How Can Commerce APIs Improve the Shopping Experience

Sales professionals already know how important it is to provide potential customers with a seamless experience. Any hitch or delay in the sale gives the consumer time to reconsider their      choices, especially if they result in inconveniences or errors. Even though there may be myriad moving parts working behind the scenes, to the customer the process should look and feel like a straight line from Point A to Point B. 

The same holds true online where the expectations are even higher. Shoppers have been conditioned to expect a one-click experience when they buy through eCommerce. What they may not realize, however, is what’s going on just below the surface. What makes that single-click shopping possible is a complex ecosystem of application programming interfaces (APIs). These are sophisticated pieces of software that enable communication between numerous platforms to handle most of the heavy lifting and provide customers with the streamlined process they’ve come to expect. 

For example, an online shopping cart is an API that automatically calculates shipping costs, sales taxes and payments based on where the customer is and their payment choices. This communicates with a login API that enables the shopper to verify identity through platforms such as a social media profile. Another API communicates with the customer’s bank or credit card company to ensure the payment is made. From there, a shipping API automates the logistics of scheduling the delivery through a fulfillment provider. 

To the user, all of this happens in the blink of an eye, and the transaction is completed almost without effort. The truth, however, is far more complex and intricate than it appears. If you want to learn more about all the different types of APIs and how they work together to provide a near-flawless experience, take a look at the accompanying resources. 

Infographic created by commercetools

Brian Farrell is a coach, helping clients achieve their personal and professional goals. He's also the creator of the "QA2 Method". For more about Brian, visit