Zinc bridges the gap between bloggers and content creators and the retailers that sell the products reviewed and covered. The Zinc API allows anyone with an online presence to add a few lines of code to a site or app and seamlessly add ordering functionality. Zinc integrates with various online retailers; so, readers/consumers no longer need to leave a site to order a product from a major online retailer. The Zinc website summarizes:
"Zinc makes it easy for your application to purchase physical products and have them shipped to any address. Zinc is not a seller or a store, but a bridge between your application and common online stores. Get ready to write some of the most powerful lines of code you've ever written."
Zinc launched out of the MIT 100k contest by some ecommerce gurus who aim to disrupt the online retail space. The technology behind Zinc stands as time tested in ecommerce; however, its Zinc looks to democratize its availability. Sporting compatibility with big-names in both billing (e.g. Dwolla) and online retail (e.g. Amazon), Zinc could play a dramatic role in online entrepreneurship.
The Zinc API uses REST protocol and returns data in a JSON format. With the API, developers can place and cancel orders or retrieve order details. Interested developers can see sample code and register for free access at the API site.
Online merchants has transformed retail over the last few years; however, major players have often squeezed out the ability of smaller merchants to compete. Zinc delivers the IT power of major online retailers to the mom and pop shops of the virtual world. Soon, the trusted advisers of the web might become the trusted seller as well.