Changes to Amazon MWS API Data to Affect Buyer-Seller Messages

You may have seen in the news that Amazon has made some changes to its MWS API Data Protection policies, and it’s possible you glossed over it. Much of what we’ve seen released has been general and very broad. But there’s one change that you need to be aware of, because changes to Amazon MWS API Data Protection policies may limit the data you have available to personalize Amazon Buyer-Seller message. All compliant tools will be affected by this change. The Seller Central changes are not immediate but anticipate since the timing has not been confirmed.

What Amazon Changed About Personally Identifiable Information or PII

In a broad sweeping release, Amazon published a number of changes to MWS API data – which reflects changes made in both its environment and what access software providers have to data.

One of the changes involves security requirements regarding access to personally identifiable information (PII) about your buyers.

What Is PII?

In recent years, people have become more and more concerned about their privacy – especially online. PII is a term used commonly in the technology field to describe any information about a person that could be retained. That includes any data that can be used to distinguish or trace an individual‘s identity, and also any other information that is linked or linkable to an individual person.

For Amazon sellers, access to information like the buyer name, recipient name, and shipping address fields, are now only granted for select purposes, primarily tax and merchant fulfilled shipping – but it doesn’t include things like Buyer-Seller Messaging or searching, or anything outside of scenarios where contact is absolutely required.

What This Means to Amazon Sellers

These changes began to go live for providers at the end of July and are expected to roll out for another couple of weeks. The following abilities will change once the rollout is complete:

  • Ability to search for orders using PII data (like the first name).
  • Ability to use buyer PII such as the buyer name, shipment recipient name, or shipment recipient address fields anywhere, unless you are a merchant-fulfilled seller.
  • Ability to send emails with personalized information (like Hi [first name]).

What Should Sellers Do About The Amazon MWS API PII Change?

Regardless of how you’re sending review solicitations, you need to check them for readability and possible updating. If you have email templates, you should:

  • Remove any PII variables that aren’t critical (really, that’s just the greeting).
  • For critical ones, consider replacing with a general term, like “there.” Example: “Hello there’ instead of “Hello [firstname].”
  • It’s a good time to review your email templates to make sure they work with your current brand and style.

Feedback Genius Remains Powerful and Compliant

If you’re using Feedback Genius, there’s no need to worry. We’ve updated our software to ensure you remain compliant – but it’s always a good idea to check your email templates for readability as described above.

Need more help? You can always reach out to the Customer Success team with questions.

Not using Feedback Genius yet? Start now with a 30-day free trial and enjoy all of the benefits that message automation can give you.

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