API Integration Development with eCommerce Platforms
If you’re looking for a descriptive post on how to perform a flawless API integration with the most popular eCommerce platforms out there, you’ve come to the right place.
Below, we will explore the main benefits of developing multiple eCommerce integrations and revealing all the options you can use for successfully connecting your software to the shopping platforms used by your existing and prospective customers.
Needless to say, whether you are providing marketing automation, dropshipping automation, order, repricing, multichannel, shipping, warehouse management software, or any other similar solutions for e-merchants, it becomes crucial for you to perform solid API integrations with various shopping platforms. It can be, for example, such platforms like Magento, PrestaShop, WooCommerce, Shopify, OpenCart, Lightspeed, etc.
The integration with different eCommerce platforms is more than necessary for software providers like you. eCommerce integration enables your solution to access the e-stores' data relevant to your clients and work with it to provide your core functionality.
The data you can gain access to post-integration includes order, product, customer, price, shipping info, etc. Basically, after the successful building of eCommerce integration, you’ll be able to offer a broader range of services to your clients. And you’ll finally be able to tap into the power of raw data to create custom reports and enable your clients to sell more and make higher profits. Ultimately, by providing better-quality services, you’ll be able to grow your business and tap into new markets, boosting your profit and skyrocketing your company’s brand.
In this article, we are going to take a closer look at what an API is and how it works. We will show you how to differentiate between API requests and API responses. We will also explain how to perform a winning API integration with all essential eCommerce platforms.
What is API and How Does It Work?
An API, or Application Programming Interface, is a modern set of protocols and definitions that enable seamless transmission of data between various software solutions or applications. The API can be used in numerous areas, industries, and verticals, allowing one program to pull data from another and then send new data back.
Each API contains function calls, which tell the program to collect specific types of information. For eCommerce software providers, using the API allows them to collect precious data related to e-merchant stores’ products, descriptions, orders, prices, customers, categories, and shipments located in the shopping platforms’ databases.
So, the API enables different types of apps and software to interact with the other external services. One software can call the other program’s API and receive access to the required data of that other program.
The Difference Between API Requests and API Responses
In simple terms, an API request represents any inquiry or call towards a server with the purpose of pulling out the needed data. There are four types of HTTP request methods that can be made with the help of API:
- GET - allows gathering information from a specific program
- PUT - enables updating of the data pieces
- POST - is utilized with the purpose of creating new resources
- DELETE - is used with the intention of deleting some resource
On the other hand, an API response is an essential piece of information you get back after making an API request.
Whenever you request a specific type of information, the server comes back with an answer. Usually, you get the response in a data format that is easy to manipulate, such as XML or JSON.
Typically, the response depends on the actual request being made. The response can either be null if no data has been found or come back as a string or integer.
What is API Integration, and How is It Used the eCommerce Sphere?
APIs are used in countless industries and niches, such as retail, banking, transportation, or eCommerce. Pulling data from the other programs is necessary almost for any software solution.
In the eCommerce sphere, API integration becomes a must for software providers who work with e-retailers and operate in the spheres of repricing, marketing automation, order and inventory management, shipping management, etc.
API integration with eCommerce platforms means the process of developing the connection between any eCommerce software and shopping cart solutions like Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce, etc.
In the eCommerce sphere, API integration can be used by any type of eCommerce B2B software provider that needs to access the valuable data, grows their business, and expands into new markets. For instance, chatbot providers have to integrate their systems with shopping platforms to pull out precious data about e-stores’ products and customers to provide the functionality related to the order creation, sending tracking info, and order statuses.
Similarly, the inventory management solutions, with the help of smoothly developed eCommerce API integration, can retrieve the data on orders, products, customers, etc., to be able to sync inventory across different platforms.
In-House Integration Development vs The Integration Via Third-Party Solution
When it comes to performing the actual API integration with eCommerce platforms, things boil down to two main options: either perform an in-house integration with your team or a team of freelancers or choose a third-party integration tool such as API2Cart. Each option comes with its set of benefits and drawbacks.
For example, an in-house development process gives you more control over the integration and allows you to perform custom data pull scenarios. However, it’s hugely time-consuming and requires a considerable budget investment. For example, the development of the connection to only one shopping platform like Shopify can take more than a month. Moreover, further integration support and upgrading also take time. Talking about the money spent, you will need to pay huge salaries to your developers responsible for the integration building, spend your budgets on services your developers need like VCS (code repository), CI/CD Services, Cloud Services, server hardware, etc.
For most companies out there, API integration with eCommerce platforms via a third-party solution is the right way to go. One of the best solutions you can get is API2Cart. This unified shopping cart data interface allows you to seamlessly integrate your software with 40+ shopping platforms at once, without spending a lot of your money and time.
Usage of this service allows you to avoid developing a separate connection with each shopping platform used by your clients. All that you need is to integrate your software with API2Cart. After that, you will instantly gain access to the precious shopping platforms’ data you need to provide your software functionality and offer superior services to your target audience. You can also integrate different eCommerce platforms with each other to maximize profits and minimize efforts, like integrating Shopify and Amazon.
The development of reliable API integration with eCommerce platforms is necessary for different types of software providers. It is a technically complicated process that requires specific resources. However, depending on your needs, it can be implemented by your team of developers or by the other third-party solution.