide a solution to this problem.
In incredibly simple terms, a feed pulls data from a predetermined source (in this case, that could be an ecommerce site) and then sends it Amazon without you being involved.
Once that’s done, Amazon supplies you with the ASINs.
Of course, it’s not always this simple. Amazon has a strict set of guidelines for ASIN creation, meaning that the data your feed picks up may need to be tweaked before submission.
That’s a relatively minor inconvenience, though, considering the time you’re saving by having the automated feed system find all of these products for you in the first place. Even better, there are inventory management tools where you can set parameters for your data so that it’s cleaned up before it goes off to Amazon. These require minimal involvement on your part.
If you’re looking for a “set it and forget it” solution to creating bulk ASINs, automated feeds are a fantastic option.
How to Find an Amazon ASIN
There are three simple methods to find the ASIN for an existing product on Amazon. Here’s how:
1. In the Product URL
When you look at a product URL on the Amazon site, the ASIN is included. As an example, here’s a URL for a Kindle Fire:
The ASIN is the 10 alpha-numeric characters right after the product name. In this case, it’s B07HZQBBKL.
2. In the Product Information
An even simpler way to find the ASIN is by searching for a product, clicking it, then scrolling down to the product information section.
In this section, you’ll find a listing clearly labeled for the ASIN.
3. Use a Third Party Tool
The first two options for finding your ASIN are great, but there is an issue with scalability. If you’re looking for a handful of ASINs, these methods will work. However, if you’re looking for bulk ASINs, you’re going to need a better solution.
Enter third party software tools.
There are a lot of different ASIN lookup tools on the market, so finding one that meets your needs (and your budget) shouldn’t be too challenging. In fact, single searches using these tools are often free. You’ll only pay when you need a bulk batch of ASINs.
Third party ASIN tools take a lot of the labor out of finding existing ASINs on the site. You simply enter the product’s name, UPC, ISBN, or EAN and the software does the rest.
You don’t even have to key the data manually. Most software solutions support file uploads, which will make your life even easier.
Needless to say, if you’re looking for a lot of ASINs, these solutions can save you tons of time.
When to Create a New ASIN or Use an Existing ASIN
When offering up a new product in your Amazon store, you may find yourself wondering when you should create a new ASIN number and when you should simply use an existing number that’s already on the site. Here’s the simplest way to determine how to proceed.
Use an Existing ASIN
When you decide to list a new product on Amazon, the first thing you’ll want to do is search and see if someone else is already selling that product on the site.
If you find a listing for your specific product, you can use the ASIN the other sellers are using. There’s no need to create a new ASIN in this situation. Your product will be placed on the product page alongside other sellers who offer the same item.
Using an existing ASIN is common for people who resell items on the site, as well as various retailers.
Create a new ASIN
If you search for your product on Amazon and come up empty (meaning no one else is selling this item on the site and there’s no product page for it), it’s time to create a new ASIN.
We highlighted the steps for doing this earlier in this article. It’s a simple and painless process, particularly when you’re only adding a single item.
Once you create the product page, Amazon will assign your product an ASIN and you’ll be ready to start selling your product.
Commonly, businesses with private label products, a unique brand, or exclusive distribution will be the ones who need to create brand new ASINs.
If a product you want to sell isn’t on the site, you will need to create an ASIN. It’s really that simple.
Selling on Amazon is a great way to reach a wider group of customers and really take your business to the next level.
Like any ecommerce platform, Amazon has its own rules and methods (and quirks). The ASIN system is one that’s distinctly their own, but by now it should make sense as to why they have implemented the system. It’s better for you as a seller and customers alike because it allows them to better find the products they’re looking for. That leads to more conversions and sales.
For most resellers and retailers, ASIN will rarely involve more than finding the product on the site and copying the number when adding their product to the page.
If you make your own unique products, the process is slightly more involved, but still not difficult.
No matter which group you fall into, not offering your wares on this giant platform is a mistake. Don’t let a fear of the ASIN system keep you from reaping the benefits of selling on one of the world’s largest websites.
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