Connection flows

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Presentation Description

Discover the Ins and Outs of How Integration with Shopping Carts Will Work for Your Business

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Presentation Transcript

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Connection Flows Discover how to build the API integration with shopping carts and provide the best user and integration experience

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Contents 2 Contents 1. API Integration Strategy 3 Introduction 4 Authentication 6 2. Connection Flows 7 Hosted and Open-Source carts with plugin 8 Hosted carts without plugin 13 Basic Authentication 13 OAuth Authentication 16 Open-Source cars without plugin 19 Connection with FTP credentials 19 Connection without FTP credentials 22 3. Blank Plugins 25 4. Tips and Usability Hygiene 27 Improve your UX design 28 Best authentication practices 29 5. About API2Cart 30

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Contents 1. API Integration Strategy Make integration simple 3

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Contents Introduction Before you start let’s use the mock up below as an example of an order and shipping management application. The admin panel of this application includes common tabs such as Dashboard Settings Billing etc. We will use this example within the pdf to show how a UI/UX may differentiate depending on a shopping cart and a way you want to integrate with them. MEASUREMENT While this paper can showcase the setup of new integrations it can also be used for optimizing existing integrations. 4

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Contents Determine the best UI options within your application. Determine the types of authentication that your app will use. Check the possibility of creating plugins for connecting web stores with your application. We suggest that you consider these steps below when planning on integrating with shopping carts: Here we added a new tab “Integration”. It is meant to tell the user your application can integrate with other 3rd party systems. Note: When they click “Integration” tab they can see the list of all supported platforms. 5

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Contents Authentication After you have designed the best place for integrations within your application you should decide what shopping carts you are planning to integrate with. Since shopping carts use different authentication mechanisms they require different connection workflows between your app and shopping carts. There are 2 authentication mechanisms you can use to connect an online store to your application: authentication mechanisms Basic access authentication — A widely used protocol for simple username/password authentication. This type of mechanism provides no confidentiality protection for the transmitted credentials OAuth — An open standard for authorization commonly used as a way for users to authorize websites or applications to access their information on other websites but without giving them the passwords. 6

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Contents 2. Connection fows Adopt your integrations 7

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Contents Connection Flows How you connect a store to API2Cart depends on the type of shopping cart it is based on hosted e.g. Shopify Bigcommerce or open-source e.g. WooCommerce Magento. You can see what you need to add stores here. You can connect a shopping cart to your application using these 3 ways each working for different types of platforms: Hosted e.g. Bigcommerce and Open-source e.g. Magento via plugins. Hosted e.g. Bigcommerce without plugin oAuth or Basic authorization. Open-source e.g. Magento without plugin. Next you’ll find three sections dedicated to the types of connection flows. We’re going to follow this structure: The steps your client will have to take to connect their store to your application. How we suggest this should look like in terms of UI/UX. The scheme of communication between your system and API2Cart: how adding a store and sending API requests work. How T o cHooSE THE RIgHT w Ay The best means to choose one of these 3 connection flows for your integration is to answer the following questions: 1. What shopping cart am I planning to integrate with 2. Will I use a plugin for this shopping cart 8

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Contents Hosted and Open-Source Carts with Plugin Plugins are applications that can be easily installed and used as part of a webstore. You can leverage them to extend the functionality of a web store or use for API integration and establishing the connection between the web store and your application. Here’s how a plugin-based connection between a shopping cart and your application will work from the perspective of your end- clients web store owners: 1. Your customer logs in to the backoffice of their store. 2. They install your plugin from a marketplace or as a zip-file you provide them. 3. During the installation process they enter the credentials they use to log in to your application. That is how you link web stores with your application. 4. They click the Connect button. 5. The connection between the web store and your system is established. 9

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Contents 10 When web store owners press Install plugin it redirects them to the shopping cart marketplace page. In case you provide the possibility to download a plugin as a zip-file they can install the plugin in their shopping cart admin panel themselves.

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Contents TIP Instead of using basic credentials of your application you can generate API keys that store owners could copy-paste. 11 They enter the credentials they use to log in to your application. The plugin is installed. You can interact with a shopping cart.

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Contents That’s how the connection and request mechanisms work when you use API2Cart. When a web store owner installs the plugin it uploads a bridge file into the server root folder and returns a unique store key. Then you send us the store key and the web store URL using the cart.create method. After that our API establishes a connection with this web store and informs your system about the result. Finally you can send your requests. 12

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Contents Hosted Carts without Plugin. Basic Authentication Let’s see how the connection with the Basic Authentication method will work: 1. A web store owner logs in to your application account. 2. They go to Integration page and choose Volusion. 3. They fill required fields like API path and API key please note that fields depending on the shopping cart. 4. They click the Connect button. 5. The connection between the web store and your system is established. 13 Basic Authentication method OAuth Authentication method There are 2 options how you can connect a hosted web store to your application without using plugins:

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Contents 14 They simply fill the form and press connect. You can interact with a shopping cart.

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Contents Considering integration with hosted shopping carts you should collect the web store URL and all necessary API parameters API key and API password and send them to API2Cart using the cart. create method. After that API2Cart verifies these parameters returns a store key and informs your system about the result. Finally you can send your requests. No TE API parameters may vary for different hosted shopping carts thus fields on your UI may vary as well 15

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Contents Hosted Carts without Plugin. OAuth Authentication Open Authentication OAuth is an authentication protocol that allows application actions to perform certain operations on your behalf without sharing your password. It was introduced to help avoid the security risks that using basic authorization could lead to as it simply asked for username and password that were then forwarded to the API. All the private information held by and accessible to the software utilizing your API could be used maliciously once it is hacked. OAuth is token-based which means that it prevents the user information from being exposed to the API client. That’s how the connection steps for hosted shopping carts via OAuth will look for your users: 1. A web store owner logs into your application. 2. They go to the Integration page and choose Shopify. 3. They insert their Shopify store URL into a 1-line form. 4. They click the Connect button. 5. They install an app by pressing the Install App button right from their store back office. 6. The connection between the web store and your system is established. 16

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Contents 17 They insert their Shopify store URL into a 1-line form. They press install app and you can interact with a shopping cart.

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Contents create a mechanism for handling access tokens between your application with shopping cart API directly after you receive an access token use the cart.create method to send this parameter and a web store URL to API2Cart our API establishes a connection to this web store and informs your system about the result finally you can send your requests. API2Cart receives access tokens and can work with OAuth-based shopping carts like Bigcommerce and Shopify. Here’s what you need to do to make it work for your system: 18

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Contents Open-source Carts without Plugin with FTP Credentials As to Open-source platforms API2Cart connects to such type of solutions through connection bridge. connection Bridge file is being used to retrieve information from your shopping cart via API and should be installed into the server root folder. 19 Here is how the process will look for your end-clients : 1. A web store owner logs in to your system. 2. They go to the Integration page and choose Magento. 3. They complete a form with various fields including Store URL and FTP credentials. 4. They click the connect button. 5. Your system automatically downloads a bridge file to the store server. 6. The connection between the web store and your system is established.

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Contents 20 When your clients fill the form they simply press connect and you can interact with a shopping cart.

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Contents Connecting a web store to API2Cart in this way you must send us all FTP credentials so that we can upload a bridge file to the server root folder. When it is done we generate a store key return it to your system and inform your system about the result. Finally you can send your requests. 21

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Contents Open-source Carts without Plugin without FTP Credentials You can improve the last option by letting your clients avoid the inconvenience of sharing their FTP credentials. It is more safe but requires some additional steps for your clients. That’s how the connection with the Open-source shopping carts will work: 1. A web store owner logs in to your system. 2. They go to the Integration page and choose Magento. 3. They enter their Store URL. 4. They download a bridge file and manually upload it to their store server. 5. They return back and let your system know that they have already uploaded the bridge file. 6. The connection between the web store and your system is established. 22

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Contents As you can see there is no need to enter clients’ FTP credentials since they install the bridge file manually. When they upload a file to the server they return back to your application and press Connect this is when you know you can start sending API requests. You can interact with a shopping cart. No TE When using this method it is recommended to provide step- by-step guides for your clients as it could be confusing to install the bridge file. 23

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Contents When using this authentication method you will have to deal with some peculiarities as you need to send some additional API calls to establish the connection between your application and a web store. This is our recommendation on how it should work: 1. When a web store owner presses “Download a bridge” you execute the cart.bridge method and it generates a store key. Then API2Cart returns it to your system. 2. After your system receives the store key you call the bridge.download method to get a unique bridge file. 3. We return the bridge file to your system and then there appears a window that asks a web store owner to download a file. 4. They upload a file into the server root folder and return back to their account. 5. They press Connect and you call the cart. create method with the store URL and store key included. 6. After that our API establishes a connection to this web store and informs your system about it. Finally you can send your requests. 24

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Contents 3. Blank plugins Speed up the integration process 25

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Contents Blank Plugins API2Cart free plugins are intended to make it easier to add stores based on open-source shopping carts like Magento WooCommerce PrestaShop and CS-Cart. They automatically install a connection bridge to the root folder of the store thus excluding the inconveniences that the process usually entails. The plugins are organized blank and white label which means you can modify them with your logos and additional specified functionality to present as native code module. You can also list and promote them on relevant directories and marketplaces. From a technical point of view those plugins are wrappers around the bridge file that automatically establish a connection between the web store and your application. They can be used to speed up the integration process and are perfect for the first connection flow we have discussed before. If you need more information about how the plugins work read here or contact our team. 26

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Contents 4. Tips and Usability Hygiene Make it easier and clear 27

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Contents Tips and Usability Hygiene 1. Use the newest authentication methods if possible. 2. Add a short description of what the integration with a shopping cart does so that users could understand what this connection can do for them. For example “auto import tracking numbers and order info from Shopify store every 4 hours” etc. 3. Add a short tutorial on how to connect a web store with your application. For example a “How to setup video” or “Step-by-step guide” could be a great option. 4 Think about “How to...” FAQs or knowledge base pages. For instance “How to install the Magento plugin” “How to connect my Shopify store” etc. 5. Link to some relevant articles to cover the most important questions. 6. When they enter incorrect access credentials make sure that they receive a warning message or a pop-up window that tells them about an error. This section focuses on usability hygiene and the basics which help to make the process of connecting the web store with your application more clear. 28

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Contents The Best Authentication Practices To optimize your integration experience and conduce a flawless UX for your customers we recommend that you should do the following: 1. Connect hosted platforms Shopify Bigcommerce using OAuth apps. 2. Connect all other hosted platforms using the Basic Authentication method. 3. Connect the most popular open-source platforms Magento Woocommerce Prestashop using either your native or our ready- to-use blank plugins. 4. Connect all other or less important for you open-source platforms asking your clients to download and install a bridge file themselves. Following these recommendations you will surely provide the best user and integration experience for your clients. If you have more questions about the best integration practices feel free to contact us. Try IT For Free 29

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Contents About API2Cart API2Cart provides a unified API to integrate with multiple shopping carts. It allows to connect with stores based on any of the supported platforms and retrieve all the necessary store data for further processing. Integration via the unified shopping cart data interface helps to optimize business logic save time and resources that separate integrations would take and invest them in other business issues. API2Cart offers 65+ API methods to let you operate and manipulate shopping cart store data as you need it for business. It ensures secure data transfer with help to SSL certificate and 32-symbol API key. To make your integration progress easier the service provides a detailed documentation with code samples and interactive examples. Plus full tech support will help you solve any issues. SUPPor Ted Pl ATFormS doCUmenTATIon 30

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