10 Ways to Use APIs in the World Of Online Retailing
1. Site Search APIs – A target oriented search enhances customer’s experienceImagine if Amazon didn’t have any search bars on its site and you would have to scroll through pages to search a specific item amongst thousands of similar ones. I know I would never choose Amazon to shop if that would have been the case. Your site too can lose conversions if you skip this important integration in your E-commerce store.
Source: https://blog.kissmetrics.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/footsmart-header.jpgSite Search APIs provide advanced searching features on your website which results in a positive shopping experience for your customers. The well-established e-tailers apart from the big fishes such as Amazon, eBay, etc. are already using this API for a custom search on their site. The major advantage of deploying custom search API even in you’re “just launched” store is its ability to convert your customers. The people who are visiting your website just to window shop may not use the search box, but the ones who have a target in mind always puts it to good use to filter through the brands, colors, sizes, and styles. If you think that adding filters to your webstore may do the job, then you are wrong. Yes, they do a very good job at removing unnecessary things, but don’t work when a customer needs to find the exact item. Its inability to drill down as a site search API makes this API inevitable for e-tailers.
2. Social Media APIs – Signs of trust to share with your customersSocial shopping is expected to be one of the hottest e-commerce trends this year. With artificial assistants and chatbots aiding online retailers in conducting business through social media, we are far the need of explaining what social presence can do for businesses The social media APIs allow the display of your presence on the social media. Comments on Twitter regarding your products, a number of likes on Facebook, reviews of your products on different platforms can be displayed on your e-commerce website through these APIs.
Source: http://www.nopaccelerate.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/nike-social-proof-ecommerce-conversion-rates.pngThese widgets confirm your authenticity through the reviews received on your social media pages. It increases the confidence level of the shoppers and thus the social proof APIs are considered to be the major trust signals by the customers. If you are new in the world of E-commerce, you can use APIs to stream the social media feeds on your site. These feeds are handled by the respective APIs, for an instance, Twitter comments about your product are displayed on your site with the use of Twitter API.
3. Marketing Automation API – No need to drill down the email listsThe worst thing about the millennial era is that you constantly need to prove yourself. Once proved is apparently not enough. Thus, marketing has become the God of the businesses conducted today. If you know how to sell, you are safe even of your product is not up to the mark, but if by any chance you are an amateur at peddling your products, there is a higher probability of failing irrespective of the product’s quality. Yeah, bitter truth! You may need to suffer a lot if you belong to the clan who hates marketing. Well, where does that bring us on the talk of APIs? If you have already made it big on e-tailing business, you must be aware of marketing automation. However, those who are planning to launch eCommerce store, you must know about the automation tools that help you market your products to the right audience at the right time.
Source: https://media.licdn.com/mpr/mpr/shrinknp_800_800/AAEAAQAAAAAAAASYAAAAJGY2YmY0ZGVjLWU2OTYtNDQxOS04ZDFmLWI1MDA4MzEwMWNlZg.jpghttps://media.licdn.com/mpr/mpr/shrinknp_800_800/AAEAAQAAAAAAAASYAAAAJGY2YmY0ZGVjLWU2OTYtNDQxOS04ZDFmLWI1MDA4MzEwMWNlZg.jpgDeploying automarketing APIs frees you from making the email marketing list manually and also from coding such potential APIs on your own. These APIs group your customers according to their personal choices, their average expenditure on your products and their on-site behavior. These personalized marketing e-mails give a feeling of familiarity to your customers when they see the products in which they had shown interest the last time they visited the website.
4. Anti-Fraud APIs – Identifies fraudsters immediatelyFear of fraudsters is a two way feeling when eCommerce is concerned. Both the parties, the seller as well as the buyer fear of getting scammed. Well, as a seller, it is you who need to convince the customers that you are legit. And, also as a seller, it is again you who need to find our whether the buyer is authentic or not.
Recommended Read: How to Make your eCommerce Website Anti-Fraud?The latter part can be easily handled by the anti-fraud APIs. Adding these APIs to your business workflow is the smartest thing you would do as an e-tailer. All the information that a customer feeds into your website is verified by an anti-fraud algorithm to pick out grotty behavior while making a purchase.
Source: http://ecommerceinsiders.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/image9.jpgAnti-fraud APIs follow financial updates as well as credit card scams to make it a reference when similar behavior is observed by its algorithm. Using anti-fraud APIs make your investment safe and secure without actually doing much about it.
5. Price Comparison APIs – Because competition is always onIf you are already a store owner on the web, you may know how fickle can your customers be. Customers forget about your store being their favorite one as soon as they see the same product at a lesser price on your adversary’s site. The only way to stand tall through the cut throat competition amongst online retailers is to strategize your selling ideas better than the other sites. And for that, you need to know the selling prices of their products. Price comparison API is the answer to these eCommerce issues.
Source: http://ecommerceinsiders.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/image9.jpgAll you need to do is link the product catalog to a price comparing API and it will automatically generate reports that compare your prices with the pricing level of your competitors. This API helps a great deal during Holidays when sales are expected to skyrocket as it is crucial to not have a huge gap between prices during peak seasons.
6. Shipping APIs – This is how tracking orders is possible if you are wonderingShipping is that major factor of the E-commerce world which can make or break your online business. There have been instances where online stores had to shut down because of their unreliable shipping methods which are overpriced at the same time. Every online seller is expected to display the tracking details of an order. Well, that’s next to impossible if you don’t use APIs.
Source: http://help.vtechnologies.com/2_amazon_sellercentral_confirmshipment.pngShipping APIs have made eCommerce a much better business. You can embed shipping and delivery API to your website to give your customers a trustworthy shopping experience. These APIs automate the entire shipping process right from its packaging to its delivery. This API gets updated after every task in the workflow is done and make the info visible to both, the online store owner and the customer. The shipping API can be activated after the purchase is complete on site to prompt the registered seller that a certain product should leave the supplier’s warehouse and reach at the specified address. This API tracks each detail as to where is the package being shipped first, how many steps it is taking, when did it reach your city, and when can you expect the delivery. It keeps both the parties updated until it reaches the final destination. Emerging E-commerce stores are facilitating the need of tracking the packages through these APIs which are a must have for the fresh e-tailers who wish to leave a mark on their customers.
7. Product Data APIs – A much-needed API especially if have a B2B e-commerce softwareCoding and firing query to retrieve data from the database have always had glitches which affect the immediate sales. Product data APIs simplifies these tasks at the time of eCommerce Software integration. This API retrieves product details from the global database or inventory management system. The product details that this API fetches and displays include brand images, product description, exact product titles, specifications and availability of the products. Auto-populating the catalog content becomes easier with these APIs.
Source: https://techproductmanagement.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Leveraging_APIs.pngYou can integrate and develop the connection of this API with many carts which is why this is mostly used by B2B eCommerce sellers. Although integrating it may require technical expertise, but there are companies that can assist you with it.
8. Affiliation APIs – You may be using this API without even knowing itIt is pretty amazing how people earn just by affiliating their website with major eCommerce websites. There are online stores which simply lists the prices or talk about certain products on their websites, especially bloggers and vloggers. It is more like a small store of their own without having to invest in stocking the actual products. If your site to consists of widgets that link the product items on another e-commerce platform such as Amazon, then you are unknowingly using Amazon’s affiliate API. Similarly, if you are making big in online retail business and want other people to affiliate with your store, integrating this API will help you through it. Affiliation has become a big business today. Bloggers that talk about fashion, technical products, accessories, hotel stays, etc. are affiliates of that business which indirectly boost the sales. You can be on the either side of the bridge, get commission by affiliating your store with other big fish or give commission to other stores and personals to grow your business.
9. Recommendation Engine APIs- Suggestions that change your business gameMost of the established online stores have already deployed recommendation engine APIs and as a result, have experienced better exposure of products of the same genre as well as sales. This API can work on your website and can also help you build a potential marketing list. If you may have noticed, let’s take the most common example of Amazon, when you purchase a product there is a slider at the end with a title of “Frequently bought together” along with the product that customers show interest in. This is what recommendation API does, highlights the other products which the customers are bound to the customer at least once and make a bigger purchase. There is another way in which the recommendation APIs may increase your sales which are by giving recommendations on the basis of the items. Usually titled as “customers who liked this also liked this”, this feature increases the visibility of many associated products affecting the sales directly.
Source: https://www.hitreach.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/cross-selling.jpgThe most effective recommendations through these APIs are targeted on a personal level. These APIs uses previous shopping patterns of the customers and recommend products on that basis. This API can suggest your customers on their favorite brands, colors, and styles making their experience a pleasant one.