Impact of APIs Integration on eCommerce Development
APIs can significantly enhance the functionality of your eCommerce store. The recent rise of APIs has played a positive role in the integration of different applications. This is increasing their impact on service quality and capability enhancement, particularly in eCommerce store development.
API integrations have allowed eCommerce store developers and owners to integrate features that don’t necessarily have to be owned or developed by themselves. Rather they get it as a service from specialized custom API providers.
Benefits of using APIs Integrations in eCommerce and how it helps development?
There are numerous APIs that can enhance the functionality of an eCommerce store. We have listed those APIs in detail and the benefits those API integrations bring in to your eCommerce store development as compared to creating those functionalities from scratch.
We have looked at some of the API service providers in each category based on their popularity and the ease with which these APIs can be integrated with your eCommerce stores. These API can integrate with existing eCommerce stores and with completely new development from scratch.
1. Shipping APIs and eCommerce Development
Product shipping API is pivotal to every eCommerce store that exists. Traditionally, shipment handling was manual. But now almost all major shipping companies provide access to their API so that eCommerce developers can integrate these with the store directly to fulfill their orders.
Shipping API integration allows the shipment booking process to be handled automatically. This can help in:
- Automatic shipment rate calculation right at the time of checkout in real-time for the customers.
- Shipping labels are created, and tracking numbers are generated automatically.
- For eCommerce store owners, API integration with shipping agencies can help even more, in terms of automation, such as billing, reporting, pickup details, etc.
All major shipping companies are providing API integration options to their customers, such as DHL API, UPS API, etc.
Apart from these well renowned international shipping companies, local or regional shipping companies have also been providing API integration options.
Shipping APIs we have reviewed in our experience mostly provide all the necessary functionality required for an eCommerce store development.
2. Multicurrency APIs and eCommerce Development
eCommerce stores are not limited to any territorial boundaries. They are practically available for buyers all over the world. However, buyers in Asia, for example, would be more inclined to pay in their local currency rather than in USD or any other currency. Here multi-currency exchange rate management APIs come handy.
Currency exchange APIs provide real-time exchange conversion rates. So instead of maintaining currency exchange rates manually, currency exchange rates can be fetched from these APIs in real-time for almost all of the currencies.
These APIs help users to view products and make purchases in their local currency. This not only increases the trust of a potential customer but also helps in increasing conversion rates for eCommerce stores.
Some of the examples which can be considered for currency exchange API integration are XE and Oanda, among others.
3. Payment Gateway APIs Integration
Payment gateway APIs in eCommerce development is essential as all eCommerce stores accept payments. So it is necessary to integrate your desired payment gateway with your online store using API. Integrating payment gateway using API will help your customers to check out right on your site without having to redirect them to the payment processing website.
Payment gateway integration helps in:
- Late payments and rejected payments management
- Easy signup of new customers
- Easy setup of recurring payments
- Fraud prevention and better risk management.
Examples include Stripe, Paypal, and 2Checkout.
4. Sales Tax Calculation APIs
In a global business environment, you have to ensure regional/local tax compliance particularly sales tax. Instead of managing sales tax requirements for each country/territory manually, an eCommerce store can be integrated with any reliable sales tax API service provider.
Benefits of using Sales tax calculation API includes:
- Real-time product level sales tax calculations at the time of customer checkout
- Sales tax handling at multiple levels, such as countries and states.
- Get segregated geographical reporting based on applicable sales tax rates.
- Any changes in rates are automatically updated by these API providers ensuring consistent legal compliance.
Companies providing sales tax API integration include TaxJar and Avalara
5. Accounting Module APIs Integration
Increasing sales of eCommerce stores bring in more workload for the back-end support team, particularly the finance and accounts team. Taking care of each individual sale in the accounting software can be cumbersome particularly when sales volume is increasing.
Most modern accounting software now provides APIs to integrate with their back-end directly. These APIs can be used in a whole lot of innovative ways, but few important benefits are listed below from which an eCommerce store can benefit.
- Automating overall accounting function related to an eCommerce store
- Instant and accurate reporting of revenue by instantly booking revenue in books right at the time of sale
- Keeping an accurate record of collections by ensuring that each payment processed online is accounted for automatically.
- Accurate booking of any tax liabilities at the time of sale
Accounting software’s which provide an API integration option include Quickbooks and Xero
6. Third-Party Supplier APIs Integration
Although not required for all stores, these APIs are a must for eCommerce development, particularly for stores that rely on their orders to be fulfilled by their suppliers to use API integrations to connect with suppliers and automate the order fulfillment process. Drop-shipping eCommerce stores also use this model to operate their business successfully.
Integrating with suppliers through APIs reduces any manual order handling and completely automates the sales fulfillment cycle.
Some of the features a supplier API integration can provide to eCommerce store includes:
- Supplier product search, view, and additional in own inventory list immediately.
- Automatically fetch all product details, including descriptions, technical specifications, available stock levels, etc.
- When a new order arrives from the customer, it automatically goes for fulfillment to the supplier with details of the end customer, such as his delivery address.
- Automated reporting either it is for just one third party supplier or multiple suppliers.
Supplier integrations have formed the basis of drop-shipping eCommerce stores. They don’t own, hold, stock or handle products but just market and provide eCommerce store platform for their customers to make a purchase.
Almost every large supplier, whether it is a manufacturer or distributor nowadays, irrespective of the product, has developed APIs. They provide access to their APIs for retailers or wholesalers to integrate and sell their products by listing them on their eCommerce store. A very popular example is Alibaba.
7. Anti-fraud APIs
Companies providing anti-fraud services help eCommerce stores to avoid the risk of online payment fraud and ensure safe eCommerce transactions. Anti-fraud service providers allow you to connect your eCommerce store through API with their system, which ensures smooth hassle-free transactions.
These service providers use advanced machine learning and big data to spot fraudulent transactions and prevent them from execution. They use AI tools to identify the risk and ensure risk is within the threshold. This threshold can be based on numerous factors such as transaction amount, IP address of the customer, etc.
Examples include Feedzai, Maxmind, and Ravelin
8. Dynamic Pricing and Price Comparison APIs
Dynamic pricing can be defined as setting flexible prices for your products and services based on current market trends and demand. In current times we observe that the right pricing at the right time can create huge opportunities for businesses. Specially eCommerce stores need to be on their toes as even the slightest fluctuations in a competitor’s price may result in lost business.
Therefore, a lot of APIs now monitor pricing fluctuations. Similarly, few even help in determining the perfect dynamic pricing strategy. Once integrated, these APIs provide the users with detailed analysis. Systems built in these APIs can help users to analyze data in realtime and make informed decisions.
Not only this, but some advance APIs also help businesses track what new deals and promotions are being offered? What kind of reviews are shared and their shipping conditions, etc.?
API integration of such applications into eCommerce platforms can thus increase your business intelligence, helping you make the right decisions at the right time.
9. Third-Party Cart API Integration
The current online norm in online shopping these days is you go to your favorite online store, and after a bit of searching, start adding items on the go to a virtual shopping cart. Users add items by one click and the systems records of each marked item. This specialized piece of code not only tracks these items but also enables smooth payment processing all the while ensuring the distribution of information to the merchant.
Shopping carts bridge the gap between the buyer, the seller, and the supplier. Rather than having to spend time and money on developing a shopping cart solution for your website, a more productive way is to use Third Party Cart APIs. API integration of these apps saves a lot of time and hassle involved all the while providing the same functionality as if developed in house.
These APIs enable quick and fluid integration between the front end of your website with the backend processing. These carts usually have three key aspects.
- Carts store product information.
- These act as gateways for order, customer management, and catalog.
- It renders product data, categories, and site information for user display.
There are two basic types of Third-Party Shopping Cart Integration API.
- Hosted Shopping Carts
- Licensed Shopping Carts
Hosted Shopping Cart’s API integration is usually recommended for beginner Ventures. These require less technical expertise, are quick to set up, and usually cost a lot less.
Commonly used Third-party Shopping Cart API Integration platforms are WooCommerce, Big Commerce, SnipCart, etc.
10. Social Proof API Integration
Social Proof, also known as Informational Social Influence, in a marketing context, is evidence that other people have procured a certain item or service and have found value in the said item. This social proof can be in the form of testimonials, reviews, ratings, comments, etc. Another key point to be noted is that all of these can be from multiple platforms ranging from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any other site for that matter.
With the help of Social Proof API Integration, business owners can stream these social media feeds directly to their site or the product page.
API integration of these social proof platforms can not only increase a business’s credibility overall, but considerable good reviews can also sway the customer in favor of ordering that specific product.
11. Affiliate Marketing APIs
For the ones just starting out their online entrepreneurship journey, Affiliate marketing is the process where the businesses pay the affiliates for bringing in more clients to their website and/or making purchases through their provided links. This is a newer and somewhat indirect approach to reaching previously untapped customers.
Big online stores like Amazon, Alibaba, Ali Express, and eBay all have these affiliate programs through which the user can make further sales.
If your online platform links to another eCommerce platform such as the ones shared above, then you already use these affiliate APIs. This can also work both ways as upcoming stores can also work as suppliers and create there own API integration apps for affiliate marketing and offering others to do the selling work.
12. Recommendation Engine APIs
Most top-selling eCommerce stores have already deployed these recommendation engine APIs.
The primary purpose of API integration of these is to show the customer items according to his previous interests. API Integration of these paves the way for eCommerce businesses to make combined bigger sales.
An excellent example of this kind of APIs is usually seen on websites like Amazon. The Recommendation Engine looks at the products you clicked and liked or purchased and then shows the related items. They usually appear with the title of “frequently bought together” or “customers who liked this also found these interesting,” etc.
The most exciting thing about these APIs is that these are related to the customer’s activity on the web and as such target-specific likes or purchases of the customer. This not only increases the chance of a new purchase but also keeps the visitor interested in the website and compels them to look even further. This also leads us to our next API Integration topic.
13. Personalization APIs
These kinds of API tend to be a bit more advanced as compared to the recommendation Engine APIs. Personalization APIs work by not only tracking a person’s likes or purchases on your eCommerce platform but they in fact, also go much deeper. Once Personalization API integration is done on an online platform, they observe a customer’s patterns on multiple platforms from their social media interests, generic search queries to buying behaviors.
Personalization APIs use complex algorithms to evaluate these behaviors and everything in between connecting back to your online store. These will then suggest items to the customer that might interest them.
The usage of this kind of API integration is a hot debate these days, most of the giant eCommerce corporations think it’s okay to observe its customers and present them with the best products for them. However, there is a growing number of people who believe that this is an invasion of their privacy. Regardless of what is right or wrong, the fact remains these APIs are producing results in eCommerce businesses and are definitely here to stay.
Conclusion: APIs and eCommerce Development
We must note here that there is a vast number of APIs that serve many purposes ranging from eCommerce to generic information transfer. Organizations offer their APIs not just only for eCommerce; they also share these to achieve further market penetration through indirect approaches.
API integration has taken off in the recent few years, especially for the eCommerce sector. There is no doubt that this has a very positive impact on how businesses are being handled. APIs have already changed the eCommerce industry by increasing market awareness while automating and minimizing the effort needed to get in and make an impact.
The above listed are just a few examples of how API integration currently fits into and supports the eCommerce revolution.
We here at help square are paving the way for new upcoming businesses by providing high quality and low investment API Integration solutions for all kinds of websites.
If you would like to know more, drop us a message.