APIs have long been hailed as a core component of digital transformation initiatives that enable companies to conduct business at scale. Recently Gail Frederick, VP of Developer Ecosystem at eBay provided another proof point of this by sharing the story of how the eBay Buy APIs surpassed the $1 billion mark in cumulative Gross Merchandise Bought (GMB).
Three of the Buy APIs, in particular, are named as critical to eBay’s growth. These include the Browse APITrack this API that lets users create a selection of items for their buyers to browse, the Feed APITrack this API that allows partners to curate and surface eBay inventory at scale, and the Order APITrack this API that offers secure checkout for customers without needing to visit the eBay site.
When eBay was considering its infrastructure in 2016, it knew that a more modern approach was needed if its APIs were going to continue to support its network of sellers and buyers. eBay moved away from the SOAP APIs it had used for the previous 17 years and released new APIs that leveraged modern API standards such as RESTful architecture, JSON data formats, and 100% support of OAS 3.0.
The results have backed eBay’s approach. In the first half of 2018, the Buy APIs handled 1.7 million transactions that drove $85 million of GMB globally. That pace has only increased, in Q1 of 2019, the Buy APIs drove $154 million GMB globally and 3.2 million transactions. Just recently the suite of APIs surpassed $1B in lifetime GMB. eBay provides an example of a provider that was willing to modernize its approach in an effort to meet developers’ needs and help them scale their businesses.