If you are selling on the leading marketplaces, such as eBay, Amazon, or Google, you should know what is MPN and how to use it to boost your performance, either as a brand or a retailer.
What is MPN Number?
What does MPN stand for? MPN (Manufacturer Part Number) is the product identifier used to differentiate a product among other (similar) products from the same brand/manufacturer, making it easier for customers to find and buy your products and protecting them from counterfeit (that is, when somebody would be trying illegally sell products on behalf of a manufacturer or make a copy of a product.
Example: Chinese making their versions of "iPhones". Usually, they will not know where to find MPN unless contact a manufacturer).
MPN doesn’t have a generally accepted form, and it is usually up to a manufacturer to decide how the code will look like and where it will be located.
It is often easier for the customer to find a product by a short MPN number like HV-HM02 rather than typing “ZMAUTOPARTS Hood Deck Vent Panel Handle Covers Trim ABS Chrome 5Pcs For 2003-2009 Hummer H2”.
Why Is MPN Important?
Generally, MPN helps a shopper to buy the right item. This reduces the headache of managing product returns and dealing with a dissatisfied client.
MPN is especially important when it comes to tagging the parts of the product. Mainly that’s vehicles, machinery, computer appliances, or DIY (do-it-yourself). Even such a seemingly simple product as cartridges for a printer might be challenging to find, especially if the model of a printer is not very popular. Let’s break down another example. Your customer got a Volkswagen car and needs to change the hubcap for wheels. Among the number of options, he needs to find the precise model that would fit his type of VW (say, Jetta-Sedan 2011). Knowing the precise MPN number would help a customer distinguish between a similar range of products and make the right choice.
Manufacturer Part Number helps:
- Make a product search more accurate;
- Correctly match a search query with the item;
- Ensure a customer purchases the right product or product detail;
- Place product ads in search engines or social networks to the right audience;
- Track product information more accurately within a product catalog;
MPN for Brands/Manufacturers
As the MPN is often a requirement of many marketplaces, having it helps brands and manufacturers to get their products on leading sales platforms faster. It accelerates sales and boosts the brand’s performance. MPN number helps brands and manufacturers better manage and arrange product details and simplifies the communication with the partners and retailers.
At the same time, brands will have to constantly update product feeds and stock and validate their MPN. Gepard PIM system saves you from this routine work: all the product updates and MPN number verification happens automatically. It helps you to kick off your sales and outpace competitors, while your team can focus on more creative tasks.
MPN for Retailers
Getting the accurate MPN number from manufacturers helps retailers to sell faster on their online platforms and keep track of the product inventory. It also helps customers to find the right product faster, which forms customer’s loyalty and satisfaction and makes them choose one retailer over another.
By entrusting data collection to product information management software such as Gepard, retailers can automatically get product feeds and MPN numbers from manufacturers. The automated processes will minimize the chances of data errors, keep customers satisfied, and boost retailers’ performance.
How to Find Manufacturer Part Number
Typically you will find a manufacturing part number on a product packaging: on a label or a bar code. If you didn’t manage to find it there, do Manufacturer Part Number Search across:
- manufacturer catalog;
- manufacturer website;
- online database.
MPN is issued by the manufacturer only, so the first source of truth is a Manufacturer.
Warning: do not type in any other code in an MPN field. It is not the same and every marketplace has a right to put a ban for this kind of fraud. Do not use a value that you’ve created yourself (unless you are a manufacturer). For example, you can’t use a UPC number as an MPN, because Amazon/eBay/any other marketplace will reject it.
Tip: add MPN to the product title and bullet points (not only to an MPN field). This increases chances to appear in the right search query.
What Is MPN on eBay, Amazon & Comparison Engines (Google Shopping)
MPNs are used when importing products to marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Aliexpress, as well as comparison shopping engines like Google Shopping. They let those platforms match products with customers’ search queries and perform product comparisons in a more precise way.
What Does MPN Stand for on Ebay?
MPN on eBay is not a “must-have” point, though there are quite literal guidelines for which product categories and subcategories it is mandatory, and for which it is optional. For instance, for such eBay product categories as Business & Industrial, Cameras & Photo, Cell Phones & Accessories, Computers / Tablets & Networking, Consumer Electronics, Musical Instruments & Gear, and Sporting Goods it is a must. For such categories as Clothing, Shoes & Accessories, Crafts, Health & Beauty, Tickets & Experiences, and Pet Supplies eBay will accept products without MPN numbers. See the detailed eBay product identifiers table, where you can see MPN eBay demands.
Remember: when you match your product with the one in the eBay catalog, the unique identifiers for your product are included automatically.
MPN on eBay Example:
Manufacturer Part Number Amazon
On Amazon MPN is an optional field. Though for such categories, where you know your customers will be struggling to find a specific product detail, it is important to help in navigation.
Where to find MPN on Amazon? As for any other marketplace, you should contact the product manufacturer to get an MPN. Though, if the product you’re selling is already on Amazon listing — the code will be applied automatically.
Here are more benefits of using MPN on Amazon:
- Better indexing. Product is better tracked and positioned in Amazon search.
- More return customers. Usually, when buying some parts for a product, clients are coming back for other replacements.
- Less product returns. The more precise information you provide, the less chance of getting the wrong item/the item that doesn’t fit or serve well.
- Good reviews. MPN helps clients find the right match faster, especially when the product is very specific. It increases customer’s experience and loyalty.
Important: before uploading product feeds, check Amazon product ID (GTIN) requirements by category.
MPN on Amazon Example:
MPN Google Shopping
Google Merchant Help Center mentions that MPN is only required for products that do not have a manufacturer-assigned GTIN (UPC/EAN/ISBN for books). It is also optional for the custom-made products (for instance, art, custom clothes, handmade).
Formatting Guidelines for MPN at Google Shopping:
Source: Google Merchant Help Center
MPN on Google Shopping Example:
Distinguish Between Variants: Do They Have Different MPNs?
Use the correct MPN for each item. Commonly, each variant of a product (that could be of different colors, sizes, models) has its own manufacturer product number.
Exception: is the different sizes of fashion/apparel sizes often go under the same MPN.
What To Do If The Product Doesn’t Have MPN?
Some products don’t have an MPN, and so you don’t need to submit it. Although, if the item has a manufacturing part number and you didn’t apply it because you did not know it or could not find it, or gave the wrong one — then the product could be not accepted by the marketplaces (if there was a field for MPN).
If the product doesn’t have an MPN on a packaging, barcode, or in other product documentation, aim to reach a manufacturer himself. As he is the one who issues the code.
Moreover, MPN is sometimes optional if you have one of the GTIN numbers there (UPC, EAN, ISBN for books).
MPN vs. SKU
Sometimes retailers are confused between SKU and MPN. SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) and MPN (Manufacturer Part Number) difference lies mainly in the method of usage. SKUs are used by retailers or brands to keep track of inventory internally; while MPNs are exposed to the customers and are visible to search engines and marketplaces.
Create Better Shopping Experience With Gepard
MPN number is helpful both for customers who want to make the right choice among highly specialized or complex products and for brands and retailers who want to increase the visibility of the products and boost sales. At the same time, very often the monotonous MPN-related work is done manually, which takes a lot of time and energy.
With the Gepard PIM system, brands and manufacturers can validate their MPN, update their product feeds and stock automatically. Meanwhile, retailers will also seemingly and automatically get MPNs and product updates from their suppliers.
Contact Gepard to learn how data automation can accelerate your sales, increase your products’ visibility, and boost your business.