Enterprise & Warehouse Fulfillment

APIs in the World of E-Commerce

By: Shan Lian | May 15, 2015

 

This is a guest post from API2Cart.

The term ‘API’ is widely known and used in the world of technology due to their flexibility and wide applicability.

Flexibility

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APIs – Application Programming Interfaces – are a means of making inter-application communication easier. They are invisible for Internet users who would certainly notice the tragedy that would occur if they disappeared. We are used to the comfortability they establish: APIs are tools that connect and move data between applications to make our lives easier in different ways.

Ever been too lazy or hesitant to sign up for a new service by giving your e-mail credentials and, instead, opted to use single-sign-on via your Google+, Facebook, or Twitter account? APIs are what enables you to do that. They also power your ability to share hilarious images from random websites, to use mobile apps to buy, book, find, etc., and even to see weather.com forecasts on travel agency sites. APIs are the flexible backbone of the online world as we know it today.

Applicability

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Apart from smoothing out the online experiences of our personal lives, APIs are also what make businesses more powerful, popular, and monetizable. They open up the database of a certain service or platform to get the information needed without exposing too much. Despite the ‘limited visibility,’ data synchronization is possible and works perfectly for various business purposes.

Enterprises in the e-commerce space are no exception when it comes to benefiting from the power and flexibility of APIs. They need APIs in order for them to be able to retrieve shopping cart data on products, categories, prices, customers, orders, sales, inventory and stock levels, etc. and then to manipulate that data according to their business needs. APIs aggregate, process, and pass on this data in easily manageable ways so that e-commerce merchants and marketplace owners can better run business operations in shipping, inventory & order management, e-mail marketing, mobile & social commerce, accounting, and more.

Why are APIs more powerful?

APIs widen the functional range of a service by giving access to the information needed and making it possible to perform various operations with it. They let you access data on products, categories, orders, abandoned carts, prices, sales, customers, etc. and synchronize that data within your system. This allows to provide your clients with an opportunity to instantly get informed of or manage tons of important business information from one place.

Why are APIs so popular?

E-commerce-related businesses can multiply the number of clients with each new shopping cart or marketplace they integrate with. For example, there are 240k+ online shops on Magento, 60k+ e-stores on BigCommerce, and 663k+ on WooCommerce. These shop-owners all become customers once an API connection with the e-retail platforms is established.

Why are they more monetizable?

A growing number of clients means increasing revenue. Plus, the new functionality can be used to provide additional services that would work due to the same popular-and-thus-monetizable principle.

APIs can also be lucrative if you open up your data to third-party developers. In this way, your product or service becomes a platform, which can be conducive to it becoming more powerful, malleable, and monetizable.

API2Cart as a solution

Integration with a large number of shopping carts would be a perfect enhancement for many businesses in the e-commerce space. A common pain point, though, is the time and money needed to establish connections with each e-retail platform separately. API2Cart offers a solution to this challenge through just a single API. With one integration, the stores located on 30+ shopping carts become open for you to retrieve and use their data.

 

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APIs have become omni-useful swiss-army knives. They are the building blocks of an interconnected network powering our everyday internet-browsing lives and are also the tool for powering high-growth e-commerce enterprises. API2Cart is one of the solutions familiar with APIs for years and is here to help your business on its way to the top.

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Author Bio

Lexy Mayko is a Marketing Manager at API2Cart, a unified API provider that establishes integration with 30+ shopping carts, including Magento, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Shopify, and PrestaShop.


Shippo is a multi-carrier API and web app that helps retailers, marketplaces and platforms connect to a global network of carriers. Businesses use Shippo to get real-time rates, print labels, automate international paperwork, track packages and facilitate returns. Shippo provides the tools to help businesses succeed through shipping.

Shan Lian

Product Marketing at Shippo

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