Amazon is indisputably the most influential e-commerce market ever, complete with their very own lingo, systems, and algorithms for millions of products, providing retailers from every niche an online home. With such a vast inventory, it’s absolutely essential that Amazon is able to correctly categorize each and every product, both for buyer and vendor convenience. This is where ASINs come into play, which are the unique identification code given to each product.
What Exactly are ASINs?
ASIN, which stands for Amazon Standard Identification Number, is a ten-digit alphanumeric code assigned to a specific product listed on one of Amazon’s catalogs. Having an ASIN is a prerequisite in order for a product to appear on the platform, so every single item has one assigned–except books in print, which use an ISBN code. Variations of products–the same shirt in two different colors–will have two different ASINs. You also have the possibility to resell existing products, which is what retail arbitrage sellers do, meaning they often market products and ASINs that have already been registered on Amazon’s systems, and don’t need to create a new ASIN.
If, however, no ASIN exists for what you’re selling, or you are a private label seller with products exclusive to your brand, then you need to draft a new product listing in your Seller Central account. Amazon will approve and then give your product its one-of-a-kind ASIN. In addition to private label sellers, this is also usually the case for vendors with ownership rights to distributing specific products. ASINs are then used by Amazon for everything from categorizing to tracking and even ranking products.
Finding ASINs on Amazon Product Listings
If you’re looking to see where exactly to locate ASINs on a product page, there are multiple ways to find them.
1. Under the product details on each listing, after scrolling down until just above the reviews, specific details are listed, including the item ASIN.
2. From the product listing, if you go to the URL in the web address bar, the ASIN is included and usually appears soon after the name of the product. Just look for the 10-digit combination of letters and numbers separated by forward slashes, and you’ve found the ASIN.
3. Some specialized Amazon research software will give you the power to go onto an Amazon product page and with the right tools, use an ASIN Grabber to reveal all ASINs and variations on the page and conduct Amazon product research. One of our favorites is the Chrome extension from Keyword Inspector that shows you other useful data along with each ASIN, like average price.
Create Your Own ASIN
If you need an ASIN for a new product that is not already listed on Amazon, keep reading to see how to go about registering your product:
Via Amazon’s Admin Panel
This is arguably the easiest way to go about things, allowing sellers to Add a product from your Seller Central account. Here you can input individual pieces of product-specific data onto the web-based panel. Because this is done manually, it might be a bit exhausting if you have to enter multiple products.
Via Inventory Templates Provided by Amazon
Sellers can easily transfer data onto the server using templates available on Amazon. Download the catalog-specific templates available from the Add Products via Uploads section on Seller Central. Upon completing the template you can then upload it onto Amazon, and after processing, Amazon will help you make and assign individual ASINs to each product. If you’re handling a large amount of inventory, this is a more sensible method to use. A foundational background with Excel will go a long way here since the process isn’t automated.
How to Get the Most Out of Your ASIN
There are actually multiple benefits to having your brand-specific ASIN, arguably the most advantageous of each individual ASIN is the ability to help you protect your brand.
Take advantage of ASINs by trademarking your products to root out fake pages trying to sell your product, and block illegitimate sellers from marketing your product without your consent. Only after paying a fee to your brand and providing relevant documentation can other sellers rightfully be allowed to sell your product.
Is There a Difference Between ASINs and SKUs?
In short, yes. The former is universally assigned by Amazon, while the latter is seller-specific. It might be easy to assume the two are the same, however, though there certainly are several similarities, they aren’t the same thing. ASINs describe specific products, while SKUs describe distinct Offerings for a single product. In that sense, one item can have several SKUs, but only one ASIN. Vendors can even create their own SKUs, and these are only visible to the individual sellers on their Seller Central accounts.
What Else Can You Do With ASINs?
There are a number of reasons that ASINs help Amazon FBA sellers. First, an ASIN makes identifying products on Amazon easier for you and everyone else because the ASIN is solely used on the Amazon platform, whereas other retailers might use UPCs or GTINs instead. But their usefulness goes beyond just product identification: if you have the right Amazon seller software, then a reverse ASIN search lets you uncover the keywords used on your competitor’s product page, all accessed through the ASIN! This gives you access to what search terms they’re targeting so you know where our own campaigns should go next in order to win more sales from them too.
Reverse ASIN searches are a great way to get insight into your competitor’s Amazon SEO strategy, teaching you about what products your competitor ranks well for.
ASINs are a crucial aspect of any vendor’s journey, so it’s incredibly important that you understand how these work and how you can successfully create your own. You should be that much the wiser now when it comes to ASINs, and hopefully you realize their potential when it comes to conducting keyword research on your competitors on Amazon.