It is easier to run a business and optimize your marketing today than it was ten years ago. Marketing, in particular, has been made easier (theoretically) to the point that both storefronts and online businesses can at least scale up when they want to.
Application Programming Interface, or APIs, are part of the revolution that has made doing business relatively easier.
If you have been in the online business for a reasonable period, you will agree with me that making leads and turning them into customers is the ultimate goal. This means, making them first-time customers and enticing them to come back again as customers in the future.
With APIs, some of these processes of inbound marketing have become easier to run and manage. APIs incorporate a data-driven approach to business, therefore putting you steps ahead regarding understanding your customers and reacting to your market.
The following are four APIs that are critical to e-commerce and other online businesses and will most likely take you to the next level from where you’re stuck.
1. Personalization API
Personalization APIs are the interfaces integrated into a platform to display content to change content based on already known customer information dynamically. E-commerce is a tiring business if you do not understand your customers and their interests. By integrating personalization APIs, e-commerce businesses can organize and deliver their content in a way that matches the needs and desires of their customers and site visitors.
E-commerce moguls like Jumia use personalization in three ways:
- Ordering their content and promotions based on a buyer’s purchase history or previous visits
- Sending more targeted emails to their customer’s lists based on a customer’s known interests
- Understanding the interests of their customers from their behaviors on other sites and social media
2. Price comparison APIs
After carefully following the practices of Jumia, Amazon, Alibaba, and related companies, I have concluded that pricing is one of the areas where these companies beat upcoming businesses pretty easily. It is imperative for businesses people to be able to monitor the prices of their competitors to determine if they have a competitive advantage for running their promotions.
At the same time, it is very critical for you to notice when the stocking of a specific item in your competitor’s store diminishes. Pricing APIs come in handy to serve this purpose, by providing sellers with real-time insights on pricing, product availability, markdowns, and assortments.
3. Recommendation API
Recommendation APIs nearly resemble personalization APIs regarding functionality. What they do, they provide recommendations to your customers and site visitors on the different products and services based on the products they view on your store. Typically, these APIs use artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver seamless results in recommending to your customers the products that they can buy.
These APIs are generally real-time and reach the actions of your site visitors including what they view, the items they purchase, wishlist or bookmark on your site. The bottom line, recommendation APIs are built to adapt to what your audience does to increase your chances of making sales and lower your bounce rate. Online retailers who are serious about scaling their businesses cannot ignore recommendation APIs either should you.
4. Marketing automation API
This is perhaps the most important API for sellers who are overwhelmed by marketing efforts. Modern marketing techniques require sellers to send newsletters to customers, boosting posts on Facebook, managing ads, all while struggling to enhance the customization of your customers.
This is where marketing automation comes in. I don’t think there is any more tedious work than manually maintaining lists of emails, automatically responding with a customized response to all new purchases or sign-ups, and making product suggestions to customers. This is precisely the role of marketing automation APIs.
They simplify your marketing work and help you focus on the functions of your business that matter. Whether your site is hosted on WordPress, Opencart, X-cart, Magento, Shopify, or you run a self-hosted e-commerce CMS, the integration of marketing automation APIs is manageable and productive if you make some critical considerations.
Nonetheless, these are not the only APIs that can benefit your e-commerce business. There are other APIs that can improve your customer’s search experience on your website, social media interaction, the way you gather information for your products, the connection between your online shop and physical store and more. I have only focused on these four because they touch on core areas of a business.
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