Searching for parts, accessories, and aftermarket components for a particular product online can be a hassle if the products are incorrectly marked.
Suppose you’re searching online for the spark plug for your outdoor generator, for example. How would you know which spark plug is the right fit for the model and make of your generator?
Your goal, as an Amazon seller, should be to make your customers journey to the right product as easy as possible. That’s where an MPN comes in--An MPN, or Manufacturer Part Number, is one way that Amazon uses to uniquely identify specific products online. When used correctly, MPNs can increase your products’ reach, satisfaction rate and lead to fewer complaints.
In this blog, we are going to go through what an MPN is on Amazon, the importance of using it and whether or not your product should be using it.
You’re going to find that out in this post.
Like SKU, UPC, FNSKU, Manufacturer Part Number (MPN) is also a product identifier used on Amazon. It can be used to differentiate a product among other similar and different products from the same or other manufacturers.
On the one hand, it helps customers find the exact product/part/accessory they are looking for. On the other hand, it helps you (seller) from losing business to counterfeits.
MPN doesn’t have any strict and specific format. It can be a sequence of numbers, alphabets, or both with or without hyphens and spaces. It’s the manufacturer/brand’s discretion to develop an MPN format they deem suitable for product identification.
You will find MPN on the Product information section under the subheading of Technical Details on Amazon listings that goes online.
Selling on Amazon involves a set of product identifiers to serve different purposes. MPN is one of them. So let's see how it is different from other Amazon product identifiers.
SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) is a product identifier used by Amazon sellers for their inventory management. Since SKU doesn’t have anything to do with customers, it is not displayed on the product listing page. MPN, on the other hand, is a product identifier that helps both sellers and buyers differentiate similar items.
FNKSU (Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit) is a barcode that Amazon assigns to the inventory ending up in its fulfillment centers for easy tracking and fulfillment. It also helps the e-commerce giant to establish the association between the inventory and the seller.
MPN is not an identifier in the barcode form like FNSKU. Nor does Amazon use it for its inventory and fulfillment management.
UPC (Universal Product Code) is a numeric code (GTIN) along with its machine-readable barcode. UPC is essentially a standardized form to track retail products throughout the world. Like other marketplaces, Amazon also requires sellers/brands to get UPCs for their products. GS1 is the only global non-profit organization that issues UPCs.
In contrast, MPN is not a “universal” identifier. Every brand/manufacturer is free to assign MPN to its product while using any type of format. It doesn’t have any standardized version.
Often, a brand gets its products and accessories made from a third party and then re-brands those procured items into its product line. In such cases, those products might come with an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) part number. OEM part numbers help connect the entity making the product at the backend and the brand selling it on the frontend.
MPN, on the other hand, is an identifier that a seller/manufacturer assigns to their products to help customers find the original and compatible products and accessories.
In the above section, we have compared different Amazon product identifiers with MPN. While all those product identifiers we have discussed can be used for almost every item listed on Amazon, MPN is only relevant to certain product categories. This is also the reason why it appears as the optional field on the inventory listing page.
So, what are those products for which manufacturer part numbers are relevant? Let’s find out.
If two products are visibly identical and there’s no way for customers to tell them apart based on their specs, then they should have an easy-to-remember MPN. For example, spark plugs from any manufacturer/brand often have a more or less similar shape, size, and other specifications. Therefore, the only way to identify the particular spark plug for many customers is to look for its manufacturer part number.
There is an entire range of products where "brand" doesn't add up to the item's value. In other words, these are products (e.g. wires, chords, electrical switches) where buyers don’t pay too much attention to the brand. If you are dealing in such products despite selling them under your private label, it is better to give them a manufacturer part number.
In many cases, such products eventually become known among customers through their part numbers instead of the brand or manufacturer’s name.
Headlights, spark plugs, wipers, brake discs, relay switches, capacitors, resistors, etc— every item associated or a part of a bigger product must have MPN. The part number ensures that customers can easily find the right match of a component and accessory for their car, bike, boat, or any other electromechanical device.
If you notice, all three product categories that we discuss here somewhat connect to the electronics and automotive niches. Therefore, you can say that MPNs are relevant if you sell parts related to consumer electronics, automobiles, and power sports.
It doesn't make much difference for categories like home accessories, apparel, and pet items, whether your product bears a part number or not.
If you are selling parts and accessories under your own brand, you don’t have to find MPN anywhere else. Instead, you need to assign those identifiers to your inventory yourself.
But suppose you sell automotive and electronics parts and products through Amazon wholesale (selling other brands as a third-party retailer with brands' prior approval). In that case, you have to find the MPN and make it part of the listing. It is important because both Google and Amazon index MPN (more on that later).
As a third-party seller, there are several ways to find the MPN of the products you want to sell on Amazon.
You need to Add MPN to multiple places on the listing to optimize it.
You can also add MPN to the product description and bullet points. You can do that by using the full product name, including MPN when referring to the given product. Also, make sure the MPN is correctly mentioned in all the sections i.e. with right spacing and hyphens.
As mentioned earlier, MPN is an optional field on the listing creation page. However, it doesn’t mean you can ignore them at all, primarily if you sell automotive and electronics parts and accessories. Optimizing the listing with MPN involves several benefits for sellers.
Google and Amazon index MPNs along with other product information for search optimization. That is why when a customer searches for a product with its part number, both platforms return the exact matches. In other words, your potential buyers don’t have to tire themselves in finding the right item. They can simply search by the MPN on Google or Amazon to find it.
Even without using the brand name, a Google search by the MPN returns the exact matches of the product on e-commerce websites with Amazon on top. The same happens when a customer enters the MPN in the Amazon search bar.
Parts and accessories for an automotive or electric/electronic machine are highly specific products. Most of the time, buyers don’t have choices to pick from with such products. Therefore, customers searching for a product with its MPN number are not there for window shopping. Instead, they mean to buy the product they are looking for.
In short, a visitor clicking on your listing is more likely to convert into a customer. This means you can improve your conversion rate by optimizing your listings with MPNs.
Similarly, when customers find the exact part and accessory they are looking for, there will automatically be fewer returns.
Many customers struggle to find the right place and vendor to get authentic parts and accessories online. It is considered no mean feat when they eventually find the right replacement parts and accessories for automobiles and electronic devices.
Therefore, when customers finally find a product they have been endlessly looking for, they often order more than one piece. For instance, a customer looking for a capacitor for a particular commercial blower fan may get more than one capacitor so that they have spares in hand for the next replacement.
Online marketplaces are crammed with counterfeit products and scammers masquerading as sellers. Therefore, when a customer realizes (by matching the MPNs) that a seller is selling the original parts and accessories, they will stick to that seller. In other words, optimizing your listing with MPN lets you grow your clientele with many repeat customers.
A buyer getting their hands on an authentic part and accessory without much back and forth becomes a satisfied customer. Furthermore, those happy customers are more likely to leave more than 4-star ratings and positive reviews. This encouraging feedback will further help you in strengthening your listing and improving your seller profile.
Before we sign off, let’s answer some more questions regarding MPN on Amazon.
Amazon uses manufacturer part numbers as a unique identifier for certain products. The platform also indexes part numbers so that customers can search for a product by its MPN.
Amazon says that MPN and model number can be the same. However, a manufacturer is allowed to have a different model and part number for the same item as unique product identifiers.
If you sell parts and accessories of automobiles and electrical/electronic devices through Amazon wholesale, you must get in touch with the brand and manufacturer to get the MPNs of your listings. Subsequently, optimize your listing with the MPN to reap all the seller benefits mentioned above.
No, you don’t need to add a part number on every product listing. For instance, there is no need to have MPNs for shirts, shoes, toys, and many other product categories.
MPN is an optional product identifier not relevant to every product category. Nonetheless, if you sell items where part numbers matter, optimizing your listing with MPN can boost your sales and earn you a loyal consumer base.
Want to know further how to optimize Amazon listings to improve sales? Check out our Amazon Listing Optimization guide for 2021.
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