Amazon Product Advertising API BrowseNodes/Categories

5/26/2017
Updated PriceCheck for Amazon MWS. Added Categories column. Please refer to the sample output.csv file. The Categories column contains a list of all the Amazon BrowseNodes for an item. What are BrowseNodes? Basically, Amazon's way of organizing their products in an inverted tree structure with the root browse node at the top, parent browse nodes under that, and children/leaf nodes at the bottom. You can go to Amazon's Product Advertising API documentation site to read more about Amazon's BrowseNodes. I refer to them as categories instead of BrowseNodes simply because categories is a term which is easily understood as opposed to BrowseNodes. Why do you want to know these? If you decide to sell these items, you can use the categories to accurately list these items on Amazon, Shopify, Magneto, etc.

The Categories column in the output file contains a lot of info and can be difficult to read. When looking at it, please make the column as wide and as tall as possible. Each cell in the column is a multi-line cell. Each line in the cell lists the root-parent-child nodes for this item. The child category can have multiple parents which represent all the different ways to get to the child node. Instead of listing those all separately and making this cell even taller, all the parents of the child are listed on the same line.

Let's use the example Risky Business from the previous article Amazon-MWS-API-Ranks. It has the following categories (below does not list the first line in the cell which is merely a long list of all the parent nodes which are all the different ways to get to this item),

  • Movies & TV > Specialty Stores > Custom Stores > Genre for Featured Categories > Romance
  • Movies & TV > Specialty Stores > Custom Stores > Genre for Featured Categories > Drama
  • Movies & TV > Specialty Stores > Custom Stores > Genre for Featured Categories > Comedy
  • Movies & TV > Departments > Movies
The root browse node is listed first on each line, and for all of them it is Movies & TV. The child browse node is listed last on each line and is Romance, Drama, Comedy, and Movies from top to bottom. All of the other stuff in between the root and the child is simply the different parent nodes which represent the different categories/ways to browse the Amazon site and get to the item. When searching/browsing on Amazon, a navigation window will be displayed on the left and many of the parent browse nodes will be listed there.
 

At first glance, it appears the categories correspond to the Ranks column which was discussed in the previous article and they are somewhat the same. However, many times an item will not have a Rank associated with it, but it will still have categories.

Now that you have the categories for each item, you can use them to accurately list these items on Amazon, Shopify, Magneto, etc. See more details

For the software developers reading this, the Amazon Product Advertising API call to get the Categories/Browsenodes information is ItemLookup and the snippet of the XML giving the information about Categories/Browsenodes is,
 
<BrowseNodes>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>2649512011
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Movies
</Name>
<Ancestors>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>2625374011
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Departments
</Name>
<IsCategoryRoot>1
</IsCategoryRoot>
<Ancestors>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>2625373011
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Movies & TV
</Name>
</BrowseNode>
</Ancestors>
</BrowseNode>
</Ancestors>
</BrowseNode>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>2958765011
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Comedy
</Name>
<Ancestors>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>2958761011
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Genre for Featured Categories
</Name>
<Ancestors>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>2644982011
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Custom Stores
</Name>
<Ancestors>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>2644981011
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Specialty Stores
</Name>
<Ancestors>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>2625373011
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Movies & TV
</Name>
</BrowseNode>
</Ancestors>
</BrowseNode>
</Ancestors>
</BrowseNode>
</Ancestors>
</BrowseNode>
</Ancestors>
</BrowseNode>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>2958767011
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Drama
</Name>
<Ancestors>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>2958761011
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Genre for Featured Categories
</Name>
<Ancestors>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>2644982011
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Custom Stores
</Name>
<Ancestors>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>2644981011
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Specialty Stores
</Name>
<Ancestors>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>2625373011
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Movies & TV
</Name>
</BrowseNode>
</Ancestors>
</BrowseNode>
</Ancestors>
</BrowseNode>
</Ancestors>
</BrowseNode>
</Ancestors>
</BrowseNode>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>2958774011
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Romance
</Name>
<Ancestors>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>2958761011
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Genre for Featured Categories
</Name>
<Ancestors>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>2644982011
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Custom Stores
</Name>
<Ancestors>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>2644981011
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Specialty Stores
</Name>
<Ancestors>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>2625373011
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Movies & TV
</Name>
</BrowseNode>
</Ancestors>
</BrowseNode>
</Ancestors>
</BrowseNode>
</Ancestors>
</BrowseNode>
</Ancestors>
</BrowseNode>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>468374
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Studio Specials
</Name>
<Children>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>908714
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
</Name>
</BrowseNode>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>403936
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>A&E Home Video
</Name>
</BrowseNode>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>1272645011
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>ABC TV Shows
</Name>
</BrowseNode>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>347916011
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Anchor Bay Horror Store
</Name>
</BrowseNode>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>518570
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>BBC
</Name>
</BrowseNode>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>400130
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Cartoon Network
</Name>
</BrowseNode>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>285082
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Criterion Collection
</Name>
</BrowseNode>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>264182011
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>DreamWorks
</Name>
</BrowseNode>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>350735011
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Focus Features
</Name>
</BrowseNode>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>301540
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>HBO
</Name>
</BrowseNode>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>468376
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Lionsgate Home Entertainment
</Name>
</BrowseNode>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>468390
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Miramax Home Entertainment
</Name>
</BrowseNode>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>1039866
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>MTV
</Name>
</BrowseNode>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>518912
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>PBS
</Name>
</BrowseNode>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>492535011
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Sci Fi Channel
</Name>
</BrowseNode>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>516494
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
</Name>
</BrowseNode>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>12947871
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Sundance Channel Home Entertainment
</Name>
</BrowseNode>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>14279371
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Universal Studios Home Entertainment
</Name>
</BrowseNode>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>300381
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
</Name>
</BrowseNode>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>515794
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Warner Home Video
</Name>
</BrowseNode>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>537482
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>WGBH Boston
</Name>
</BrowseNode>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>2309438011
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>FX Network
</Name>
</BrowseNode>
</Children>
<Ancestors>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>2998369011
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>DVD Custom Stores
</Name>
<Ancestors>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>2644982011
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Custom Stores
</Name>
<Ancestors>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>2644981011
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Specialty Stores
</Name>
<Ancestors>
<BrowseNode>
<BrowseNodeId>2625373011
</BrowseNodeId>
<Name>Movies & TV
</Name>
</BrowseNode>
</Ancestors>
</BrowseNode>
</Ancestors>
</BrowseNode>
</Ancestors>
</BrowseNode>
</Ancestors>
</BrowseNode>
</BrowseNodes>

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