Application programming interface (API), comprises an array of tools and protocols that connect one software to another; and there are currently more than 20,000 APIs running and supporting everyday functions.
Regardless of whether you operate on the Wall Street market or provide non-profit services, organizations of all types have realized that building a user-friendly interface is not enough. Customers, developers and partners want to interact through simple and programmable systems that appeal to their needs and preferences. Especially, if you run an ecommerce platform, API will become the heart of your business streamlining operations and bring simplicity to your website. Here are five ways an API approach boosts business.
API can boost laziness
A good system has to run smoothly without mistakes, while a great system appeals to emotions. An API can refer to developer’s greed as it can save money and time. It makes sense. However, great systems appeal to the strongest human emotion – laziness! Best APIs are intuitive, which means they let you be lazy. Thus, the best solution is to choose the software that builds strong bonds between all systems. For instance, “Google My Business API” makes it possible to add customer reviews from a third-party vendor to improve your reputation on the web. Manage multiple locations, publish updated photos, respond to customers’ comments and all these within one system. It will significantly reduce the amount of manual work and attract more clients from other platforms.
No need to reinvent the wheel
It is not wise to develop a new system each time you need to connect one service or application to another. Thousands of public APIs are available on the market that are being exploited by world-famous companies, such as IBM, Google, Amazon, Twitter, etc. BigCommerce is a successful example of public API that online stores can benefit from to make their business more effective. The software allows updating thousands of items in catalogs within minutes and supports integration with inventory management programs, analytics, reporting and other essential systems. No matter whether your API is private or public, make it useful to other developers inside or outside your company.
Build meaningful endpoints.
The endpoint is the final chord in API development, which carries out a particular meaning. While developing a great API, make sure endpoints represent the right concepts. In other words, you should make sure they communicate your vision and correlate with your business model. A well-thought-out URL provides hints and makes navigation more intuitive. It is also essential to express endpoints through nouns instead of verbs to avoid potential errors.
JSON or XML? That is the question.
XML is best avoided in all cases as it is outdated, over-complicated and not supported by the majority of systems. Don’t waste your precious time to build an API that does not bring successful results. If your enterprise application can go without XML, JSON is your best choice.
Provide a multichannel experience.
By ensuring the API can provide superior multichannel experiences to customers allows them to shop using mobile devices, PCs, tablets and other digital tools. Did you know that more than 70%of modern consumers tend to research goods on the web before transferring them to the cart? Additionally, most buyers use online sources to compare prices and select a reliable website that provides good value for money. It is better to develop a secure APIs to make sure clients can easily navigate your online store using a well-developed and intuitive interface.
Test, test and test.
All systems need to be assessed to spot errors, reveal inefficiencies and address issues at an early stage. Your customers do not want to cope with failures each time they submit an order. According to Google Analytics, the trend for API testing services has grown over the last several years. Numerous automation tools appeared on the market to assist developers with testing. SoapUI, Katalon, Postman, Tricentic are recognized as one of the best testing software. All of them have paid and free versions, so you can try them all and choose the best!
API is an important component to make buyers’ journey smooth and insightful. If you have thrown a large amount of money and effort to build a reliable system and worry about expenses, calm down! We know how to make money on your project. Many large e-commerce and fintech companies, such as Amazon or PayPal, monetize their content by offering public or semi-public APIs as products on the market. Provide developers with an easy-to-use system, increase your profits and foster cooperation with new partners. You will not only increase the company’s revenue but also get a chance to strengthen your reputation as a manufacturer of quality IT products. A number of large companies have already stepped into API commerce and succeeded. Google Maps is a good example. Rather than developing a brand-new navigation system from scratch, you can just pay to use Google Maps API and integrate it into your website. Stripe, a fintech corporation from California, is another corporation that heavily relies on API economy. The company allows your website visitors to make payments without leaving your app. Stripe supports this process by connecting your online store with the bank or payment system of your choice. Small and middle enterprises actively use this product as it is a cost-effective way to integrate a payment gateway into the website.
Guest Contributor: Anastasiya Rashevskaya is a manager at Mangosoft with a passion for ecommerce solutions that support digital transformation in the field.