Shopify’s rich app ecosystem has made it the preferred platform for many ecommerce merchants. Why? Because these third-party apps allow sellers to enhance and strengthen their ecommerce stores by adding extra functionalities. Examples of these additional functionalities include CRM systems, shipping management tools, marketing tools, etc.
Of course, the add-on functionalities each business needs can vary widely. Not all of them—like accounting software or inventory-planning software—can be found in Shopify’s app store. That’s why Shopify also provides APIs that allow sellers to integrate these types of outside tools that they may need.
What is Shopify API Integration?
Let’s start with some basic definitions. First, API is an acronym that stands for Application Programming Interface. An API is an intermediary that allows one application to access data in and communicate with another application. Here’s how it works: The first software would call on the API for access to a certain piece of information or functionality in the second. The API would communicate this request to the other software, and then bring the required data back. APIs allow businesses to integrate their existing systems with others without having to build or rebuild features from scratch.
With this explanation in mind, it’s easier to understand what the Shopify API does. Essentially, it gives the outside software you’re using access to the data from your Shopify store. If you’re using inventory management software, for example, the Shopify API lets it request and receive data about how many units you’ve sold in a certain period of time (among other information). In other words, it allows these two systems—your store and your other software—to work together.
Shopify APIs are complicated and update often. Fortunately, setting them up is the responsibility of your Shopify app developer. Note, however, that Shopify APIs do have certain restrictions and regulations that merchants and developers need to be aware of. For instance, all APIs are subject to rate limits and require authentication of the app that is to be integrated. Furthermore, not all API features are available to merchants who aren’t on premium plans.
What are the Various Types of Shopify APIs?
There isn’t just one Shopify API; there are actually six different types. Here’s a list, along with a short description of each:
The Admin API is the main way in which systems interact with Shopify. It allows merchants to add features to the Shopify user experience by providing data on products, inventory, orders, shipping, returns, customers, etc. Merchants can use it to extend and add functionalities to their store by using other apps.
#2. Storefront API
The Storefront API enables merchants to take their store to new channels including websites, apps, and even video games. It allows them to access product information, create customer orders, and check out purchases automatically.
#3. Partner API
With this API, Shopify Partners can acquire data in their Partner Dashboard, including transactions (for analytics purposes only), app events, and expert marketplace jobs. With this access, they can work to scale their business by automating their front- and back-end operations.
With the Payments Apps API, merchants can access data related to their payments app configuration. That means they can use it to resolve or reject captures, payments, and refunds.
#5. Ajax API
Used with Shopify themes, the Ajax API can help to update a shopper’s cart (both adding and clearing products) without refreshing the browser.
The Messaging API allows merchants to send messages to the Shopify Inbox, which is an app that allows them to centralize their business conversations from other messaging apps.
Inside each category is also a list of APIs that are named based on the eCommerce function that they cover. Here are a few examples:
- Shopping Cart API: Enables merchants to create, manage, and view customer shopping carts
- Marketing Events API: Can track the performance of an app so merchants can learn about how much traffic and sales certain apps drive
- Reporting API: Lets developers generate customized and app-specific reports that will be available directly to merchants through the Shopify Admin dashboard
- Analytics API: Integrates your Shopify store with an analytics solution. It aggregates the data from your store, delivers it to the analytics software, and delivers reports of data-driven insights.
- Draft Orders API: Allows merchants to create orders, whose taxes and other totals are calculated by Shopify, on behalf of customers. The API works even when merchants sell products at discounts or wholesale rates. It’s especially useful for ecommerce merchants who also receive orders via phone, chat, or in person. It’s also helpful for when merchants need to recreate mistaken orders or to take pre-orders.
- Refund and Transaction API: Helps to calculate and process refunds
- Translations API: Creates and retrieves translated Shopify resources
- Order Editing API: Makes it possible for merchants to add, remove, or change items both before and after an order has been shipped
- Discounts API: Can create, update, and delete discounts
- Media API: Facilitates the association of videos and 3D assets with a product
- Billing API: Allows app developers to charge Shopify merchants directly through their Shopify invoicing system and to automatically receive their revenue from Shopify, simplifying and streamlining the process. (Shopify handles all chargebacks.)
- Delivery Profiles API: Helps a Shopify store owner create and change per-product and per-location shipping rules
- Fulfillment API: Lets merchants gain more visibility into and control over the order fulfillment process
What are the Benefits of Shopify API?
As you can see, Shopify APIs cover basically all the major eCommerce procedures. In addition to the obvious benefit of helping streamline your operations, why should you consider taking advantage of Shopify APIs? There are three key reasons:
Instead of being stuck with a one-size-fits-all tool, you can select APIs based on the needs of you and your specific customers. The added functionalities you choose serve to boost the agility, adaptability, efficiency, and performance of your ecommerce store. With APIs, you can bridge the shortcomings of your business’s tech stack.
Shopify’s API resources save ecommerce store owners time and money because they remove the need to build or rebuild anything from scratch. Plus, they allow for the automatic synchronization of information which can save merchants a lot of time. The integrated app(s) can also facilitate and even automate many aspects of managing a business, increasing efficiency and reducing manual errors.
Enhanced Shopping Experience
APIs allow merchants to add or extend functionalities for their online stores. The result is a better, more personalized user experience for their customers.
What are the Recent Updates of Shopify API?
Shopify updates its APIs regularly, so merchants should keep tabs on which versions are still supported. API versions are supported for one year. Deprecated APIs are unsupported APIs that can stop working at any time, meaning developers must switch to an alternative promptly.
Shopify announces regular API releases quarterly. Here’s a brief overview of the latest updates:
The 2021-10 version of the Cart API enables merchants to access the information of an upcoming order—including the discounts, pricing, and product availability—without having to create or update a checkout until the customer is ready. The checkout queue is also now accessible for carts created with the Cart API.
Through the Storefront API, you can now quickly find resources such as blogs, pages, products, and collections by directly querying them with an ID or a handle.
Bulk Operations API
The Bulk Operations API now includes webhooks that notify merchants if an operation has been completed, failed, or canceled.
Fulfillment Orders API
The Fulfillment Orders API has been updated to support apps that place holds on unavailable items for backorders or pre-orders.
API-integration Help for Your Accounting or Inventory-planning Software
We understand that it’s a time-consuming and costly task to integrate and customize Shopify APIs from scratch. If you need to integrate your accounting app through APIs to view operation reports, your inventory-planning software to predict the timing for importing inventory, or your Unified Analytics to aggregate all operating-channels data and get more advanced business recommendations, try Shypyard! Leave it to us to help you integrate the Shopify APIs for our software. Sign up now to try all of the above features for free!
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