Large and small businesses today rely on effective data management systems across platforms to stay competitive in the business world. And most businesses have struggled to find and maintain an effective system that will ultimately help drive their growth at one stage or another.
As digital programming and data analysis become increasingly important to businesses, using third-party management systems for data storage is becoming more prevalent. Yet, data is not always easy to access via a third-party system.
APIs allow businesses to connect various data sources instantaneously — effectively helping with the organization of data and streamlining processes to save the business time and money. An example is a gift card API connecting a gift card interface to an organization’s internal system. This can simplify the process of issuing and tracking gift cards, enabling businesses to create custom cards, control reward programs, and track all transactions in real-time. With the help of a card issuing API, businesses can easily integrate gift card programs into their existing systems, reducing the need for manual data entry and ensuring accurate record keeping.
In this post, we’ll answer some common API and API connection questions. Before we dive into the world of APIs, let’s take a quick look at why data integration is so important to modern businesses.
Why is data management and integration so important?
An effective data management system allows for enhanced visibility and connectivity, breaking down data silos and optimizing business processes. With the volume of data growing exponentially — and creating hurdles for businesses in all industries — the need for effective data integration is also rapidly growing.
API-led data integration allows businesses to transform data into powerful insights that help with the planning of growth strategies and enhance decision-making processes. Some other benefits of successful API-led data integration include:
- Streamlining of operations — With real-time access to data related to all processes, businesses can eliminate errors, increase production and maintain costs across departments.
- Improved customer experiences — Having data on a common, shared platform gives businesses an accurate view of their customers and how they affect sales and revenue. This information effectively helps businesses target customers and improve customer service.
- Predicting customer needs — The presence of historical and current data allows businesses to anticipate future customer demands, which in turn helps the business upgrade its offerings to stay ahead of the competition.
What exactly is an API?
We’ve discussed how APIs allow businesses to instantly connect different data sources to improve business processes and efficiencies. But what exactly is an API?
Put simply, an API — or application programming interface — is a software interface that acts as an intermediary to allow two separate applications to communicate with each other. Whereas a user interface connects a computer to a user, an application programming interface connects pieces of software, or systems, to each other.
With APIs, businesses can effectively create channels to sell their products and services online — the Runa API is a prime example of using an API.
As consumers, we use and rely on APIs all the time, most likely without even realizing it. For example, we use an API every time we send an instant message or check the Facebook or weather apps on our phones. The API works in the background, sending, retrieving, and interpreting data to present the information we need in a thoroughly readable format.
How does a modern API work?
Modern APIs work as an interface to deliver data from one system to another, effectively facilitating interactions between data, devices, and applications to create a connected experience for the user.
Among other things, APIs provide a standard way for users and consumers to access application data to carry out everyday functions such as accessing mobile apps and shopping online.
What role do API connectors play?
API connectors work to pass data from one message processor to another processor, so that data can effectively flow seamlessly across the systems. Connectors within the API integration area are classified according to the protocol they support or the connected system.
There are several marketing API connectors that businesses can use to help create a channel of information to help them sell their offerings online. Integrating data through different APIs on one platform enables businesses to perform their processes simply and effectively, improving customer experiences.
Here are some common API connectors:
- Google Ads API — This API facilitates direct interaction with the Google Ads Server, which gives businesses a comprehensive view of sales and marketing data to help manage Google Ads accounts and campaigns.
- Google Analytics — This API enables easy access to Google Analytics report data, which helps businesses analyze ROI and compare campaign performance for advertising and marketing investments.
- Gift card API — APIs such as the Runa API connect our gift card interface to an organization’s in-house system for the business to automate its digital reward distribution process and save time and resources.
What is API integration?
API integration refers to connecting different tech stack components to communicate and transfer data seamlessly — processes that would otherwise require manual input and possibly hours of time-consuming labor. API integrations play a vital role in the processes of many high-level businesses by managing and syncing data and driving productivity and revenue.
Integrating multiple APIs into one website
API integrations are becoming increasingly widespread and popular in the business world, enabling businesses to exchange and share data hassle-free.
Further, multiple API integrations allow businesses to “mix and match” APIs across different services to automate various tasks, boost efficiencies, remove the chance of errors, and ultimately ensure better business outcomes. Other benefits of multiple API integrations include:
- The capability to connect to cloud apps
- The prospect of creating new APIs
- The extraction of value from legacy data systems
- Ensuring enterprise integrations are future-proofed
Put simply, all businesses can improve productivity and performance by creating APIs for their business processes.
Implementing a digital gift card API
Gift card APIs work by connecting an interface — in this case, a gift card interface — to the business’s internal system. This process needs to be carried out by a web developer or similar resource using the available API documentation and will involve testing API credentials.
As with all API implementations, the exact details of the process will likely vary depending on the business's requirements and the program's scale. Yet, generally speaking, the whole implementation process should take approximately 1-2 weeks, from start to finish.
To complete gift card API integration, the business must generate API keys that act as identifiers to authenticate users or call programs to the API. With Runa’s API, API keys can be generated and accessed via a Runa user account.
Upon completion of the implementation process, the Runa API enables businesses to launch, manage and track digital gift cards at scale. The power of the Runa API is that it requires only a single API connection to tap into a huge catalog of gift card options. In essence, it allows companies to implement their own successful gift card program by choosing from a selection of 1,000s of gift cards and to send gift cards to anyone virtually!
Launch a successful gift card program with Runa
There’s no doubt that gift cards provide a simple yet effective way for modern businesses to incentivize both customers and employees to increase sales and ultimately drive business growth.
Moving to a scalable and on-demand gift card API, such as the Runa API, effectively gives your business access to the industry’s most extensive range of digital gift cards. There is no need to tap into a Starbucks api or an Amazon gift card api — because with just a few simple clicks a single API manages access to an extensive gift card brand inventory and handles all the associated data processing of managing, reporting and sending the gift card.
Keen to learn more about how your business can reap the rewards of a robust gift card program with the help of our reliable gift card API? Arrange a free Runa demo today!