The New Ecwid API Platform — More Powerful, More Flexible, More Fun

Jan 13, 2015 by Matt Kuritsyn, Ecwid Team
Posted Jan 13, 2015 by Matt Kuritsyn, Ecwid Team

Great news for all the developers out there! The brand new Ecwid API Platform has launched, enabling anyone to create an application for Ecwid. With the help of the new Ecwid API, third-party apps get the ability to manage all store data, add pages to the Ecwid Control panel, customize Ecwid storefronts on the fly, and much more.

Ecwid and third-party developers

Ecwid now has more than 600,000 registered stores around the world encompassing industries such as apparel, music, automotive, literature, art, photography, and more. Each business is unique, and the Ecwid API now allows them all to manage their store based on their specific requirements. Different businesses need to, and now can, leverage Ecwid in different ways:

  • Some choose to use Ecwid’s default design for their storefront, while others customize the look and feel of their store to better fit their brand.
  • Some install built-in Ecwid widgets, but others prefer to create custom store elements on their site.
  • Some track their orders within the Ecwid Control Panel, and others export their orders from Ecwid and manage them in a third-party service.

Ecwid is powerful and feature-rich, it covers nearly all of a small business’ needs. When there is a need to extend store functionality, the Ecwid API and third-party applications fill the gap. Ecwid has been providing a basic set of APIs for a long time and many Ecwid merchants are currently using them to customize their stores and connect to third-party services and applications. These include email marketing applications, custom payment gateways, affiliate marketing services, synchronization with external CRM systems, and so on.

With this update, we launch a brand new Ecwid API platform. It is much more powerful and provides great opportunities for third-party application developers.

Welcome to the New Ecwid API

Ecwid’s new API is a RESTful API with oAuth2 authentication. Any developer can use it to manage store data, add new interfaces to the Ecwid Control Panel, and even customize the storefront from an external application.

The new API specs and documentation provide examples and even a playground tool, which is available here: http://api.ecwid.com. Below, we highlight some of the coolest API features.

oAuth2

order_editor_authThe application authorization is based on oAuth2. This makes your application installation flow smooth and seamless for the end user — a merchant just needs to allow your application to access their data and they are done. The process works much like the well-known “Login with Google” or “Login with Facebook” tools; no more copying and pasting API keys. Another great advantage of oAuth2 is the granularity of access control for a store’s data; the ability to manage the specific data an application needs and access permissions on a granular level are inherent with the Ecwid API. This helps you to be transparent about what merchant data you’re using and how you are using it, thereby increasing confidence in your application and enhancing the relationship with Ecwid merchants.

REST

Well-known uniform REST interface in the new Ecwid API enables you to easily read, update, create and delete store data from outside of Ecwid, including:

  • Store profile
  • Store categories
  • Products as well as their variations, attributes, files, images gallery and inventory
  • Orders and customers
  • Discount coupons

Embeddable applications

Using the new Ecwid API Platform, you can add your application right into the user Control Panel. Your application will work like it is built directly into Ecwid. Being integrated with Ecwid this way, your app will get more visibility and engagement with Ecwid merchants — it will be a part of a merchant store’s back-end and smoothly integrate itself into the store management process. More details about this are available here: http://api.ecwid.com/#embedded-apps

Customize storefront

Depending on the kind of application you integrate with Ecwid, you may want to customize the user storefront in some way. For example, you could:

  • Apply custom styles to the store elements (buttons, fonts, pictures etc.)
  • Add extra widgets, e.g. customer reviews, comments, image magnifier
  • Modify the Ecwid widget’s look and behavior
  • Add tracking pixels or any other third party conversion-tracking scripts at the checkout page

To do this previously, you would ask a merchant to put your script on their site or add custom CSS codes to their styles table. Now, your application does all of that automatically. Just provide us with a URL of your JavaScript or CSS files, and Ecwid will do the rest — your JS/CSS scripts are loaded automatically into a merchant’s storefront, be it their site, Facebook page or Ecwid Starter Site.

How can I use it? Why should I?

Ecwid has more than 600,000 registered users worldwide and the number is growing fast. This represents a huge opportunity to drive adoption and engage users with your service, whether it is a web/mobile application, custom development, or design service.

Already have an application, that can help Ecwid users sell more efficiently? Go ahead and integrate it with Ecwid. We are more than happy to promote your application or service to make you and our users successful.

Still looking for an idea for your application? Check out our ideas base (http://ideas.ecwid.com/) — a place where Ecwid merchants suggest and rate features they would like to have added to the product. Pick an idea, create an application and Ecwid can help you attract thousands of quality users.

Examples of the apps

Here are the examples of applications that use the new Ecwid API.

Ecwid Order Editor — make changes to orders

Order Editor allows merchants to edit their orders in the Ecwid Control Panel. Once installed, the application appears on the “Sales” page in the store backend and provides an interface for the merchant to easily find and edit any placed order in their store.

Under the hood.
When installed, the application embeds itself on the “Sales” page in the store backend using the “Embedded apps” approach. The new tab in Control panel displays the list of store orders received from the “/orders” API endpoint. A simple interface allows the merchant to find and edit the order they want. The applied changes are then submitted back to the API and reflects the order record in the store.

Yotpo — rating & reviews for your products

Yotpo is one of the best known reviews applications. It adds an “Add a Review” form to the product details page, allowing a customer to rate the product. Yotpo’s built-in, powerful marketing and analytics tools help drive more traffic and attract more customers to your store.

Under the hood. The Yotpo application uses the “Customize Storefront” set of tools provided by Ecwid API. When a seller installs the Yotpo app in Ecwid, the application loads an external JS file in the user storefront. The application’s JavaScript code uses the Ecwid JavaScript API to keep track of what page is opened in the store and adds on the page a rating and reviews widget on-the-fly.

Loyal2  loyalty system

Loyal2 provides a complete loyalty solution for card-based, stamp-and-collect, semi-virtual and fully online loyalty programs. It tracks sales and customers in your Ecwid store and automatically awards your loyal customers.

Under the hood. The Loyal2 app uses Ecwid’s Instant Order Notifications API to track orders in the store. It collects information about all orders and customers using “/orders” and “/customers” API endpoints to calculate and award the correct number of points for your customers. Loyal2 also automatically creates discount coupons in an Ecwid store using the “/coupons” endpoint — the minute that Loyal2 issues a reward voucher to a customer, they can use it in your store in the form of a discount coupon.

New Ecwid App Market is coming

Another great part of the new Ecwid API is the ability to bring about our new App Market. A new page with available applications is already in the merchant control panel. At the moment, it showcases a few select applications and provides short installation instructions. When the App Market matures and officially launches, Apps on this page will be categorized to allow merchants to easily find a service they need, install apps, and more.

Not only does this give Ecwid merchants the ability to take advantage of the growing community of apps, extensions, and customized modules created using the new Ecwid API, but this also gives you, as a developer, the ability to get found quickly right inside the Ecwid merchant interface. More updates on Ecwid App Market will follow, stay tuned.

***

The brand new Ecwid API enables any third-party developer to extend, modify and customize nearly every aspect of an Ecwid store. It’s now easier than ever to create an application for Ecwid and become a part of the upcoming Ecwid App market. Join the fun and start creating your app today!

About The Author
Matt is a product manager at Ecwid. He works with the Ecwid dev team and helps them shipping the right features for Ecwid merchants. Outside of work, Matt likes travelling and climbing the mountains.

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