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API technology is Salsify's secret sauce for aggregating product info

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Retailers are under pressure to populate their mobile apps and websites with detailed product info and images. Salsify provides an as a service method for this via API technology.

If you've ever asked yourself how competing retailers manage to display identical images and details about the products they sell, it's no coincidence. There's a good chance the answer is Salsify.

A product content management platform, Salsify collects, organizes and maintains the specifications, details and images of millions of products that show up on retailers' and manufacturers' websites and, ultimately, in their cloud-based mobile apps. Extracting that information for instantaneous use is possible via Salsify's API technology.

"Would you buy something online that has no images?" asked Rovaira Dasig, Salsify's ecosystem product manager. "Salsify is a product content management platform that helps brands and retailers manage the data you see on websites when you're shopping."

High-quality product photos are no longer enough as consumer expectations continue to rise. Companies like Salsify are answering this challenge with 360 degree product images that can be spun around in virtual space along with ever more granular detailed product information. Retailers, focused on providing an "endless aisle" of products to online shoppers, lack the resources to curate product marketing information of this degree on their own, Dasig said.

Dasig RovairaDasig Rovaira

"The onus is resting on the brands and manufacturers to provide that content," she said.

"A lot of our API is making it very easy for providers of images or [language] translations to send that content to Salsify and our customers in an easy way," Dasig said. "It's how we think about the ecosystem of our digital supply chain."

The company, Dasig said, takes pride in building a system that is easy to use, even for the nontech-savvy.

"Even with this simplicity, it has a robustness and flexibility to handle the different things providers might be doing," she said.

Would you buy something online that has no images?
Rovaira DasigSalsify

Salsify's approach begs the question, what does it take to build a good API?

"You've got to know your user and understand the business value you are providing as drivers for what you are building on the technical side," Dasig said. "When you can align the business processes of your users with your product and other services that interface via API technology, that's where you need to be."

API management and growth

A challenge for any company is dealing with growth in business volume and number of customers. Salsify is no different. When asked how Salsify manages its API and updates it in a way that keeps it simple for customers, Dasig replies, "That is a great question and, to be honest, something we're still thinking about right now. A big project of mine for this year is to be able to scale and support our integrations in a way that we can actually then leverage them to grow value for our customers."

As for where Salsify and its published API are headed next, Dasig notes that while customers are now using Salsify to manage, organize and enhance their content it in a way they might  not have been able to before, there is always room for growth.

"What I'd like for them to be able to do now is plug in all the other services and all the other vendors that they use to get their content ready." That step will enable manufacturers to more easily sell on those retailer sites, on their own e-commerce site or other major sites.

It's not just integration between Salsify's customer and a particular retailer's site; it's multiple integrations with multiple providers and multiple data sets that are all in different forms. "That is the ecosystem we are hoping to play in, that we are playing in," she says.

Joel Shore is news writer for TechTarget's Business Applications and Architecture Media Group. Write to him at  jshore@techtarget.com or follow @JshoreTT on Twitter.

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