API of eCommerce Platform: How to Connect to It
Today, eCommerce software and application providers and developers who want to achieve higher market penetration and gain true success in their niches need to become aware of setting up a reliable API eCommerce platform connection. Even for non-technical teams, the knowledge of APIs and the way these work are essential for outperforming the competition.
In this post, we’ll dive deeper into the ins and outs of APIs, and we’ll reveal to you what an API of an eCommerce platform is and how you can use it to maximize your impact in your industry. We’ll also get practical and showcase how you can quickly develop strong, reliable integrations with the APIs of the most important eCommerce platforms available today.
What Actually is an API?
The term “API” has been thrown around quite a lot recently. It stands for Application Programming Interface and represents a set of definitions and protocols that acts as an intermediary or “middle man” between two digital systems. Basically, the API allows two systems to communicate with each other and exchange data.
The software that needs access to data uses the API to ask for that data, using methods such as GET, PUT, POST, or DELETE. The other program returns the data requested by the initial digital system. The API documentation includes the actual methods used by the two systems to communicate with each other.
Each API includes several function calls or language statements that require the software to perform specific actions. To properly understand what an API represents in your case, just think of how your eCommerce software business needs to use your clients’ data. For example, you need to gain access to data related to your clients’ e-store products, shoppers, orders, baskets, taxes, shipments, and so on to be able to provide your services to your target niche.
To gain access to all of this priceless info, you need to use an API connection. Once a connection is established, you’ll be able to request specific information from the shopping cart’s servers, which will then send you back the information in a JSON format.
As a rule of thumb, APIs come in two different formats:
- SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol): this is a standard protocol that uses XML data to define the message structure and the method of communication
- REST (Representational State of Transfer): a unique set of architectural principles that use specific traits to transfer the information smoothly from one system to another.
Understanding the API of the eCommerce Platform Concept
At this point, you need to be aware that each eCommerce platform has its own unique API. For example, Amazon API allows SaaS providers to exchange data programmatically on payments, orders, listings, and reports. At the same time, the Magento API enables partners to create specific calls for working with resources like customers, categories, or sales orders.
The entire infrastructure of an API revolves around requests and responses. The request is typically sent via one of the following methods: PUT, GET, POST, or DELETE, while the response can come in either JSON or XML format. Each request method has its own specifics. For example, you want to use PUT when you want to update a resource or change its state, while using GET will allow you to retrieve a resource. POST should be used to create a new resource, while DELETE to remove one.
According to your own needs and preferences, you can use any of these methods to work with your clients’ data related to products, orders, baskets, stocks, and shipping info.
A Few Examples of APIs of Important eCommerce Platforms
As noted above, each API of the eCommerce platform has its own specifics and traits that you should be aware of. So let’s take a closer look at some of the APIs that could prove to be significant to your business’ growth:
- Magento API: this is a modern tool that enables you to seamlessly manage your clients’ shops on Magento by working with resources such as products, customers, or orders. Magento supports both REST and SOAP APIs infrastructures and provides a unique set of features to enable you to perform requests and get responses.
- eBay API: the API from the eBay marketplace offers access to a plethora of core capabilities. Using modern standards such as OAuth 2.0, RESTful design principles, or JSON payloads.
- WooCommerce API: this powerful API allows you, as a software developer, to create, read, update, and delete WooCommerce e-store information seamlessly.
- Shopify API: you can use this modern API to gain unrestricted access to the data of your Shopify partners, using either XML or JSON formats.
- Squarespace API: this eCommerce platform uses orders API, inventory API, transactions API, profiles API, and webhook subscription API. Using all of these APIs enables you to gain access to stock info, better manage products, get order history, or access orders’ financial data.
- BigCommerce API: lastly, the API of BigCommerce is quite large, being utilized by 150.000k merchants worldwide. As a SaaS developer, you can capitalize on it to retrieve stores’ catalogs, set up automation features, create new products, and troubleshoot common issues related to integrations.
How can you Easily Develop API eCommerce Platform Integrations in 2022?
You’re probably well aware that you need to develop strong and reliable connections to as many eCommerce APIs as possible to gain access to the plethora of data on them. Without this data, which is the lifeblood of any SaaS solution, it is nearly impossible to beat your competition and promote your company among new clients.
The easiest way to develop API eCommerce platform integrations in 2022 is to use one of the integration services, such as API2Cart. Using it allows you to completely avoid all the pitfalls of manual integration, including huge costs, finding the right team for the job, and managing each connection separately.
With API2Cart unified API, you can now connect your software to over 40 shopping carts’ APIs, including WooCommerce, Squarespace, Amazon, Shopify, BigCommerce, eBay, X-Cart, or Magento. This service works amazingly well for businesses in any eCommerce software niche, including ERP, marketing automation, inventory management, mobile commerce, dropshipping, or repricing.
Once connected to API2Cart, you can start experimenting with the plethora of capabilities and features the service offers.
At API2Cart, there are 100+ API methods for working with data. You can find more info about each method inside its API documentation. What’s even better is that you can test the service, using all its functionalities, for a free whole month. Start here.