Have you ever wondered how Amazon, the largest marketplace in the world, keeps track of all the products it sells? There must be billions of products out there and billions of deliveries to fulfill. Indeed, Amazon must enforce a customized mechanism to keep an updated inventory.
You’re right. The e-commerce giant does use unique means to keep a hold over the products that it ships and delivers. Using a combination of various identifiers, Amazon determines which merchant is selling what product.
The two most commonly discussed labels for identifying the merchant and the product are the ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) and the FNSKU (Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit). Technically, every product that makes its way out of Amazon to you has both these numbers on its label.
Every new listing of products that are sold on Amazon gets an ASIN. Also, when multiple merchants are selling the same product, they will sell it under different FNSKUs so that Amazon can give them credit with ease.
Let’s glance over at the differences between the FNSKU vs ASIN duo.
What exactly is ASIN?
ASINs, or Amazon Standard Identification Numbers, are a mandatory part of selling products on the e-commerce mogul’s marketplace. They are a part of the standard procedure down at Amazon, and each vendor or seller has to find the ASIN of the product they are going to sell. Every new product that is sold on Amazon has to be marked with a unique ASIN.
ASINs are unique identifiers that aid shoppers in finding the products they are looking for. They are 10-digit tags given to an item sold on Amazon, and Amazon itself generates them. You can find it on the unique product detail page.
Amazon created ASINs when they decided to sell items other than books online. Since books sold online have 10-digit identifiers called ISBNs, Amazon also made a system that would use 10-digits to identify each new item. It works as a universal product code on Amazon, and ASIN’s product detail coverage is huge.
Why do you need ASIN? Is It A Universal Product Code?
When you want to sell a product on Amazon, you have to label it with the correct existing ASIN or create a new ASIN number. However, Amazon will generate a new unique ASIN for new items. Therefore, if you are selling a product already existing on Amazon, you will have to label your product with the same ASIN. You can find the existing catalog item with minimal hassle.
Amazon uses ASINs for referencing catalog data, tracking inventory for products, and indexing catalog pages online for a better shopper experience. It plays an important role in Amazon warehouse management. Essentially, using the wrong ASIN would be a violation of Amazon policies, and secondly, be bad for business. That is because your product will be listed in the wrong place and will not catch the target audience’s eye. It is quite similar to UPC barcodes — but the new system of barcode Amazon has used for digital spaces.
If you use the wrong ASIN for your product listing, Amazon will not organize and search your product for an optimized shopper experience.
Where to find ASIN?
The most accessible place to find the ASINs for existing products is in the address bar. When you browse the product on Amazon, you will find the 10-digit ASIN in the product URL itself. You can use the ASIN like you use a UPC barcode elsewhere.
You can also look at the product details of the item you want to sell. For example, if you’re going to sell a bicycle, you can look at listings made by other vendors for the same bicycle. These listings will have their ASIN mentioned in product details, and you can use the same for your item.
What Are The Uses of Amazon ASIN?
This method is also an excellent way to check if other vendors are selling the same thing that you are. If you cannot find any seller who has listed the exact item you want to sell, you can request Amazon to generate a new ASIN for your article. As we said, some products may not have this UPC barcode, and you can create it easily.
Lastly, you can use numerous software tools used to track products and their ASINs on Amazon. These tools have to be paid for, but they are very efficient in tracking ASINs for multiple items if you sell more than one item.
What is an FNSKU? Is It A Manufacturer Barcode?
A Fulfilment Network Stock Keeping Unit (FNSKU) is a signature Amazon mechanism designed to make the delivery of your products easier. It is an identifier used to distinguish between the exact product sold by different merchants or sellers. It is different from UPC barcodes, though.
Why do you need FNSKU?
The principle behind an FNSKU is simple. It is built to reduce Amazon’s hassle in their fulfillment centers. Since multiple vendors can sell the same items on Amazon, it is arguably a daunting task for the company to decipher whose item was shipped to a buyer.
With each vendor attaching a separate FNSKU barcode to their product, Amazon can sift through the haystack and find the needle and reward you with credit for making the sale. Amazon asks every vendor to attach an FNSKU barcode to each item they sell to coordinate inventory with the merchant.
Where to find FNSKU?
The first thing you need to ensure is that the product you want to sell is an ‘FBA’ and not an ‘FBM.’ When you launch the product on Amazon and catalog it, they will assign an FNSKU. You need to export the code and add the FNSKU label to the packaging label on your product.
How To Print Item Labels with FNSKU?
You have to consider placing the FNSKU while doing product packaging. This maneuver has to be done before sending the product to the Amazon fulfillment center — also known as the FBA warehouse. You can manage, export, and download your FNSKU labels from Amazon with relative ease, thanks to their helpful service. Amazon FNSKU system is quite effective as well and the Amazon catalog is accurate to the core.
FNSKU vs ASIN: Do you need to print both onto the product labels?
As a vendor, you either ship your item directly to customers (FBM) or ship it to Amazon, who will then get it to customers (FBA). Since FNSKUs are generated by Amazon, it is not mandatory to stick FNSKUs to your FBM products simply because nobody will use them. You can use the same space for something else.
However, when dealing with Amazon, you need to follow all regulations set by the e-commerce service. If you want to be a legitimate vendor with Amazon, it is imperative that you find both ASIN and FNSKU for your product. You must also make sure that both these identifiers are clearly visible to reduce Amazon’s hassle in the fulfillment process.