APIs for Business: When the Outcome is in Your Hands
APIs make the nucleus of information technology nowadays. It is a precious bridge that mobile devices, social networks, and cloud computing depend on. Access to specific data is a keen necessity that may actually be quite profitable. And this is where business begins.
Much has been written about using APIs in the field and it's being a channel for innovation and revenue. For instance, Kin Lane writes well on the issue on his API Evangelist website. This article will review APIs from a business perspective, dwell on the importance and types of data you should use.
APIs have their value and the estimation has its source in data. In other words, they can be divided into useful and usable ones. For example, some collected data may be considered as both a liability and a precious asset.
The data can be an asset to a certain degree. It is determined by three factors: accessibility, accuracy, and applicability. They, in their turn, make a methodology for defining the data and services that ought to be exposed through APIs, and how those APIs should be implemented.
Data Applicability (Your business is distinct, you achieve the goals that you set and even commoditize the data)
Data Accuracy (Your information is current, comes from a reliable source and is accessed by the proper users for the right purposes)
Data Accessibility (The information is open, easy to build apps with and meets the needs of the clients)
From the perspective of APIs, the mentioned factors can be consolidated into only two API attributes. These are useful APIs providing applicable and accurate data and usable APIs providing accessible data. Of course, the most valuable APIs are those being both useful and usable.Let us take a closer look at each attribute.
You should remember that not all data is useful. Not considering this may end in a disaster. There never appear oodles of developers eager to use the APIs if the open data is not worth it. Having an idea of what services you will be exposing to which clients will help a lot here. And there is good news. Fortunately, you can achieve the so much desired revenue and innovation if the right data is exposed through the right APIs.
Do not forget that usable data is one more key to success. API usability is a crucial differentiator for those companies that want to dominate their industries. A good example would be the sphere of telecommunication. The big carriers have been trying to win a greater market space by attempting to bring into the world value-added services that would go beyond network delivery. To everyone’s surprise, they were not the ones to take over the market, but a smaller company that had been founded not long time ago.
Twilio gained an advantage by knowing that the highest growth segment of applications was in mobile, so they introduced a series of metrics that would measure how well they serve a client group. They also added a new option, that is, the ability to measure the time a developer would spend to register for their APIs and set aggressive targets. This helped them stand well above their competitors.
Twilio provided a useful API and could justify charging for the service. By providing a usable API, the company increased these volumes and, in addition to this, their revenues as well.
In short, API is a crucial tool that can make your business flourishing and prosperous, and it only depends on you what the future outcome will be.
API2Cart API is an example of a truly useful and usable API. Moreover, it is unique and unified, as it makes it possible for you to integrate with more than 40 shopping carts including such leading ones as Magento, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Shopify, and others. This will open up new horizons for your business and expand your opportunities thirtyfold by providing you with access to information concerning infinite orders, customers, products, etc.
If you would like to know how to integrate with shopping carts or have any other questions regarding the work of API2Cart, contact us and get all the answers in no time.