Whether you are part of a marketing automation software, shipping software provider company, WMS solution, pricing software, or any other type of eCommerce SaaS player, you need to grasp the real importance of being connected to different shopping platforms.
We live in an era where integrations are unavoidable. To make the most out of each integration, you need to ensure that you can easily send API requests and get API responses from all the different shopping platforms used by your customers.
Below, we’re going to take a more in-depth look at what an API is and give more detailed info about API integration, API requests, and API responses. Ultimately, we’ll reveal to you the steps for seamlessly developing a stable API integration with the essential shopping platforms out there.
API, also known as Application Programming Interface, represents a vast collection of definitions, tools, and protocols that enable various software solutions to interact and communicate with each other. Using an API, a client can use a specific interface to request something from the other app.
Suppose you are an eCommerce SaaS app provider. In that case, an API allows you, for example, to request data about products, orders, inventory, customers, and any other info from the shopping platforms’ databases. However, for that, you need to perform an API integration with all the required platforms used by your clients.
The API integration can be quickly defined as the “complex process of creating a means for several APIs to communicate with each other and share data between them, without any human interaction.” API integration allows companies to automate their processes, and leverage the seamless sharing of data.
In today’s world, API integrations have become mandatory for any software company looking to grow and expand into new markets. Due to the explosion of cloud-based apps and products, API integrations are pivotal for success. eCommerce solutions have to create connected systems that enables the data to be relayed seamlessly between software tools without the need for human supervision.
With API integration, SaaS app providers can share data in their ecosystem, improving the flexibility of data transferred and streamlining the embedding of content from different apps and sites.
A good example of API integration is the connection between a shipping software provider and Shopify. Shipping solution providers who want to propose their services to Shopify users must ensure there is a strong connection between their systems and this shopping cart software. Moreover, they need to be able to retrieve the data related to orders to process it by their systems for the creation of shipments, updating orders statuses, etc.
The API integration can be achieved through custom integrations performed in-house by the companies’ developers or with the help of API integration solutions like API2Cart.
Making an API request is the process that involves adding an endpoint to an URL and making a call to the server. Whenever you want to retrieve data from a particular system, you need to make an API request.
For example, you can quickly request specific product attributes from the Shopify store. The API request uses an endpoint to pull the exact data you need from Shopify and enable you to work with it. You can then create custom reports and send them back to your customers who are using Shopify for basing their stores on.
Also known as “sending a call,” performing an API request allows you to pull specific data using methods such as PUT, GET, POST, or DELETE. The data request, known as the “body”, is essential information returned by the server.
After you send an API request, you should typically receive an API response. Usually, the response is either in XML or JSON format. The API response is the message that is sent by the server after placing a request.
This packet of data that is sent back to you depends on the request made. The standard response status codes usually include 2XX, 3XX, 4XX, and 5XX. The 2xx codes are for success response and include 200 for OK, 202 for Accepted, 201 for Created, and 204 for No Content.
While 3XX codes are used for redirection, 4XX and 5XX codes are commonly used for errors such as Not Found, Forbidden, Bad Request, Internal Server Error, or Service Unavailable.
An API response usually depends on the request that has been made. Every request has its different type of data as a response.
How to Develop the API Integration with Shopping Platforms, Send API Requests to Them and Get API Responses?
As a SaaS business owner, you want to grow your company and reach a growing number of customers. For that, you need to be able to develop robust integrations with a plethora of eCommerce platforms. This is best achieved when you understand how to do it properly and efficiently without spending a lot of time and resources.
Let’s say that you want to target shop owners who are using Magento, PrestaShop, and Shopify. To do that, you need to develop reliable API connections with all of these three platforms and be able to send API requests to them and get valid API responses. This is just one example, but in reality, you need to connect with as many shopping platforms as possible to serve the vast majority of your customers.
You can now develop all the connections you need with multiple shopping platforms with just one integration tool. API2Cart is a unified API that allows you to integrate your software with the APIs of more than 40 platforms so that you can easily send API requests and get API responses. This enables you to easily retrieve, add, update, and sync the data from your clients’ e-stores with the help of API2Cart API methods.
Using API2Cart protects you from the time and cost investment in developing separate connections with each shopping platform in particular. You can learn more about how this tool can help your business grow by contacting one of the API2Cart managers or visiting the company’s website.