Magento Go is so robust that it offers merchants more features and capabilities than most can effectively use. If you don’t believe it, watch the recording of our recent webinar about features that merchants should be using more often.
In the age of Big Data, many marketing, customer satisfaction and management tools need the ability to access and update your store’s customer, product and order data. This is why Magento Go offers an open Application Programming Interface (API - also referred to as ‘Web Services’). The API is like a private door to your Magento Go store’s data and enables you to use those tools, opening the door to many new possibilities.
Different Ways to Integrate Services with Your Web Store
If you have added forms to your site to subscribe customers to Mail Chimp or enable Olark for chat, you are familiar with this type of integration. However, this type of ‘integration’ is limited in nature because it can only see and communicate information that already exists either in the user’s browser (like cookie or form information), or, on the page itself. Think of it as information sitting on the surface of a web page and sending messages from there, but that cannot look beyond the page it is on.Magento Go Connect Extensions
Extensions are what we would call ‘deep integration’ because they actually change the way the Magento Go software operates, by adding capabilities to your Store Administration in some cases. Currently there are just over a dozen extensions available for Magento Go in Magento Connect and some are free. A great example is M2E Pro, which allows you to push your store listings out to the eBay marketplace.The API
Magento Go’s API is based on the core Magento API and offers some outstanding features that most competitors simply cannot match.
- • Open. Magento publishes documentation for free on the web about how to request and send data to Magento stores. It also uses accepted standards for communicating data over the internet that software developers are already familiar with. Developers who create new and exciting services for merchants use this information to create a communication channel between Magento Go stores and their applications. Many other eCommerce platforms use ‘closed’ APIs and require a lengthy qualification process before a developer is even allowed to request information from stores on their platforms. The closed approach stifles innovation.
- • Secure. In order to connect an external service to your store, you have to create a Web Services account for it in your Magento Go Store Administration panel. You have complete control over the type of information you want to share and you can revoke sharing privileges at any time.
- • Stable. While this seems obvious, it is surprising how many APIs in software-as-a-service platforms fail frequently. Magento Go’s has proven to be extremely reliable from the start.
A number of services already plug into Magento Go’s API and are easy to integrate because of it, including:
- • Shipping solutions like ShipStation, ShipRush, ShipWire and other services actually allow you to print postage or delivery labels from couriers.
- • T-hub, an accounting service that shares information between Magento Go and Quickbooks.
- • GoDataFeed, a shopping comparison site feed manager.
This just scratches the surface. We will talk about these services and others in more detail over the next few posts, but we hope you can begin to see new possibilities you may not have considered.
In addition to existing services, you may have customized needs for reporting, order management, accounting, or other functions. Many of the Magento Go Pros can build cost-efficient solutions for you to streamline your operations or bring your marketing ideas to life by utilizing the power of the API.
And, once you discover the power of the Magento Go API, you may just find it addicting!