E-commerce API 101:Why it's important for ecommerce

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Poeple live in digital world, without API we can not connect with each other and share the information. With the development of new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), big data, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR), blockchain and Web 3.0, the global e-commerce industry has ushered in a new digital time. Since 2020, the world has trapped the epidemic economy, all walks of life have been hit hard, supply chains have been blocked, and many substantial enterprises have had to temporarily withdraw from the market. On the contrary, during this period, online e-commerce has going ahead in a rapid step. The consumer shopping behavior has undergone tremendous changes, with the higher expectations of customized experience.

The APIs are common used in decoupled architecture commerce such as headless commercd or JAMstack cms. With APIs the applications and online business has more opportunity to achieve fast growth. In this article we will discuss the what, how and why API in the E-Commerce industry.

What is API and API Economy

Application programming interfaces, or API for short, is an information connector that enables fast communication and data sharing between different applications. Enterprise use the API to extent their e-commerce store with multi-functional features.

In the digital age, APIs are extremely important for business growth. Enterprises can realize the required functions without knowledges about the data structure and technical framework of third-party APIs. This will highly improve the flexibility, rapid response to market, high efficiency and innovation ability. A huge number of APIs has emerged in the digital world, creating an "API economy".

"API economy" is a term that has emerged in the past years. In order to strengthen the communication between applications, enterprises use third-party software to improve the commercial vitality, it can not only reduce the development costs, but also provides seamless connection between enterprises, services and users.

The key factor for large online retailers and brands to stay ahead in the e-commerce industry is the use of the "API economy". The truth is that API economy offers a best solution to create new features, new services, and better experiences to meet diverse customer needs and thereby increase revenue.

What are APIs mean for E-commerce

The online e-commerce platform is a very complex system. In order to integrate all functions in one system and work stable in a long-term, API plays a significant role.

Now many brands have begun to develop Headless E-commerce by themselves to make their business in the vital level. If you have a certain knowledge of headless commerce (Explanation of Headless Ecommerce), it is a decoupled system that the front-end and back-end runs independently, using the APIs to communicate.


No matter what language you use in the basic framework, enterprise is flexible to choose the third-party applications using API call to scale their business, which means you don't need to re-develop the app, undoubtedly cutdown the investment and speed up into the market.


Reusable APIs make cross-platform, cross-application, Omni-channel become easily. Use the same API, application can be launched immediately with just a few code modifications with high efficiency.


The security of e-commerce database is the key to protecting your commercial data. API encryption technology will be used to establish a stricter protection layer between user requests and data response to avoid huge losses caused by data leakage.


Enterprises can use APIs to uniformly manage different data of online business and keep them synchronized, avoiding the confusion with different data versions, and simplifying the workflows.

Different types E-commerce APIs

In the e-commerce ecosystem, there are many types of APIs that enterprises can use. The following introduces some commonly used APIs for building e-commerce stores.

CMS Platform API

With the development of headless e-commerce, traditional CMS platforms offer their APIs for developers, including the three giants Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento. Using the API provided by the platform to create headless e-commerce is a best opportunity for building highly personalized stores.

Storefront API The storefront API is offered by the online platforms and used to build the storefront. There are two type of storefront API, such as product details API, shopping cart, checkout etc.

Product Information API

The product information API offer the data interface required for product details, product name, product pictures and videos, brand, description, price, product type and other related details.

Shopping Cart API

The shopping cart API can help store to fulfill the function of add to cart in fast way, such as adding to cart, product information, customer information, etc. Developers can edit, modify and create the cart model.

Checkout API

One of the most important processes is checkout. With the help of the checkout API developer can make a safe and stable payment environment and design the personalized payment page to improve the conversion rate. Use third-party payments' APIs such as PayPal or Stripe to provide multi payment way. In any case, convenience and fast speed checkout are always the key fators for final transaction. Using the headless ecommerce tech stack gives better shopping experience in the payment process.

Order Management API

Use the order management API to sort out customer order information and manage orders by different categories, check order status and business sales in fast way.

Shipping/Logistic API

Shipping is not a simple job, especially for international retailers, using third-party shipping and logistic APIs, this heavy job can be automotive fulfilled.

Customer Management API

For different customer groups, it is necessary to build different customer models, and further summarize the customer information. The customer management API is classified according to different customers, which is of great significance for enterprises to carry out different sales strategies.

Social Marketing API

The Social Marketing API greatly improves the automation of digital marketing strategies, allowing advertising in different social platforms. Your store can embed stores into Facebook, Instagram and Twitter platforms. Customers buy and pay with just a click.

Data Analysis API

Enterprise use the data analysis API to understand the traffic data, evaluate the marketing strategy, and then make a right decision in order to gain more profits in the competition.

Email Subscription API

The email subscription API allows developers to design email subscription functions with user experience, as well as customer feedback forms, which is conducive to the collection and tracking of customer information and the purpose of secondary sales.

Catalog API

The catalog API gives a way to manage, modify and create different product catalogs. Large retailers may need to manage more than ten thousands products, using catalog APIs to implement catalog sorting in just a few seconds.

Authentication/Login API

With the help of API, the login page is much more secure. Besides, take the two-factor authentication method for user authentication is getting popular; users can use existing accounts to log in to e-commerce stores, such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc.

The APIs are widely used in the application development, and become the key component for integrating of different applications. For decoupled architecture website or applications API allow the developer to connect the application with other platform, which create more user experience and promote the business. HaiCommerce is the expert to build the decoupled architecture web development, we know deeply about how to utilize the API to create new business opportunity for our customers.


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