Amazon Selling Partner API vs Amazon Marketplace Web Service (MWS)

This topic compares and contrasts Amazon MWS and Selling Partner API.

What is the Selling Partner API?

The Selling Partner API (SP-API) is a REST-based API that helps Amazon selling partners programmatically access their data on orders, shipments, payments, and much more. Applications using the SP-API can increase selling efficiency, reduce labor requirements, and improve response time to customers, helping selling partners grow their businesses.

Key Features

  • With the Selling Partner API, you can: Set up an OAuth authorization workflow that selling partners initiate from the Amazon Partner Network detail page or from your own website.
  • Generate an SDK that can help you with LWA token exchange and authentication.
  • Test your applications by making calls to a sandbox environment.


Global Applications

You only need to register as a developer once, in the region and marketplace of your choice, to be able to create a SP-API application that can be authorized by a selling partner from any region or marketplace. You need only one set of developer credentials (your AWS access key ID and AWS secret access key) to make calls to any SP-API endpoint, as long as the endpoint is for the same region as the selling partner who authorized your application.

Although the Selling Partner API and Amazon Marketplace Web Service (Amazon MWS) are both web services that enable programmatic access to customer data, there are significant differences.

Here are some key differences between the Selling Partner API and Amazon MWS:

  • With the Selling Partner API you can develop applications for both sellers and vendors.

  • The Selling Partner API treats data as REST-compliant resources that can be accessed and modified via standard HTTP methods. By contrast, Amazon MWS exposes data using operations that are specific to Amazon MWS.

  • The Selling Partner API authorization leverages LWA, Amazon’s implementation of OAuth 2.0. This model eliminates the need for the manual exchange of auth tokens, as required by Amazon MWS. 

  • With Amazon MWS, selling partners authorize developers. With the Selling Partner API, selling partners authorize applications. Using the Selling Partner API, developers can create multiple applications that require varying levels of access to selling partner data.

  • The Selling Partner API provides finer grain data access control than Amazon MWS. Developers can request access to only the data they need, and selling partners can grant permissions at the API section, operation, or data resource level.

  • The Selling Partner API lets you directly procure and manage your own authentication credentials using AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM). With Amazon MWS, you receive authentication credentials provided by Amazon using a special registration workflow, and you get new credentials by opening a contact with Amazon MWS support. 

  • The Selling Partner API uses AWS Signature Version 4 for authentication. Amazon MWS uses Signature Version 2. 

Hairball Netsuite Ecosystem V1

Ready to get started?

If you’re ready to grow, scale, and automate your business with industry-leading practices, then contact us today and let’s get started!

Check our other blogs.