With the growth of Social Networks and Communities, we see a lot of conversations, recommendations of products and services happening outside of the retailer’s site. This presents an excellent opportunity for retailers to syndicate their product catalogs right to the place where the conversations and recommendations happen: blogs, social rating sites, social networking sites and other affiliate sites. I love what companies like Best Buy, Tesco, Amazon and EBay have done by making their APIs available for developers to integrate into their sites.
Best Buy Remix is the open API for Best Buy’s product catalog, featuring full product information including pricing, availability, specifications, descriptions and images for nearly a million current and historical products. It can be accessed via http://remix.bestbuy.com/ . I wasn’t aware that Best Buy had an affiliate program as well: you will notice the signup link there as well.
Through the Amazon Associates Web Service API developers can retrieve product information and access e-commerce functionality. This allows developers, web site publishers and others to leverage the data that Amazon uses to power its own business, and potentially make money as an Amazon affiliate. https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/advertising/api/detail/main.html
The eBay API at http://developer.ebay.com/common/api/ enables developers to submit items for listing on eBay, get current listings and eBay categories and more.
We are not only seeing more and more retailers make their APIs available so that they can be wherever their customers are but we are also seeing Social Networking sites open up so that you can take your networks to shopping sites for a true social shopping experience.