Amazon Vendor Direct Fulfilment: How does the EDI or API integration work?
So, you're an Amazon Vendor and you've just been accepted onto, or are considering the Amazon Vendor Direct Fulfilment programme. What does this mean? And how does the integration work?
What is Amazon Vendor Direct Fulfilment?
Amazon Vendor Direct Fulfilment is a Guaranteed Delivery programme that you may be offered as a Vendor. In Amazon's own words "Guaranteed Delivery is an invitation-only program that allows vendors whose operations meet the highest bar to display a guaranteed order delivery date on their product detail pages.
Guaranteed delivery messaging is important because it’s a proven conversion driver—customers who see a guaranteed delivery date are more likely to purchase than those who do not. While the exact lift will depend on many factors, Amazon vendors have seen an average of 25% increase in sales upon Guaranteed Delivery enablement."
The programme works on the basis of upgrading and downgrading (inviting and uninviting) your business based upon how well your business performs it's delivery/packaging obligations, and the timeframes in which you complete these.
What does Amazon Vendor Direct Fulfilment mean for your operations?
Joining the Amazon Vendor Direct Fulfilment programme will have an impact on your operations as there are strict timeframes for accepting/rejecting and packaging up your orders. Without some form of strong system or software in place, this is very hard to adhere to.
What are the options for integrating with Amazon Vendor Direct Fulfilment?
- Via EDI - this method uses EDI to send XML messages to send through orders and acknowledgements. This could be built through extending an existing EDI setup. However, as the message contents and format (i.e. XML) is different to the existing EDI format then this could mean some work on the part of your development team. If you would like further information on what EDI stands for and how it works, take a read of our article What does an Amazon Vendor EDI Integration mean?
- Via API - this is a new method from Amazon (only a few months old!) and would require an API connection to be established for you. API stands for Application Programme Interface and is widely used (like EDI) as a standard for integrating between two applications.
The received wisdom is that APIs are the preferred route of integrating for Direct fulfilment, although there are some reasons to use EDI. (Read more here)
You can read a fuller table of API vs EDI differences on our article here.