If you are an Amazon seller using its Seller Central platform, there are big changes being made to Amazon’s API.
Here are the basics of what you need to know to ensure you maintain your Amazon service without interruption or issue.
What is Amazon’s Seller Central API?
The Seller Central API is provided by Amazon for sellers to programmatically access and manage their selling operations on the Amazon marketplace. Seller Central API provides a set of web services that enable sellers to automate their interactions with Amazon’s systems, such as listing and managing inventory, pricing, orders, payments, and fulfillment.
Sellers need to be able to connect to Amazon’s API whether they are managing their own warehouse or outsourcing fulfillment and logistics to a third-party fulfillment provider (3PL).
What is Changing About Amazon’s Seller Central Platform?
Amazon is ending their current Seller Central connector called Managed Web Service (MWS). All third-party sellers will need to move to Amazon’s new connector called SP-API (Selling Partner API) by April 1, 2024.
Amazon’s Seller Central changes: The TL;DR
- MWS will officially be unavailable as of April 1, 2024.
- All Seller Central brands are required to move over to SP-API before April 1, 2024.
- SP-API is more secure and has greater privacy requirements.
- Customer data will need to be handled differently, PII (personally identifiable information) needs to be deleted 30 days after an order is delivered.
- Sellers will need to get explicit consent from customers before accessing their data.
If you are a Seller Central vendor, be sure you understand the new requirements and take the time to properly migrate to the new API before any service is interrupted.
If merchants fail to fully migrate by the established due dates, they will not have access to their MWS network, orders, or reports. The dates for public and private developer are different, check the SP-API Migration FAQs to ensure your app meets the appropriate deadlines.
Amazon SP-API's New Privacy and Security Requirements
SP-API privacy and security requirements are much more rigid than MWS. The updates are a positive sign that Amazon is committed to security and the safety of its consumers.
Here are a few of the major updates.
- PII is deleted – Customer data from Amazon sources will be deleted 30 days after delivery confirmation. This includes name and address.
- More consent – It will be mandatory for sellers to get explicit consent before acquiring consumers’ data.
- Regular audits – Amazon will audit companies using their new API to ensure they are compliant, which previously did not happen at all or as rigorously.
Third-party sellers need to be aware that data collection and usage policies are changing.
- Vendor programs can store personally identifiable information for the duration needed to fulfill an order.
- Once an order has been confirmed delivered, PII can only be stored for a maximum of 30 days.
The main PII that needs to be deleted includes first name, last name, address, email address, and telephone number.
There are some exceptions to this 30-day limit rule. Legal documents, tax records and a few other specific cases can stay securely stored. Amazon requires that PII cannot be easily accessible by any software or other programs.
Is your 3PL Compliant with Amazon Seller Central?
Many ecommerce brands outsource fulfillment to a 3PL. While some 3PLs integrate with Amazon’s Seller Central program, not all will have the technical infrastructure to meet the new, more rigid security and privacy standards.
With SP-API, Amazon is strengthening its data privacy and protection policies to comply with global data protection laws, such as GDPR and CCPA. This includes requirements for secure data storage, user consent for data collection, and data deletion upon request.
This will have a big impact on how sellers manage their data collection and privacy through Amazon. Some 3PLs cannot meet these consumer data policies, which will leave sellers to manage the new data privacy and security protocols on their own.
It is ultimately up to the seller to ensure they are compliant with the enhanced security and consumer protections.
The Impact of Amazon’s Changes
Overall, the switch to SP-API represents a positive step forward. By protecting the privacy of sellers’ and consumers’ personal data and enhancing overall platform security, Amazon is making it easier for everyone to confidently do business on their platform.
Sellers may need to invest significant time to properly administer these changes, but after migrating to the new API there will be no alterations to inventory and order fulfillment flow.
The biggest impact for sellers will be how they acquire and manage customer data. This may have a ripple effect on how sellers manage returns, claims, and initial data requests.
Ultimately, the new SP-API is a more efficient way to integrate with Amazon’s selling platform.
If you are an Amazon seller looking for a 3PL who can help support your Seller Central program, DCL has been working with the Amazon platform for over a decade. We love helping high-growth ecommerce businesses scale. Reach out for a quote or hear more about how we can support your growing brand.