Best Buy Commerce API Enables In-App Purchases

Adam DuVander
Oct. 12 2010, 12:10PM EDT

Technology and entertainment retailer Best Buy is leading the way with the latest addition to the Best Buy API. It now allows developers to not just search the company's catalogue, but also complete the purchases within their own applications. Developers then earn a portion of the sale, which one would expect to be more likely than when applications must hand off the customer to Best Buy's site.

Best Buy's new Commerce API is notable in that it is making the purchase functionality open to all developers, according to the company's director of Open API Platform Business, Kumar Kandaswamy. "We have a vetting process to make sure developers and partners provide their customers an experience that is consistent with the quality expected from the Best Buy brand," Kandaswamy said.

Incentive, consumer and performance rewards company Bridge2Solutions will be the first to incorporate the new API into its services. Bridge2Solutions already has a database of 6 million items, with prices updated in real-time. The company also provides travel and event ticketing information.

Though our directory lists 126 shopping APIs, it is rare for the entire transaction to take place via the API. In most cases, these APIs allow apps to search inventory and retrieve product information. The eBay API provides similar functionality for auctions. Kandaswamy was previously the Head of eBay Developers Program.

Expect to see more APIs that allow applications to complete the purchase process. It's remarkable that Amazon Product API, long ahead of its time, does not yet support this feature.

Adam DuVander -- Adam heads developer relations at Orchestrate, a database-as-a-service company. He's spent many years analyzing APIs and developer tools. Previously he worked at SendGrid, edited ProgrammableWeb and wrote for Wired and Webmonkey. Adam is also the author of mapping API cookbook Map Scripting 101.

Comments

Comments(6)

Thanks for the comment, Todd. My understanding of the Amazon Payments API is that it is to support payments for goods/services outside of Amazon (similar to Paypal and Google Checkout). How does one tie it to an Amazon purchase via API?

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todd

"Expect to see more APIs that allow applications to complete the purchase process. It’s remarkable that Amazon Product API, long ahead of its time, does not yet support this feature."

Not accurate, as the Amazon Payments API is separate by design, and developers can make two calls and enable what's being described as "non existent" above.

Android app purchases in the Market are "two step", with the transaction handled by Google Checkout, for the same reason.