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Amazon Integration - Information and Managed Availability Sign-up

  • 8 February 2022
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Amazon Integration - Information and Managed Availability Sign-up
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Updated 11/1/22

 

The following information answers many of the common questions about Acumatica’s Amazon Connector and our Managed Availability Program.

At the bottom we provide a link to sign up for managed availability. This does not commit you to anything. Only let’s us know you’re interested and we’ll grant you access to additional information.

General Information

  • The Acumatica Amazon Connector works with 22R1 and 22R2
  • The solution focuses on order management and recording Amazon Fees
  • It supports FBA and MFN (FBM) merchants
  • Feel free to post questions or comments to this article and we’ll do our best to answer quickly and incorporate your questions into the content.

What is Managed Availability?

This is a program Acumatica utilizes when releasing a new and rather large/important new feature. It’s very similar to a beta program or a pre-release program. Our goal is for our team to work closely with the Acumatica Partner and Merchant on the project. We go through discovery together, determine if the customer is a good fit for the solution (out of the box) then we guide the partner/merchant through implementation via Implementation Assist. Once the customer is live in production, our team maintains contact for a few weeks to ensure all continues to go well.

About the Amazon Integration

Release Schedule

Though this schedule may change as we progress the following is our planned release schedule,

  • We have several “managed availability” customers we’ve been working with to understand the needs of an Amazon Merchant. We have been designing and building the solution to meet what each of the customers recommend as a minimal viable product.
  • February - March 2022
    • Continue collecting feedback from our existing managed availability customers
    • Provide an application for other customers to apply to be added to the managed availability list.
    • Regardless of their involvement in the managed availability, we always welcome contributions and insights from customers about their experience selling on Amazon via FBA and FBM. Please share your thoughts with us.
  • Mid/Late April - May 2022
    • Solution will be ready for demos within our demonstration environment.
    • By this point we’ll record several demonstration videos to distribute to VARs
    • We will not be ready to share the customization package with VARs at this time.
    • We will begin working with our managed availability customers to plan their implementation process and timeline.
  • May 2022 - August 2022
    • Begin implementing the managed availability customers.
    • Goal is to take those customers live between July and October depending on their schedule and the complexities of their project
  • September 2022 - 22R2 Release
    • We intend (though do not guarantee) to incorporate the Amazon Integration into the core Acumatica Commerce Connector in 2022R2.

UPDATES

Nov 2022:

  • We have decided to keep the Amazon Connector as a customization package. We can continue adding new features to a package outside Acumatica’s standard release schedule. It will be pushed to core in 2023 or 2024.
  • In 2023 we will allow Acumatica SaaS customers to utilize our Amazon Developer Keys. More info in the “Will I need an Amazon Developer Key?” section

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I acquire the connector?

  • The connector is not currently available to be shared with VARs. We are offering the solution via managed availability and requiring all VARs to acquire implementation assist.
  • If your customer is interested in participating in managed availability, please apply via the link below to be considered. This does not commit them to anything, just adds them to the list and we’ll grant them access to additional information.

What version will the connector work with?

  • The Amazon connector is designed for 22R1 & 22R2

Does it support FBA and MFN (FBM) merchants?

  • Yes it supports both FBA and MFN (FBM) merchants.

What does the Amazon Connector support?

The Acumatica solution is primarily an order management system. Not a product information management system. It supports the following:

  • MFN (FBM) Orders:
    • Import Orders as Sales Orders
    • Import Amazon Order Related Fees
    • Import Shipping Information
    • Ship items, export shipping notification/tracking info to Amazon
  • FBA Orders - the connector imports FBA orders as Sales Invoices.
    • Import FBA Orders as Sales Invoices
    • Import Amazon Order Related Fields
  • Personal Identifiable Information Protection
    • A security certificate is installed which encrypts customer data in the REST API and within the ERP Database
    • FBA orders:
      • All orders are associated with 1 “Amazon Customer” customer record.
      • PII data is not retained
    • MFN orders:
      • Orders are imported with customer information on the sales order
      • No customer record is created
      • Once the order is shipped, customer data is pseudonymized (based on a schedule)
        • A user with the correct level of rights can un-pseudonymize data
      • A schedule can be configured to archive all MFN customer data
  • Features being added now
    • Export Inventory Availability for MFN (FBM) Products
    • Oauth Connection
    • Amazon Statement reconciliation via the Bank Feeds module (configuration of existing modules/features)
  • Features which remain in the back log
    • Import returns and refunds information
    • Import non-order related fees
    • Expand to Canada and Mexico regions
    • Sync Amazon FBA Inventory levels with Acumatica

Will I need an Amazon Developer API Key?

  • Currently, yes. At this time, customers must acquire their own Amazon Developer Keys
    • FBA Amazon Developer Keys
    • MFN (FBM) Amazon Developer Keys – these are quite difficult to acquire. Merchants typically go through 7 or 8 rounds of rejection from Amazon.
  • In 2023 we will allow customers to utilize Acumatica’s Keys.
    • We overcame a challenge with Amazon which now allows us to provide our keys to our customers
    • We are building an OAuth connection. This will make it possible for merchants to connect their instance of Acumatica to Amazon via our keys and the click of a button.

Which API are you using for this project?

  • We are using the new Selling Partner API, not the old MWS API.

Which regions will be supported?

  • Today – USA
  • Phase 2 – Mexico and Canada
  • Phase 3 – we will evaluate how many merchants require other regions, then make final decisions.

Additional information - Amazon manages each region (US, Canada, Mexico, Europe, India, etc) as separate “sites” with slightly different API endpoints. Meaning, 1 connector will not satisfy all regions, though each region is similar.

Amazon’s advice to us was to build the connector for the US (and potentially Canada) first, work with customers to ensure the MVP needs are met, then expand to other regions. They’ve explained that expanding into other regions is a relatively minimal effort compared to building the original connector. 

Can I have a copy of the connector to test it myself?

Not yet. Not at this time.

The Amazon connector is a bit more complicated that our BigCommerce and Shopify connectors. Amazon does not offer any test or dev environments to test against. You must test against a live Amazon Merchant account.

When you are using a live Amazon account to test against it’s common to not follow through on some tasks (such as shipping orders with tracking numbers) and if Amazon’s algorithms detect this behavior, they’ll “black flag” or shut down your account.

During development, our account faced challenges like this multiple times. Due to these challenges, and the lack of information provided to guide software development teams and testers, our team needs to document the exact procedure for testing the solution before sharing the package with our community. This is an effort to protect the VARs and customers from challenges such as putting their accounts on hold, or even worse - having the account closed permanently.

I know Amazon, why can’t I implement this myself?

It’ll be terrific, in the future, when the solution can be implemented by outside parties autonomously. That’s our goal. 

However, to ensure all our customer’s have an optimal experience, we are offering the Amazon Integration via a Managed Availability Program. When working with Amazon, there are no “Dev” or “Stage” environments. You only have a “Live” environment to work with.

We want to ensure our first few customers go live in a successful and efficient manner. Additionally, our team must learn and document the process of taking customers live without having a “Stage” or “Test” environment. Due to these complexities and the complications this will bring, we must take our time and perfect the process with a few (willing) customers then educate our community about how to do the same.

If you or your customer would like to sign up for this managed availability, follow the link below and fill out the form. We will follow up with you.

I’m really interested, but am not 100% sure I want to implement the solution, what do I do?

We recommend signing up for managed availability. Link to do so is below.

In the notes just say that you want more info, but are not 100% on whether you want to implement. This will add you to our list and will give you access to more information about the solution.

I want to implement the solution, what do I do?

Great! Below are the prerequisites you’ll need to implement.

What you’ll need:

  1. Acumatica SaaS Subscription
  2. Acumatica Amazon Connector License on your Acumatica account (partners can help with this)
  3. You’ll be provided a “PreRelease Agreement” to review and sign before implementation begins
  4. Amazon Seller Central Account
  5. Acumatica VAR is required to acquire Implementation Assist (submit a case to Services requesting “Amazon Implementation Assist”)
  6. Amazon AWS IAM Keys*
  7. Amazon Developer API Keys*
  8. FBA – you’ll need FBA Amazon Developer keys*
  9. Sell MFN (FBM) – you’ll need MFN (FBM) Amazon Developer keys*
  10. Sign up for Managed Availability below

* NOTE – instructions on how to obtain these keys are provided to those in managed availability. In 2023 these keys will no longer be a requirement.


 

Sign up for Managed Availability

Follow the link below to an application form, provide information about your Amazon merchant business, and submit the form.

Look forward to working with you!

 

Acumatica Amazon Connector Managed Availability Link

Click here to sign up for Managed Availability for the Acumatica Amazon Connector

 


24 replies

Userlevel 1

Thanks @josh.fischer - we will watch this closely. As we chatted about -- although Shopify Plus is our primary focus, integrating our customers’ Amazon businesses will be key for many to consider Acumatica.

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Are you going to offer inventory management for FBA?

Are you going to offer inventory management for FBA?

:ok_hand:

FBA Inventory + FBA Shipments + Replenishment 

These are things that Acumatica should support!

Really looking forward!

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Good question @Jeff96 - Answers below along with extra details for others who may read this.

Amazon FBA - for those who are new to this, Amazon FBA = Fulfilled by Amazon. Meaning you ship your goods to Amazon, they store the goods in their warehouses and fulfill FBA orders on your behalf. 

Amazon Warehouse Inventory 

For FBA Inventory, the goal will be for the merchant to set up a Warehouse within Acumatica which represents “Amazon Warehouses”. When inventory is shipped to customers from Amazon, the order will flow into Acumatica as a Sales Invoice. When processing those Sales Invoices, the merchant will deplete inventory from the “Amazon Warehouse”.

Amazon notifies the seller when they should replenish the goods. This notification is based on an Amazon algorithm which estimates the number of remaining goods, the number of goods sold per day and how long it takes to receive the goods. I’m unsure if this notification is exposed to the API, but something we can look into. 
 

Submitting goods to Amazon for FBA

Amazon Merchants who sell via FBA must go through an application process with Amazon before they are welcome to ship those items to Amazon. Here is how it works:

  • The merchant fills out a form and submits to Amazon
  • Amazon receives the form
    • They either reject the goods (there are some items they won’t allow)
    • They accept the application
  • If Amazon accepts the application they give the merchant instructions
    • Multiple Warehouse in which items should be shipped
    • Quantity to box for each location
    • Shipping labels for shipping
    • Timeline for shipping 
  • The merchant boxes up the goods and ships via the labels

Once the items are received, the merchant receives a notification and shortly after the products are available for sale on Amazon.com

This is all managed within Seller Central and it sounds straight forward, but merchants are often frustrated by the process.

We are talking with Amazon about potentially building tools within Acumatica which will allow merchants to manage this process from within the ERP. They are open to (and excited about) the idea, but this is planned for a future phase.

Our primary goal now is to accomplish the MVP of Order Management for Phase 1 (based on the feedback we’ve received from several large Amazon sellers), then continue to extend functionality over time as requested by our community.

Hope that helps, and let me know if I’ve missed something. Thanks!

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Good question @Jeff96 - Answers below along with extra details for others who may read this.

Amazon FBA - for those who are new to this, Amazon FBA = Fulfilled by Amazon. Meaning you ship your goods to Amazon, they store the goods in their warehouses and fulfill FBA orders on your behalf. 

Amazon Warehouse Inventory 

For FBA Inventory, the goal will be for the merchant to set up a Warehouse within Acumatica which represents “Amazon Warehouses”. When inventory is shipped to customers from Amazon, the order will flow into Acumatica as a Sales Invoice. When processing those Sales Invoices, the merchant will deplete inventory from the “Amazon Warehouse”.

Amazon notifies the seller when they should replenish the goods. This notification is based on an Amazon algorithm which estimates the number of remaining goods, the number of goods sold per day and how long it takes to receive the goods. I’m unsure if this notification is exposed to the API, but something we can look into. 
 

Submitting goods to Amazon for FBA

Amazon Merchants who sell via FBA must go through an application process with Amazon before they are welcome to ship those items to Amazon. Here is how it works:

  • The merchant fills out a form and submits to Amazon
  • Amazon receives the form
    • They either reject the goods (there are some items they won’t allow)
    • They accept the application
  • If Amazon accepts the application they give the merchant instructions
    • Multiple Warehouse in which items should be shipped
    • Quantity to box for each location
    • Shipping labels for shipping
    • Timeline for shipping 
  • The merchant boxes up the goods and ships via the labels

Once the items are received, the merchant receives a notification and shortly after the products are available for sale on Amazon.com

This is all managed within Seller Central and it sounds straight forward, but merchants are often frustrated by the process.

We are talking with Amazon about potentially building tools within Acumatica which will allow merchants to manage this process from within the ERP. They are open to (and excited about) the idea, but this is planned for a future phase.

Our primary goal now is to accomplish the MVP of Order Management for Phase 1 (based on the feedback we’ve received from several large Amazon sellers), then continue to extend functionality over time as requested by our community.

Hope that helps, and let me know if I’ve missed something. Thanks!

Its exciting to hear about the potential shipment connection. 

 

Regarding the order flow, I suggest you talk to members that have this functionality set up (through Celigo or other providers). If you don't account for damage, returns or other factors, the inventory in the Acumatica Amazon warehouse will be out of sync after a week or two. 

If you want to know more, reach out to any member that does Amazon or PM me.

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Thanks @Jeff96  - 100% agree. One of the challenges we’ll face is all the inventory challenges which have nothing to do with customer orders. Plus, when orders are returned to Amazon the merchant has no control over the decision making about what happens with the item. And, it’s not uncommon for Amazon to simply misplace inventory, and though they typically pay you for damaged/lost inventory we need to dig into how that is communicated via the API.

No shortage of “edge cases”.

Appreciate your willingness to contribute advice and input. We’ll reach out in the near future so we can learn more. 

@josh.fischer 

As far as I know, Amazon has this shipment process available via API already in place.

We do the entire shipment process + inventory sync entirely from within the system we currently use, and we don't do any touch in Seller Central.

I will put my offer here too (same as @Jeff96) that I'm more than willing to demo to you how we do it.

 

Anyway, can't wait to see it in Acumatica!!

@josh.fischer, very exciting.  We sell on Amazon FBM and our current integration pulls Item Fees up front so we record the commission Amazon is taking as part of the order.  Could you please speak to the current plan around possibly pulling fees and dealing with them on the order?  Specifically, will they be available and accounted for as the order is integrated?

We currently use a Non-Stock item to subtract off the fee so the invoice total matches the payment we’ll receive from Amazon.  Trying to understand if this will be the same in the future, or if we need to start thinking about this differently.

Thanks!

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@meir121218p  - terrific, thank you for the offer! Please be sure (if you haven’t already) to fill out the beta participation form above.

@CourtHagerDI  - yes, these fees are a very important need for all the merchants we speak with. The details about this are still being specified. Your approach of using non-stock items is a smart solution, especially when you need to “flex” the system into satisfying this. Our approach will be slightly different. What we are intending to do (still discussing internally) is adding fields which represent these Amazon fees within the financial system. Ultimately, the fees need to be represented within the invoice of the orders as a cost associated with the item(s) sale. However, there are challenges around this. For instance some fees are shared with the original order via the API and others are not. 

Long way of saying, we are determined to solve this, but details continue to be a wip. If you’re up for it @CourtHagerDI please fill out the form to be involved in the beta program. Even if  you don’t end up implementing this year, it would be great to engage with your team and learn from you guys. Appreciate it!

Hey Josh and eCommerce Team, 

My client RonnieMac Motocross influencer is looking to jump on both Amazon FBM and FBA. We are good with beta testing and get this rolling. I have 10+ years selling on both FBM, FBA, and Amazon VC. I have implemented Amazon integrations multiple times and know all the issues that you will face during integration and implementation. I understand the risk and we are all on board. 

Derek Aten - KillerMerch // Jeffree Star Cosmetics

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@josh

Most of my clients who use Amazon (AMZ) are lot controlled. I know Amazon doesn’t track lots, have you thought of anyway to allow these lot controlled customer to still use this connector? Right now we are exporting the inventory with lots from the AMZ warehouse inside of Acumatica (ACU). Running a vlookup and populating the orders pulled from AMZ with the lots available inside the AMZ warehouse in ACU. It would be nice to have this connector automatically select lots which are available, inside the specific warehouse &/or warehouse location containing the AMZ inventory.

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Hi @derek41 - would love to sync with you on this! Really appreciate the offer. I’ll shoot you an email shortly. 

 

@asmith50 - I’m definitely with you on this if it can be done. My understanding is lot controlled product tracking with Amazon is tough because of the lacking support in Amazon. At this time, this isn’t a topic we’ve dug into too far (on the list, but lower priority compared to the other needed features) but if you have experience here (and feedback about what a merchant needs) we’d love to learn from you. I’ll email you directly so we can sync up. Appreciate it!

@josh.fischer , @asmith50 - I broke down the RonnieMac account to be super simple in-terms of integration. Let’s discuss quickly because we are going to move forward regardless in the next 30 days. I would prefer this is an integration with Acumatica.  

@josh.fischer

For FBM orders that are dropshipped from a vendor, how would we automatically get in the tracking details from the vendor on the PO, from there to the SO shipments, from there to export to Amazon?

(We are getting those files with tracking details from our vendors on a frequent hourly/daily basis.)

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Are there going to be grouping options, for example a daily import into a single Sales Order?  

We have a few hundred very small orders per day, there’s really not much value in having a sales order for every order since we fulfill using a different system in parallel.  Or at least not a value greater than the cost to upgrade the license to allow for more transactions.  Or will there be a pricing model that helps address that? We also use Shopify with an even greater order volume.  

Userlevel 2

Are there going to be grouping options, for example a daily import into a single Sales Order?  

We have a few hundred very small orders per day, there’s really not much value in having a sales order for every order since we fulfill using a different system in parallel.  Or at least not a value greater than the cost to upgrade the license to allow for more transactions.  Or will there be a pricing model that helps address that? We also use Shopify with an even greater order volume.  

That’s a great question!!!!  Any insight on this, @josh.fischer?

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Hi folks - sorry @meir121218p & @bryanb39 - just saw these two requests.

@meir121218p - when you send the PO to your vendor, the vendor could submit tracking information in the “ref” field which can then be pushed to Amazon. Another option is to set up a custom field, push your info into that field, then map that field to the tracking info in Amazon via the Entities window. Right now PO Receipts don’t 1) have a field for tracking information and 2) we don’t have standard connections between PO Receipts and Shipments. Internally have discussed establishing this relationship for drop ship merchants, but there are some complications we need to overcome.

 

@bryanb39 & @jamesh - This is a good question and a request we’ve heard from 2 or 3 merchants now. There are a few pieces to this.

  1. In this initial phase we are pulling each FBA order in individually. At this time we don’t have it on the timeline/plan to pull FBA orders in via 1 group, but we are discussing if we could make this a configuration option for merchants. Essentially, give the merchant the option to either pull in 1 at a time, or pull in a large group. 
  2. Our BA’s gave me feedback that technically (not guaranteed) it should be possible, but it will take some significant updates to the connector to make this possible.
    1. Also, we are now pulling Amazon Fees into Acumatica, and there would be some challenges we’d have to overcome for fee imports and for statement reconciliation. But, again, likely doable.
  3. Right now our goals are to complete the remaining phases, take the first 2 dozen or so customers live, then revisit some of the requests which are not initial requirements. So, we could come back to this.
  4. That said, we have discussed this with one of our VARs and they mentioned that a customization may be possible to solve this upfront. Again, not “easy” but possible.

Will you be able to change replenishment once Amazon suggests it? 

For instance amazon says that they need 10,000 but we only want to replenish 1,000 units?

 

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FBA Vendor here.  From what im reading is that the Sales Orders will import, but what about all the deductions and fees that get taken out?  

Right now im using their flat file v2, and making a Pivot to create the invoice then, create a credit memo for the deductions. will this be able to handle this process?

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Hi @jyounes - Yes, for FBA we are pulling in order fees through the API. Sounds like you have a very specific workflow that you’re using now. I’ll DM you and hopefully our team can sync with you and align on our solution and how it compares to your current process. Thanks!

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@josh.fischer - Please add us to the testing for this connector. 

 

Thanks!

 

 

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Hi @josh.fischer ,

Is there any updated timeline for General Availability on this?    

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Hi @lauraj46 - we are intending to keep this in Managed Availability for a while longer, that said, we are happy to work with any Acumatica customer who is or wants to sell on Amazon. We are using managed availability for 2 primary reasons:

  1. It’s mainly to ensure that VARs use implementation assist until they are 100% ready to serve customers without any complications. Amazon doesn’t offer test/dev environments, so implementation needs to be handled very carefully.
  2. We are wrapping up development on an OAuth connector which will allow merchants to utilize Acumatica’s Amazon Developer Keys. In 2021 we were forced to require customers to get their own keys (which is less than easy) but we’ve overcome the hurdles that made that a requirement. Once customers can use our keys it’ll be much faster/easier for VARs and merchants. 

If you have a customer who is interested in implementing this solution, and they have their Amazon Keys, sign them up for Managed Availability. Won’t commit them to anything, but will give them access to our private forum, and we can work with you and your team to get them onto the calendar and implemented.

Hope that helps

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