Creating Parent-Child Listings on Amazon
By Tina Marie Bueno | January 21st, 2016
Amazon offers a built-in parent-child product function that directs all potential buyers to a single page. Helping customers find different versions of a product they’re searching for on one page means fewer clicks and faster check-outs. This is one way Amazon achieves its top goal to maximize their Revenue Per Customer which results from creating the best customer experience.
As an Amazon Seller you have a choice when adding a new product with variations such as size or color to the Amazon catalog. You can:
Make each variation a separate listing; or,
List all of the variations together on one product detail page.
Amazon calls the latter a Parent-Child Relationship.
At iLoveToReview, some of our prospective and new customers who are getting started on Amazon have asked, “Exactly how do I set up a Parent-Child listing?” In response, the following content is an easy 3 Step process.
What is a Parent-Child Listing?
There are three components in a parent-child relationship:
The parent product: The products displayed in the search results.
The child products: The products that are related to each parent product.
The variation theme: The relationship between the parent and the child.
Let me demonstrate this with the example below:
The parent product is ASICS Men’s Gel-Kinsei 6 Running Shoe.
The child products are the sizes and colors available.
The variation theme is that every size has different color options for this ASICS Men’s Gel-Kinsei 6 Running Shoe.
Can I Create a Parent-Child Listing?
Your parent-child listing has to make sense. In the above men’s running shoe example, if a customer is searching for them, they will want to know the colors available, the size options and if the price changes for larger sizes all on one product page. They won’t have to spend too much time searching on multiple listings.
However, according to Amazon, not all related products are valid variations. They want you to answer the following questions to determine whether your products are valid variations:
Are the products fundamentally the same?
Do the products vary only in a few specific ways?
Would customers expect to find these products together on a single product detail page?
Could the products share the same title?
If you said “yes” to all of those questions, setting up a parent-child listing is a valid option. If there is indeed an appropriate variation theme for your products, Amazon states rather strictly that you MUST include your products in a parent-child relationship.
On the other hand, not every category supports parent-child relationships. An example is a product that has different scents. If the title has to be different, say “Lemon Scented Essential Oil”, and “Rose Scented Essential Oil”, then these products will have to be listed separately. Check out the inventory file for your specific category to see whether it supports the parent-child relationship.
We will proceed under the assumption that your product/s satisfies Amazon’s requirements.
How To Create a Parent-Child Listing
There are two options when Sellers Add a Product:
By Listing A New Product individually, that enables you to instantly see if there are existing listings in the Amazon catalog. If yes, then simply add your offering to that existing listing. However, If your product is not in the Amazon catalog, you would then Create a New listing; Or,
By Bulk Upload which means filling out a new or existing Template (Inventory File) appropriate for your category, then uploading that it by clicking on the appropriate link shown in this option.
Since there are too many Templates to demonstrate; the rest of this How To guide focuses on if you list a new individual parent-child product listing.
Step One: Choosing Your Variation Theme
“Vital Info” is the first tab on the product page that shows up after selecting your appropriate category. At the bottom of that tab, just above the UPC, is a drop down menu next to the “Variation Theme”. This will provide menu options such as color, size, or both color and size.
If after you have selected a category and there is no “Variation Theme” option available, this means the category you selected does not allow for variations, or may not show the kind of differences your product offers. You will need to find a broader, different, or miscellaneous category.
I saw this occur with switch plates which will be my example to demonstrate the point. An Amazon Seller offered 10 different styles and 10 different colors – single toggle, double toggle, duplex, cable outlet in wheat, honey gold, cocoa, etc. Under the category of “switch plates”, there were no appropriate theme variations to accommodate their styles and colors. This customer had to use a broader category called “Lighting Accessories” and after some conversations with Amazon Seller Support, a new category called “Wall Plates” with color and size variations was added as well.
Step Two: Filling out Variation Tab Details
You will be asked to list each theme…say “size” for example. List every size, one at a time. Once the size options are completed, the bottom table on that page will generate a line by line list of each variation.
Be prepared to provide a unique SKU and UPC/EAN for each variation. This will also be the point where you can set the price if it is different for any given variation.
From there, fill out the content on the rest of the tabs as you normally would for any product.
Step Three: Adding the Variation Picture
Once you have saved your new listing, it may take a few minutes, but back on your Manage Inventory page, you will see your new variation listing like this:
Click on Variations so that each child can be seen. Select a variation, then go to the Images tab. Upload any picture which shows this specific variation.
Finally, it may take up to an hour before your new parent-child product page shows up for everyone to see.
If you would like to create promotions for your parent-child listings, click here to find out how.
Tina Marie Bueno is a global citizen with an MBA in Int’l Business plus over 20 years of content marketing experience both in the U.S. and overseas. As iLoveToReview’s Marketing Director, she strives to deliver relevant content to serve Amazon businesses of all sizes.