Which fashion brands have open APIs

What is API Monetization?

API monetization enables companies to generate revenue from their application programming interfaces (APIs). APIs are the cornerstone of what is widely viewed in the industry as the next iteration of business development. In other words, APIs are used to establish and maintain relationships in the digital economy. APIs represent a kind of wholesale area of ​​a website. Third parties can use them to access your data and resources directly or to integrate them into their own external or internal websites and applications.

Before you implement an API management plan, you should have a sound business model in place that provides the framework for your monetization strategies. API monetization is not just about how you generate revenue with APIs, it's also about how you ensure that your APIs are performing the function and performance your customers want.

Not all APIS are created equal, and the reasons for their use can vary extremely. Here are some recent patterns of API monetization.


Free

A popular way to access an API is to offer a free tier. With it anyone can log in, use the API and see its value. This allows customers to thoroughly examine the API and assess whether the investment is worthwhile. The free Variant works well with many API monetization strategies and also in conjunction with other strategies. However, providing only one free tier for the API, and without a strategy for marketing it to higher-demand users, can be problematic for your organization.


The customer pays

In addition to free access, another approach to API monetization is to set a price for the API customers to pay for the services or resources that the API provides. The following three approaches are typically seen for this model:

  • Graduation. Some API providers set up price levels for paid access to the API, such as: B. bronze, gold or platinum. Each level contains certain services and authorizations for access to the API resources, with an upgrade to the next level always being associated with higher costs.
  • Pay as you go. Another option is a model where the customer pays for usage. Depending on the consumption of bandwidth and / or storage and other direct costs in connection with the use of the API, the providers calculate a logical profit margin in addition to their expenses.
  • Number of pieces. Some API providers prefer to divide their resources into numbers and to calculate them accordingly. API customers pay for the number of units expected to be required and have the option of purchasing them if this should become necessary.

Some providers put together a package of the three options mentioned in order to cover operating costs and generate profits.


The customer gets paid

In some cases, a company can generate additional profits with an API, which it then shares with the API customers. This approach represents an incentive model for the API customers that promotes the integration and high quality implementation of the resources that generate revenue for an API provider. Three models have emerged for the API profit distribution:

  • Revenue sharing from advertising. Some API providers offer an advertising network as part of their platforms. API customers then embed advertising content in these sites and apps, which in turn generates revenue for API providers. Part of these sales flow back to the customer.
  • API ecosystems. Some approaches to website monetization are applied to API ecosystems. The following models are often used: Cost Per Acquisition (CPA), Cost Per Click (CPC) and one-time or recurring revenue sharing model.
  • Invoice credits. A small group of API providers use a consumer payment model. The customer receives invoice credits from the provider depending on the amount of the proportionate advertising revenue, which reduces the developer's overhead costs for the integration, which in turn can reduce the expenses of the API provider.

Indirect monetization

This method is not always about generating revenue from API access, advertising or other sources. APIs can also be used to create indirect value.

  • Marketing tool. APIs are useful as marketing tools for a company and its online presence. With sophisticated branding strategies, developers can become external marketing agents for a core company and its brand.
  • Brand awareness. As a new tool in the general marketing and branding strategy, APIs can be used to present a brand on third-party websites and applications, thus increasing the brand reach via the API customers of that third-party provider.
  • Content procurement. Not all APIs are about delivering content, data, and other resources to the consumer. Often, APIs can also be used to create, update, move, and delete content. The content procurement via API is a very good method to create added value in a company and its platform.
  • SaaS.Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) has established itself as the method for selling the online use of software to consumers and businesses. Often APIs are included in the core software package and offer SaaS users additional value. The API access is often included in the SaaS core platform, but it can also be made available to SaaS Premium users in the form of an option.
  • Traffic. APIs can also be used to increase Internet traffic to existing websites or applications. You can develop an API with hyperlinks to key websites or apps, and encourage customers to build their own websites and applications built into the API: these are great ways to drive traffic too.

Many companies want to launch an API strategy and gain valuable experience first before fully implementing their API monetization strategy, completely relying on the indirect value of the API.

While it is a good idea to have a monetization strategy in place early enough, many companies who prioritize APIs rather than monetization also succeed. Because APIs can be used in a variety of ways - in an enterprise, privately between partners, or publicly - a wide variety of monetization strategies can be used.

Some API resources are better suited to the pay-as-you-go model, while other markets require the free availability of data without mandatory registration or access fees. There is no standard strategy for API monetization.

You can think of an API as an external research and development laboratory in a company. A laboratory that is open to the ideas and integrations of its partners can then develop various ideas, applications and business relationships. Companies use APIs to gain access to outside ideas and talent and with the aim of promoting innovation.

Some API providers carefully choose the best integrations and invest in people and companies, which sometimes leads to the acquisition of companies and technologies.

As with the monetization of APIs, there are only a few constants when it comes to pricing and access. Successful API providers are constantly tweaking, fine-tuning, and experimenting to find the optimal competitive approach. APIs are about business development and finding new ways to monetize your new and existing resources.


Roadmap

API providers and customers build a relationship of trust with one another, which ideally leads to a good relationship. An important aspect of this trust and the basis of this relationship is the use of a common roadmap. API providers want API customers to be actively involved in aligning API resources so that customers can prepare for these changes, adapt and provide feedback, which in turn can have an impact on the roadmap. What bothers API customers the most is when they don't know what to expect from APIs or when unexpected changes or problems arise in their applications.


API partner network

APIs are initially used in small numbers in a special API area, from where the customer can call up and use them if necessary. The goal is to transform the API area into an active community of API customers and a self-service ecosystem of committed partners and customers that manages itself.

Sustainable API ecosystems are symbiotic. It's not just about generating revenue from API providers, it's also about providing the resources API users need to be successful and pursue new approaches to business development.

Active APIs will keep attracting new users. And those of them who receive acceptable value for money and the support they need will recommend the products accordingly. A competitive API ecosystem is made up of equal parts technology, business, and politics. Therefore, a balance has to be found that not only provides added value for API providers and customers, but also for the end users of web or mobile apps that are integrated into the API resources.


API possibilities

In addition to these trends in API usage, there are various other opportunities that businesses and developers can benefit from. The simple, web-based approach to providing access to resources leads to the development of new areas, including:

  • 3D printing. Thanks to the help of web APIs, 3D printing is no longer just a hobby or an eccentric art, but offers real potential for restructuring the global marketing landscape. APIs for 3D printing have moved into the focus of various platforms.
  • Cars. Major automakers like Ford and GM are turning their vehicles into API platforms, offering companies and developers the opportunity to provide drivers with new products and services on board.
  • At home. Devices and especially the intelligent variant have played a central role in our lives for a long time. So we take them everywhere, be it to work or when traveling. APIs are also no longer limited to our computers and are now integrated directly into our domestic life. The next generation of automation technology is currently being developed for our home and ranges from simple heating and air conditioning thermostats to lighting and home security. Although these devices have so far managed without an API, many providers are already providing developer ecosystems and using APIs to stimulate innovations relating to the integration of building technology.
  • Building. Many buildings already have automatic heating, air conditioning, electrical, water and other systems. More and more building equipment manufacturers are realizing the importance of allowing API access to their hardware and software. Imagine if all of our buildings could “think” for themselves and provide us with information on how we can reduce energy consumption, diagnose problems in good time and either repair themselves or notify the respective customer service department if repairs or maintenance work are necessary.
  • Quantified Self. So-called quantified self devices, which enable their users to find out more about themselves, are now ubiquitous. This also includes personal measuring devices in the areas of sport and fitness. They can be used for a variety of purposes, from lifestyle tracking to health care.

These five areas represent only a fraction of the possibilities that can be opened up with the help of APIS. APIs are not just simple applications on the Internet, they connect our physical world to cloud computing and the data streams on which we rely.