Online shopping is a major fixture of global commerce. Millions of people around the world buy items and services online through ideally fluid and painless buying experiences. Most customers never think twice about how they buy goods online or how those goods make it to their houses, but there is a complex network of systems working behind the scenes to keep the international shipping and shopping experience smooth.
APIs, application programming interfaces, are one common component of the under the hood systems that keep the online shopping system running. APIs are used across the eCommerce industry to improve a vast number of smaller systems online customers regularly interact with.
Most customers run into multiple APIs while shopping online without even realizing it, as the services many APIs offers are so commonplace, they are now expected. By using the power and flexibility of APIs, companies can seamlessly enhance their customer’s shopping experiences.
What Is An API
API standards for application programming interface and APIs are responsible for letting different programs work together and share data, which results in new services being added to existing programs. APIs are used to great success in a wide variety of industries, but the eCommerce industry makes especially good use of the benefits APIs bring to the table. From adding security and convenience to personalized experiences, APIs are responsible for many of the features customers and businesses alike have come to expect in eCommerce.
Autofill is one of the staple conveniences of the Internet that is only possible because of APIs. Whether your account information is already populated or you fill it in with only a few clicks, autofill is undoubtedly a time saver for online shopping that customers appreciate. Autofill APIs can go further, and some third-party payment APIs let customers autofill payment information.
Payment Verification and Management APIs
APIs make the lives of eCommerce sites easier by offering convenience for both company employees and customers. The more convenient and painless tasks are, the happier employees and customers will be. When customers enter their payment information, many eCommerce sites will use a payment handling and verification API. The third-party API takes the customer’s data and verifies it before progressing the transaction. The API also lets the business manage transactions while giving customers a clean lightweight interface during checkout.
Site Search APIs
No one wants to waste time searching a site for the product they want or fighting with an inadequate search system. Customers will become frustrated if they cannot find the item they want, and 40% will abandon their search with no intention of returning if it proves too troublesome, which means a lack of convenient search options cost that business a conversion.
Site search APIs offer advanced search options that enable customers to navigate a site quickly and easily, so they can find the item they want and complete the transaction. The faster customers find their items, the quicker they convert, which makes site search APIs an absolute necessity for eCommerce sites.
Shoppers cite several reasons they abandon shopping carts, but shipping issues are one of the common areas of complaint. Shipping APIs help reduce some of the headache associated with shipping by bringing key features. Most shipping APIs offer address verification, real-time package tracking, faster shipping through connections to top global carriers, and some APIs offer discounted shipping or negotiated carrier rates.
Each of these services reduces the potential for error and increases customer satisfaction. Customers and retailers benefit from knowing the order is being sent to the correct, valid address when it will arrive, and that it was shipped using the best carriers for the best price.
Price Comparison APIs
Ecommerce sites are always fighting their competitors for the best price, but monitoring competitor’s prices can be time-consuming. Price comparison APIs make this task much more manageable by monitoring price fluctuations, which lets eCommerce managers adjust their prices to reflect the market.
For sites that sell standardized prodigy, the product price can be the determining factor between a conversion or a sale lost to a competitor. Integrated price comparison APIs like PriceTree can alert you if prices drop or spike, so you can adjust your prices to stay competitive.
APIs are a common and prolific tool used across the Internet, but APIs genuinely shine in the eCommerce industry. From autofill and payment verification to site search, shipping, and price comparison, APIs provide a wide selection of benefits to customers and companies alike.