Retail Web Service Therapy

Paul Kinlan

Robert Scoble talks about how Developer API’s are changing the face of retailing. I think I briefly talked about this a while back now (Are there any good web services out there: http://www.kinlan.co.uk/2005/04/are-there-any-good-web-services-out.html).

I personally think if a retailer isn’t planning to create API’s that enable applications to be built on top of their product catalogue, ordering systems etc, then they are losing out on a massively huge potential future audience. I can’t really justify it more than that, other than it is what I belief will happen.

So I think I agree with Roberts statement, just not really that it is going to change quickly. For reasons below.

One stumbling block for me to start to use API’s like EBay’s is that most of the ones I find charge per call. As a Full-time developer, after hours home developer; I can’t afford to start using these services to see if I can start to do something “Entrepreneurial”.

Additionally, I find it hard to find companies that offer API’s to their data, everyone seems so, how should I say it, keeping their cards tight against their chest.

Am I missing the point here? I mean afterall Amazon provide access to their content (if only they would allow me to list Market Place Items through the same Interface) for free. It’s a revenue generator to provide open access to an API.

Has Ebay changed there per call billing policy? I am finding it hard to read their site, something has gone awry with the layout.

Does anyone know of any cool retail web services (possibly in the UK).

Paul Kinlan

Trying to make the web and developers better.

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