Amazon MWS: What It’s Good for and Why It is Being Replaced

Are you interested in using the Amazon Marketplace Web Service (MWS) API? If so, you’re a little late. Amazon MWS is being replaced by the Amazon Selling Partner API (SP-API) and will disappear.

Amazon only publishes MWS updates for business-critical changes. The integration with the Selling Partner API is straightforward, however, and all of the MWS API’s functions will remain.

What is Amazon MWS?

Amazon MWS helps merchants and vendors sell through Amazon by automatically sharing data, such as orders, payments and inventory, with them.

This data integration makes it possible to automate a number of different processes. Amazon provides several programming interfaces as part of MWS, and these interfaces share relevant data with each other.

Third-party providers can also access this data. As a result, there are lots of applications that sellers can use with their accounts. You can even programme these apps yourself. There are also established solutions from the logistics sector that offer an interface with Amazon MWS.

You can decide which data you would like to receive. You can programme the APIs precisely so that you only receive the data that is necessary for your daily business.

What features does Amazon MWS offer?

Amazon MWS takes over the data synchronisation in all of the areas that are relevant for sellers:

  • Inventory management
  • Order management
  • Reporting

This also includes automatic price changes and data synchronisation during shipping.

If you use Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), there are even more options available to you. You can prepare shipments to FBA with less effort, track arrivals and track shipments to your customers with greater ease.

What is the Amazon MWS Authorisation token?

Amazon has to ensure that only authorised people and programmes access the data from your seller account and your orders. To ensure that this is the case, the company uses an MWS Authorisation token. This is a key consisting of numbers, dots and letters, and it is valid for one year.

You have to update your Amazon MWS Authorisation Token regularly in order to retain permanent access. Amazon sends weekly email reminders one month before the token is due to expire, so the risk of being left without a valid token is fairly low.

Why is MWS being replaced by SP-API?

Amazon MWS is based on XML. However, data throughput and error handling are not optimal with XML. That’s why it is rare for logisticians and developers to work with this markup language. They use Javascript Object Notation (JSON) instead; the SP-API is, therefore, based on JSON.

In addition, SP-API offers a number of other advantages, such as authentication and authorisation. An MWS token is no longer necessary; it has been replaced by LWA (Login with Amazon) and the Auth2.0 sales partner authorisation.

For those customers who still use MWS, Amazon is continuing to provide updates for particularly important areas aspects of the interface. However, the company has announced its intention to shut down Amazon MWS completely at some point in the future.

At the same time, it has made the integration with SP-API as straightforward as possible in order to make it easy for merchants to make the switch.

Amazon SP-API documentation can be found here.


Amazon MWS enables the automated data exchange between Amazon and sellers. Merchants can use apps to select the data that they want to receive and have sent out automatically.

This makes trading via Amazon significantly more efficient. Customer service works faster and far more efficiently on the basis of this data, and merchants can save lots of time. However, the successor to Amazon MWS has already arrived: Amazon MWS will be replaced by SP-API in the long term.

Steve Paine