This is a Help Center article of Channable, the tool for product feed management and marketplace integrations. If you don't have an account yet, sign up for free or find out how Channable can help you integrate your online shop with Amazon.
The parent/child structure
Amazon has the possibility to display variants in a drop-down window instead of showing each variant as an individual product listing. In order to show your product variants on Amazon and in your Amazon inventory with a drop-down window you will need to create two Amazon APIs per country: one for the parent products and one for the variants. The guide below helps you to configure these two APIs in Channable.
The table below shows you how Amazon wants the information in their fields for a Parent product and its Child products, also known as variants. We will use this table as a reference to explain how to configure the APIs in Channable to get the information to Amazon like this.
1. Amazon Parent API setup
The ‘Parent’ product is the main product under which the different variations of that product are put. The Parent product itself does not have any product-specific offer information, nor does it need any of the content from the attributes (also see the reference table above). In short, what does need to be configured for Parent products in the Amazon Parent API is:
- A title
- An item group ID
- A Parentage
- A Variation Theme
In the Parent API, you need to configure a parent product for each product you have variants for. Add a new API for the Parents and configure the following:
- When adding a new API for the Amazon Parent API, in the Settings you need to select your parent ID field as the ‘Unique ID per product’. This field is often called ‘item_group_id’ or ‘parent_id’. In Amazon it will function as the SKU for the parent, as you can see in the reference table above.
Note: In some instances, for example when importing products from Magento with configurables, this might be a little different. It can be that your parent (or 'Configurable' as it is called in Magento) product is imported without item_group_id. The normal 'ID' of the configurable is then the same as the 'item_group_id' of the simples (or variants). If this is the case for you, you need to use the normal 'ID' throughout the Parent setup. You still need to use the 'item_group_id' field for the Parent SKU in the Variant setup!
- Categorize the products as usual (or copy categories from an existing Amazon API).
- In the Rules, make a group items rule. You can group either on your ‘item_group_id’ field, or on the title (if the title of all your variants is the same, as is the case in the reference table above). After this rule, you should have only 1 ‘Parent’ item per group of variant products.
- In the Rules, make a rule to empty the ‘price’, ‘stock’, ‘description’, and ‘GTIN/EAN’ of these parent products. As you can see in the reference table above, these values are not necessary for the Parent product.
- (Optional) You can use a generic title for your Parent products. For example, if you sell a certain type of T-Shirt, you do not want the color or size to be in the title. You only want to display the name of the T-Shirt here. If you want to change the titles of your Parent products, you can use a rule to do so.
- Fill the Build step as usual. However, only the title will actually be put through here. The other fields will be empty because of the rule created in step 4.
- In the Attributes, you need to configure the following:
- ‘Parentage’ needs to be set to ‘Parent’.
- ‘Variation Theme’ needs to be set to the preferred variation theme (the reference table above uses ‘Size’). Three common variant options are: Color, Size, and SizeColor. For a full list of the possible variation themes, click on the ‘Variation Theme’ attribute in the Attribute builder of your Amazon Parent API.
- You do not need to fill in any other attribute for the Parent products!
2. Amazon Child/Variant API setup
In the Child, or Variant, API, you will configure all the variant products and their product information. Add a new API for the Variants and configure the following:
- In the Settings of the new Amazon Variant API you need to select your ID field as the ‘Unique ID per product’. In Amazon it will function as the unique SKU for your variants, as you can see in the reference table above.
- Categorize the products as usual (or copy categories from existing Amazon API).
- Add rules in the Rules step to optimize your items' data according to your own preferences.
- Fill the Build step as usual.
- In the Attributes step, you need to fill all mandatory attributes.
- Moreover, in the Attributes step, you need to configure the following for the Parent/Variant setup to work (also see the reference table above):
- Set the ‘Parent SKU’ attribute to the ‘item_group_id’ or ‘parent_id’. Make sure you use the field that has the same value as the SKU for your parents, as can be seen in the reference table (SKU for the Parent API = Parent SKU for the Variants API).
- Set the ‘Parentage’ attribute to ‘Child’.
- Set the ‘Relationship type’ attribute to ‘Variation’.
- Set the ‘Variation Theme’ attribute to your preferred variation, this has to be the same as the Parent API (the reference table uses ‘Size’).
Important: Setting a variation theme means you will have to fill in that attribute for the variants with varying values. E.g. variation theme 'size' would mean you will have to fill in 'size' and maybe 'size_map' (if it is mandatory). These relevant attributes are not always at the left side of the attribute builder and you might need to scroll or ctrl+f the attribute to find it.
3. Send your products to Amazon
- When finished with the parent and variant APIs, run the parent API and check if the parent products are visible in your Amazon Seller Central account.
- Run the variant API.
- If successful, your products will now have a variant menu in the Amazon inventory that looks something like this:
If you have followed all the steps in this article and the items are not shown like they are in the image above, please consult our troubleshooter article.