APIs, or application program interfaces, are common tools used throughout the technological world. They allow programs to talk to other programs, allowing for more complex actions to take place. Companies use APIs to do business with other companies’ programs, making for some fantastic collaborations. APIs are used in industries from the financial world to the online retail space. Online shopping and APIs are the subject of this article. However, we will not focus on the business to business side of APIs, rather the business to customer interaction and how APIs have made it better.
Data Collection and Trend Prediction
The customer and business relationship has only been helped by APIs. APIs have allowed companies to collect an accurate and detailed picture of their consumers. This information tells companies what customers are looking for and how best to serve them. This is coming at a time when customer experience is just as important as product price or even the product itself.
In today’s world, there are several ways in which a customer can contact a company. Phone calls, emails, social media and more are ways customers can contact the companies in their life. All of this communication provides companies with valuable data, but that data is coming in from all directions. Without the proper collection methods, this data can be rather overwhelming – this is where APIs come in. To get the most out of incoming customer data, it must be synchronized across all channels to make the retail process as easy as possible for both the company and the customer.
APIs can do even more than collect and utilize data though. APIs allow online retailers to add features to their site that improve the customer experience. Data, such as a customer’s location, can affect a customer’s experience. An online store can adjust what products it shows customers based on data. For example, if a customer lives in a cold area, then your store can show them products designed for colder areas rather than warmer weather products. However, customer personalization can be even simpler. Something as basic as greeting your customer by name in a message can go a long way toward making your customers feel appreciated.
If you have ever shopped online, you have likely seen an autofill field. Your browser may have your shipping information saved and when it sees a related field, it gives you the option to autofill the information. This is possible due to APIs.
Through third party payment request APIs customers can store their information in an API-capable browser. An open cross browser API allows companies to request payments or information and the API takes care of inputting the data with autofill so the customer does not have to do it themselves.
Better Site Searches
When customers arrive at a website, they are only interested in being shown what they want to see. If a customer cannot find the item they are looking for in a relatively short amount of time, they will simply leave. Customers are not interested in wasting time digging through an online store to find the one thing they want. This is where an effective site search comes in handy.
Through the use of APIs, an online store can integrate elevated search methods without requiring a customer to sift through the entire site. A good example of one such API is Learning Search by SLI System. This API adds a predictive search function and improves product findability. Both of these features work to make the customer experience better. Not only does this increase the likelihood of a customer buying a product, but it also increases customer loyalty. When customers have a good time on your website, they are likely to visit again in the future.
Shipping is one of the final steps in an online purchase. It is also one of the most important. Shipping is often the final barrier and is where many shopping carts are abandoned. So, you want the shipping section of the transaction to be as easy as possible. APIs can help there. Having a hearty shipping API can conduct the customer’s experience from the moment of purchase to the moment of delivery. A particular API called UK Mail API takes care of processing, tracking, and delivery for packages shipped with UK Mail. There are many other APIs that cater to nearly every area of the world.
APIs are powerful tools in any industry and the online retail space is no exception. APIs help with data collection, data-based predictions, shipping, customer experience, site searches, and more. Be sure to take advantage of APIs when you are setting up an online retail site- it will only make things easier.