When it comes to Amazon ranking, creating a product label is vital to your growth. While you might think it redundant due to other identification methods, this is paramount to Amazon's entire customer care process. As a seller, you need to understand the importance of Amazon product labeling.
By the end of this article, you will understand the uses of a product label for Amazon. You will also understand how proper management of this system provides you with a better Amazon ranking.
1. Why Amazon Cares About Product Labels
If you take all of Amazon's items and stack them to the moon, you probably will cause some property damage. The reality is that if you include marketplace sellers, Amazon sells more than 350 million products. With 350 million products, Amazon cares about labels because of their sorting power.
Amazon assigns it an ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) for each of these products, which identifies it in Amazon's system. This code is similar to a Universal Product Code (UPC) to identify the product in North America. As you might expect, the ASIN is Amazon-specific. For international sellers, the UPC is called the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN)
Amazon also is better able to ensure that the vast amount of inventory is assigned the right Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit (FNSKU). While the ASIN identifies the product, the FNSKU ensures that it applies to the right seller.
The FNSKU is unique in that it starts with X and a series of numbers. This code replaces other potential barcodes one could use, including the GTIN and UPC. Unique identifiers (like IBSN) are slightly different, as outside sources use this to find books. An X at the beginning is a clear sign you are using the Amazon FBA labeling service.
Amazon gives you the option of using either GTINs, UPCs, or ASINs when sending a product to a fulfillment center. With this in mind, there are two primary labeling methods to use:
2. Two Amazon FBA Labeling Methods
The two product label methods you can use are the following:
- Manufacturer barcodes (GTIN/UPC)
- Amazon Product Labeling
Using manufacturer barcodes means that you will utilize what already exists. When creating your product, you need to associate it with a barcode. This barcode returns to the UPC or GTIN, meaning you won't get anything extra from Amazon.
If you were to choose an Amazon product label, The GTIN would be replaced by the FNSKU, only for Amazon. This labeling is part of the FBA Label Service, otherwise known as "Fulfillment By Amazon."
3. Manufacturer Barcodes Versus Amazon FBA Labeling: Pros and Cons
Each option has its own set of pros and cons. Let's dig into those below:
Amazon will charge you for having them handling the labeling process. This charge is typically is around .20 cents per label required, which can add up when producing large batches.
Amazon does allow you to print your labels through their Scan & Label service. The service is part of what makes Amazon FBA labeling convenient. This service requires three things;
- A single label printer with a width between 50 and 75 mm and a height between 25 and 50 mm.
- USB bar code scanner
- A Thermal label stock
You will also be required to meet specific browser configurations, which you can find on their help page. This information is most useful to sellers who work through an official manufacturer.
If you are a unique seller who dabbles in non-standard products, you won't have a choice but to use the ASIN/FNKSU system.
4. Cases Where You Must Have The Amazon FBA Labeling Service
Below are some situations where this choice is not available to you:
- Used products
- Products without an expiration date
- Having one barcode matched to a single ASIN
- Your products cannot be considered dangerous.
- Topical products (shampoo, conditioner, cosmetics, etc.)
- At their discretion
Given that Amazon deals in a wide variety of products, you may not find yourself running into any of the above situations. Sometimes the world's most customer-centric company decides to enforce this for no apparent reason. Amazon will send you a notification should this occur with you.
5. The Cost of Registering and Purchasing Your GTIN Codes
Regardless of which option you pick, you will need to register your product with GS1. GS1 provides you authentic barcodes that you can utilize on a public scale. They are the creators of the GTIN tracking system.
DO NOT purchase your barcodes from a third-party group. Third-party companies do not have the same stringent requirements as the official source. You may also end up being sold a code that belongs to another company, leading to potential legal troubles and being removed entirely.
6. Comply With Amazon Product Labeling Requirements (FBA)
If you want to learn how to be compliant with FBA's label service, check out this video below. Regardless of which option you choose, it would be best if you were sure that you follow these below requirements.
Amazon Seller University will also detail this process, but here's a quick rundown of what you need to be aware of:
- Always be sure to cover the original barcode.
- Label dimensions need to be between 1x2 or 2x3 inches.
- Do not place your barcode on any bumpy, curved, or cornered surfaces.
- Make sure the label is about .25 inches from the edge of the packaging.
- Place barcodes on each item (even case packs).
7. How Do I Print My Own Labels?
You can print labels yourself with the following instructions:
- Log into your Amazon Seller account.
- Go to your manage inventory screen.
- Select the product that requires the label.
- From the drop-down just below the title, select "print item labels."
8. Implement Your Amazon Product Labeling Method
Now that you know about your options, you can decide how you want to handle this. Anytime you insert a new product, you will need to determine what kind of stock-keeping unit (SKU) you wish to implement. Having a seamless service through this can improve your Amazon ranking.
Below are some extra tips you can use to help you speed through the process:
FBA Label Service - How To Select Your Default Preferences
- Go to settings.
- Select "fulfillment by Amazon."
- Go under FBA product barcode preference.
- Choose between Amazon or manufacturer barcodes.
If your default method is to go through manufacturer barcodes, setting this up will prevent you from having to change a drop-down every time you get a new product.
9. How Do I Know What Kind Of Barcode My Product Has?
You can find out this information by returning to the manage inventory screen. After clicking on the product, you will see two options:
If your FNSKU is the ASIN, you are set up for manufacturer labels. If your FNSKY Starts with X and is followed by numbers, you are receiving Amazon labels. You may also receive some shipping errors depending on where they end up at the fulfillment center.
What If I Switch From Manufacturer Barcodes to Amazon Labels?
Amazon makes this part simple by allowing you to apply a new SKU. You will not be able to use your old one, as Amazon has specific number sets (the ones starting with X00) to identify it as an Amazon Label through its FNSKU system. If you want to do the opposite, you have a couple of options.
What If I Switch From Amazon Labels to Manufacturer Barcodes?
In this case, you have two different options:
If you do not have any inventory, you can convert it from the set quantity page. This includes any inbound inventory that has yet to reach the fulfillment center. You can also do this in bulk from the convert eligible offers page.
If you do have inventory, you will need to create an entirely new SKU. This SKU will need to be set to receive manufacturer barcodes for the assigned ASIN, which shouldn't change.
10. Key Takeaways
If you have been following us up to this point, you probably realize that neither option is better. The pros and cons section labels that each of them is situationally better. Ask yourself if the convenience of a more defined tracking system is worth cutting into button line and time.
If you have a small number of items that you don't want to be mixed in with everything else, this could be a good option. This can be especially true if your competitors make similar products of far lower quality. Quality producers should consider this, but all of this may depend on your process.
On the other hand, having to include an entirely new process in an already convoluted production schedule might not help. When producing a large number of inexpensive items, you might not want to consider this as a part of your process.
On the other hand, additional security might be a nice feature. When it comes to manufacturing, amazon sellers should consider including this as part of their production process. In combination with other analytics tools, either option may improve your Amazon ranking.
In its latest efforts to make it easier for shoppers to purchase produ...