AIMultiple ResearchAIMultiple Research

Top 5 Use Cases of API in Retail With Examples in 2024

Cem Dilmegani
Updated on Jan 3
3 min read

The increase in digitalization and abundance of data from sources such as IoT, sensors, and websites has provided a great potential to increase profit if used correctly (see Figure 1).

APIs are one of the tools that retail companies can use to:

  • Improve value proposition.
  • Operational management.
  • Increase customer insight.

In this article, we will explore the top 5 API use cases and examples in the retail industry that managers can benefit from. 

Figure 1. Total data created 

This picture is bar chart of data created from 2010 to expected data created in 2025.
Source: Statista 

1- App development

Mobile app customers are highly beneficial to retailers because they:

  • Spend 37% more than non-app customers
  • Buy 33% more frequently 
  • Return 41% more in dollar value

APIs can be used to create app functionalities such as order status, tracking, wish list, and recommendation list.

Walmart Marketplace API

Resources for managing products, orders, pricing, promotions, inventories, and reporting on are made available through the Walmart Marketplace API for seller apps.

Recommendation: Continuously conduct mobile app testing to ensure your app has high quality and is free of defects and bugs as users tend to leave apps that have bugs. 


Testifi is a test automation provider that many Fortune 500 global companies like Amazon work with. Their testing automation tool,  PULSE & CAST, supports mobile testing and API testing, respectively. 

2- IoT integration

IoT has many use cases in the retail industry. IoT APIs can be used to analyze data from retail IoT for optimizing product display and flow. For example:

  • Smart shelves data can be connected to the stockroom data to show retailer availability of a product both on the shelves and stockroom.
  • IoT cameras that can track customer movement can be used to optimize product placement. 


An example of IoT with API integration is  AWS IoT API

AWS IoT API enables IoT devices such as sensors, embedded devices,s and smart appliances o communicate with the AWS cloud.

Recommendation: Implementing IoT can be challenging, read IoT Implementation Tutorial: Steps, Challenges, Best Practices to understand how you can implement them in your business. 

3- Inventory management 

Inventory management is a crucial part of managing a retail business. Mismanagement of inventory can result in reputational and financial losses. However, managing inventory across multiple locations can be challenging. Inventory management APIs have been developed to address this issue. Retail companies can use inventory management APIs to : 

  • Track, modify, and count items across different locations and sales channels.
  • Retrieving order updates and informing customers quickly.

Google shopping API

An API that can be used in inventory management is Google shopping API. This API can be used for:

  • Uploading product,
  • Provide inventory management,
  • Manage orders and returns.

Recommendation: Inventory management is a dynamic field where there can be many different modules involved. It is best to conduct integration testing in order to minimize the chance of having defects and bugs. 

4- Procurement

Every business wants to procure its materials and inputs for a given quality at the lowest possible price. However, comparing many suppliers for each input is challenging and requires considerable manpower if done manually. APIs in procurement can be used to : 

  • Retrieve the price for a given material from suppliers in a timely manner. 
  • Place an order automatically from supplier to manufacturer when the supplier receives an order from a customer. 
  • Get purchase order details such as quantity, price, and status.

Amazon selling partner API

This API enables Amazon selling partners to access their order, shipment, payment, and other data systematically.

Recommendation: Automation in procurement can provide substantial benefits, such as improving integration among partners. Workload automation providers that support APIs can improve integration between partners in procurement.  You can also check our list of procurement software.

5- Customer insight

APIs can be used to retrieve customer data and behavior. The data can be analyzed to better understand customer preferences and optimize the business offering. For example, the historical purchases of a customer can be analyzed to create a recommendation API that recommends products based on the customer’s purchases. 

Google retail API

This API allows the creation of a personalized recommendation system. 

Recommendation: Data collection and monitoring can be challenging. Ensure that you are :

  • Selecting the right data set,
  • Avoiding data bias,
  • Complying with data protection laws,
  • Understand associated costs.

To understand more about data collection challenges and their solutions, read Top 4 Data Collection Challenges and Their Solutions.

If you need more information concerning how the retail sector can benefit from APIs you can reach us:

Find the Right Vendors
Access Cem's 2 decades of B2B tech experience as a tech consultant, enterprise leader, startup entrepreneur & industry analyst. Leverage insights informing top Fortune 500 every month.
Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst
Follow on

Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst

Cem has been the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per similarWeb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.

Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.

Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised businesses on their enterprise software, automation, cloud, AI / ML and other technology related decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.

He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.

Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.

To stay up-to-date on B2B tech & accelerate your enterprise:

Follow on

Next to Read


Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.