APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are sets of tools and protocols that translate data into actionable business intelligence for smart website owners.
With the help of the right kind of APIs, e-commerce businesses can enhance the shopping experience for end users by integrating a number of relevant, differentiating, customized and user-friendly features. They can also send the right cues to shoppers on the right kind of device at the right time to maximize the chances of making a sale.
The following are some examples of products that provide sets of APIs that further increase the capabilities and the credibility of e-commerce platforms they are integrated into.
This is a suite of APIs targeted at businesses of all sizes, so whatever basic or advanced features you plan to include in your e-commerce platform, Stripe likely has the solution. With a bit of technical know-how, you can create a customized e-commerce shop that delivers a seamless user experience.
Prominent features include:
Customization: Develop your own APIs and build customized products for your e-commerce shop.
Payment Facility: This is perhaps Stripe’s best feature. With Stripe APIs, your team can create eye-catching payment solutions. However, Stripe also provides pre-made solutions that work well with any platform and are continuously refined for improved performance.
- Pre-built payment forms that are minimalistic but capture all the important and relevant information. Customers are able to complete the transaction from within your site, instead of being directed away from it.
- Support for all kinds of payments, including Bitcoin.
- The ability to remember customer details to save time during subsequent transactions.
- A number of languages to facilitate international shopping.
- Safe and secure data.
Mobile-friendly: The payment solutions work both on desktop and mobile devices, so that payments can be made on the go. Consumers are increasingly relying on their smartphones when shopping, whether they’re checking out product reviews, comparing prices or making purchases. Given how important mobile commerce has become, these little refinements can make a considerable difference to the revenue of a store over time, and particularly during the holiday season.
2. Google Analytics
The perennial favorite of small businesses, Google Analytics is a tried and tested set of APIs that is universally used and relied on.
Find the right kind of API and integrate it with your Google Analytics account to provide a better user experience.
Prominent features include:
- Product insights for customers to help them make better purchase decisions.
- Information about the bounce rate for your store. You’ll know the number of additions and removals to specific shopping carts, as well as cart abandonment so that you can send personalized emails to customers — reminding them of the abandoned cart, apprising them of low stocks, or nudging them to complete their purchase.
- Data on the number of times a product has been viewed and clicked. With this information you can gauge the popularity of certain products and stock up on related inventory.
- The ability to measure each and every step of the checkout process to learn whether customers are facing problems. With this data you can further refine the checkout experience, which is crucial to the success of an e-commerce venture.
- Multiple currencies so merchants can offer localized experiences throughout the world.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. There is a whole range of features that an e-commerce store can implement with the help of Google Analytics APIs. Combine this with the data gleaned from Google Analytics itself and you will have rich information at your hand to implement in your store, improve user experience and generate greater revenue.
3. Marketing API (Facebook)
Facebook’s Marketing API is of a slightly different nature than the previous two mentioned in this article. It is integrated into Facebook’s advertising platform and consists of a suite of APIs to help developers create relevant campaigns to attract customers.
Prominent features include:
- The ability to create targeted marketing campaigns with the help of the Audience Management API, which works on data extracted from a store’s CRM, website or app.
- Control over the structure of your ad campaigns. You are able to optimize the campaigns to best meet your goals and objectives, as well as measure results.
- The creation of ad sets aimed at different segments of your target audience with your bids. You also get to control which segment sees the ads at which point.
- A range of metrics (with the help of Ads Insights API) to show how each ad is performing.
E-commerce businesses should make the most of APIs
These APIs provide unique insights that will give you a competitive edge in a crowded market. Set your brilliant developers to work with the aim of delivering a unique user experience, measure the results and make better business decisions.
E-commerce stores should actively consider a wide variety of APIs to introduce newer features and improve the existing ones on a continual basis.
With APIs, you are limited only by your imagination and technical know-how. The new ImaginCommerce integrates the APIs mentioned in this article so that you can view them all at once. Other APIs included are Magento, WooCommerce, eBay, Amazon, Shopify, OpenCart, Bigcommerce, PrestaShop, PayPal, Bing and Twitter. The tool brings you contextual data in an easy-to-understand manner to help drive smarter business decisions.
Pete Peranzo is the CEO of Imaginovation, a full service, turn-key digital solutions company serving Raleigh, NC and Charlotte, NC. He is a results driven individual with over 15 years in the IT and software industry. He will be launching the company’s first product, ImaginCommerce, at Catalyst 2016. Follow him on Twitter @PetePeranzo.