Third-party services offer powerful additions to your marketplace. Using a tracking or marketing software tool, for example, can make running your business a lot more efficient.
The newest release to the Flex Integration API opens a whole new world of possibilities for using third-party software tools. In addition to integrating software that reads your marketplace data, you can now also allow events in third-party tools to manipulate that data programmatically. In practice, this means you can add masses of new features to your marketplace workflow and customize your user experience even more.
Here's a full list of capabilities that have been added to the Integration API:
- Updating listings data (including extended data, availability plan, and images)
- Create, query and delete availability exceptions
- Update user profile data (including profile image)
- Approve, close and open listings
- Querying transactions by user or listing ID
- Delete user profile images.
In addition, the users now have public metadata, which is visible to everyone but can only be edited by the marketplace operator, either through Console or the Integration API. This comes in useful, for example, when integrating verification tools.
Here are some practical examples of how you can leverage these new capabilities for your marketplace.
Verify user identity
Using a third-party verification solution can make transactions on your marketplace more trustworthy. For example, you might want to verify a user before allowing them to make bookings or post listings.
There are several third-party solutions out there that allow you to verify the identity of a user. In some cases, an SMS verification might be enough. In others, you want to validate an identity document or even make a full background check.
It's now easy to integrate any of these solutions to your Flex marketplace. You can call the verification service's API from your backend, and once the user has been verified, add information about the verification to their public metadata. Public verification information also serves as an excellent way to build trust between your users.
Introduce a membership or listing fee
For some marketplaces, the best way to monetize is to charge users for membership or the right to post listings. There are many third-party tools that make it easy to build a subscription billing system.
With the new Integration API release, integrating such a solution to your Flex marketplace is simple. You can turn on the setting "require all listings to be approved by admin". You'll then need to build a backend component that listens to payment events in the subscription billing tool. Once there's a new payment, you use the Integration API to find the user with their email, and then call the Integration API again to approve the listing(s) of this user.
Try it out and let us know what you think!
If you haven't yet used the Integration API, the best place to start is the getting started guide. The repository of code examples has been updated with scripts that, among other things, update the metadata of a user and approve a listing. The full Integration API reference has also been updated with the new endpoints.
We expect to release more updates to the Integration API in 2020. How could we make it better for you? Let us know by responding to this email!