How do I get Amazon API access

Easy access to the Amazon product database using the Product Advertising API

As a participant in the Amazon partner program, access to relevant information about the products sold on Amazon is of crucial importance.

Key facts at a glance

  • The Amazon Product Advertising API is explained using an example
  • Basics of the Product Advertising API - Operations, Response Groups and Browse Nodes
  • Features of the Product Advertising API
  • This is how you get your login details
  • How to make a request using the Product Advertising API Scratchpad

The Amazon Product Advertising API interface is an effective tool with which you, as an Amazon partner, can access relevant information about the products sold on Amazon. Among other things, you will receive information about the products available on the Amazon shop page, including their prices, detailed product information and customer and supplier reviews. With the help of the Product Advertising API (PA API) you are also able to find certain products, display customer ratings on your website, access the latest offers and promotions and much more.

In short, the PA API tool is the key that gives you programmatic access to Amazon's huge product database. You can also share and advertise products that interest you and monetize your website in this way. Before you use the Amazon PA API, however, you should know what exactly the PA API is, which functions the tool contains and how you can use the PA API.

What is the Amazon Product Advertising API?

The Amazon Product Advertising API is a free tool available to Amazon partners. The API helps you to search, find, display and share products that are available on Amazon. In this way you can redirect your visitors to the product pages of Amazon.

The PA API supports partner websites, blogs and apps in using and displaying Amazon's product databases in a user-friendly manner.

The use of the PA API offers this benefit based on an example

Imagine that you are the operator of a website like EatCake.com, which is all about baking. Here users exchange recipes, talk about tips and tricks and receive helpful product recommendations for baking utensils and accessories.

Some of these visitors read your product reviews, or the product recommendations and suggestions of other users. If interested, these visitors then search Amazon.de for the products that are recommended on your website in order to purchase them.

Here there is the possibility to monetize the traffic of these visitors who switch from your website to Amazon.de - you receive a referral fee if a visitor buys a product which is advertised on your website. In order for this process to be possible, however, corresponding links must be added to the products that are recommended and described on your website.

Since your website EatCake.com is very popular, a variety of baking products are discussed here every day and new product recommendations are added, it is extremely difficult for you to keep all the products mentioned on your website up to date and at all times among other things, to provide current prices.

This is exactly where the Amazon PA API comes into play.

Basics of the Product Advertising API

Operations - These are the basic functions that can be queried and output via the PA API. Here are some examples:

  • ItemSearch - Search for specific products or product groups using parameters such as category, manufacturer, title, minimum price and other search criteria. This function can output a single product as well as several products after a request has been made.
  • ItemLookup - Search for a specific product using an identifier such as ISBN (for books) or ASIN (Amazon's standard identification number, a unique code that is assigned to every product sold on the Amazon shop page). This function outputs a single product after a request has been made
  • SimilarityLookup - Helps you search for products that are similar to the products in your API request
  • CartCreate - Create a shopping cart that can be accessed
  • CartAdd - Add certain products to the shopping cart

Response Groups - The information can be defined here which is output by the PA API after a request has been made. In this way, the response time of the API can be reduced, since only the required information is output and the data volume is reduced. This favors a quick loading time of your website. Please note, however, that the “Response Groups” available depend on the “Operation” performed.
Not all response groups are available for all possible “operations”.

Here are a few commonly used response groups:

  • Small - This response group outputs the basic data of the corresponding product, e.g. the ASIN, the product group or the title
  • Reviews - Outputs the URL of the framework, which contains, among other things, customer ratings of the product you are looking for
  • OfferSummary - Indicates the lowest price for any product in each of the conditions under which the product is available (new, used, refurbished)
  • ItemAttributes - Outputs all attributes of a specific product. The number of attributes varies depending on the product: a mobile phone, for example, has different attributes than a book. However, some attributes, such as price or title, are common to all products

Browse Node: In addition to the product categories, Amazon uses so-called browse nodes to classify or group the available products. Each node represents a product group, such as books, but not the product itself. From each node, in turn, other nodes such as “children” can start. This method makes it possible to group products in a meaningful way.

When using the PA API, so-called “root nodes” can be defined in the search index if a general search query is preferred rather than specific information. In the case of a specific search query, “children” or “grandchildren” departing from the root node can then be included.

For example, instead of choosing “Books”, you can select the “German Literature” product group. In this case, “books” are the “root knot”, “literature and fiction” the child knot and “German literature” the grandchildren knot. Here you will find a list of all available browse nodes and the associated IDs.

Features of the PA API

There is the option of integrating a script into your website that executes an action as soon as a certain product (for example a baked product) is mentioned. Every time the relevant keyword is mentioned on your website, a search query is also sent to the API.

The API request contains the following:

  • First, the Amazon shop is specified (Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Amazon.de, etc.) in which the request for a product search is to be made. You can send PA API requests to all Amazon shops where you are registered as part of the Amazon partner program. However, it makes sense to choose an Amazon shop such as Amazon.de if the majority of your visitors are based in Germany.
  • AWS Access Key ID - access key that you generate to legitimize requests from your website to the Product Advertising API.
  • AssociateTag - all participants in the Amazon partner program have a unique tag, the so-called “partner ID”. Visitors who are directed to Amazon via a link from your website will receive this tag. Amazon in turn uses this tag to recognize your traffic and to be able to clearly assign the products you have ordered to your partner account.
  • Keywords - denotes the keywords of the product you are looking for.
  • Operation - describes the actions that the PA API is requested to perform. For example, if you start an item search, further operations such as ItemSearch or ItemLookup are carried out as explained above.
  • ResponseGroup - refers to the definition of the product details that you would like to receive with your request to the API. The default option is “Large”. The PA API is instructed to provide all details about a product. As already mentioned, adjustments should be made here in order to shorten the response time.
  • SearchIndex - the respective product category within which you want to search for products is selected here. This helps filter out irrelevant results.
  • Timestamp - indicates the time at which the API request was made.
  • Signature - the so-called “hash key” that you receive when you sign the API request. This key is used for validation purposes.

Displaying corresponding product links helps your visitors to find the item quickly on Amazon. You receive compensation when a visitor buys a product that is advertised on your website

Access to your login information

In order to be able to make inquiries using the PA API, three elements are required:

  • Access key
  • Secret key
  • Affiliate ID

To do this, carry out the following steps:

1. First register (if you have not already done so) with the Amazon partner program. You will be asked to provide some information about your website, blog or app as well as the products that you would like to advertise as an Amazon partner. You then verify your mobile phone number and then receive your personal partner ID.

2. Now go to the Amazon PartnerNet homepage and log in. Now click in the upper area of ​​the website on the menu item “Tools” and then on “Product Advertising API” and on “Register”.

3. As soon as you have successfully logged in, click on “Download access data”. Here you will find your “Access Key” and the corresponding “Secret Key”. You can then copy or download the two keys, as these are required for a request to the PA API.

4. It is now also possible to delete the existing access keys and, if desired, create a new pair of access keys. To do this, click on “Manage access data” and then on “Add access data”. Please note that you are only authorized to have two pairs of access keys. You can now remove an existing pair with the “delete” option.

Submit a request to the PA API Scratchpad

The point of a “request” to the Product Advertising API is that it outputs the information you need. You can receive various information such as images, prices or even product descriptions for a specific product or for an entire product category.

Your request will be sent online via the REST (Representational State Transfer) or SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) systems. The PA API answers you with the output format XML / HTML.

A request is made to the PA API Scratchpad

The Product Advertising API Scratchpad is a free tool that supports Amazon partners in the implementation of PA AP requests. It helps you to create the code for a request within a few minutes, which can then be integrated into your website.

1. Go to the PA API Scratchpad website
2. Now select an operation in the left area of ​​the website that you want to perform, such as ItemSearch
3. The following information must now be entered in the “Common Parameters” area:

  • The Amazon shop website of the partner program you have signed up to
  • Your Amazon partner ID
  • Access key
  • Secret Key

4. Then select the request parameters. For example, enter the name "Kitchen appliances" as the keyword parameter "Blender" in the Search Index; and so on.

5. Click on “Run Request”

If you have successfully completed the API request, the following information will be displayed:

An unsigned and a signed URL
The answer in various formats and corresponding blocks of code. The answer is displayed in three formats:

Rendered Response - this is how the answer to your request is displayed on your website, including product images and links.

Output in XML
Output in HTML

To start a new request, delete all parameters and start over.

As you can see, the Product Advertising API interface helps you to efficiently integrate relevant product links into your website and thereby monetize the traffic of your website. Feel free to play around with the API Scratchpad to get to know the various features and functionalities.