An Application Programing Interface (API) acts an interface between two or more software programs. An API is a set of instructions programmed to provide or share information between applications or web services. For example, if you are purchasing a product on an eCommerce site, once you enter your payment information, the website uses an API to transfer this information to a registered payment vendor and to receive and display the confirmation/error message back from the payment vendor’s platform. Listed here are few APIs eCommerce businesses can use to build a better user experience and more robust sales funnel.
Product Information APIs are used to display your product catalogs on integrated platforms. The API connects with a database which stores the information and specifications of your products. Your distributors can use these APIs to integrate so that their product catalog can be auto-populated and updated in real time. Similarly, businesses can also use APIs to update their product information on platforms such as Google Products.
Shipping and Order Tracking
ECommerce businesses can integrate shipping APIs within their platforms to expedite the paperwork required for shipping the products and can also be used to provide timely updates to the customers on the shipping status of purchased products. For example, you receive orders from both your website and Amazon. The user who purchased on your website wants the product to be shipped through FedEx, whereas the customer who bought the product from Amazon wants the product to be shipped through UPS. So you could design and develop an API to distinguish and bundle various orders based on preferred mode of shipment. Similarly, you can integrate the APIs provided by various shipping companies on your website to provide updates on delivery status.
Social proof often stands as a testament of how much your customers love your products. Social media is playing an increasingly important role in the digital marketing activities for businesses. Be it the comments or shares on Facebook, retweets or comments on Twitter, reviews of products on your website or review sites, all these social activities build and deepen relationships with your customers. You can use APIs to display your tweets or Facebook posts on your website. You can also use APIs to measure the social engagement on various social platforms where you share your content.
Upselling and cross-selling products are important sales efforts. Showing recommended products along with the product a user is currently browsing is a very effective way of increasing your revenue per customer. Businesses can use APIs to display recommended products on their various product pages. These APIs are designed to keep track and analyze all the activities users perform on the website. And they can display recommended products based on the geolocation, search terms, brands categories etc.
Various APIs are available to automate your lead capturing and lead nurturing process. You can use the APIs to directly register a lead captured on your various online platforms to your CRM. You can then create marketing lists based on the platforms the users have registered and run more targeted market campaigns depending on their areas/products of interest.
With the penetration of eCommerce across all the industries, APIs are gaining more popularity among web developers as effective ways to increase user interaction and sales. Using APIs to integrate with various systems can also help businesses save operational costs and lower order fulfillment time. So APIs can drive higher revenue and lower costs.
DirectiveGroup is a strategic, technology-based marketing firm. We’ll help you zero in on your greatest opportunities for higher revenue or lower costs, and then develop cost effective solutions to help you harvest these opportunities. Contact us today for an assessment of how you might integrate APIs into your value chain to deliver high impact customer interactions, higher revenues and lower costs.