Can EDI and APIs coexist in an ever-changing ecommerce landscape?

Can EDI and APIs coexist in an ever-changing ecommerce landscape?

Yes, and they will for years to come. 

Jitterbit recently hosted “Tips for a Connected Commerce with Wayfair,” a webinar focused on API connectivity and online marketplaces. After our discussion, a customer asked a critical question: Can EDIs and APIs coexist in an ecommerce landscape that’s always changing? 

And our answer? Yes. Using EDI and APIs can strengthen supplier relationships while providing more flexibility with internal business systems.

Here, we compare and contrast the two frameworks: 

Capability  EDI API
Infrastructure:  On premises or via cloud  Cloud to computer
Data integration:  Pulls and automates the translation of data from specific documents, such as POs, into a standardized EDI format Connects two or more systems, using objects and fields
Industry Use: Industry standard Increasingly growing
Better for working with larger retailers Better for working with small to midsize retailers
Required or preferred by big box retailers, such as Best Buy, Costco, and Home Depot Growing in adoption; becoming the preference for some retailers, such as Wayfair 
Implementation:  Easier to integrate with legacy systems but is more complex  Better for custom integrations and provides more flexibility
Longer implementation period  Shorter implementation period 
Longer testing window that requires trading partner coordination  Real-time testing and results when the supplier or brand is ready to do it 
Delivery of data:  Batch model, updating every 15 minutes or so Real-time model, using individual transactions

 

According to Digital Commerce 360, 76.5 percent of all digital sales in 2021 were conducted via EDI, which was the year’s biggest B2B electronic sales channel. While the rate of growth for EDI transactions is slowing, the channel will continue to be the industry standard for years to come. A Google study found that slightly more than half of retailers say APIs accelerate innovation and the ability to scale and we expect to see this number grow in the coming years.

“We’re moving to a world in which retailers will need or want to have both API connectivity and EDI,” said Blair Pzytula, Product Manager. “Retailers will want to be where the opportunities are, working with big box retailers using EDI and newer marketplaces using API connectivity. Working in both frameworks will give them the flexibility they need to scale and react to changing market opportunities and customer demands.”

You can learn more about Jitterbit EDI and API-connectivity here