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Lauren Clevenger for BigCommerce

Posted on • Originally published at Medium on

Provide a Differentiated Product Experience with the BigCommerce Custom Templates API

In today’s quickly growing ecommerce ecosystem, the need to differentiate is more important than ever. Merchants need unique options to display their products, categories, brands, and web pages on their storefront. In order to set this up, a merchant would need to go into their Control Panel and manually select their desired templates. This proved to be cumbersome and time-consuming which an API could solve quickly.

We are excited to make this need a reality with the availability of the BigCommerce Custom Templates API, available now!

Custom Templates API

Custom Templates is a feature in our Stencil template platform which allows merchants to use visually distinct templates for different products, categories, brands, and web pages on their storefront. While the ability to make these changes for a simple catalog is quite useful, complex large catalogs are harder to manage and benefit from being managed via an API.

Custom Templates functionality previously required users to associate a particular template with a particular object (e.g. a product) by using the control panel to manually select the desired template file for each object. This works well for users who have a smaller number of objects to deal with (for example, stores with less than 50 products), however, for stores with a lot of data, the control panel is not an efficient way to implement this large amount of configuration.

Stores with large catalogs usually prefer to perform management operations using our public API, often connecting with external systems like PIMs where they store the master version of their catalog data and sync it into BigCommerce. In order to make sure Custom Templates could be used in this way, we chose to expose a public API for managing custom template information, Custom Templates.

Unlocking New Possibilities

A public API helps some merchants directly but also allows BigCommerce partners to come up with creative ways of interacting with Custom Templates to drive merchant efficiency. A partner might use the Custom Templates API to help merchants with a large catalog display various options, or they might use it if their solution involves creating a custom product template for particular products. For example, a partner might create a custom product template for selling subscription products, or for selling products where a bulk order form is displayed on the PDP. This API would help automate the setup of such a solution, by allowing an application to programmatically set the correct template for certain products.

For merchants who have diverse and large product lines, the Custom Templates API can quickly help create a differentiated experience across different areas of their website.

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