This is a guide for business owners on custom API Integrations for WooCommerce.
If you’re a WooCommerce store owner looking for ways to streamline your operations or improve user experience through API integration, this guide is for you.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll outline how API integrations can help you achieve the following:
– Save time
– Automate processes
– Improve customer experience (and most likely improve conversions)
Let’s get started.
Understanding APIs: A Simple Guide for Beginners
An API, or Application Programming Interface, is like a bridge that allows different software to connect and talk to each other.
In our scenario, APIs allow our WooCommerce store to connect and receive data from external services.
Why Care About WooCommerce API Integration?
API integration for your WooCommerce store can have the following key benefits for your business:
1) Automate Tasks
By integrating APIs, you can automate various tasks that would otherwise require manual intervention, saving you time and reducing the risk of human errors.
This includes processes like automatic data syncing, real-time inventory updates and automated notifications.
2) Improve User Experience
API integration allows you to improve the customer experience on your website.
As an example, you could integrate a live availability calendar on your product page to make sure the customer has all information available on the website to make an informed decision.
Through improving user experience, we aim to increase conversion rate or average transaction size on your website.
3) Improve Business Efficiency
API integration streamlines workflows and data synchronisation between different systems, leading to increased operational efficiency.
Tasks that were previously very time consuming, can now be made a lot more efficient.
According to APItoolkits.io, businesses that use APIs can achieve the following:
1. Businesses that use APIs are 24% more likely to be profitable than those that don’t.
2. APIs can help businesses improve customer satisfaction by 20%.
3. APIs can help businesses reduce costs by 15%.
Now, let’s explore two real world examples of integrating APIs for our WooCommerce clients and the features we were able to implement.
Example Case Studies
Example 1: Hero Travel Integration
At Stone Digital, we developed a proprietary API integration for WooCommerce and Hero Travel (travel booking software).
We’ve deployed this integration across many websites, so we know this particular API integration very well.
The integration is built for travel agency websites and typically best suited for busy travel agencies that want to automate processes and also also improve the customer’s user experience on the website.
Here’s how it works:
- Live Availability: On the product page, customers can see a live calendar with dates and times for that product.
- Order Sync: When a customer picks a tour, the information goes straight to Hero Travel.
- After the customer pays on the website, Hero Travel knows the booking is done.
- The time the customer picked is put into the supplier’s schedule right away.
- Then the customer gets their travel papers immediately.
This simple connection makes everything easier and faster for the travel agency and the customers.
Example 2: Current RMS Integration
In this scenario, we had an equipment rental business who wanted to integrate their equipment rental software (Current RMS) with their online store.
The key aim from this integration was to sync website orders with the Current RMS system and keep customers informed about what’s available to rent.
Here’s how integrating the Current RMS API can achieve this:
- Live Availability: On the Product Page, customers see a calendar. This calendar shows live availability, letting customers choose rental dates.
- Insurance Options: Insurance for rentals is also available. Information and pricing for this insurance are directly pulled from the Current RMS system.
- Order Processing: After a customer completes an order, the information is sent to the Current RMS system right away.
- Avoid Double Bookings: This integration automates the rental process and avoids the confusion of double bookings.
Research other WooCommerce stores and how they are using API integration to automate processes or improve user experience.
Different Types of API Integration
Over years of experience, we’ve noticed four key categories of API integration for ecommerce stores.
Reading through these categories might assist you in understanding ways that API integration could help your WooCommerce store.
- Product Page:
- APIs let you show real-time data on the product page.
- This can include live calendars or up-to-date inventory levels from other software.
- It helps customers make informed choices and can lead to more sales.
- Cart Page:
- We can use APIs to tailor the cart page to your needs.
- For example, we once added an “Insurance” upsell option for a client.
- The insurance details and pricing were pulled directly from their external system.
- This kept the online and in-store insurance costs the same, making for a better shopping experience.
- Checkout Page:
- The checkout page is where customers pick how to pay and have items shipped.
- We’ve used APIs to customise these options.
- This creates a smoother and more personal checkout process.
- Order Syncing:
- This is a key part of many projects we’ve done for WooCommerce.
- APIs can connect orders in WooCommerce with other systems like booking or rental software.
- This gets rid of the need for typing things in by hand.
- It cuts down on mistakes and makes processing orders easier and quicker.
Comparison: Custom API Integration vs Off-the-Shelf Plugin
When considering WooCommerce enhancements, the choice is often between custom API integration and an off-the-shelf plugin.
If suitable, an off-the-shelf plugin will always be cheaper than a custom API integration project.
The drawback is that off-the-shelf plugins have predetermined functionalities, which may not always align with your specific business needs.
To accurately assess suitability, consult a top-quality web developer or agency familiar with WooCommerce solutions.
In our experience, if an off-the-shelf plugin can truly meet your demands, we recommend it.
Partnering with a reputable web development agency can provide clarity in the decision between off-the-shelf and custom options.
How much does an API Integration for WooCommerce Cost?
Web development costs vary significantly depending on the provider’s experience and location in the world.
From our experience, we’ve noticed 6 price tiers in the industry.
Generally speaking for an API integration project, we recommend using a web development partner that fits in the Agency #2 price tier category, since integrations like this are quite advanced and having a quality outcome is quite important.
For full disclosure, our agency sits within the Agency #2 price tier, which we think is an awesome category for a lot of small to medium businesses.
Since we have fantastic quality and value for money, especially compared to the larger agencies that have much higher fees.
API integration can really change the game for your WooCommerce store. It’s perfect for businesses that depend on their website for making money and other important tasks.
Here’s what you can do with API integration:
- Keep data updated in real-time.
- Automate a lot of your daily work.
- Create a better user experience.
- Make your whole business run more smoothly.
Interested in what API integration can do for your store? It’s worth looking into. But to get the most out of this technology, you’ll need help from experts.
We at Stone Digital are specialists in API integration for WooCommerce stores. We know how to make it work for you. If you want to make your online store even better and more automated, we’re here to help. Just reach out to us!