API Integration in the World of eCommerce
APIs are the glue that connects data and applications together. They can have major benefits when incorporated appropriately into eCommerce websites. Well-integrated APIs are critical for your business to be as efficient, agile, and adaptive as possible.
This blog discusses some of the main types of API integrations which can be used to improve the eCommerce experience for both the customer and the business.
What is an eCommerce API?
An API can enhance any type of application programmatically. eCommerce APIs help businesses transfer information from one application or piece of software to another and then use this data in a single user interface.
APIs will also allow your development and marketing team to build the required features you need for your eCommerce site faster.
Catalogue & Inventory APIs
Products on your eCommerce site tend to be displayed in static rows, needing to be manually updated if an API solution is not in place.
An API tying your website backend with current inventory and availability allows your site to be constantly updated to reflect current stock levels, while also give backend users access to purchasing analytics and reports.
This type of API can also be linked with your point-of-sale system to ensure the most reliable, up to date data is available.
Price Comparison APIs
If your eCommerce website operates in a highly competitive markets with price being a major factor, you may wish to add a price comparison element to the shopping experience.
A price comparison API is capable of extracting pricing information from other sites and displaying on your website to showcase the difference.
Similarly, the pricing comparison API can be used for internal use only on your website’s backend, allowing your marketing team to make decisions based on competitors’ pricing strategies.
We often see price comparison APIs in place on travel-based websites, where flights and hotel prices are aggregated to help visitors make the easy choice.
An API in place at the checkout will allow your organisation to verify payment details and take payments with a prebuilt payment flow hosted by payment provider, such as Stripe or PayPal.
This checkout API can also be integrated with your mobile application to ensure a seamless buying experience for customers across different platforms.
The API allows the checkout to be customised and tweaked to improve the customer experience as you gather data over time, enabling your marketing team to see what works and what doesn’t.
This form of API enables your organisation to automate shipping processes from the sale on your eCommerce site. A shipping API helps connect your website to a shipping provider or delivery service such as FedEx or DPD. Shipping functionality can be implemented either directly into your website or onto an enterprise system.
Making the fulfilment process more automated reduces costs in the long run and improves efficiencies across the board. When implemented appropriately, customer data can be pulled to automatically create packing slips and labels for delivery.
Like many other APIs, it can be customised to suit your specific needs all with implementing better controls over shipping activities.
If your eCommerce website sells products and services internationally, it may be operating in markets with a different currency.
An important element of the customer experience is making things clear and simple for the consumer. A currency conversion API integration solution along with your online store provides your customers with an accurate price.
It can also automatically determine the visitor’s native currency (based on IP Address) when they enter your store, creating a seamless experience, while simplifying the shopping process.
Are you considering an API integration project for your eCommerce website? Be sure to contact us today on +353 1 8041298 or get in touch below!