What is a Flat File?
Also called an Inventory File Template, the Flat File is a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that contains the information needed to create and validate products on Amazon.
There is a specific Flat File for each product category, and for each country.
Where to find the Flat Files?
The Flat Files are available on your Amazon Seller Central. Depending on the selling country, select your product category to download the corresponding Flat File (see image):
How to read and use a Flat File?
A Flat File usually contains 6 tabs: "Instructions", "Images", "Example", "Data Definitions", "Template" and "Valid Values".
We recommend focusing on these two tabs:>
- "Data Definitions"
For each field name, you will find in this section the local label name and the definition of the field, to help you understand the data Amazon expects in the field.
An example of value is also provided, and whether the field is required or optional.
- "Valid Values"
Amazon accepts free values in certain fields, but in many other fields, only valid values are accepted.
These valid values are provided in this section, in the local language. For each field, the valid values are listed: they must be sent to Amazon as written in the Flat File (identical spelling and case). If you send a different value, your product will be in error when sent to Amazon.
Depending on the product category, the valid values may differ for each product type. This is for case for the Clothing category for example, where the values are not the same if the product is a dress, a sweater or pants - make sure you refer the line corresponding to your product. In Lengow, you can add rules to adapt your values.
Example: the color_map field
Two fields are available to indicate the color of your product, color_map and color_name:
- In the color_name field, you can provide your own color. If you check the "Data Definitions" tab of your Flat File, you'll see that Amazon expects the original color name of the product in this field, it's a free value.
- Whereas in the color_map field, Amazon expects a valid value. This means that you can only send one of the colors listed in the Flat File.
How to find the valid color_map value for my product?
Let's imagine your selling a blue sweater (which belongs to the Clothing category), and you wish to check the valid values for the color_map field for your product.
Here is how to proceed:
- Open your "Clothing" Flat File at the "Data Definitions" tab. You'll see that the local label for the color_map field is "Colour Map" (in the UK version).
- In the "Valid Values" tab, search for the "Colour Map" lines.
- Select the "Colour Map - [ sweater ]" line corresponding to your product.
- You can see that the valid values for the color_map field are: Beige, Black, Blue, Brown, Gold, etc. (see image). So in the case of your blue sweater, the exact value to send to Amazon is: "Blue".
What to do in Lengow?
In such a case, Lengow makes it easier for you: the accepted colors are already provided to you in a drop-down menu.
In the attributes of the sweater sub-category, you can create a conversion list for the color_map field. You will then be able to map your own colors (e.g. indigo, coral, emerald) with the corresponding Amazon valid values (Blue, Orange, Green).
Focus on the Clothing category
Amazon requires specific attributes to be completed for clothing products in order to standardize apparel sizes:
- target_gender (required): Gender for which the product is intended. Example: "Female".
- age_range_description (required): Age range for which the product is intended. Example: "Adult".
- size_system (required): Country code corresponding to the selling country, used to display local sizes. Example: "UK".
- size_class (required): Type of clothing sizes. Examples: "Age", "Alpha", "Numeric".
- body_type (conditionally mandatory): Applicable body type. Examples: "Regular", "Plus".
- height_type (conditionally mandatory): Applicable height type. Examples: "Regular", "Tall".
- size (required): Clothing size value. Examples: "40", "S", "6 Months".
- size_to (optional): If providing a range of sizes for a product, select the ending clothing size range value. Examples: "42", "M", "12 Months".
Please note that the names of the "size", "size_to", "size_class", "body_type" and "height_type" fields vary depending on the product type.
Example: for a t-shirt, you will fill in the "shirt" fields (shirt_size, shirt_size_class, etc.).
Let's imagine you are selling a pair of pants for women in size M on Amazon UK.
You will need to fill in the "bottoms" size attributes for this product type. The valid values for the requested attributes can be found in the Clothing Flat File for UK, or in Lengow in the drop-down menu for each attribute.
As a result, the following attributes must be completed as indicated in the corresponding lines in the Flat File (see image):
- Target Gender - [ pants ]: Female
- Age Range Description - [ pants ]: Adult
- Bottoms Size System: UK
- Bottoms Size Class: Alpha
- Bottoms Size Value: M
- Bottoms Body Type: Regular
- Bottoms Height Type: Regular
To better understand the expected setting, Amazon provides explanations on their Seller Central: