Let’s talk about Amazon listings.
There are a few terms you’ll need to understand to get started:
- ASIN- Amazon Standard Identification Number. It’s a unique code created when a new product is added to the Amazon Catalog. It’s basically Amazons version of a UPC.
- Variations- this is used as a blanket term for child listings when you’re referring to groups of child listings that are VARIATIONS of the same basic product. The most common variations you’ll see on Amazon are color, size, pack number(multipacks), flavor, and print depending on the category.
People use ASIN, listing, and variation interchangeably so they’re good terms to know.
There are two basic kinds of listings on Amazon- parent and child listings. What’s the difference?
1. A parent listing isn’t a sellable product.
It’s an empty listing used to join all the child listings- or variations- together. This makes it easier for customers to find the product they’re looking for. Look at eBay, each color and size combination of a product has it’s own listing, and you have to sort through them until you find the exact thing you’re looking for. On Amazon, a parent is used to group all the variations of a product together. If you’re looking for a specific shirt, all you have to do is search the name of it and you’ll find all the different size and color options listed on a single page.
2. The child listings are the listings for the individual variations of the product.
When you look at the illustration you’ll see there are individual color blocks, each has a different size written on it. Each variation of size and color that you see is a different child listing.
Orphan listings are a type of child listing.
They’re child listings that have been separated from the parent one way or another. Sometimes this is because Amazon’s Catalog Team thought the child listing didn’t belong with the parent, and sometimes it’s a case of operator error from FBA sellers.
Orphaned listings are a problem because without the parent they get lost in the search results. You have to sort through the thousands of search results to find that individual listing because it’s not connected to the parent. On it’s own it isn’t a great seller, it needs the visibility provided by the parent, and the combined sales rank of all the other variations listed under the parent.
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