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Entrepreneurs can have many reasons to like Taobao API. An API, or Application Programming Interface, can be defined as a language that lets one or more applications, programs, or computers communicate with each other. These APIs offer a lot of possibilities to entrepreneurs who have ventured into the digital business.

How API Is Helping Entrepreneurs

The keyword is automation. An entrepreneur using APIs does not need to deal manually with many aspects of his or her business, such as retrieving order information and tracking shipment. Many small business owners in the e-commerce website Taobao.com are using Taobao APIs to build applications that automate business processes. So, managing a business becomes easier to do with APIs.

Taobao API

There are many Taobao API that entrepreneurs can use. Some of the Taobao API categories are:

  • Product API

  • Trading API

  • Evaluation API

  • Logistics API

  • Store API

  • Distribution API

With these APIs, a developer can build applications that contribute to a smooth buyer-seller transaction. Furthermore, Taobao APIs help automate an entrepreneur’s business processes. Taobao Open Platform (TOP) is an open platform which purpose is to support the Taobao e-commerce business. The open platform gives APIs to developers who can build applications that help in the Taobao business. And, the main Taobao APIs in the Taobao Open Platform are Order APIs and Delivery APIs. Here are six of the main Taobao APIs that deal with order and delivery concerns of merchants:

API Category

API

Description

Order

taobao.trades.sold.get

Returns orders which are backtracked for three months

Order

taobao.trades.sold.increment.get

Returns incremental orders

Order

taobao.trades.sold.get

Returns detailed information based on the Taobao Order ID specified in the API request

Delivery

taobao.logistics.offline.send

Returns shipment for a logistic order

Delivery

taobao.logistics.orders.detail.get

Returns logistic orders based on a specified seller, buyer, time frame, or order ID

Delivery

taobao.logistics.trace.search

Returns detailed logistic orders using a specified order ID; useful for tracking shipment

The six Taobao APIs are very useful not only to entrepreneurs in Taobao.com, but also to entrepreneurs in Tmall.com and Alibaba.com.

APIs to Track Marketing Campaigns

Aside from automating customer transactions, APIs also help business owners gauge the success of their marketing efforts with multiple tools. A Taobao business owner who is also implementing a digital advertising campaign can integrate Google Analytics, AdWords, and other tools by using APIs. Businesses that are on Twitter can use a Twitter-provided API which allows for the integration of the social media advertising and the social CRM tools. The end result is simplifying the advertising process.

How to Begin Building Applications Based on the Tabao Open Platform API

Developers who are keen on creating applications using TOP APIs must apply for a developer account. Taobao partners, independent software vendors, or merchants can all play the role of a developer. A developer who is not a Tmall Global seller should send the following documents:

  • Certificate of incorporation

  • Proof of a valid bank account

  • Identification of the company’s representative

  • Taobao service agreement signed by an authorized signatory

  • Identification of the authorized signatory such as an electronic copy of a passport

  • Authorization letter that gives permission to the authorized signatory to sign agreements on the company’s behalf to prove that all agreements signed by the authorized signatory are legal

APIs take care of many business aspects for entrepreneurs. APIs have the power to automate business processes. And on top of that, they also improve customer experience and accelerate information distribution. In fact, APIs are very useful that even the U.S. government, through the initiative of the Obama Administration, is now using open APIs to support a number of IT projects and to make available privately-developed applications. The open APIs improve the delivery of services to the public. The benefits of APIs to people are undeniable. For this reason, entrepreneurs can harness the power of Taobao APIs to grow their business and to better serve their customers.

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