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If you want to thrive as an online store owner in today’s competitive market, it pays to advertise. But with so many options available to eCommerce merchants, it can be difficult to unearth a marketing vehicle that can both drive your vision and fuel business growth.

Part of 3dcart’s mission is to define and deliver the tools needed to open, operate and manage a successful online store. Our repertoire of features and extensions grows larger by the day, and this stands as a great source of pride for all of us.

Not only do we want you to start an online store using our incredibly effective shopping cart software, we also want to see your business thrive. And in a giant step forward toward accomplishing just that, our team is very proud to introduce its integration with Amazon Product Ads, a pay-per click advertising program.

Here’s how it works... 3dcart merchants need to sign up for an Amazon Products Ads account, upload their online catalog and define their cost-per-click bids and overall ad budget. As soon as those parameters have been demarcated, Amazon can then begin displaying your chosen advertisements to Amazon.com shoppers.

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How does this help you grow your business? That’s simple. Amazon.com receives millions of unique visitors every month, and that means your e-store and its products now have the potential to be seen by a multitude of Amazon.com shoppers. This form of advertising is not only effective, it’s simple, easy and cost efficient.

All successful eCommerce store owners have one thing in common; their products are widely visible on major Internet marketplaces. So rather than skate by thinking you don’t need to advertise, try Amazon Product Ads today and help your e-store evolve into a class all its own.

To get started, please follow the steps below!

Signing Up with Amazon Product Ads

To begin, you will need an Amazon Product Ads (APA) account. If you do not yet have an Amazon Product Ads account, the process can be started directly from 3dcart's Online Store manager using the following steps:

  1. Log into 3dcart's Online Store Manager
  2. Go to Marketing -->Advertising Credits
  3. Click on the "Learn More" button listed at the top, next to the "Amazon Product Ads" icon

This page will give you an overview of Amazon Product Ads and a special link where you can sign up for their service.

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After you complete the Amazon Product Ads sign up process and have an account created, a login ID will be generated  so you can access Amazon's https://sellercentral.amazon.com interface. After you've completed the preliminary setup of your account, you may proceed with the rest of this article.


Getting Amazon Marketplace Web Services (MWS) Credentials

The integration of your store with Amazon Product Ads is made possible through Amazon's Marketplace Web Services API. You will need certain credentials to connect to this API, credentials that will be inserted in your store's settings and allow you to upload your product feeds to Amazon. Signing up for MWS is free as part of your Amazon Product Ads account. The following steps will illustrate how to get these credentials.

  1. Go to https://developer.amazonservices.com/
  2. On the resulting page, click on the "Sign up for MWS" button located to the right

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On the subsequent page, select the first the option labeled "I want to access my own Amazon Seller account with MWS"

  1. After clicking on the "Sign up for MWS" button, select the first available option on the page that reads "I want to access my own Amazon seller account with MWS"
  2. Click "Next"
  3. Acknowledge acceptance of the MWS License Agreement and click "Next"

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You will be given a page similar to the following with the following information:

  • Merchant ID
  • Marketplace ID
  • AWS Access Key ID
  • Secret Key

Copy/Paste and store this information in a safe place for future reference. This will be applied to your store in the next few steps.

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Integrating Amazon Product Ads to your 3dcart Store

As mentioned, integrating your 3dcart store with Amazon Product Ads will allow you to submit an automated feed of your products to your Amazon Product Ads account. This can help save you time by allowing you to bypass the manual upload process found inside the Amazon Seller Central interface. The next steps in the process will involve adding your MWS API credentials to the 3dcart store to facilitate the automation.

  1. Log into your 3dcart Online Store Manager
  2. Go to Marketing -->Advertising Credits
  3. Click on the "Learn More" button listed at the top, next to the "Amazon Product Ads" icon
  4. Now, click on the "Settings" button located at the top right of the page.

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This page will be where you enter your Marketplace Web Service API credentials to set your integration.

  1. Enable Amazon Ads by placing a mark in the provided checkbox
  2. Enter your MWS API Credentials from the previous steps
  3. Specify when you would like to have the Feed synchronized with your store
  4. Click "Save Changes" to proceed

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You will also use this same page to generate the file that is automatically sent to your Amazon Product Ads account. But first you will need to designate which products to include in the feed. See next section.


Designating Feed Items

The next step in the process will be to configure and add products to your Amazon Product Ads feed. This can be done either manually through 3dcart's Online Store Manager interface or through a CSV Export/Import process. First, we'll describe the manual method.

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To update your product manually to be included in the Amazon Product Ads feed, take the following steps:

  1. Log into your 3dcart Online Store Manager
  2. Go to Products --> View/Edit
  3. Select the item you'd like to edit for addition into the feed and click on its "edit" button

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  1. Once you have the product editing page open, navigate to the product's "Advanced" tab.

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At the bottom of the page, you will see a section labeled "Data Feed Options" and link labeled "Amazon Product Ads"

  1. Click on the Amazon Product Ads link to open up the following pop-up window.

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The pop-up window will be pre-populated with some of your product data automatically while some of the fields will need to be manually updated to meet Amazon standards. The following is a list of the settings and fields along with an indicator as to whether they are automatically pre-populated by your store or if they need to be filled in. Wherever possible, we will also indicate any limitations present for inclusion on the Amazon feed.

  • Disable for Data Feed: This checkbox will allow you to remove the item from your Amazon Product Feed but preserve the rest of the settings on the item in case you'd like to include it on future feeds.
  • Enter the SKU: This information is taken directly from your 3dcart store and pre-populated.
  • Image: This will be a path to the product's image that will be used for the Amazon listing. Be sure to specify this as a full path to the image with the full http://[doimain] path included. Relative image paths will not work for this field.

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  • Title: This field will be pre-populated with your Product's name.
  • Category: This field is not pre-populated. Instead, this is an open field that you can specify your own category listing for the product. Please click here for more information on the category listing (Note: You may be required to log into your Amazon Seller Central account to view this link)
  • Price: This field is pre-populated with your product's Price information.
  • Link (URL): This field is also pre-populated with a direct URL to your product for Amazon visitors to click through.
  • Recommended Browse Node: The Browse Node is Amazon's classification of products that will determine the category in which the products will display on Amazon. To use this field, type a basic keyword of your product and hit enter to see a list of recommended nodes to select from. Then select the most appropriate to your product to insert the node's ID number. For more information on Recommended Browse Nodes, please click here.
  • Brand: Enter your product's manufacturer or brand name in this field.
  • Shipping Cost: By default, this value is set to 0 because your shipping rates are configured at the Amazon Product Ads level. This field can be used if you would like to override the shipping rules at Amazon, however.
  • UPC: This field will be used for your product's UPC, EAN or GTIN information.
  • Manufacturer Part Number: This field will be pre-populated with your product's MFG-ID information (from the product's Information Tab)
  • Description: This field will also be pre-populated. It will contain your product's Short Description information (from the Information Tab)
  • SKU Bid: Lastly, this field will be used to designate the clicking bid used on the item. This is the maximum you're willing to bid for clicks on the item. Please click here for more information on recommended bids.

After you've populated your product ad's fields, click save to have the product ready for the Amazon Product Ads feed.


CSV Export/Import

As part of the Amazon Product Ads integration, you also have the ability to update your products via CSV export and import.

To export your Amazon Product Ads CSV:

  1. Go to Products =>Export/Import
  2. In the Export Section, look for the Amazon Product Ads export and click Export to generate a CSV export of your current Amazon Product Ads items.

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Here's a list of the CSV file columns and how they correspond to the Amazon Product Ads fields described in the above section.

  • catalogid: This is the product's unique database ID on your store. It can be seen in the product's Information Tab directly beneath the "Product Information" heading of the page.
  • SKU: This column corresponds to the product's ID/SKU field in the Information Tab. It is pre-populated in the Manual Amazon Product Ads method described above.
  • Image: This is the full path to your Amazon Product Ads product image. (click here for important information regarding your Amazon Product Ads images)
  • Title: This is the Product's Name.
  • Category: This column will be used for your product's category. This is the same information as the "Category" field listed in the above section.
  • Price: This will be the product's Price information.
  • Link: This column will contain the product's direct URL
  • Recommended Browse Node: This column will contain the Recommended Browse Node's ID number.
  • Brand: The Amazon Product Ads item's Brand information.
  • Shipping Cost: By default, this value is set to 0 because your shipping rates are configured at the Amazon Product Ads level. This field can be used if you would like to override the shipping rules at Amazon, however.
  • UPC: This column will contain your Amazon Product Ads product's UPC, EAN or GTIN information.
  • Mfr part number: This column will contain the Amazon Product Ads product MFG-ID information (from the product's Information Tab)
  • Description: Here you'll see the product Short Descriptions
  • SKU Bid : This column will be contain the specified clicking bid used on the Amazon Product Ads item.

Once you've edited your exported CSV file, it can then be uploaded to your store by using the Amazon Product Ads import section found at the bottom of the Product -->Export/Import page. Simply browse to your edited CSV on your computer then click "Import Data" to have it uploaded.

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Once your products are all ready, you may go into the Amazon Product Ads Settings Page (Marketing -->Advertising Credits | Amazon Product Ads -->Settings) to generate your feed file and have it uploaded to your Amazon account.

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Image Requirements

As mentioned earlier in this article, there are certain specifications put forth by Amazon when it comes to displaying your items on Amazon Product Ads. The most notable of these specifications are in regards to your main product images that may require some additional work on your part to ensure that your Amazon Product Ads images are accepted into the feed. Products with no images or placeholder images will not be accepted into the feed. Please make sure your product images adhere to the following before submitting your feeds to Amazon.

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  • Image Size: Amazon's requirements state that the minimum image size is 500px on the longest side. (1000px is recommended)
  • Image composition: Aside from the image size, Amazon also has the following requirements for the actual display of the images. Their intent is to have the image accurately represent the item that is being sold without additional elements that may distract the viewer.
    • Images are required to have pure white backgrounds.
    • No additional text added to the images -- only the product
    • No graphic representations or illustrations of the product -- image must be of the real, physical item
    • No inset images included with the main image -- only the main product should be shown
    • High Quality Images only -- Poor quality images will be rejected.
    • No watermarks or embedded logos are allowed on the main image
    • Product image mist be of the sold product as it appears out of its packaging -- Images of product packaging will not be accepted for the main image
    • Main image should be a single view of the product - Additional angles or views of the product should be reserved for additional images.
    • Product must fill at least 85% of the image size
    • Main Image must be of the product as it is sold -- accessories and non-included items are not allowed
    • No placeholder images allowed
  • Formatting: Images must be in either .jpg, .gif or .tif formats (JPEG files are preferred).

For more information on the image guidelines, please review Amazon's page on the matter by clicking here. You may also download a special spreadsheet file that is supplied by Amazon when uploading your product ads through their system. This file contains a tab that describes all of the Amazon Product Ad requirements in fuller detail (Click here to download it).