Understanding Amazon ASINs: Parent/Child Relationships and Variations
February 24, 2022
Products sold on Amazon that have different sizes, colors, flavors, and other traits are typically referred to as “variation” or “parent-child relationship” product listings. These products are related to each other and allow customers to compare and choose products based on their different attributes – all on a single product page.
What Is an Amazon ASIN?
An Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) is a 10-character, alphanumeric code that identifies Amazon products. Each product that is listed for sale on Amazon receives this unique identifier and allows customers to easily identify the product they are searching for. It is important to note that no two items will have the same ASIN and that ASIN identifiers are specific to Amazon’s marketplace.
Note: Books are classified using ISBN, which is the same as ASIN.
What Are Product Variations (Parent-Child Relationship Listings)?
As defined by Amazon’s Seller Central: “Variations (also known as parent-child relationships) are sets of products that are related to one another in terms of Size, Color, Flavor, etc. Good variation relationship listings allow buyers to compare and choose products based on different attributes such as size, color, or other characteristics from the available options on a single product detail page.”
A seller can view their existing child ASINs for parent ASINs in the Amazon catalog on the “Add a Product” page in Seller Central. If the product is not in the Amazon catalog, the seller will need to create a new ASIN.
The Difference Between Parent ASINs and Child (Variant) ASINs
A parent listing is a non-buyable entity that is used to relate to child (variant) products. Parent listings are given a unique ASIN that is used to identify the product grouping, but the listing is only displayed within the brand owner’s Seller Central search results.
A child listing is a product that is related to the parent listing. A parent listing can have multiple child listings that are all related, but each child listing will vary in some manner (size, color, flavor, etc.).
Example of a Parent-Child Product Listing
Per Amazon: “A customer searching for a short-sleeved t-shirt might click on a product detail page for a t-shirt that comes in three sizes (Small, Medium, Large), and three colors (Blue, Red, Black). Rather than having to browse separate pages for each color and size, the customer can select the preferred size, and choose the color from the three available color variations on the same page.”
Best Practices for Creating Parent-Child Listings
- Do Not List Different Products Together
Though some products have related items that enhance their functionality or customer experience, items related to the parent-child listings cannot be listed on the same product detail page. Though related, these products are different from the parent listing and therefore require unique ASINs.
- Use Variation Themes for Their Defined Purpose
Make sure to use variation themes for their intended purpose so that customers receive clear, concise product information. These fields have defined purposes, such as color and size, and should not include additional information.
- Properly Describe Child Product Listings
Each child product listing should be described in extensive detail – detail that is defined across all child product listings to ensure brand and product consistency. Not only does this detail make comparing product variations easier for customers, but it may also help to establish brand voice and customer brand recognition.
- Do Not Introduce Large Variation Families
Variation families with more than 2,000 child ASINs will not be displayed on the detail page, so be cognizant of how many parent-child variations are being established.
- Do Not List “Hard Bundles”
A “hard bundle” occurs when one ASIN includes multiple components, but the components are not individually available for sale on Amazon and don’t have their own product detail page/s. A perfect example of this setup is a camera set that includes a camera with multiple lenses and attachment pieces. If the lenses and attachment pieces are not individually available for sale on Amazon and don’t have their own product detail pages, the camera with these accessories would be considered a “hard bundle”.
Always Remember Amazon’s Strict Product Listing Rules
Creating listings can be difficult, confusing, and downright frustrating. Amazon has their rules spread out across multiple areas, but three of the most important areas on which to focus are listed below. As a general rule of thumb, Amazon’s category rules for products are superior to their general rules.
The ZQUARED Advantage
At ZQUARED, we assist our Brand Partners with developing and maintaining a well-organized product catalog, which includes establishing parent/child relationships and variations as necessary. Our teams of industry-leading experts understand the complexities of staying ahead of an ever-changing platform and remaining compliant with Amazon’s Terms of Service. We take the guesswork out of the equation by helping to establish and maintain control of a brand’s presence.
ZQUARED provides our Brand Partners with end-to-end solutions that focus on growing their businesses through advanced brand optimization and marketing techniques, strategy execution, proprietary technology, forecasting tools, logistical support, product distribution, and more. Our teams work to ensure a seamless customer experience that drives our clients’ revenue, while simplifying their business processes.
ZQUARED invests in brands who sell on Amazon and are poised and ready for growth. Born from a service mindset, our passion is helping you navigate the online retail space in a way never imagined. With more than a decade of industry-leading experience selling on Amazon, we form partnerships rooted in collaboration to maximize value and achieve results.
Managing all aspects of the Amazon platform for your brand is a top priority. We offer full-suite services, including design, fulfillment, product listings, enhanced brand content, headline and sponsored ads and MAP violation support. Understanding all aspects of this sales channel can be overwhelming. We break down every aspect of your brand and what you will need to increase sales on Amazon.