Google APIs allow users and businesses to interface effectively on the internet. These critical applications provide interoperability between users and sites and enable seamless integration of dynamic features, which paved the way for modern eCommerce.
1. Before APIs, eCommerce was plagued by many inherent risks
In the last three decades, the internet has revolutionized our lives and, more importantly, how we do business. However, no matter how ubiquitous our online existence, there remains a delicate balance struck between websites and their users, a constant tug of war between providing speed and security. Our data is one of the most valuable resources available to us, and protecting it is of utmost importance for savvy internet users. However, despite the potential risks involved, handing over critical elements of our personal information is vital to utilize the full extent of contemporary website functionality, creating a dilemma for users.
2. The stranger danger element of Web 1.0
Imagine a common scenario. Late night while driving, you need directions to a new restaurant you wish to try. However, you don’t want to provide your home address directly to the restaurant’s website, especially without knowing how the restaurant will store or use that information. Or how about sharing photos? You probably wouldn’t give uninhibited access to your phone or computer files to a website. Still, sharing pictures on social media, especially of your expertly crafted meal, is ubiquitous as to be the material of jokes. Such privacy quandaries may seem unfamiliar to internet users who missed the early days of the world wide web by design.
3. Application Programming Interfaces enable safer, faster traffic flow
Looking back through the haze of the 90s and early 2000s, users interfacing with websites took on more significant risks. However, since the shift to Web 2.0 in 2004, Google’s APIs, or application programming interfaces, have revitalized how we use websites to transfer and guard our data, making the internet faster and more secure for users. So, what are Google APIs, and why are they important?
4. Direct exchange between client and host without sharing personal data
Interoperability, the open exchange of information between computers or software, helped drive how we currently interact with websites. The release of OAuth, an open authorization protocol that allows website users to access resources from a website without sharing personal credentials, facilitated this shift that began in the early Web 2.0 era. OAuth gave developers the tools to allow users select access to a website’s servers while maintaining the security of the server contents. Such an advancement forever altered how a site and user could interface and furthered the development of APIs.
5. APIs help clients and hosts do more with less
One of the first APIs widely used was Google Maps in 2005. It offered web hosts the ability to incorporate Google Maps directly onto their site, providing seamless integration of Google Maps’ various tools with the unique needs of the hosting website. So now, that restaurant direction quandary mentioned earlier could be solved relatively easily. Including a Google Maps API on the restaurant’s website provides users and guests access to that practical program without needing the users to 1) sign into Google Maps or 2) have the program already downloaded on their computers.
6. APIs achieve safety through partial sharing
APIs provide interoperability by streamlining the dialogue between a user’s computer and the embedded programs on the website they are accessing. In addition, APIs facilitate trafficking between a user’s data and the APIs functionality, granting the use of critical elements of an application without fully sharing a user’s data. This security gate works both ways and protects the website’s servers from unauthorized access by visitors. The other advantage APIs offer is using unique applications without needing those programs local on both the web site’s servers and the user’s computer.
7. Web 1.0 and the limitations it offered eCommerce
Before APIs, in the wild days of Web 1.0, websites and users had to take more risks with their data, and websites could only interact with programs if they were available to both the website’s server and user’s computer. It was a tedious way to conduct online business. When APIs entered the scene, they provided a means for users and websites to expedite data exchange by placing critical interfaces directly into a website instead of requiring a user to download programs to achieve the same functionality. A common metaphor for how APIs function imagines a patron attempting to order a meal at a restaurant.
8. APIs help cut in the middle person, which is a good thing
In this scenario, the restaurant represents a website, the patron represents a website’s visitor, and the API acts as the restaurant’s waitstaff. Before Web 2.0, if a user wanted data from a website, they were required to have the correct credentials and access to the same programs used by the website. In our restaurant scenario, that would be like walking into an eatery and only being able to order food from the kitchen, and the only way to access the kitchen is with an employee keycard. Because the patron lacks the unique kitchen credentials granted to employees, the patron could not interface with the kitchen, preventing the patron from ordering food.
9. APIs grant user and host access keys to keep information moving
Instead of granting all patrons kitchen access, APIs provide the user and website a mediator in the form of the waitstaff. Waitstaff can shuttle between the patron and the kitchen, exchanging orders for food (data) so that the patron receives their order quickly and safely. Okay, leaving the restaurant metaphor behind, let’s examine how this works. APIs allow such quick interfacing through registration and authentication. APIs require some verification of users; in the case of Google APIs, this typically involves signing into a Google account. Once signed in, the user receives a key token accepted by the API, allowing the user access to the program’s functionality without providing the website with the user’s complete Google profile. So, now that we know what APIs are, how does Google APIs help the Newegg Marketplace?
10. Newegg Marketplace APIs are valuable force multipliers
Newegg Marketplace sellers have access to numerous Google API resources designed to assist the seller. These user interfaces can do everything from expediting order processing to simplifying returns, managing inventory, generating critical reports, and much more. These helpful features would not be possible without the technology and design logic that gave us open authorization and interoperability.
For example, imagine using the Item Management API, which empowers sellers to query available manufacturer lists from Newegg, and sort that information by country without assistance from Google API. The task would not be impossible, but what can be done now with a few clicks of the mouse would require substantial effort on the user’s part. Besides obtaining Newegg IT credentials, the user would need to log in to the Newegg network, find the necessary files, and aggregate the desired data.
Optimize your seller account with Newegg Marketplace APIs
Google APIs remove the complexity and labor from essential tasks to provide dynamic tools which facilitate business operations. Google APIs on Newegg Marketplace act as force multipliers for sellers to offer exceptional customer service, track inventory and market changes, and stay competitive in an increasingly driven eCommerce space. Now that you know more about what Google APIs are and why they are essential to facilitate your business check out Newegg’s Google API resources to ensure your account is optimized to make the most of these valuable tools.