Shipping API Integration: Connect Your Software to Multiple Shopping Platforms
Today, shipping software providers are considered essential in the eCommerce sphere, enabling online retailers to streamline their shipping processes. As a shipping software provider, you need to be aware at all times of the latest shipping trends so you can stay ahead of the competition and provide superior services to your target niche of customers, represented by eCommerce store owners.
To offer reliable services to eCommerce store owners, it becomes imperative to invest in shipping API integration. Creating shipments, updating order statuses, and tracking info automatically by your software requires access to the data from shopping platforms. That is why it is necessary to integrate your solution with all major eCommerce platforms and marketplaces out there, including BigCommerce, Shopify, Magento, Amazon, and eBay.
The efficiency of your shipping management software is directly dependent on your capability to automate retail operations. It involves being able to create strong connections between your software and multiple shopping platforms. A reliable eCommerce API integration will enable you to give your clients access to superior features, such as providing tracking numbers and printing shipping labels.
Below, we’ll show you how you can avoid all shipping API integration difficulties and how you can seamlessly connect your software to multiple shopping platforms so that you can access all the data needed and offer superior services to your end customers.
What Is An API and How Does It Work?
An API, also known as an Application Programming Interface, is basically an intermediary that enables two applications or software solutions to communicate with each other. It acts as a “messenger”, delivering requests and sending the answers to them. The API is made out of building blocks that are independent of the implementation, thus making this tool a very reliable one.
Developers who use API can capitalize on pre-written blocks of code when integrating two software products through an API. A good API does not require developers to reinvent the wheel or create code from scratch, but it allows them to focus on the unique proposition of their app while outsourcing the features of the API.
In the eCommerce industry, an API is used by a shipping software provider to pull data related to orders, customers, and shipping details. API integration with eCommerce platforms allows you to gain access to precious information from e-retailers’ online stores. You can then use this info to create detailed reports and automate difficult shipping operations.
A good shipping API integration allows you to connect your software to multiple shopping platforms, thus offering your services to a great number of prospective clients. It also enables you to reap certain benefits that we will explore below.
The Importance of API Integration for Shipping Software Vendors
As a shipping software provider, you can definitely make the most out of API integration with major eCommerce platforms. For you, the information related to your clients’ e-stores is quite a valuable asset, enabling you to run your business and offer better services. Without unrestricted access to product data, order data, shipping info, you will never be able to innovate your services and automate retail operations.
A valid eCommerce API integration enables you to perform the following operations:
- Import orders and shipping information from multiple sales channels
- Update order statuses and tracking info
- Create shipping labels and offer segmentation capabilities to your customers
- Schedule, customize and automate shipping tasks so that they run only for certain stores
- Create innovative reports that offer insightful data
In the end, the quality of your services depends entirely on the amount of data you can access and use.
How to Avoid API Integration Difficulties
No matter what you do, integrations are unavoidable. You simply cannot offer reliable shipping management services in 2021 without some kind of integration into place. The tricky part is that you can fall into certain API integration difficulties. Many shipping software vendors have already experienced how daunting API connection development can be.
Hiring a dedicated team or a developer to focus on shipping API integration comes with the following risks and drawbacks:
- The entire integration process is quite a tedious one, involving a minimum of 4 weeks until fully implemented. During this time, the developer has to study the architecture of the required eCommerce platform and ensure he manages to bypass any integration pitfalls. For example, integrating with Amazon is quite different from developing the connection with WooCommerce.
- Huge cost involvement: for a valid integration to take place, you have to be prepared to invest a little fortune. A standard integration costs around $2,000 in set up plus another $1,000 in maintenance. For several integrations, you might end up paying well over $20k.
- Constant issues to overcome: the integration is not over once your system is connected to the APIs of eCommerce platforms. The constant updates could prove to be a thorn in your side that needs to be tackled. This involves hiring a full-time developer experienced enough to maintain the connections available.
Fortunately, you can avoid all of these integration difficulties by using a shopping platform integration tool like API2Cart.
API2Cart provides a unified API that allows you to connect once and interact with dozens of platforms at the same time. API2Cart supports the integration with Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce, Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and other platforms. This solution can save you hundreds of hours of integration and thousands of dollars in the long run.
API2Cart has more than 100 API methods that enable shipping software providers to:
- Gather info on customers, orders, shipping details, products
- Import orders from PrestaShop, Magento, Shopify and the other supported platforms
- Update tracking info in real-time
- Generate shipments and create shipping labels
Find out more about how API2Cart can help your business in 2021 and beyond, and contact us now to get a full 30-day trial.
Originally published at https://dev.to on February 3, 2021.