What API Integrations Are E-Commerce Professionals Missing?
E-commerce continues to expand at an unprecedented rate but there are several challenges, such as cart abandonment and low conversion rates that e-commerce professionals are facing.
To minimize these problems and improve online customer experience, one needs to ensure integration of the right Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) with respective e-commerce platforms to provide a seamless online transaction.
According to API2Cart, the top five most popular APIs for e-commerce are Magento, Woocommerce, Spotify, Opencart and PrestaShop. Despite this, research has shown that online cart abandonment rate is still 69.57%.
So, what needs to be done to reduce this figure?
Here are the top areas to integrate that’ll make the biggest difference to any e-commerce operation.
- Site search
If a customer has a large e-commerce site, it is essential that site search functionalities are optimized correctly to minimize end user frustrations.
For example, if a site has a wide variety of products from different brands, site search must be able to pick up all the variables. And, this API must help site visitors discover new brands or products they might not be aware of, providing more sales opportunities for the business.
Type-ahead is a software feature that improves user experience. It works when someone is entering something in an input field on a page, predicts what the person is going to type, and completes the data entry for the user.
For e-commerce businesses it works particularly well when it is integrated with location verification software, as the two technologies can be implemented at checkout process to predict address data based on a few key-strokes from the user. It saves time, reduces the number of potential errors and reduces the likelihood of mistakes. Moreover, it also gives the impression that the ecommerce site is “alive” instead of a boring fill-in-the-blanks website.
A catalog e-commerce API enables you to create, edit and manage a catalog of products.
It allows you to update thousands of products within a matter of minutes, and it can integrate with inventory control systems and be set up to alert you when stock is low.
Major retailers are now swiftly adopting multi-channel / omni-channel strategies to ensure more control over inventory and quickly identify consumer trends.
- Location verification
Location search technology plays a key integration role in checkout processes as it enables ecommerce businesses to leverage location data based on where the customer is when making a transaction. It also makes sure that your e-commerce system has the most reliable, up to date data to ensure any security measures. This is typically called reverse geocoding and it enables e-commerce platforms to offer APIs that have additional functionalities.
For example, by knowing the location of your customer when they are making a transaction, shopping cart abandonment can be easily tied to the point of purchase location. By using this data, over time, you’ll be able to identify historical patterns.
- Shipping charges
No one likes surprises, and unknown shipping charges are one of the most common reasons attributed by consumers for shopping cart abandonment. Flat shipping prices or free-shipping are the most common way to handle this scenario and it is better to lay this out in the beginning. With free shipping, consumers feel that they are getting a bargain, and that is all that is needed to ‘submit’ or ‘buy’ the final button.
The result? You’ll reduce failed deliveries which will improve customer satisfaction and increase conversion rates. And, use APIs that can reduce checkout times and the number of key-strokes customers have to perform.
-Athar Naqi, Head of Strategic Alliances at Loqate GBG
For more insight, drop Athar a message on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/naqigbgloqate/.