The online shop keeps being one of the most attractive places to visit. Accordingly, eCommerce platforms are gaining more traction and getting more advanced.
Retailers worldwide rely on third-party companies that help them create seamless shopping experiences for their customers. Sometimes though, companies lose control of the information that is vital for customer experience analysis. This can lead to a fragmented and messy shopping experience.
Fortunately, the rise of the eCommerce API has brought a new dimension of opportunity to companies, both big and small. Leading companies are using APIs to help make store shopping with lesser fuss, and it is found to be really helpful. They can provide faster order processing, a better shopping experience, and seamless integration with third-party services.
What Is an API?
An API is a method for passing data from one computer application to another. It means that one program can request information from another, which is usually an interface for a database. APIs create a bridge for developers and organizations to connect, allowing different applications to share information with each other. When you build an API, you create a reference standard, or a specification, for other software to interact with your application.
What Is an eCommerce API?
The idea of an API was invented to help businesses build successful relationships with customers by delivering a consistent, transparent experience. An eCommerce API makes it easy for online retailers to handle orders and product listings. It can provide structured data about your inventory, orders, etc.
The API is the kind of a gateway between online platforms that allows brands to connect with their customers. It serves as a communication channel, enabling companies to offer real value and a superior shopping experience. An eCommerce API enables your eCommerce site to connect and communicate with various marketing and business applications. To save valuable resources, it balances the needs of your business with the needs of your website. And this creates more value for you, visitors, and the overall online experience.
Besides, APIs allow for innovation beyond a website, selling to new customers, leveraging the shopping cart, pulling data from the store, and facilitating the entire customer journey, not to mention their internal use.
Why Is API Important for eCommerce?
Before exploring APIs and their significant benefits, let’s first talk about the problem they are designed to solve. Why do eCommerce companies need APIs? APIs allow an eCommerce company to transform a static website into an intelligent, interactive one by seamlessly integrating real-time data. The website can then provide a real-time view of the data, keeping it up-to-date with current ecommerce market trends and creating a better customer experience.
Every website or order management system collects some sort of data, which can be plugged into an API to get information or report to the greater ecosystem. For eCommerce websites, APIs can provide additional tools and services to enrich the customer journey while reducing costs as well. And as businesses are moving away from static webpages toward mobile applications, it will only become more important to monitor and manage API usage.
Why Should You Use the eCommerce API?
Consider using the eCommerce API as it is the easiest way to:
- make customer journey through your eCommerce website ultra-personalized;
- add dynamic eCommerce features to your website or app (such as seamless order confirmation);
- gather and distribute data, track returns and refunds, and get more valuable insights into customer behavior;
- engage with your customers in more ways than ever before: your app can display a customer’s complete profile, review orders, and even respond to customer messages;
- enhance the user experience and increase your website efficiency;
- propel your eCommerce automation strategy to the next level (set up automated actions across all channels without having to change product codes, descriptions, or S
- make it easier for shoppers to check if the product they want is available, add individual products to their carts, lead buyers through a safe checkout, etc.;
- gain customer insights and improve customer engagement (gather useful data about your customer and products to detect improvement opportunities and generate more leads and sales).
Choosing an eCommerce API
As an eCommerce website, your business is probably making a significant investment in infrastructure, technology, and software, which means you need to ensure your APIs are designed appropriately. So, it’s important to understand the difference in profit potential before you invest in an eCommerce API.
There are so many eCommerce APIs out there, and it can be hard to know which ones are worth the time and money. So here’s what you need to consider beyond just the features of the API.
Most modern websites use modern technologies to drive conversions. The way in which you will implement API technology may depend on the needs of your specific eCommerce platform. Suppose your technology needs to become available to multiple platforms. In that case, you may need to conduct a thorough evaluation of your potential eCommerce API partner to determine what compatibility issues may arise.
There’s no magic button – this will likely take some trial and error. When beginning projects with API integration in mind, it’s good to think about the channels you want to use the API on and how long you think it will be before you need to start querying your API.
Location and Response Time
A good eCommerce API is a robust set of RESTful APIs capable of doing everything from geolocation to sending a customer email receipt. Merchant APIs can integrate with the Main eCommerce API for a wide range of functions, from managing orders to customer support, customer reward programs, and inventory. It’s a platform that allows merchants to customize their seamless, web-based eCommerce platform to be a customer’s primary point of contact with the store.
Features and Functionality
eCommerce providers should understand API’s features and functionality before building their applications to make intelligent and data-driven decisions. The primary eCommerce API features are basically centered around selling, payment, shipping, and delivery. The main features and functionality of eCommerce API can be as follows:
- API responses are JSON or XML compatible, or a combination of both;
- API supports RESTful JSON API, SOAP API.
- API responses are cached for 60 minutes;
- API automatically sends a webhook notification to your webhook endpoint when a customer makes a purchase;
- API allows access to transaction history and customer account information.
Interoperability and Extensibility
In order to succeed, a new digital platform needs to be extensible. The key is creating a way to connect apps to collect, transfer, and distribute information without compromising security. And an eCommerce platform is no exception. At the core of any eCommerce app are the back-end processes that come together to deliver the storefront functionality. Behind all these processes is the business logic that manages the order lifecycle and communicates with key stakeholders like a payment gateway and logistics partner.
Interoperability increases customer satisfaction and market growth by facilitating an easier customer experience. Corporate and e-tail businesses benefit from a better understanding of customer behavior and shopping intent and more opportunities for marketing and sales. At the same time, opportunities for cross-selling and up-sell are increasing.
Enterprises can use an eCommerce API to speed up the way they develop and execute business-critical eCommerce transactions. More so, they can ensure ecommerce security and establish a reliable interoperable platform that is easily extensible without spending on legacy platforms or infrastructure.
How Do Sellers Benefit From an eCommerce API?
The primary benefits of having an API for your eCommerce solution include an abundance of functionality, decreased overhead costs, increased flexibility, and the ability to integrate with existing business tools. Using an API can also help eCommerce businesses boost user engagement and gain a competitive advantage. Let’s review the major benefits for sellers.
Enhanced Shopping Experience eCommerce
API will help improve the shopping experience for the users by mapping data from online shops to retailing platforms. One crucial thing that API provides is an easy integration to third-party API-compatible apps. With such an API, third-party products can be sold seamlessly and efficiently.
The eCommerce API helps improve the shopping experience by reducing the cognitive load and pain points consumers experience when they purchase online. For instance, the eCommerce API plays a big role in voice search. With the API working, consumers can ask the voice assistant to find an item or a brand. The assistant could then access the eCommerce API to learn about the available items or brands.
The eCommerce API helps businesses personalize customer service and make it easier to handle the flurry of customer requests. If the API is used to connect with customers, it can deliver instant email and chat support, automate workflow and processes, and increase the number of sales you deliver.
Raised Conversion and Sales
The API allows for quick and easy integration and can be tailored to the needs of each specific business providing up-to-date data. It helps to improve conversions and increase sales using a variety of data sources from sales analytics, marketing automation software, and SEO software. It helps retailers integrate their systems and access external connections to track inventory and sales. As a result, eCommerce websites are not just selling inventory. They are creating a cognitive web of products that fit current in-market needs.
Since there is a countless amount of APIs on the market, eCommerce businesses as a whole are able to experiment with conversion-boosting techniques. These techniques will help create a better user experience and improve how eCommerce businesses attract and convert consumers.
Improved Connectivity and Flexibility
B2B players have been able to integrate merchant data services and payments processors over the years but have missed out on the opportunity to integrate with other functional solutions. One major benefit of deploying APIs is the ability to integrate connections with one another. This integration could mean connecting with shipping platforms to create merged order reports. Also, it enables the creation of stock management systems to provide a single hub for managing product details (like SKU and material) or inventory management systems for related product and order information.
An eCommerce API helps bridge that gap and offers powerful analytics tools while building customer loyalty. By using APIs built specifically for handling large volumes of data, B2B sellers can manage the information returned from their back end with ease so that it’s ready for sharing. And, most importantly, with a seamless experience for their customers.
Modern eCommerce APIs allow integration with all of the major merchant payment gateways, affiliate networks, and A/B testing platforms, providing a holistic view of the relationship between the customer, website, and payments. The API integration offers vendors the flexibility and connectivity to instantly connect their product data to APIs and service providers. This can be transformative for a product manufacturer or retailer.
What Are Some Business Uses of eCommerce API?
After a decade of growth, eCommerce has transitioned into a mature industry. Nowadays, traditional businesses are slowly but surely tailoring their innovations and tactics to increase the customer’s buying experience. eCommerce APIs are found to be perfect for this.
Let’s see how businesses are using APIs today.
As organizations are starting to use more diverse digital engagement methods to fuel their customer relationship, they need to be able to understand customer journeys with ease. The eCommerce API will help businesses integrate and track customer interaction on all digital channels. The eCommerce API can also automate payments, shipping, logistics, and security. It can integrate with tools and software programs to make the marketing and sales processes more efficient.
The impact of using APIs to facilitate the management of eCommerce-specific tasks in modern business is huge. As the growing importance of AI and machine learning has made the digitization of business and human activity even more common, APIs have become an integral piece of the digital revolution.
Online retail businesses are growing in size and complexity. The headless eCommerce API approach is the answer to growing digital commerce, allowing companies to deliver a personal experience beyond the website interface immediately.
Headless eCommerce (also known as headless CMS) is the new modern approach to sales management and eCommerce. This is a cross-platform common API approach to integrate with eCommerce websites. It is an entirely stand-alone, self-sufficient solution.
Headless eCommerce APIs are not APIs that allow you to integrate with a headless CMS. They allow you to take the front end of your eCommerce platform and instruct it to call without page reloads. This allows you to easily turn your site into an order fulfillment product to be sold on the cloud.
PWA (Progressive Web App)
With the growing popularity of mobile-first strategies, B2B retailers are looking for ways to develop improved eCommerce experiences for their customers. With their push notifications, micro-billing, and deep personalization, Progressive Web Apps provide excellent opportunities for eCommerce innovation.
PWAs can centralize the discovery process, provide a more usable and consistent experience, and help retailers to re-engage with website visitors. PWAs can also be used in conjunction with your eCommerce engine to generate leads for your business.
Progressive Web Apps have the capacity to improve the eCommerce experience for B2B professionals radically. Progressive web apps are the future of retail and a new digital ecosystem where companies thrive. When built right, PWAs let you maximize the content on your site, let visitors add to your site and participate in a mobile-optimized, efficient digital space.
Commerce is the lifeblood of the business – and it relies on effective APIs to integrate with the necessary systems, offering maximum performance and efficiency. Businesses need large-scale centralization of data across their processes, and APIs facilitate this by allowing for efficient access to information. They support cloud-based integration and are highly scalable. They are invaluable to companies seeking to grow their sales and increase productivity quickly.
eCommerce API is a channel created specifically for the B2B market, allowing companies to engage with their customers while establishing long-term relationships. Because they enable companies to engage with their customers at a deeper level, eCommerce APIs can be a powerful tool for B2B companies looking to create a deeper relationship with customers.
We hope this piece of content was helpful to you. If you have more questions, please contact us, and we’ll gladly help you.