Understanding Amazon - the difference between Offers and Listings
Selling on Amazon can be extremely rewarding, but it’s worth understanding how Amazon differs from selling on your online store.
Suppose we want to sell ‘Super Sounds’ branded headphones on an online store created with Shopify. We need to create a listing that contains all the relevant product information needed for customers. This includes images, title and description, inventory level, fulfilment options and pricing information. Combined, all of this information becomes your product listing and we have complete control over all the content.
Selling on Amazon is a little different because Amazon allows multiple sellers with the same item to sell from a single, shared product listing page.
An Amazon product page contains much of the same product information as a listing on your online store, but it is structured differently, and as sellers, we don’t have the same control over the content.
An Amazon Product Page is split into two distinct parts:
The ‘Listing’ includes the Images, Title, Description and product identifier such as UPC or EAN. This is shared content for all sellers.
The ‘Offer’ contains the price, inventory quantity and fulfilment options provided by sellers as their “offer to sell” that product. These are unique to each seller.
Every unique product has only one product listing page on Amazon, with one set of ‘listing values’, but may have multiple sellers with different ‘offer values’ selling the same product.
If ‘Super Sounds’ headphones are already being sold on Amazon, i.e. a product page and listing already exist, then we only need to upload our ‘Offer’ information to Amazon, or our “offer to sell”, to begin selling.
If we are the first to sell ‘Super Sounds’ headphones on Amazon, meaning no product page currently exists, then we need to upload both ‘Listing’ information and ‘Offer’ information, so that a new product page and listing can be created, in order to sell.
Listing and Offer information for Amazon product pages is uploaded via sellers’ individual Amazon Seller Central accounts.
As a seller we are in full control of our ‘Offer’ information and can change it at any time, for example, if we want to change the price, update the available inventory count or amend our fulfilment options.
The Listing content however is controlled by Amazon. We can choose to update a product image, title or description in our own Seller Central account, but it’s entirely up to Amazon what is shown on the Amazon Product Page for that product.
Amazon chooses from all Seller Central accounts which listing content they deem to be the best for the product page.