As an eCommerce software company that wants to grow and expand in 2021, you need to become aware of the huge importance of API integration with shopping platforms. In order to help you out and offer you precious info regarding this process, we’ve put together a complete API integration guide.
Whether you’re marketing automation, repricing, order & inventory management, shipping management software provider, reaching new markets, and expanding into new potential niches cannot be realized for you without a proper API integration.
Basically, without such integration, it becomes close to impossible to operate and maintain your business functions. The reason for that is that you won’t be able to work with your clients' e-stores data connected with products, customers, orders, shipments, etc. However, once you integrate your business with the APIs of the main eCommerce platforms, you’ll be able to expand your customer database and offer better functionalities to your clients.
An API, also known as an Application Programming Interface, represents a set of protocols that are used by technology products and software solutions for interacting with each other, requesting and sending data. The API allows a specific application to interact with external services using a set of simple commands.
To make it more practical for you, let’s say that you provide pricing software for eCommerce shop owners who sell their products online. An API enables you to access the data stored on the platforms used by your customers so that you can manage it by your system. Basically, you can pull the info connected to the e-stores’ prices, products, orders, and the list goes on.
Developers can also use the API to add specific functionalities to their applications, speed up the development process, and create an environment that offers smooth data and quick integrations.
To put it all simply, an API allows two programs to communicate with each other. The first program calls on the second program’s API in order to gain access to the required data.
The entire API infrastructure revolves around API requests and responses. It is essential to understand how they work.
API request occurs during adding an endpoint to an URL and making a call to the server. You have to make an API request if you need to get the data from some system. For example, if you need to retrieve the order data from Shopify, you need to do it through an API request.
Also known as “sending a call,” performing an API request allows you to pull specific data using methods such as PUT, GET, POST, or DELETE. The data request, known as the “body,” is required info returned by the server.
API response appears after sending an API request. Usually, the response is either in XML or JSON format.
An API response depends on the API request that has been made. Every request has its unique type of data as a response.
In the eCommerce sphere, the API integration process involves developing a connection between a specific software or app and the eCommerce platform. Basically, eCommerce software companies such as warehouse management, marketing automation, prices, order & inventory management software need to connect with platforms like Magento, Shopify, Ecwid, WooCommerce, PrestaShop, Etsy, etc.
Once a connection is established, the software provider can gain precious access to information related to products, shipments, orders, customers, prices stored on the eCommerce platforms. As a result, they can capitalize on certain perks and benefits.
Going a little bit deeper, let’s look at the practical benefits your company can enjoy after a successful integration with eCommerce platforms:
- Retrieve and manage all the info your business needs in order to stay ahead of the competition and to provide superior services to your end customers
- Integrate with multiple platforms, thus expanding your customer database
- Adopt new functionalities and propose better services that cater to the specific needs of your clients
- Gain more profits in the long term and establish your brand as a trustworthy one in the eyes of prospects and existing customers alike
If you want to capitalize on all the benefits listed above for your company, it becomes mandatory to establish an API integration with as many shopping cart solutions as possible.
However, because every shopping platform has its own architecture and logic, setting up connections with them requires bespoke integration methods. For instance, integrating your software with, for example, Shopify is way different than integrating it with Magento.
A manual integration with each platform comes with countless disadvantages, such as:
- Huge costs
- Challenges related to each platform’s infrastructure
- Continual maintenance costs
- The manual integration requires skilled developers who have technical expertise in API integrations
- The security threats are ever-present
The best alternative to a manual integration with eCommerce platforms is by using a third-party solution as API2Cart. With this service, you can seamlessly connect your eCommerce software with 40+ shopping platforms at once, and you can use up to 100 API methods to manage data. Best of all, you can try API2Cart free of charge for 30 days and see how it works for you.