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Automate your Vendor Central Retail Purchase Orders

This blog post describes how to automate your business processes using the Vendor Retail Procurement APIs.

By Supriya P., Solutions Architect, Selling Partner Developer Services | November 17, 2023

If you are a vendor looking to simplify your retail business operations, you can automate the process with the Vendor Retail Procurement APIs. This blog demonstrates how integrating these APIs can simplify vendor integration and facilitate efficient business operations to foster success on Amazon's platform. You will learn about the benefits and use cases of automation, and how to set up and integrate the APIs.

Use the Vendor Retail Procurement APIs to automate your business

The Selling Partner API offers the Vendor Retail Procurement APIs, which are flexible JSON-based Rest APIs that enable web service integration to automate vendor retail business operations. These operations include creating and managing Amazon listings, cutting down on catalog management time, minimizing listing errors, optimizing sales channels, and swiftly accessing multiple report types.

Successful retail business partners use automation to improve and maintain their performance at scale, grow their business with Amazon, and save time and cost by reducing manual errors. Automation allows vendors to confirm orders faster, manage purchase order changes or cancellations, and avoid charge backs for late acknowledgement.

Vendors can also choose to use Electronic Data Interfaces (EDI) alongside APIs. The two automation options can be used simultaneously for different business processes.

Benefits of using APIs

There are many benefits of using APIs to smooth out your business processes. Let's observe them in detail.

Integrate with ease and speed

APIs can integrate new applications with existing software systems, which increases development speed. They can also leverage existing code and provide fast implementation for customers. They can be implemented in most popular tech stacks and platforms unlike other integration methods such as EDI, which need specialized software and resources to deploy and manage.

Save costs
APIs include a one-time licensing fee and are ready to be used with no additional costs. This comes in handy when your business grows, as the cost of the licensing fee remains the same, whereas manual labor would continue to increase. Moreover, the APIs work precisely to prevent charge back fees that occur when vendors don't comply with shipping and fulfillment guidelines.

Reduce human error
By reducing manual input when handling purchase orders, human error is reduced as the API processes orders based on Amazon’s precise information.

Increase your business performance
APIs allow vendors to automatically send ASNs electronically and use SSCC labeling to confirm orders, enabling them to receive, confirm and process their orders faster. The APIs allows faster feedback which improves vendors’ confirmation and fill rates. All of this reduces the time between receiving orders and confirming them. Thus, vendors who use SSCC labeling and APIs to send ASNs show more than 14% improvement, as being able to process orders faster translates to more business.

Customize your transactions
Unlike EDI transactions, which usually only provide asynchronous methods of communication, API transactions can be synchronous or asynchronous depending on the customer needs. Asynchronous transactions tend to be time consuming because the request and response each need one session to be received. On the other hand, synchronous transactions only need one session for both the request and response, which requires less time.

Order fulfillment workflow

A retail vendor sells inventory to Amazon and ships it to Amazon's fulfillment centers. Amazon then sells and ships the inventory to customers, who make purchases on Amazon's retail website. The diagram below demonstrates the Amazon order fulfillment cycle.

The Amazon order fulfillment workflow

A retail vendor can be a brand owner or a distributor. In some cases, they directly manage the listings of the products that they supply to Amazon. If you are a vendor who manages your own listings, refer to Manage your product listings lifecycle with Selling Partner API.

Compare and contrast a manual order fulfillment process vs an automated process using APIs

The following table shows how the steps in the order fulfillment workflow can differ based on whether you manually process your retail business in Vendor Central or automatically process your business using the Vendor Retail Procurement APIs.

Manual process using Vendor CentralAutomated process using APIs
Purchase Order (PO) is created by retail teams.Purchase Order (PO) is created by retail teams and sent to API server.
PO notification email is sent to the vendor.API server stores PO to serve to API client requests.
Vendor checks the email, logs in to Vendor Central, and reviews the PO.Vendor uses Vendor Orders API to get PO data using the getPurchaseOrder operation.
Vendor checks their internal systems for what is in stock.Vendor system processes the order in their order system.
Vendor goes to Vendor Central and manually confirms items line by line.Vendor sends Amazon order acknowledgement to confirm or reject order items based on their inventory using vendor orders API.
Vendor goes offline and handles shipping by using the shipments feature in Vendor Central and manually creates the shipment confirmation.Vendor sends Amazon shipment confirmation to notify about the shipment details using vendor shipping API.
Vendor manually inputs invoice in Vendor Central.Vendor sends Amazon invoice to get payment released for the shipped items using vendor invoices API.

Business processes you can fulfill using the Vendor Retail Procurement APIs

You can use the Vendor Orders API to manage purchase orders, the Vendor Shipments API to send shipment confirmations, The Vendor Invoices API to submit invoices, and the Vendor Transaction Status API to learn the status of your order acknowledgements and shipment confirmations.

Business process Use case Can be automated by EDI Can be automated by API operation API operation description
Purchase order management
Get new purchase order Yes Yes, getPurchaseOrders Helps vendors to fetch new Purchase Orders (POs) from Amazon's system and process the POs on their side.
Get purchase order changes or cancellations No Yes, getPurchaseOrders Helps vendors to fetch any Purchase Order data changes or cancellations after it is submitted and make changes to the POs accordingly in their system.
Check purchase order status No Yes, getPurchaseOrdersStatus Helps vendors to check the current status of a purchase order in Amazon system.
Submit purchase order acknowledgement Yes Yes, submitAcknowledgement Helps vendors to submit PO confirmation/acknowledgement once they fetch the PO from and process it on their side. Vendor can accept or reject a purchase order for fulfillment.
Check purchase order acknowledgment status No Yes, getPurchaseOrdersStatus Helps vendors to check the status on Amazon side after the PO confirmation is posted to Amazon procurement system.
Check Order Confirmation transaction status No Yes, getTransaction Helps vendors to check the status of a POST order acknowledgement processing when the transaction is posted to Amazon using an submitAcknowledgement API.
Submits shipment requests Yes Yes, submitShipments Helps vendors submit single or multiple transportation requests. This operation is primarily used by We Pay vendors.
Get Shipment Status Yes Yes, getShipmentDetails Helps vendors to check status of a shipment and routing instructions in Amazon system that Vendor have posted using submit/create shipment confirmation (ASN) or update shipment confirmation. This operation is primarily used by We Pay vendors.
Get shipment or transport labels No Yes, getShipmentDetails Helps vendors to fetch the shipping labels which got generated using the data posted using submit shipment operations. This operation is supported to only We-Pay vendors shipping small parcel shipment.
Create or submit advance shipment notification (ASN)/shipment confirmations Yes Yes, submitShipmentConfirmations Helps vendors to submit Shipment notification/confirmations to Amazon for the items in the PO they processed in their system.
Update ASN/shipment confirmations Yes Yes, submitShipmentConfirmations Helps vendors to send any updates to the Shipment confirmation they posted earlier for a PO.
Check Shipment Confirmation transaction status No Yes, getTransaction Helps vendor to check the status of POST Shipment confirmations processing when the transaction is posted to Amazon system using SubmitShipmentConfirmations.
Invoices and credit notes
Submit vendor invoices to Amazon Yes Yes, submitInvoices Helps vendors to fetch new Purchase Orders (POs) from Amazon's system and process the POs on their side.

Getting started

Now that you have learned about the Vendor Retail Procurement APIs, it's time for the integration process, which can be done in five steps:

We provide Java and C# SDKs. With these SDKs you can make requests to the Selling Partner API with the code already set up for you: Login with Amazon token exchange (exchange a refresh token for an access token) and authentication. Swagger models for developers to use to create software to call Selling Partner APIs. For details on using these SDKs, refer to Automate your SP-API calls using Java SDK and Automate your SP-API calls using C# SDK.


In this blog post, you learned about the advantages of using Selling Partner APIs to automate your retail business processes and grow your business. For more details on the Selling Partner APIs available for different business use cases, refer to Getting started with Selling Partner API for vendors. For any questions about the available APIs or issues with implementation, contact Vendor Central Support. You can also interact with other Amazon API developers on the Amazon GitHub issue page.


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