by CData Arc Marketing | July 02, 2020

How to Set Up EDI with Amazon Vendor Central

An invitation to the Amazon Vendor Central platform is a crossroads, providing a coveted opportunity to boost sales and reach scale. The challenge is complying with Amazon's stringent trading requirements, which force organizations to move into the deep waters of EDI. In this article, we cover the basics of Amazon Vendor Central EDI and how to get up and running.

What is Amazon Vendor Central?

Amazon Vendor Central is an invitation-only platform that suppliers — manufacturers or distributors — can use to sell their products on Amazon. If you're a certified vendor, Amazon purchases products from you and lists them with the “ships from and sold by" tag.

By using Amazon Vendor Central, you can get your products on Amazon without the hassle of selling directly to consumers. They can handle the product storage, pricing, shipping, customer service, and returns. Amazon also offers the Vendor Central Direct Fulfillment solution that enables you to sell goods as Amazon but ship goods directly to the customer in order to pay fewer fees to Amazon.

Assuming you decide to take Amazon up on its offer, accept its terms, and register your Vendor Central account, the Vendor Central platform will provide a number of capabilities. It will allow you to:

  • Receive purchase orders and provide shipment information
  • Provide product information — including images, specifications, and other information
  • Find your invoices and remittances
  • Run highly customizable and visible Amazon ad campaigns
  • Obtain detailed reports showing how your business is performing on Amazon

Amazon Vendor Central EDI Requirements

Amazon Vendor Central relies heavily on EDI for the document exchange necessary to place and fulfill orders. To get started on EDI, you'll need a Vendor Central Account. Once you have one, you'll log in and ask the Amazon Administrator for access to the EDI Self-Service Startup.

Vendor Central will then take you through a self-service survey to set up your connection with Amazon. As you fill out your survey, you'll need the following information at hand.

Product IDs and Measurement Codes

Start by specifying the item identifiers and units of measure you'll use when orders are sent from Amazon. They'll give you a few options for product codes (shown below), and you can decide which you want to use. You'll use these Label codes in your EDI documents when you send them to Amazon. Ideally, you should choose something that makes sense for your organization and is easy to obtain from your back-end systems.

Product codes:

  • Amazon ASIN
  • UPC
  • GTIN
  • ISBN-10
  • VEndor SKU
  • EAN/ESBN-13

Units of Measurement

  • EA (Each)
  • CA (Case)
  • UN (Unit)
  • PE (Pounds Equivalent)

Sender/Receiver IDs

Any EDI trading partner, including Amazon, will require you to set up Sender/Receiver IDs to use when processing EDI documents so each side knows who the message is sent from and where/who to send the messages. These consist of a Qualifier and an ID number.

An example of the qualifier and ID would look like:

Qualifier: ZZ ID: LB243657

If you want to use a specific type of number, you may need to use a specified qualifier. For example, you must specify 01 for a DUNS number or 30 for a Federal Tax Identification Number. In many cases, you might choose ZZ as your qualifier because it doesn't require any particular type of ID. This allows you to pick IDs that make the most sense to the human eye.

Item Information

Before you start using the Amazon Vendor Central platform to process actual orders, Amazon will allow you to run tests to make sure the EDI connection is working properly by sending test documents for you to process. For example, Amazon might send you a purchase order (EDI 850) for a valid order, and the test will make sure you correctly send the PO acknowledgement (EDI 855) in return. To perform this testing, you'll need to set up item information.

Examples of item information you may choose to define include:

  • In-stock item
  • Discontinued item
  • Invalid item
  • Backorder item

Along with these items, you will include: Cost, List Price, and Case Quantity. Make sure these identifiers match what you set up in your test system.


Specify the type of connection you want to use between your back-end systems and Amazon Vendor Central. Your choices are AS2, Amazon-Hosted SFTP or a Value-Added Network (VAN). We recommend that you use an AS2 connection because it's easy to use, reliable, and doesn't have the added costs of a VAN.

Amazon Vendor Central Required EDI Documents

You can use a number of documents in the Vendor Central portal. These are the most commonly required Amazon EDI documents:

  • Invoice EDI 810: Provides all information Amazon needs to pay for the order, including item prices, payment terms, remit to address and so on.
  • Inventory EDI 846: Provides all cost and inventory quantities to be sold to Amazon.
  • Purchase Order EDI 850: Amazon uses this to place orders. The document includes information such as order type, products ordered, ship-to location, and shipping methods.
  • PO Acknowledgement EDI 855: Provides updates on the status of the order received. Here you can note what items are accepted, backordered, rejected or changed and provide shipping and delivery times.
  • Shipment EDI 856: Lists all items being shipped, package IDs, tracking information, bill of lading, and other shipping details.

To fully automate your Amazon Vendor Central operations, you may include the following additional EDI documents:

  • X12 EDI 753 Request for Routing Instructions
  • X12 EDI 846 Inventory Inquiry/Advice
  • X12 EDI 852 Product Activity Report
  • X12 EDI 860 Purchase Order Change Request
  • X12 EDI 865 Purchase Order Change Request Acknowledgement

Vendor Central will require you to complete a survey to specify each document, and you can test these documents in the Amazon portal.

To learn more about EDI documents, see the full list of common EDI transactions (these will apply to other partners beyond Amazon as well).

Integrate Amazon EDI Effectively with Your Backend Systems

Amazon has stringent guidelines for filling orders and is quite punitive if data is late or inaccurate. So, you'll need reliable and resilient integration between EDI and your backend ERP, ecommerce and logistics systems to avoid costly chargebacks:

  • 1% of cost for late PO acknowledgements or POA changes
  • $5 to $150 for a late ASN
  • 2% to 6% of cost for non-compliant ASNs

With web retailers typically pulling in net margins of 0.5% to 3.5%, these charges could cost you 25% to 200% of your potential net profit.

An out-of-the-box application connector can provide the requisite tight integration. Such a connector can enable you to automate your critical transactions between Amazon Vendor Central and your backend systems to ensure reliable and accurate order-to-cash & fulfillment processes with Amazon.

We recommend selecting a connector that can:

  • Easily provide accurate product and catalog details to Amazon via EDI
  • Realize accurate, reliable, and compliant AS2/EDI interactions with Amazon
  • Eliminate SLA violations and costly chargebacks due to non-compliant EDI or data errors
  • Automate ASNs, POAs and other business process transactions
  • Effectively get your products in front of hundreds of potential customers

CData Arc: Simplified Amazon-EDI Integration and Out-of-the-Box Connectors

CData Arc is an intuitive EDI solution backed by an experienced team that's supported countless EDI partner integrations, including many with Amazon. With a library of prepackaged connectors, CData Arc helps you quickly set up your connections between Amazon EDI and your backend systems.

CData Arc has everything you need for Amazon EDI:

  • AS2 connector for direct communication with Amazon
  • X12 connector for incoming and outgoing EDI document translation
  • CSV, Excel, XML, and JSON connectors to auto-generate Amazon EDI documents from business formats and map Amazon EDI documents into usable formats
  • Database and application connectors to connect Amazon EDI directly to your backend systems

To get started, download a 30-day free trial of CData Arc.

Use MySQL?

The CData Arc Amazon Direct Fulfillment EDI-to-MySQL offers pre-configured connectors that translate all the core Amazon EDI documents and allow you to automatically generate Amazon EDI files from documents in MySQL and translate Amazon EDI documents into SQL-friendly flat files that are automatically dropped right into your MySQL database. This flow covers:

  • Invoice
  • Inventory Inquiry/Advice
  • Purchase Orders
  • Purchase Order Acknowledgement
  • And Advance Shipment Notices

Simply download CData Arc, then download and run the pre-configured integration to get up and running with Amazon EDI to MySQL, now.