An Application Programming Interface (API) is a specific intermediary that helps two various programs communicate with each other. It allows one application to transfer the requested data to another application.

To access features or data from an external program, you place a request with its API, which would ping the server and finally bring a response back to you. For example, eCommerce software systems and shopping platforms often interact with each other through an API. Below, we’ll review some popular eCommerce APIs and compare their features.

Shopify API

Main Characteristics

Shopify has emerged as a top-rated shopping cart solution, especially among startups. Shopify API is a tool that allows software providers to collect data from Shopify-based online stores and use it as they need.

Shopify API supports JSON and XML and can work with all HTTP requests like PUT, GET, DELETE, and POST. Shopify API works with different methods such as Customer, Category, Product, Order, and others.

Major Drawbacks

One minor drawback of the Shopify API is that while it allows customization, there is not much that you can do to change the functionality. Secondly, Shopify releases updates for its API quite constantly. So, it is necessary to routinely check to see what the newest version of the API is.

Magento API

Main Characteristics

Magento API supports two formats: REST and SOAP.

Magento’s REST API supports both XML and JSON and works with the following four main HTTP methods: GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE. Various HTTP request methods perform different actions.

Many programmers consider SOAP to be highly complex; therefore, they find it preferable to use REST-style APIs. SOAP is the default protocol of Magento API. However, this shopping cart solution also supports XML-RPC as a possible option.

Magento focuses on making its upgrades more straightforward and more predictable. With Magento API updates, early adopters can expect improved delivery and new features as well.

Major Drawbacks

The Magento API does not provide much support for front-end development. Moreover, it is more suitable for off-the-shelf functionality and gives you a hard time if you try out something elaborate.

WooCommerce API

Main Characteristics

The WooCommerce API enables working with data such as orders, coupons, products, and customers. WooCommerce comes with many API versions. WooCommerce API 5.2.0 is the latest version of their API. The WooCommerce REST API supports JSON as the default format, but you can easily change it to XML.

Major Drawbacks

A vast number of WooCommerce API versions increase the complexity. In addition, WP/WC PHP code modules need to be downloaded, which occupy a lot of space and slow down the workflow significantly.

BigCommerce API

Main Characteristics

The BigCommerce RESTful API supports all CRUD actions via HTTP methods like GET, DELETE, POST, and PUT. It supports input and output functions using JSON and XML. It also provides UTF–8 character encoding alongside other benefits like throttling and data validation.

Usage of BigCommerce API allows retrieval and modification of information about orders, products, customers, categories, and shipments.

Major Drawbacks

The process of connecting with BigCommerce API can take a lot of time due to the specific architecture of this platform.

Ecwid API

Main Characteristics

One of the most popular eCommerce APIs, Ecwid REST API, helps manage the store on behalf of an Ecwid user. Moreover, integrating with this API allows updating orders, creating product lists, and managing other records.

Ecwid uses the standard HTTP codes in requests. For instance, GET is used to read the online store data, PUT to update such data, POST to create a specific entity, and DELETE to remove the entity.

Ecwid API works with OAuth2 authentication. The API allows users to add new interfaces to the Ecwid Control Panel.

Major Drawbacks

The API is not as reliable as its competitors. API integration with this platform is costly and cumbersome, and security remains a significant concern.

Squarespace API

Main Characteristics

Squarespace API allows access to data related to orders, products, and inventories. The API works with HTTPS and is based on REST principles. It uses Basic Authentication to help keep the Squarespace site data secure.

Major Drawbacks

API integration with Squarespace is expensive and technically complex. In addition, it does not support third-party apps, and customizing features can be complicated.

CommerceHQ API

Main Characteristics

CommerceHQ is an all-in-one eCommerce app with an API that supports fast retrieval of data by sending GET requests. The API supports quick search options and excellent filters for results.

Major Drawbacks

CommerceHQ is a pretty new shopping platform. Sometimes, its API documentation doesn’t contain all the necessary info.

eBay API

Main Characteristics

eBay’s API program enables capabilities that support searching, selling, buying, and other eCommerce activities. This API supports the programmatic management of end-to-end eBay businesses.

Major Drawbacks

API integration with eBay does not allow you complete independence concerning product listings. Moreover, there are many charges applied that users have to pay to benefit from this integration.

In addition, eBay API is not uniform, and different resources have different formats of data. Also, some errors are connected with the eBay Sandbox.

Amazon APIs

Main Characteristics

There are two APIs for product listings on Amazon. One is the Marketplace Web Service (MWS) Products API, and the other is the Product Advertising API. These APIs have powerful authentication mechanisms and thus ensure good levels of data security.

Major Drawbacks

Debugging activities can be pretty tricky. Moreover, the API gateways do not allow easy customization and building of internal APIs.

Amazon product listing APIs are older than others on this list. To work with products, shipments, etc., you need to have a CSV file or XML.

Etsy API

Main Characteristics

The Etsy API is essentially a RESTful API with JSON format response actions. These responses can help in using most of the website features. Etsy API requires the OAuth authentication process to obtain read and write access for the user’s data. Etsy API is a RESTful API that works with standard HTTP calls.

Major Drawbacks

Etsy API Documentation may not include all the information necessary for integrating with Etsy API. This causes a lot of extra time and additional investigations. Also, the Etsy API’s behavior is sometimes changed without warning.