All retailers strive to attract new customers and obtain operational precision. However, it can be difficult to consistently achieve these core goals via traditional delivery methods, not to mention execute across an omni-channel strategy. Retailers are fast discovering that they need to meet increasing consumer expectations and create personalized customer experiences across web and mobile in order to drive engagement, and ultimately, conversion. That’s why many retailers are leveraging APIs to enable the development and management of full-featured applications for customers, partners, and vendors.
While APIs represent an underlying data structure, the adoption of an API-based strategy can be a massive accelerator for retail businesses. The decision to adopt an API strategy is one of the most important business decisions that today’s digital commerce executives can make because they enable retailers to support a wide variety of initiatives at the same time:
- Synthesize data to provide a personalized customer experience on mobile and web
- Create complementary online experience to bridge the gap between web and in-store
- Deliver real-time data across all channels and optimize for any number of display formats
- Provide actionable analytics to support business operations
- Attract third-party partners, affiliates, and merchandisers to increase revenue and sell-through opportunities
It’s also important for e-commerce retailers to ensure that their offerings comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) when developing new applications. Companies can choose to further protect sensitive information through tokenization that replaces sensitive information with a secure token, thus removing the process from the scope of an IT audit. With a PCI DSS Level 1 certified API management platform, API services can be securely created and launched to support a wide range of consumers and functions.
PCI DSS Background
The goal of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is to ensure the safeguarding of payment card data among retailers, e-commerce merchants, banks and other businesses that directly handle card data. To accomplish this, PCI DSS specifies increased controls and protection for information systems that store, process or transmit credit card account numbers and related data such as expiration dates, card-not-present (CNP) verification codes, and customer names. Higher volume merchants are required to complete annual on-site compliance assessments by independent Qualified Security Assessors (QSAs). If organizations don't take appropriate action, fines imposed by the credit card brands for PCI non-compliance can amount to $500,000 per incident.