5 Ways a Hypermedia API Simplifies Ecommerce

Ecompromo | August 16, 2017 | Web Marketing

Companies want to engage more customers, in more ways, and in more environments. But with all the new digital experiences available, consistency is proving difficult. Customers shouldn’t notice the technology but must remember the experience. That’s a tall order for ecommerce systems. We talked with Matt Bishop, Elastic Path’s principal architect, to understand more about how an API-based commerce system works and why hypermedia makes ecommerce easier.

“When we designed our ecommerce system based on an API, the chief problem we needed to solve was complexity,” says Matt Bishop. Getting the combinations right considering all the factors that have to click into place is like solving a Rubik’s cube with hundreds of squares and a different color for every customer. We recognized three major layers of complexity:

  • Complex state and data. Hundreds of elements including products, pricing, currency, tax regimes, preferences for currency and shipping, and more all interact with each other and impact other pieces of many different systems.
  • Complex integrations. Commerce sits between customer touchpoints (CMS, web browsers, mobile apps and internet of things) and systems (tax, inventory, ERP, billing engines and rule engines). Any given digital customer experience can comprise 15 plus different pieces of technologies all working together.
  • Complex customizations. …read more


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