Online businesses must contend with the ever-changing eCommerce realm, and there are always new things around the corner that can change what businesses should focus on. New tools, programs, methods, and trends can drastically shift how businesses work online and the methods they use to maximize sales. Technology is the primary force pushing new things into the eCommerce space, and more people are joining the Internet than ever before. Many of these new advancements become non-optional upgrades that customers come to expect over time. However, some of these new tools work in the background, and customers rarely see them in action but enjoy the benefits of progress. APIs are one such advancement that became standard practice over time. Customers rarely see blatant evidence of an API on a website, but most websites use at least one API to improve the experience for everyone.
What Are APIs
An API is an application programming interface that lets one program access and uses features from a different program. APIs are a standard tool that people use to bring features and options to websites that would have been hard to build from scratch. Many features we consider standard across the Internet are only possible with APIs. Anytime you see an option to sign in with your Twitter or Google account, that is the power of APIs in action. Weather snippets in-page, aggregate travel sites, and paying with PayPal all also use APIs. There are almost unlimited ways to use APIs, and more businesses should use them for maximal effect. Not every business uses APIs to their full extent and does more than add website features as APIS can improve your logistics and operations.
What You Need To Know About Shipping APIs
Shipping process workflow is a tricky process as small companies do not enjoy the same deals as large corporations. Customers have come to expect free two-day shipping because that is what Amazon has told customers is standard, but small businesses cannot always match that deal. While a small business cannot directly compete with Amazon’s shipping deals, you can use APIs to make the experience as good and cheap as it can be for your customers. There are free shipping APIs you can easily add to your site for most major carriers, including FedEx, UPS, USPS, and DHL. With these APIs, you can integrate your website and information for a more seamless shipping process. You can print labels, find rate quotes, track shipments, view reports, and some also support mobile features.
You can also use another API or program to collect your other shipping APIs into one easy-to-use place rather than jumping between different carriers. Most shipping APIs have gone to great lengths to make them easy to use and understand with excellent technical documentation so any developers can easily merge the code.
Why You Need Shipping APIs
The Internet is a massive and ever-expanding place that will never slow down as Moore’s law continues to push technology forward. As more people join the Internet, more businesses will pop up, and you may have more competition for customers. When space becomes more crowded, the best way to win sales is to stand out from the crowd in a good way.
Shipping is the stage of checkout where most customers walk away, and too many businesses feel shipping is too hard to improve, so they accept the customer loss. However, if you want your business to stand out, you can be the business in your niche that provides a quality shipping experience with multiple options for rates and price. You do not need to offer the fastest or cheapest shipping options, as having more than one choice is the critical part. Let customers decide if they want to pay more for faster shipping or favor saving money over fast delivery. You can also start a rewards program where customers that pick slower shipping get a discount on their next order for even more customer loyalty.
Small businesses already have a hard time-fighting in the eCommerce space, but there are simple tools any website can use to make the experience better. APIs are general tools that every industry uses online to bring new features to other sites. Shipping APIs are tools that any online store should use to make the backend process easier for you while giving customers more options at the checkout.