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Amazon Vendor API vs EDI - What's the difference?

Christopher Khoo
12 June 2020 12:00

Amazon Vendor - or Amazon Retail - have released a new API (Application Programming Interface) that allows Vendors to interact with Amazon in new way. But in reality - not much has changed.

RETAIL

 
Business Process Sub-function Vendor Portal EDI API
Item Inventory/Availability Management Update items as temporarily unavailable
 
 
  Update items as permanently unavailable
 
   
  Share item inventory   
 
 
Item Cost Management Update Item cost
 
 
 
  View Item cost
 
   
Purchase Order Management Get new purchase orders
 
 
 
  Get purchase order changes/cancellations
 
  Jun 2020
  Check purchase order status
 
  Jun 2020
  Submit purchase order confirmation
 
 
 
  Check purchase order confirmation status
 
 
 
Shipment Confirmations Submit/create shipment confirmation (ASN)
 
 
 
  Update shipment confirmation  
 
 
  Check shipment confirmation status
 
 
 
  View shipment information
 
   
 Invoices & Credit Notes Submit/update invoice or credit note
 
 
 
  Check invoice status
 
   
  View invoice
 
   
Sales Data (ARA) Get Sales Data Reports
 
 
 
 
Get Sales Analytics Reports 
 
   
Remittance Advice Get Remittance Advices
 
 
 

 

Source: Amazon Vendor Central 

DIRECT FULFILMENT

Business Process Sub-function Vendor Portal EDI API
Item Inventory/Availability Management Update items inventory
 
 
 
  Synchronise warehouse inventory  
 
 
 
Get item inventory
 
   
Item Cost Management Update Item cost
 
   
  View Item cost
 
   
Purchase Order Management Get new purchase orders
 
 
 
  Check purchase order status
 
  Q3 2020
  Submit purchase order confirmation
 
 
 
  Check purchase order confirmation status
 
 
 
Packing Slips Get Packing Slips
 
  Q3 2020 
 Shipping Labels Provide Shipment Information to generate ship labels
 
 
 
 
Get Shipping Labels
 
 
 
Shipment Confirmations Submit/create shipment confirmation (ASN)
 
 
 
  Update Shipment confirmation  
 
 
 
Check shipment confirmation status
 
 
 
 
View shipment confirmation
 
   
Shipment Status
Submit shipment status for vendor owned carrier shipments
 
 
Q3 2020
Invoices Get Invoice Draft or Auto Invoice
 
   
  Submit/update Invoice
 
 
 
  Check Invoice Status 
 
   
  View Invoice
 
   
Reports ASIN Suppression
 
  Q3 2020
 
Suspended Warehouse
 
  Q3 2020

 

Source: Amazon Vendor Central 

Key takeaways:

  • Direct Fulfilment -> EDI or API essential 
  • API -> Mainly benefit vs EDI is checking status 
  • EDI -> Broader Functionality than API, Better established
  • Not all Integrations equally suited to your business

Discussion

The introduction of an API for Amazon Retail will be welcomed by many. For a long time there has been a perception that the EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) method used by Amazon Vendor for many years was outdated and clunky to interact with. The API will make integration to Amazon Retail more accessible for brands to connect their stores. 

"Integration" can mean many things - not all integrations are equal.

However, this lands back at the usual chestnut and real heart of the issue. "Integration" can mean many things - not all integrations are equal. An Amazon Vendor API or EDI is a bit like installing a motorway from your warehouse to Amazon. A "standard" connection would pick up orders and import them into your system for you. But a smart system would, and could, do so much more than that. 

The reality is that Amazon Retail poses a huge challenge in terms of paperwork, logistics and operations to fulfil the orders that Amazon demands. "Getting EDI" - or an API for that matter - will not be a magic bullet and solve all your problems. What you need is to assess your entire operational process and find a system that works with you and for you to automate order processing in the cleanest way possible. 

KhooCommerce is so much more than an EDI integration. It is a whole new way to approach Amazon Vendor order processing that will save your operations hours of paperwork and delays each week. We look forward to seeing the increased functionality that the API will bring in terms of reporting and analytics to brands. 

If you made it this far, you're probably considering if API or EDI could help your business. The short answer is: almost certainly! If you'd like to find out more why not get a demo? If you'd like to spend 30 minutes investigating how we could work with you to save you time and money, fill out the form below.