Have you ever wondered how different platforms and applications talk to each other seamlessly? In most cases, it’s thanks to API integration. API integration is used in so many businesses, for functions you may not even think about. Here’s how APIs can help expand and improve your business.
What is API integration?
Firstly, let’s discuss APIs. An API is an ‘application programming interface’, and many software providers use them to make their products more accessible. Essentially, an API allows a certain piece of software, application, platform or database talk to others.
For example, when buying something online, you can enter your address and the website accurately calculates shipping cost and estimated time. The website itself doesn’t hold all of that information, but Australia Post does. So, the website uses an API to talk to the Australia Post database and access the information for a customer.
An API may also be used to instantly send customer information to your CRM. Or link an e-Commerce checkout to varying payment platforms such as PayPal.
Benefits for your business
API integration helps your business in many ways. Because it allows so many different systems to talk to each other seamlessly, businesses gain a lot of efficiency. But also, it helps to improve their overall service, making customers happy.
Improving customer experience
From a business point of view, you want to make life as easy as possible for your customers. From making it simple for them to make an online purchase through to provide great post-sale support, the customer experience is important.
With the use of API integration, you can provide the best possible experience for customers. For example, integrate your website with a range of payment options such as POLi, PayPal, Stripe and many more. You can even offer different shipping options, with various companies like Australia Post and Sendle. With more options available to customers, they’re more likely to make a purchase on the spot.
Every business wants more efficiency. It’s why CRMs are so popular for automating sales tasks and managing customer relationships. With API integration, your CRM can talk seamlessly to your website, automating a range of business process that used to require manual intervention.
API integration also means your website and ordering systems can deliver information directly to an accounting package. No more painstaking and time-consuming manual data entry. This is really just the tip of the iceberg, but using APIs to help your systems talk to each other creates a range of business efficiencies. In the end, this gives you and your staff more time to focus on more productive tasks.
Most businesses use third party software. Whether it’s a CRM like HubSpot or Zoho, or more specific tools like accounting packages. With API integration, your business is more agile and able to bring in new software. Problems often occur in business when you install a new third-party software program, only to find it doesn’t work well with your existing systems. API integration helps your systems talk to each other, and ultimately makes your business more scalable.