ASIN Profitability and Using Product Variations on Amazon

    Written by Tristan Williams
    on May 12, 2021


    • Tracking ASIN Profitability with myHorizons
    • Product Variations - Parent vs Child ASINs Explained
    • Parent-Child ASIN Best Practices
    • Advantages of Using Parent-Child Relationships Between Products
    • Parent-Child ASIN Practices to Avoid
    • Definitions

    Tracking ASIN Profitability with myHorizons

    For Amazon sellers, profit tracking can get complicated, especially when you have to search through individual ASINs. Many sellers struggle with a lack of insight into actual profitability. Calculating profit includes a complex set of inputs covering unit sales, gross revenue, cost of goods sold, taxes, fees & refunds. Amazon offers this calculator tool where sellers can enter a set of inputs to calculate the revenue for a single ASIN. Though it might seem obvious to not sell a product with a negative profit margin, sometimes brands can get caught up in the top-line sales numbers or have too many SKUs, resulting in difficulty keeping track of profitability by ASIN. This is why myHorizons, the software solution built by our software team at Envision Horizons, has a tool that analyzes the profitability for every ASIN, making it easier to scrub your catalog of negative margin products. 

    Understanding your ASIN profitability shouldn’t be time-consuming or complex. Ensure that you’re collecting accurate data with a tool like myHorizons in order to make decisions with confidence and optimize your Amazon business. Learn more about our technology here.

    After you’ve completed your profitability analysis, you can use that data to get more for your money. You can start by using your analysis to negotiate with vendors, identify trends, inform future buying decisions, and make other key business decisions. logo


    myHorizons Estimated Profitability by ASIN Tool 

    Product Variations - Parent vs Child ASINs Explained

    Amazon product listing variations are an excellent way to improve product visibility and conversion rate in the Amazon marketplace. Amazon defines the term, stating “Variations (also known as parent-child relationships) are sets of products that are related to one another. 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.” Connecting child products to a parent product simplifies the customer shopping experience for buyers and allows them to compare and purchase from multiple product variations on a single product detail page. In other words, when you create parent-child relationships between your products on Amazon, you improve the customer experience by helping customers find different variations of the product they are viewing. 

    To create a parent-child relationship between products, sellers can use inventory files or the “Add a Product” tool. Read more from Amazon about how to create parent-child relationships between products and frequently asked questions here

    On Amazon, the parent product listing is a “non-buyable entity” used to relate child products. Oftentimes the parent product is what is displayed in the search results. For Clothing, Accessories & Luggage, Sporting Goods, and Beauty categories best-selling parent products are displayed in the search results. However, for every other category, the best-selling variation is shown. Amazon’s catalog uses the parent listing to establish relationships among the child products.  You are able to have multiple child products that all connect back to a parent product. Each child ASIN varies in some way, such as by size, color, package count, flavor, etc. For example, instead of having 5 separate product listings for a hat that comes in 5 different colors, you can group them together on the same detail page. The multiple ASIN variations are displayed as color choices. Because these 5 ASINs on Amazon have the same parent, then they are related and considered child products.

    Parent-Child ASIN Best Practices

    When creating a parent-child relationship, Amazon states…

    “Do not include price and quantity values for parent products. Including price and quantity can cause your products to disappear from the catalog. Completely describe each child product and all of their variation attributes. Follow the recommendations in the Product Page Style Guides for each child product.” Read more from Amazon on best practices here.

    Each category on Amazon has slightly different requirements, so it is beneficial to review your product’s associated style guide in order to follow best practices. It is also important to understand the product listing policies for your product’s category because incorrect variation usage on Amazon can lead to suspension. During the process of entering variations, if you do not see a variation field, this product category likely does not allow variations. You can create variations in most product categories on Amazon, and available variation themes differ by category. In inventory files, you use variation themes (for example, Size, Color) to describe how your items vary. To view a list of available variation themes, download the inventory file template for your item’s category and refer to the Valid Values tab for a list of available variation themes. Read more on variation policy here.

    Advantages of Using Parent-Child Relationships Between Products

    Using parent-child relationships between products can be an important part of your overall Amazon SEO strategy, as connecting product variations comes with various benefits.

    The most obvious benefit of using parent-child relationships between products is improved sales due to more conversions. Displaying different options on your Amazon product listings simplifies shopping for your customers and improves the overall customer experience. Customers can avoid the burden of searching separately for their preferred color, size, flavor, etc, and clicking in and out of multiple product listings, as all of these options are available to them immediately. This simplified and improved experience leads to more conversions. Additionally,  by connecting your product variations you also enable customers to discover new product options they never knew existed.

    Another benefit is increasing visibility for child ASINs. When you connect a brand new or low-performing product with an already existing high-performing product through a parent-child relationship, you automatically give it more visibility in the search results, making it more discoverable to customers. For example, say you have 5 different color variations of your best-selling hat, which has collected a lot of great reviews. When you decide to start selling a new color, the new child ASIN will be automatically connected to the high-performing product. This saves the new color variation of the hat with no reviews from being invisible in the search results and automatically boosts its visibility. 

    As mentioned above, another benefit to connecting products is being able to combine the reviews for all child ASINs. It can be hard to accumulate a large number of reviews on Amazon, so the ability to consolidate reviews for multiple product variations is a great benefit.

    Similarly, connecting child ASINS to one parent ASIN combines all sales history. Each sale that has taken place on your parent-child listing over time, including every variation, will go towards the overall sales history of that listing. This will help increase your organic search ranking and your overall Best Sellers Rank.

    Parent-Child ASIN Practices to Avoid

    According to Amazon’s Variation Relationship FAQ page, Amazon will display up to 2000 child ASINs on one product detail page. This is a significant number of variations a seller would need to track and monitor. Too many options could also result in information overload for customers. It is important to strike the right balance between providing options that simplify the customer buying process to increase conversions and providing too many options that will lead to consumer decision fatigue. 

    It is also best to avoid overwhelming and confusing your customers with too many variation themes. For example, if you are selling candles and consumers can choose between both size and scent, depending on how many options there are mixing these variation themes together could result in a mess for consumers to sift through. 

    Finally, do not try to use parent-child relationships on unrelated products in order to gain an advantage in the marketplace. Variation manipulation not only negatively impacts the consumer experience, but it is also against Amazon’s policies and can result in suspension.


    ASIN: ASIN stands for Amazon Standard Identification Number. An ASIN is a 10-character alphanumeric unique identifier assigned by Amazon and its partners for product identification within the Amazon organization

    SKU: A Stock Keeping Unit or SKU is a number that is assigned to a product for the purpose of inventory management and ease of record-keeping. A stock-keeping unit is a distinct type of item for sale, such as a product or service, and all attributes associated with the item type that distinguish it from other item types.

    Parent ASIN (or Parent Listing): The listing which is a nonbuyable entity used to relate child products.

    Child ASIN: Variants of the parent product available for purchase. Each child ASIN varies in some way, such as by size, color, package count, flavor, etc.

    Variations (Parent-Child Relationships): Sets of products that are related to one another. 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.

    Variation theme: The relationship between the parent and the child listing. Variation themes vary depending on the category chosen to list your products.

    Variation Manipulation: When there is a parent-child relationship created between two products that are unrelated in order to gain some advantage in the marketplace. 


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