Amazon 203. How to handle matrix items

Amazon Article Index

Matrix items are different to ordinary items pushed to Amazon. On Amazon a matrix item is defined by a parent item that describes all the identical product parameters and child items that are described by what is different from the parent item (eg Size).
The actual process of informing Amazon about a matrix item is done in three steps:

  1. Feeding the child items of a matrix item to Amazon like ordinary products (The Product Feed does this);
  2. Feeding a parent item to Amazon for the matrix item (done by the Parent Product Feed);
  3. Relating the child items to a parent (done by the Relationship Feed);

The feeds are further explained here.
Each step relies on the step before being fully filled out before progressing.

The Product Feed
The child items are mapped like any other item with the following differences:

  • We populate the Product/ProductData/OPTION/VariationData/Parentage field with the override ‘child’ (or set up a mapping saying the same);
  • We populate the variationData/VARIATIONFIELDNAME where VARIATIONFIELDNAME can be size, color or any other of the variations allowed for the product type that your product is in. For example: Shoes have the variants Size and Color (note US spelling). Each of these can be mapped from the variation(matrix) theme called Matrix Detail 1-3 in the drop down menu or another field mapped through PAM. When you create a matrix item on your POS you assign it details such as colour and size. These are passed to your webstore as Matrix Details 1, 2 and 3. So if your first matrix detail is size, the size of your matrix item can be got from the Matrix Detail 1 field. Similarily. if your second matrix detail is colour, the colour of your matrix item can be found in the Matrix Detail 2 field.

The ParentProductFeed
To push parent items to Amazon we fill out the parent Feed. This is a mirror to the product feed with certain very important exceptions.

  • We don’t provide Standard Product IDs for parent items. Doing this causes huge headaches which will entail removing the item from Amazon and having to relist it.
  • In ProductData/OPTION/VariationData/Parentage we enter the override ‘parent’;
  • In ProductData/OPTION/VariationData/VariationTheme we enter on of the acceptable themes as described in field restrictions (eg Color/ Size, ColorSize).
  • We do not provide any mapping or override for Size, Color or any other variation selected. This is because this feed is dealing with the parent item that doesn’t have a size or color.

The Relationship Feed
This is done automatically by NitroSell, There is no setting up required.

Reports from Amazon
Matrix items cause more reports than ordinary items. This can be due to the following causes:

  • [Product Feed] The data Amazon has for an item doesn’t match the data you are providing for an item. This can be caused by the retailer on Amazon that placed the item on Amazon having entered different data that you have. You can either change your data to match what is already on Amazon or contact Amazon directly to request that the item detail be changed to suit your data;
  • [Relationship Feed] Amazon is unable to link a child and parent item together, this is generally caused by having fed a standard identifier in a parent item to Amazon;

Note on Colour
Amazon is picky about colours. The Color field will accept any string (‘very light puce’) but Amazon might not recognize your colour. Amazon provides a way round this called ColorMaps which is described below.

Acceptable Colours
To further complicate matters, Amazon accepts different sets of colours for different product types. The easiest way of determining the accepted colour types is to review the flat file excel sheets that Amazon provide for manually uploading products. Under the valid tab is a list of all acceptable colors for that product type. Abbreviating Colours in matrix items.
Due to limitation on some POS systems it sometimes makes sense to abbreviate your matrix details (Blk for Black, Trq for turquiose, etc). Amazon will accept this in the Color field but you will have to use the ColorMap field as described below.

Colour Mapping
Along side the Color field is a second field called ColorMap. You can pass whatever sophisticated colour you want in the Color field as long as you tell Amazon which of their accepted colours it is closest to. You do this by populating the ColorMap field.

Note on Size
Similarily Amazon can be picky about sizes. But they provide a SizeMap in the same way that they provide a ColorMap. Again different products expect certain size codes as described in the Inventory upload flat files.