A repository of acronyms, jargon, and useful definitions perfect for eCommerce founders & marketers like yourself.

Application Programming Interface (API)

Application Programming Interface (API)

An API delivers user response to the system and sends the system’s response back to the user. For example, when you click “add to cart”, an API tells the website that you added a product to the cart, the website puts the product in your cart and it is updated. API is the framework that developers use to interact with the web application.

These are some of the requests that can be made with API

  • GET- This is used to gather information. Example- getting all coupon codes
  • POST-This is used for creating. Example- create a new category for products
  • PUT- This is used to update the data. Example- Update the product prices
  • DELETE- This is used to delete the data. Example- deleting a product description

Types of APIs

  • Open API- They are publicly available for anyone to use.
  • Partner API- Companies use and design partner API to offer API access to their business partners in order to have an extra revenue channel.
  • Private API- They are not publicly available as they are designed for internal use.

Benefits of APIs for eCommerce sites

  • Security- APIs provide much-needed security for your website as no one can have access to the backend of the server.
  • Speed- In the absence of API, you would have to call the store to know about the status of inventory. But, APIs speed up this process by updating the levels constantly along with the pricing.
  • Scalability- APIs give you the flexibility and scalability to expand your store’s data needs, catalog and security.

Common eCommerce APIs

  • Product information APIs- These APIs are used to gather information about the products and send it back to the customer.
  • Site-search APIs- It is because of these APIs that visitors are able to search for any product on your website without much effort.
  • Payment APIs- These APIs are used if your site provides a payment gateway for the customers such as debit card, Goggle pay, and Paytm.
  • Shipping APIs- These APIs are used to calculate the shipping cost based on your location.
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