Introducing Aphix eCommerce Catalogue API

As an merchant, you may sell to both customers and other resellers. The reseller may have their own eCommerce site, which they wish to populate with some or all of your products to sell to their customer base. The Aphix eCommerce Catalogue API allows you to share your product, pricing and stock data with your authorised resellers in a fast and efficient way. The API consists of a number of commands (endpoints) that your reseller use to read and import your WebShop catalogue.  Once set up, it provides a fast, easy and efficient way for your reseller to keep their eCommerce site synced with your data

The purpose of this document is:

  • to explain how the API and its endpoints works and,

  • to outline what commands are supported. 

Benefits

There are benefits for both you and your resellers when using the Aphix eCommerce Catalogue API.

For you, it 

  • Presents additional sales channels to use in a convenient and efficient way; once set up, your catalogue (including product, price and stock information) is regularly and automatically updated on your reseller's eCommerce site,

  • Allows your resellers to automatically add sales orders to your ERP in real-time,

  • Reduces back office administration by providing a direct link between your WebShop and ERP with your reseller's eCommerce site.

For your resellers, it 

  • Expands their product catalogue easily and efficiently,

  • Allows them to manage sales of your products automatically, by adding sales orders to your ERP in real-time,

  • Reduces their back office administration and potential transcription errors by providing a direct link between their eCommerce site and your ERP.

Introducing terms and concepts used in this article

Term

Definition

API

(API), which is an interface that allows two different computer systems interact with each other. It consists of a number of rules (also known as endpoints) that request data from the other system and receive and process responses from that system.

Customer

a client of the merchant; a person or set of people who use one or more of Aphix' suite of products, such as WebShop, where they are provided by the merchant.

Endpoint

a rule or command that specifies the location on the server that can accept data requests, process them and return a response. A set of endpoints (or rules) make up an API.

ERP

a collection of your critical business operating systems, such as product, stock levels, financial, customers, suppliers and so on that run on the same platform.

JSON

(JSON), a open standard text format that defines data elements in a structured way that is both human- and machine- readable.

Merchant

a client of Aphix; a company who uses the Aphix platform.

XML

(XML), a language used to store and transport data which is human- and machine- readable.

Fitting it all together

Imagine that Person 1 wants to send an invoice to Person 2. Person 1 creates the invoice, puts it in an envelope, writes Person's 2 address on the envelope and posts it. Some time later, Person 2 receives the invoice, processes it and sends payment back to Person 1. Now think of an API as the postal service - the interface between two systems. Think of each endpoint as the specific address in that postal service. Think of the invoice and payment as structured data stored in the envelope. 

In a similar way, the eCommerce Catalogue API is an interface between your WebShop and your reseller's eCommerce site. Your reseller wishes to use catalogue data stored on your WebShop. The API consists of a number of rules (or endpoints) that specify the exact location where to send structured catalogue data to, the format of that data and where responses are received and processed. Typically, endpoints are defined as URLs (uniform resource locators). Endpoints are written in a format that is understood by both humans and systems.

The eCommerce Catalogue API is available in both JSON and XML; both formats are standardised ways of defining data to share between systems. The endpoints within the eCommerce Catalogue API allow you to carry out the following actions:

  • List products: list of all active products

  • List categories: list categories

  • Place order: place an order in the merchant's ERP

It requires login credentials, and it can be further restricted, if required. It is intended for use as a back office tool to allow you or your reseller to more easily import catalogue data currently stored in your WebShop. 

Never give access to the eCommerce Catalogue API to your customers. It is designed to be used by you, the merchant, as a back office tool to support catalogue management between you and your reseller's eCommerce site or catalogue management system.

Next steps

Interested in finding out more? Please contact us and we are happy to chat to you about your options.