Online services have changed the way businesses interact and connect with each other. Many of the systems a company has must be able to seamlessly connect or blend with a vendor’s system. The need for inter connectivity gave rise to the need for API testing and integration since this process allows vendors to extract data, which can be shared with their partners.
There are a lot of ways API integration helps B2B e-commerce; for example, an integration could expose the data needed to ensure e-commerce shopping carts work as they are intended to. This is because the functions of a shopping cart must have access to data on products, customer information, inventory levels, and shipping processes. Customers are expecting this kind of information, but this data is not present within the shopping cart function but rather located in the vendor’s data.
There is no doubt that API testing is pretty important and quite valuable, but that does not mean challenges do not arise. Vendors and businesses need to make sure they are aware of these challenges in order to prepare for them a bit more effectively. The following are six of the most common challenges that might arise during integration.
- Tech Complexity
First, you need to understand that an API integration process requires a wide range of knowledge in everything related to APIs. Flawless integration is not easy due to its complexity.
A small mistake here or there could reduce the overall quality of the integration, and it could even lead to unforeseen issues that could be costly.
It is important that you do your best to hire experts in API integrations to ensure that everything goes smoothly. There are some who try to skip this step due to the cost of an expert, but it is better to be safe than sorry, so do your best to find someone you can trust or a company that has experience. You can read more here about the kind of API integration team you need on your side as you go through this process.
- Security Concerns
The next challenge you may have to think about deals with security. Small businesses and vendors should definitely be concerned about security because cyber criminals are out there. It may seem like these criminals only hit big companies, but the reality is that small business is a target for data breaches and losses.
The reason you are at risk is that cybercriminals believe you are not going to invest much in security, so abusing your API data should be pretty easy for them. You need to do your best to invest in cybersecurity threat detection, and you need to make sure the API integration process is done by someone who knows what they are doing. Poor integration puts you, your customers, and your partners at risk.
- Time Consumption
It may be easy to assume that you are going to be able to speed through this integration process, but that is not the case. Proper integration takes a long time because it is meticulous. Anyone offering expedited integration may be cutting corners that you do not want to cut with something this important.
As a business person and vendor, you know that time is money, so it is important you prepare yourself for this integration. Keep in mind that forming just one good connection could take a few weeks. Keep that in mind as you decide to hire a professional to help take all this work off your hands, which gives you the freedom to concentrate on other pressing matters.
- Expensive Work
Another thing that might hit you hard is finding out how expensive integration is going to be. Yes, this API integration is important to your business, but it is also going to cost you a pretty penny, and you need to be prepared for that. What you want to do is start allocating the money you are going to need for proper integration.
You can expect to pay a few thousand dollars for one month of work. Find the professional you are going to work with, and see how much they charge. This estimate is going to help you prepare so that by the time you start the process, your business can take the expense. You do not want to be caught with a thinly stretched bank account because business is not usually kind to financial strain.
- Upgrading is Needed
After going through the integration process, you will need to maintain these connections. Maintenance means you’ll need an IT team or a developer to come to analyze your connections from time to time to make sure everything is working well.
You are also going to need the IT team or developer to help you upgrade your connections whenever it is necessary. Your partners are going to continue to move forward, and your technology needs to be able to keep up, or it might break the connection completely. This is going to be an ongoing expense, so make sure you are prepared for it as well.
- Understanding Diversity
It is easy to believe that because you were able to form one connection that any additional API integrations are going to get easier. That is a misconception some people have, which can frustrate them when they notice that additional integration is not easier.
Remember that each platform comes with its own logic, which means the integration needed to connect to them is going to vary. This variation makes each integration completely different and the reason additional API integration is not going to be any faster. The expert you hire to help you connect with multiple platforms is not trying to cheat you by purposely taking a long time to form additional connections; he or she is simply working as usual.
Hopefully, some of these points help you understand some of the challenges you are going to face with this integration and help you overcome them with little problems.