API-Enabled Workflow Possibilities: Q&A with Stitch Labs CTO

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Earlier this week, we announced the launch of the Stitch Labs API. In a dynamic environment full of competition and rising consumer expectations, this new functionality will help retailers quickly innovate and streamline their operational infrastructure. The API allows omnichannel retailers to quickly and cost-effectively customize their operations platforms. We sat down with Stitch Labs’ CTO, Owen Wendland, to learn more about how our customers can leverage the custom API and why it’s exciting for the future of commerce.

What is the purpose of opening our API to enterprise customers?

Our ultimate goal is to help retailers automate their businesses. We want to take their unique workflows and automate them in a central hub. Once we’ve automated their retail workflows, we can present them with more comprehensive data to inform smarter business decisions.

Tell me more about the API.

Stitch has a single-page application, so every piece of data our customers see when they log into the application came from their browser connecting to the very API we’re exposing. The application runs only on top of our API - anything our application can do is done through the API. Every new feature we build is exactly the same way. Our API format encapsulates all other major eCommerce API formats. We found ours to be the most flexible because it’s built to be customized. It’s built to let customers run their workflows and thus, their businesses, the way they want.

Why is this such an important part of Stitch’s strategy?

As we grow and as larger and larger businesses use Stitch, we have a ton of requests for unique features or functionalities, and workflows become more specific to each company. We had to choose between building features we think are best-suited for our customers, which might get more and more fine-grained, or opening up the platform to allow customers to build their own customizations. We feel confident that the latter option provides more flexibility for our customers.

How does this affect Stitch’s customers?

All customers on our enterprise plan have the ability to leverage and utilize Stitch’s custom API. Since Stitch acts as a central hub for our multichannel customers, the software already knows a lot about their business. And when there are pieces missing, those become data points these retailers are missing when trying to make key decisions. Basically, every time we can’t handle a custom workflow a customer needs for their business, that’s a piece of data they don’t have. The customization afforded by the API fills that gap.

What if I don’t have developers on staff?

We’re in the process of creating a network of preferred developer agencies that we’ve worked with multiple times and that have direct support from our engineering team. We trust these agencies enough to recommend them to our customers and ensure the same level of quality in what they build custom to our API as you would expect from the Stitch application itself.

How are Stitch customers already taking advantage of the API?

Chubbies was able to solve complex problems unique to their workflow. Chubbies’ customer loyalty program, which sends customers an add-on gift for purchases 1-8, is built onto our API,  enabling their fulfillment team to swap gifts in and out easily. Another customer created auto SKU building since they don’t have SKUs but their 3PL vendor requires them. Every time a new variant is created in Stitch, they have a set of custom code that triggers from the API to auto-generate a SKU for that variant. This is important because it’s something that’s on our roadmap, we just haven’t prioritized it to-date. So, with the API, they were able to build something that was on our radar but that they needed immediately.

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