Our key points:
- Ecommerce API helps dev teams translate the information from one program backend into another program and then ties it all together in a separate source of truth.
- APIs connect all your business solutions and tools, effectively tying them together and offering all the information gleaned from each tool in one cohesive platform dashboard.
- Businesses can use APIs to improve the fulfillment process within multichannel sales, manage inventory, track shipping, and even personalize customer experiences based on channel.
- Your entire Ecommerce suite can work for instead of against you when you embrace Ecommerce APIs, the proper integration, and technology.
- Every decision regarding your Ecommerce online store should bring you closer to your goals.
What is Ecommerce API? Technology is in a constant state of evolution, shaping the entire world of business. But there's no aspect of business quite as affected as the Ecommerce industry and your Ecommerce website. Artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), the Internet of Things (IoT), virtual reality (VR), and the blockchain have all advanced Ecommerce in innumerable ways, and connecting all the dots are Ecommerce APIs.
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Table of Contents
- What Is an Ecommerce API?
- Why Does Ecommerce Need APIs?
- The Benefits of Using APIs in Ecommerce Businesses
- Most Common API Models
- Different Ecommerce API Types
- What Is Ecommerce API and How Does It Work?
- What Is Ecommerce API: Learn More With Integrate.io
What Is an Ecommerce API?
An Ecommerce API (application programming interface) helps dev teams translate the information from one program into another program and then tie it all together in a separate source of truth — one dashboard where all the information from your Ecommerce platform is visible and updated in real-time.
APIs integrate with multiple tools and solutions, allowing businesses to harness the existing functions of their business tools without having to build these features from scratch.
But why are APIs so consequential for Ecommerce?
Why Does Ecommerce Need APIs?
If you've ever wondered what is Ecommerce API, you've likely also wondered if APIs in Ecommerce offer any real benefits. There are multiple reasons why APIs are essential in Ecommerce. For one thing, Ecommerce creates a host of customer touchpoints, each of which offers solid insight and unifies the business — but not without a way to read all that data cohesively. APIs in Ecommerce:
- Lower the costs of omnichannel Ecommerce. APIs make it fast and easy to create and sustain complicated Ecommerce solutions for much less cost and time investment.
- Help build and add new channels in less time. APIs let you use business logic from a touchpoint that's performing well and apply that logic to other touchpoints.
- Offer less risk when testing a new idea. APIs let you try out new ideas at different touchpoints with less risk and cost of implementation.
- Offer efficiency when experimenting with new technologies. APIs let you connect touchpoints within the ecosystem and collect the generated data to see if the new tool or solution helps or hinders your Ecommerce business.
- Allow for fast support from IT when needed. Modern solutions like APIs create a more predictable business environment.
So, this is why Ecommerce businesses need API. What are the benefits of using API in an Ecommerce business?
The Benefits of Using APIs in Ecommerce Businesses
APIs connect all your business solutions and tools, effectively tying them together and offering all the information gleaned from each tool in one cohesive platform dashboard. For instance, you can use an API to connect your Ecommerce site with your shipping partner account to import data from orders and their respective shipments. Order fulfillment, tracking, and shipping are now on one platform, streamlining your entire process and bringing all the data to light. Establishing an API within your shipping program creates a solid Ecommerce platform, but that's not all. Using APIs in your Ecommerce business also has these benefits:
- Extensibility. APIs can connect various aspects of your Ecommerce business and let them "talk" to each other. It extends one application's functions to another's capabilities and eliminates a lot of mundane or repetitive work, simplifying information sharing.
- Security. Say a customer visits your website to check the status of their order or to see where it is in the shipping process. The customer requests the information from your site, and the API to your logistics partner provides the information. The API facilitates the information transaction using security measures like encryption.
- Replication. An API can be implemented over and over again across tools and platforms using an approach oriented to service. The replication reduces the time developers need to spend on a project, effectively improving productivity.
- Scalability. What is Ecommerce API good for if not for growing your business? An Ecommerce API lets you connect any system you currently use to any new systems you add without having to make changes to the original tool or solution. With just a few simple lines of code, you can connect the API. Plus, its flexibility helps calculate complex transactions, meaning not only can you grow your business, but you can also scale.
- Synchronicity. Thanks to integration, APIs let you choose the elements of your Ecommerce site based on other tools, which creates a platform unique to your business. It enables you to sync workflow operations logically.
With an integrated Ecommerce system, companies can connect their software and other apps and manage data, shipping, products, and more to meet the business's unique needs.
What is Ecommerce API? It's a revolution. The revolution of APIs in Ecommerce involves all businesses. Developing APIs can be a complex, time-consuming, and expensive process. It can also expose your organization to a number of risks including consistency, quality, and developer resourcing. DreamFactory is a REST API generation platform for a range of databases and other data sources. It gives you the ability to generate secure and fully documented APIs in a matter of minutes. Ready to get started? Sign up for a 14-day free trial and start creating your APIs today.
So, what are the most common types of models in API?
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Most Common API Models
With an Ecommerce integration led by APIs, businesses improve the very way users interact with a new device or shift in technology.
Businesses can use APIs to improve the fulfillment process within such aspects as inventory management, order management, and multichannel sales. APIs are also useful in shipment tracking and can even personalize customer experiences based on channel. All APIs do one of three things:
- Retrieve system data
- Transform data into a process
- Create experiences
Let's take a look at these different types of APIs for Ecommerce.
- A system API. A system API hides the complexities of core systems (such as FTP, enterprise resource planning [ERP], customer resource management [CRM], or legacy system) and helps you access data systems or integrate current records.
- A process API. A process API integrates systems within an IT ecosystem. Process APIs create data sources independently to keep these sources from siloing data into just one system or throughout systems. Process APIs don't depend on the system where the data is being delivered, but instead, help an Ecommerce business expand its IT infrastructure.
- An experience API. Experience APIs reconfigure data to enable it to be presented in various formats depending on the end user's needs. This type of API creates common data sources for every channel rather than a different integration for every channel separately.
These are the most common API models — now let's look at the common types of Ecommerce APIs.
Different Ecommerce API Types
Ecommerce API integrations allow the dev team to put various system functionalities directly into the online storefront, which streamlines order fulfillment, shipments and tracking, and delivery.
Hundreds of APIs are available for Ecommerce, used to add orders, track shipments, source products, view aspects of the site, create target segments, and more.
Some of the more popular and/or useful Ecommerce APIs include:
- Product information APIs. Product info APIs let you pull product details from product databases, such as descriptions, IDs, titles, specifications, images, and prices.
- Order APIs. An order API highlights order details from your website. It syncs the import vs. export status, displaying a list of all orders within your account. Users can sort their order information by packing or shipping date. The business or the user can cancel an order, return an order, create a bulk import of an order, or add inventory for an order. As required, additional parameters can also be added, such as allowing customers to retrieve abandoned shopping carts.
- Inventory APIs. An inventory API can sort or filter inventory information, checking details by SKUs. With an inventory API, you can even update details about that product's inventory.
- Shipping APIs. A shipping API automates the shipping process, giving you a direct connection to your shipping partners and the ability to track details of each sale from order to packing and shipping to delivery. You can even use automation for invoice and shipping label creation. A robust shipping API can let you choose from different shipment partners depending on such things as proximity to the customer and delivery times. Finally, a shipping API enables you to integrate this info into your mobile app or Ecommerce store and send it to your customers via email or text.
- Courier APIs. Similar to a shipping API, courier APIs help you find the best courier for your location and which regions they service, and create pickup requests for orders (think DoorDash or UberEats). A courier API can let you assign unique ID tracking numbers to orders so you can track them and retrieve details.
- Wrapper APIs. This type of API lets you combine all the functionality of the order, invoice, label creation, and shipping APIs into one smart tool.
- Channel APIs. Channel APIs provide details about every channel in your Ecommerce site, such as Shopify, BigCommerce, or Magento, and each channel has its own unique ID number. Whenever an order is created in one of these sales channels, the channel ID lets your Ecommerce site know where the order originated.
- Catalog APIs. What is Ecommerce API without a way to manage your catalog of products? A catalog API lets you update your product catalog easily and integrates with other primary business systems, like order fulfillment and reporting.
- Login APIs. These APIs let you access your shipping partner's resources and validate that you're the true account holder.
- Payment APIs. Payment APIs let you create applications for your checkout processes so you can accept different payment types. You can program your payment API through your current payment gateway.
- Validation APIs. What is Ecommerce API good for if you can't validate customer information? Validation APIs verify customer addresses and other details they enter on your Ecommerce site. This API can use the customer's address information to identify the best shipping method and whether the order is deliverable to that address. A Validation API automates this process, correcting addresses and eliminating verification documents.
- Marketing APIs. A marketing API automates your email marketing and segmentation functions according to customer behavior, buying history, and other information.
Now that you know the models and types of APIs in Ecommerce, the question is: how do these APIs work? APIs can be a complex and time-consuming process. You also need to ensure consistency, quality control as well as developer resourcing for your organization's needs - which is not easy with all that goes into developing them! DreamFactory has created an API generating platform designed specifically around these challenges. Ready to get started? Sign up for a 14-day free trial and start creating your APIs today.
What Is Ecommerce API and How Does It Work?
Ecommerce APIs let you interact with all the systems within your entire Ecommerce ecosystem and display any relevant information to a customer when necessary.
An Ecommerce site has uncountable requests and responses to handle simultaneously, and there's logic that must be applied in each case. Ecommerce APIs are typically built upon the REST architecture and require HTTP requests to access the requested information on the server. A REST API is lightweight and coordinates with nearly every tool. A REST API comes with a set of tools for search and query, giving developers greater access to the data on a given website.
A REST API also supports various security authentication processes, cross-platform developments, and programming languages. The dev team can integrate an Ecommerce API into a site using:
- Resources. References to objects that determine relationships to resources and the methods required for operation.
- Endpoints. The touchpoints where an API interacts with a different system.
- HTTP methods. The allowable interactions, such as GET, POST, or PUT.
- Parameters. The criteria with names, value types, and descriptions that determine the action to take.
- Sample Request/Response Object. Identifies the input and output of resources.
What is Ecommerce API? It's the sum of the above, and it makes your Ecommerce site work for you. In a world where developers are in high demand, it makes sense that companies would want to develop their own APIs. But did you know there can be risks involved with this process? DreamFactory offers an easy way for organizations of all sizes and backgrounds without any technical knowledge or experience building API's by generating secure & fully documented endpoints using industry best practices. Sign up for a 14-day free trial and start creating your APIs today.
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What Is Ecommerce API: Learn More with Integrate
Your entire Ecommerce suite can work for you instead of against you when you embrace Ecommerce APIs, the proper integration, and technology.
Every decision regarding your Ecommerce site should bring you closer to your goals. Integrate.io is the partner that can help you achieve that and more. We offer no-code solutions, ETL and ELT functionality, and blazing-fast CDC for every aspect of Ecommerce. Schedule an intro call to see how Integrate can help you achieve full Ecommerce integration.