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How to Gain Access to Amazon’s Product Advertising API

Learn everything you need to know about Amazon’s Product Advertising API and how to leverage the data to optimize and scale your advertising strategy. By Catherine Ibarra October 8, 2020

Amazon’s Product Advertising API, also known as PA-API, is a tool used to collect data from products sold on Amazon. The API tool is exclusively available to members of the Amazon Associates program, which empowers affiliates to funnel relevant traffic to their Amazon listings. Product Advertising API has also expanded its functionality to both on and off Amazon’s website.

Amazon affiliates can use the PA-API tool to search for specific items, product price, customer reviews, seller reviews, and more. Affiliates can utilize Amazon’s database to determine the products that would be desirable to their audience. Amazon pays a commission to its affiliates for driving traffic to products sold on Amazon’s marketplace from their websites, blogs, or apps.

Amazon Attribution was recently integrated within the PA-API console. Amazon Attribution is an analytics tool that can track advertising performance across multiple channels. Product Advertising API offers unified reporting for a variety of advertising initiatives.

Below we break down the key features of the PA-API and how to sign up so you can leverage this valuable data to optimize and scale your Amazon Advertising strategy.

Product Advertising API Features

PA-API offers a wide range of features for Amazon affiliates to make informed decisions when leveraging products sold on Amazon. Features within PA-API include:

  • Associate Tag: A distinctive tag is created for each Amazon affiliate. Consumers who access Amazon from an affiliate’s website, blog, or app will have the tag, which Amazon utilizes to recognize traffic derived from an affiliate’s platform and pays a commission accordingly.
  • Keywords: Keywords that are used to search for products sold on Amazon.
  • Operation: Functions the API tool can perform. The search functions include ItemSearch, ItemLookup, and SimilarityLookup. The tool also provides shopping cart options, such as CartCreate and CartAdd.
  • Response Group: Ability to search for details about specific products. The default option includes all of the details about a product and can be adjusted to narrow down results.
  • Search Index: This feature specifies the category that belongs to the product a user will search for. Search Index helps narrow down search results to filter out unrelated products.
  • Browse Nodes: Categorizes items to demonstrate product relationship (i.e. a root browse node is jackets and parent browse nodes are men’s, women’s, and children’s).
  • AWS Access Key Id: This access key is generated to call the API and sign the API request.
  • Signature: A hash key is created when a user signs a request for the API. The hash key is used for verification purposes.
  • Timestamp: This function reveals the time in which a user initiated the API tool.

The PA-API tool is incredibly valuable to Amazon affiliates as they have access to the features listed above that reveal Amazon’s product data and e-commerce functionality. Amazon affiliates can leverage the data retrieved from using the API to optimize their ad campaigns. Affiliates can improve their ad performance by developing a high volume of engaging content that showcases products sold on Amazon, which have been determined to align best with their audience based on in-depth findings from the tool.

Amazon Attribution Capabilities

Amazon has recently updated the PA-API tool and integrated Amazon Attribution. The Amazon Attribution integration expanded the tool’s functionality from accessing data within Amazon’s website to evaluating metrics from ads across multiple platforms.

Amazon Attribution provides sellers data from search ads, display ads, social media ads, video ads, and email. The service also offers on-demand access to conversion reporting, which can help sellers adjust tactics. Amazon Attribution enables sellers to review the performance of advertising efforts, determine opportunities, and establish strategies that will maximize ROI.

How to Sign up for Product Advertising API

In order to sign up for PA-API, you must be a member of the Amazon Associates program. Information about Amazon Associates can be found on the Associates Central webpage.

If you are a member of the Amazon Associates program and would like to sign up for PA-API, follow the steps below. (Note: you must be the primary account owner of the Amazon Associates account to sign up.)

  • Step 1: After signing into your Amazon Associates account, select Tools from the navigation bar. After selecting Tools, select Product Advertising API from the dropdown.
  • Step 2: Scroll to the Put the Advertising API to Work for You section and select Join.
  • Step 3: After signing up for PA-API, scroll to the Download credentials section. Copy your Access Key and Secret Key or select Download Credentials. You will need to provide these credentials when making requests via the API tool.
  • Step 4: If you would like to add or delete your credentials, select Manage Your Account, and then select Add Credentials to create a new set or Delete to terminate the access keys. You can have up to two access keys at a time.
About the Author

Catherine Ibarra is a marketing consultant at Feedvisor, where she contributes to the company's content marketing initiatives. She has a technology background.

Final Thoughts

Amazon’s Product Advertising API is an effective tool in collecting in-depth information about products sold on Amazon’s marketplace. Amazon affiliates benefit from the service by determining which products their audience are likely to purchase, therefore earning more commission and driving sales for Amazon. 

The integration of Amazon Attribution within the PA-API console enables sellers to view the performance of ads throughout a variety of channels. The integration expands the tool’s functionality to serve multiple advertising goals. Sign up for the PA-API tool to gain thorough data insights on Amazon products and have access to ad metrics that can help optimize your advertising strategy.

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