Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and Staffing Software – What’s the Connection?

Data Integration Business Internet Technology Concept. Mixed Med

Amazon has 9.7 million sellers and 100 million shoppers in the US alone. The eBay has 170 million shoppers every month. Etsy has about 7.47 million sellers. Note: A person or company can operate as more than one seller. Generally, Etsy operates together on one platform.

What allows these giants to add stores or sellers and “seamlessly” give each access to its functionalities like search tools, display space, order information, checkout, payment processing, etc.  is a software tool called an “Application Programming Interface” or API. There are thousands of them customized for many thousands of computer applications.

Many of these thousands, like Amazon and eBay, as above, are household names, but many more are little known except in their own industry. For example, our company develops, builds, and supports management software for the Staffing industry.

Like other comprehensive management software, our product grew by learning, over many years, what additional functionalities and efficiencies would be useful to our customers, then writing, testing, and selling it into a growing list of clients in a growing industry. That was the first thirty years.

Increasingly, in the last 10-15 years software developers in other industries have found additional uses for their software products or a specific part of a more comprehensive software product, in other industries.

Previously, cross-selling into different software systems was either impossible or incredibly expensive due to the extensive coding required for each integration, especially for limited functionalities. However, the growing sophistication of APIs has dramatically simplified this process enabling seamless connections between a wide range of software.

With the advent of more sophisticated development techniques, creating an API has become significantly easier. Consequently, entering a new market with that product becomes a straightforward task.

API and the Staffing Industry

A great example of this is the banking industry which found another market for its Debit Card software in the staffing industry. The staffing industry has a segment of its market providing largely unskilled workers for seasonal or one-off projects to several different industries. Many of these workers do not have bank accounts and check cashing is difficult for them and expensive. In some cases, day laborers are paid in cash at the end of the day.

Adding a national Debit card payment ability to the staffing company’s payroll software was a perfect solution. With one click the staffing company loads or reloads their net wages directly to their debit card giving them instant access no matter where they are located.

So, because of the basic ability and sophistication of API technology, a “small” segment of a banking system’s software was seamlessly integrated to a staffing company’s software nationwide (or worldwide) opening a market for that bank (or banks) to serve the 22,000 staffing companies in the U.S.

Other staffing software features have been seamlessly integrated to existing software via API’s like; automating the Onboarding process for new hires, screening for eligibility to work in the U.S.(E-Verify), Mobile App time management, Automated income and employment verifications, and Health benefits management.

How does an API work?

An API is basically a software tool used to integrate one software with another, usually to add additional functionality. This is accomplished by first enabling secure access via an API key, then making requests and receiving responses according to a set of rules to facilitate the correct use of the functionalities of the Server’s software thus making a “seamless integration”.

The common way of explaining this is by use of the analogy of a “Contract” between a “client” and a “Server”. The “Contract” would be the Documentation establishing the rules by the Server. The Server software would establish basic security and rules for the “client” to make requests and receive responses from the server.

So, when a new store is opened by Etsy, for example, which owns the controlling Server’s databases and software, the new store or “client” receives a customized API containing all the standard and new rules for asking questions by the “Client” and receiving appropriate “Responses” or answers by the “Server”.

When complete there would be a “Seamless integration” between the two software and per the example above of the new Etsy store would be able to have all the appropriate use access to the needed functionalities of the main Etsy Server.

Writing any new API after the first for a specific application (new store) is not as difficult as it may seem because most all of the programming has been done for the preceding stores and the basic Questions and Answers have already been written and updated.

Of course, a new API key needs to be initiated because this identifies the new “Client”. This prewritten software can be thought of as “leveraging” the new store with integration software that has already been written for the previous stores.

This is completely analogous to the example above of creating a Debit card functionality to an existing staffing software.

The final step in the process is to test the API. This is usually not difficult because most of the enabling software has already been written, updated, and tested for all the preceding stores.

So, whether it is a new Etsy store or new, “seamlessly integrated”, functionality of your TempsPlus Staffing Software, APIs are here to stay.

The next step will be incorporating artificial Intelligence or AI into API’s for even greater functionality of your staffing software. Stay Tuned.

As Always, Stay Safe, and please pray for Ukraine, Russia, Israel, and Gaza!