As a tech company, we know you need an API. Aside from it’s ability to simplify the complex and help you operate your business more efficiently through seamless data-sharing, it’s also a complete time-saver. And while many of you may be nodding your head in agreement, many of you may be scratching your heads wondering, “What the heck is an API?”. So whether you’re already a tech-savvy individual or you’re still getting used to utilizing technology in your business operations, we’re going to break it down for you.
What is an API?
As consumers and individuals, we are already well-accustomed to what an API looks like in our favorite apps. In the food industry, as business professionals, we’re notoriously slow-adopters. So for sake of ease, let’s start at the beginning. API stands for Application Programming Interface. Bear with us, we will explain. When you go on the internet and you navigate from website to website, each page you see is hosted on an individual server. A “server” is just a remote computer somewhere that houses the information or code that creates the web page you are viewing.
An API allows these servers to communicate and share data with one another seamlessly. When you post on instagram and you click “share to facebook” that’s the doing of an API. You don’t have to screen shot your Instagram post and upload to facebook, The Application programming interface instantly communicates the code behind your photo and attached messaging, instantly porting it over to facebook for your followers to see.
What Does This Mean for CPG?
Although we can’t speak for other platforms, in the LabelCalc user experience, an API opens up an entirely new realm of possibility that creates an opportunity for your business to operate more efficiently. If you are a Labelcalc user, you know how easy it is to turn your product recipes into a nutrition facts panel that can then be printed onto your product packaging. (And if you didn’t know, now you do!). Well imagine taking that same information and seamlessly sharing it on your website, with the click of a button!
If you’re a CPG company with a private label, the concept expands. Instead of a .jpg photo uploaded to your site for manufacturers to copy, the nutritional information can be instantly shared directly into your subscribing manufacturer’s (or other food service client) account. Opening this door allows for data to become easily accessible while still remaining private, and providing your subscribing clients the opportunity to create recipes at a faster pace to meet consumer demand. Data sharing increases production which, in turn, produces exposure of your private label products to consumers via your clientele.
But Wait, There’s More…
When it comes to the opportunity that an API presents, the opportunity is endless. As long as the API can communicate freely, you can have unlimited data-sharing with any other platform that you wish to connect with. As a manufacturer, an API can be helpful when it comes to your personal website, interacting and informing your target audience with the dietary information that they’re looking for in your food product. It can also be an efficient way to share your information with third-party sites, like Amazon, that facilitate direct-to-consumer sales. We are existing in a time in the industry where food products are shaped around consumer dietary preference. If your product falls under certain dietary preferences: keto, low-fat, low-carb, sugar-free, or another category, promoting this information via data-share to all of the platforms your product interacts with is key.
For example, if you food product is advertised on grocery platforms like Instacart or Shipt, consumers look beyond products that suit their staple-grocery needs (like milk, eggs, or bread) and tend to search for grocery items by dietary preference. If you employ an API datashare through your LabelCalc account to a grocery platform, your food product will pull up by dietary preference category. To dive a little deeper into this example, if you were a manufacturer of beef jerky, your product could pull up under multiple categories such as: high protein, low-carb, keto, or snacks, depending on how it’s categorized in your account. Then this data can be shared through the LabelCalc API, which allows your food product to be included in search results via Instacart beyond your brand name. This will increase your potential of solidifying a sale of your product.
API’s are all about connection. Whether you’re sharing a photo across multiple platforms in your spare time or creating an opportunity for your food product to be found through multiple categories, it’s API that creates a pathway for the data-share. Gone are the days of copy/paste, download & upload. It’s all about the data-share, and it’s even easier than you can imagine.
If you’re interested in the LabelCalc API or have any questions, contact us, we’re happy to help!