Violet this week announced what it says is a "unified API for anything on the internet." The idea is to make it easy for people to buy whatever they want, no matter where they see it on the web, without requiring them to backtrack or hop through ecommerce sites across the internet. Can it work?
Violet says it is solving a big problem on the web. Right now, there are more than a dozen major ecommerce platforms -- each with its own API -- that allow people to hook into payment systems to make online purchases. Some examples woud be Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce, LightSpeed, and Volusion. Oh, let's not forget the major ones from IBM, Oracle, and Salesforce. Online retailers often pick one of these companys to help power their online purchases. The result, says Violet, is a paradigm where ecommerce sites spend a lot of time and money redirecting people to their web site to hit "buy."
"Violet aims to become the missing puzzle piece between eCommerce platforms and today’s most popular apps where people are spending their time. We simplify how and where people buy products by enabling the purchase of any product online with one click. This means seamless purchasing for any product via social, voice, AR, VR, messaging, or other types of apps," said Violet CEO Brandon Schultz in a statement provided to eSellerCafe.
How does this API work? It is broken down into four primary sections: product catalog, checkout, orders, and webhooks.
The first represents the catalog of products you actuallyt want to sell within your application. The Violet API will let develpoers search for and discover the offers competing merchants are making for the same or similar goods. The built-on Checkout API allows online retailers to populate and submit a card where the items are converted to an external order and submitted to the merchant. Violet says the Violet cart will supplant the original and push the order through via the Viiolet Orders API. This is where ecommerce vendors can querty their order history and remain up to date with respect to external orders. Last, the Webhooks API keeps product and order data up to date, and can send notifications with respect to items that are running out of stock so merchants can maintain their supplies.
Violet says these help it live the ideal of what it calls "noclickout."
"We believe people should be able to buy a product wherever they discover it," said Violet. "Whether that’s in a social media app, video player, voice app, virtual reality environment, or augmented reality experience, the purchase should be frictionless."
In order to do this, its API supports a dozen ecommerce platforms, some of which are mentioned above. It ties toegther all these platforms and passes the thread through a single, Violet-colored needle.
The company is in the testing phase. It plans to allow greater access to its API starting this summer. Developers and merchants interested in Violet should contact the company directly.