With the rise of eCommerce, the automotive aftermarket industry has had to adapt to changing consumer habits. Customers nowadays are becoming more informed than ever and are on a constant lookout for convenience. As such, automotive aftermarket retailers have to find new ways to reach their target audience. Selling car parts on Amazon is one way of doing this.
But those looking to sell auto parts and accessories on Amazon are required to make use of fitment data to do so. Unlike most other industries, the automotive aftermarket sector has to deal with fitment data to be successful. Few aftermarket retailers know what happens after they send their fitment data to Amazon. In this article, we’ll take a quick look at fitment data and what happens after you send it to Amazon.
What Is Fitment Data?
Fitment data is a set of instructions that tells Amazon which products will fit which vehicles. This is important because many car parts and accessories are model specific. For example, a brake light for a Honda Civic will not be the same as a brake light for a Toyota Camry. Alternatively, the same car part or accessory can fit more than one make or model of vehicle. In fact, your average auto component on the market will fit around 30 different vehicle models.
To ensure that customers are buying the right product for their vehicle, Amazon needs to know what products will fit which vehicles. That’s where fitment data comes in. Whenever an automotive aftermarket retailer wants to list a new product on Amazon, they must first submit fitment data for that product. This is done by creating a fitment file and uploading it onto Amazon’s Seller Central platform.
What Happens After You Send Your Fitment Data to Amazon?
Automotive aftermarket retailers that submit fitment data to Amazon can expect a four-step process once Amazon receives that data. These include the following:
- The first step is the validation of the fitment file. Amazon checks to ensure the file is formatted correctly and contains all necessary information. If there are any errors, the retailer is notified so that they can correct them.
- Once the file has been validated, the next step is attaching the fitment to the product listing. This ensures that customers who search for a product on Amazon will see the correct fitments listed as potential matches.
- The third step is populating the Amazon Part Finder. This tool allows customers to enter their vehicle’s year, make, and model and then see a list of products that are compatible with their vehicle.
- The final step is populating the Compatibility Chart. This chart shows which products are compatible with each other, based on fitment data. By completing these four steps, Amazon ensures that customers have all of the information they need to find the right product for their vehicle.
Below, we’ll talk about each of these four steps in more detail.
Fitment File Validation
As we mentioned, Amazon checks the fitment file for errors before anything else. This is to ensure that all of the products listed on Amazon are compatible with the vehicles they are supposed to fit. One common error retailers make is not including all necessary information in the fitment file. The minimum amount of information must be included in the product’s Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN), the vehicle make, and model.
If a fitment file is missing this information, Amazon will not accept it. In addition, Amazon may also flag certain products for further review. This usually happens when a product does not have any fitment data associated with it. Overall, the goal of the fitment file validation step is to ensure that all products listed on Amazon are compatible with the vehicles they are supposed to fit. This helps to provide a positive customer experience and reduces the chances of returns.
During the fitment file validation, Amazon will not check whether or not the brand registered by you is the exact same as your Amazon brand. It will also not check whether the part numbers submitted are the same as the Manufacturer’s Part Numbers supplied to Amazon. Similarly, it will not make fitment appear on your listing. If you registered your brand name at the Auto Care Association website incorrectly, your fitment would not appear on Amazon, and Amazon will not notify you of the problem.
Attaching the Fitment to the Product Listing
The next step is attaching the fitment to the product listing. This ensures that customers who search for a product on Amazon will see the correct fitments listed as potential matches. In order to attach the fitment to the product listing, Amazon needs three pieces of information:
- The ASIN of the product
- The vehicle make
- The vehicle model
If Amazon does not have all three of these pieces of information, it will not be able to attach the fitment to the product listing. It’s important to note that Amazon only allows one ASIN per fitment. So, if a retailer wants to list a product that fits multiple vehicles, they must create a separate listing for each vehicle.
Similarly, if a retailer wants to list a product that fits multiple models of the same make, they must create a separate listing for each model. For example, let’s say a retailer has a product that fits the Honda Civic and the Honda Accord. They would need to create two listings for this product, one for the Civic and one for the Accord.
The data file is loaded to an internal Amazon fitment database after it has been validated. Then, a computer program at Amazon examines each line of fitment data provided and does the following:
- Reads and interprets the 4-character brand code
- Look up your brand code in the Auto Care brand table to get the Brand Label.
- Your Amazon brand name should be identical to the name that you registered with the Auto Care Association.
- This field is used to determine the part number of the item that best matches a Manufacturer’s Part Number in your Amazon account under that brand.
- Uses the information to connect the fitting to your real listing, as shown by the Fitment Stripe at the top of your listing.
Once you’ve spotted the Fitment Stripe on your account, you can rest confident that your data was properly handled by Amazon and that the Part Finder and Compatibility Chart processes will eventually be completed successfully.
Populating the Amazon Part Finder
After the fitment data has been validated and attached to the product listing, Amazon will begin to populate the Amazon Part Finder. The Amazon Part Finder is a tool that allows customers to search for products that fit their vehicles.
To do this, Amazon uses a combination of the fitment data that retailers provide and public vehicle information. Once the Amazon Part Finder has been populated with data, it will be available to customers who use the Amazon shopping app on their mobile devices. The Amazon Part Finder is constantly being updated with new data, so there may be a delay between when a retailer submits fitment data and when it appears in the Amazon Part Finder.
It’s also important to note that retailers cannot directly control which products appear in the Amazon Part Finder. Amazon uses a combination of fitment data and public vehicle information to determine which products are displayed.
Populating the Compatibility Chart
The last step in the process is populating the Compatibility Chart. The Compatibility Chart is a tool that allows customers to see which products fit their vehicles. The Compatibility Chart is different from the Amazon Part Finder in that it only shows products that have been specifically identified by retailers as fitting a particular vehicle.
To do this, retailers must submit a Compatibility Chart Template to Amazon. This template includes the ASINs of the products that fit each vehicle. Once Amazon has received the Compatibility Chart Template, it will populate the Compatibility Chart with the relevant data.
However, many new Amazon sellers choose to verify that their parts are compatible with Amazon by attempting to view the Compatibility Chart on their listings. This is a poor idea. Amazon advises sellers not to utilize the Compatibility Chart for the following reasons: Because it is out of date, it is seldom representative of your data at Amazon in its current state.
How myFitment Can Help
myFitment is the leading provider of fitment data for the automotive aftermarket. We provide fitment data to Amazon and other marketplaces, as well as to retailers who sell on those marketplaces.
If you are an Amazon seller who needs help with submitting fitment data, myFitment can help. We offer a Fitment Data Management Platform that makes it easy to submit fitment data to Amazon and other marketplaces. Our platform includes features such as automated product matching, real-time validation, and support for multiple channels.
The process of submitting fitment data to Amazon can be complex and time-consuming. However, it is an essential part of selling automotive aftermarket products on Amazon. By working with myFitment, you can rest assured that your fitment data will be submitted correctly and in a timely manner. To learn more about how myFitment can help you, contact us today.