According to a study by www.statista.com, 48% of “showroomers” use physical stores to research products with no plans of making a purchase until they go online. Successful retailers are the ones who are able to cater for this behaviour, drive conversion, and ultimately fulfil each buyer’s online needs most efficiently.
APIs are the de facto mechanism for exchanges of information in the broader world of technology, and the standard for building and connecting modern applications and websites. An online store, for example, would have a number of APIs running concurrently to provide the customer with the info and functionality they need to make purchases:
- An API that gives product suggestions to a customer depending on their searches or previous browsing activity.
- An API integrated with the company’s inventory system to determine in-stock items, colours and sizes.
- A 3rd party API that securely takes care of card payments.
- An API used to auto-fill the customer’s shipping address from their current location.
Making sure that their online store is fast, reliable and friction-free is crucial for retailers who want to convert showroomers into buyers. If any one of the abovementioned APIs were to stop working or run slower than usual, it would affect every customer’s desire or ability to make a purchase and ultimately result in a substantial loss of revenue. Successful retailers are no longer viewing APIs as the easy a “set-up-once and forget” mechanism for linking systems but rather as systems in themselves, having very tangible impacts across the business. In addition to that, many APIs are also no longer just the intermediaries through which transactions pass, but rather the primary venue for data collection and analysis.
The steady rise in customer expectations and online activity is accelerating the need for new APIs and, for retailers especially, keeping them running efficiently around the clock has become a particularly resource intensive endeavour. Immediately knowing when an API is failing (vs. only discovering it the following morning) could mean the difference between one lost customer and 100.
Apigee provides unmatched API monitoring to ensure any failures or discrepancies are picked up long before they affect the path-to-purchase. APIs built and managed through Apigee can also be seamlessly integrated with data collection and analysis tools - allowing retailers to further understand their customers’ online needs and preferences, and provide a hurdle-free path-to-purchase any showroomer would be happy to use.