Wine.com API Case Study
3scale Makes API Integration and Management Simpler, More Ubiquitous for Wine.com and Wine.com Partners
With the explosion of popularity and number of mobile apps, driven by more than five billion mobile devices worldwide, Wine.com, early on, recognized that launching a Web API would offer valuable potential as a new affiliate business model. Wine.com, the top online wine retailer since 1998, foresaw the value of partnering with 3scale to deliver a fast, easy, well supported strategic API management platform that could quickly scale for multichannel Web interaction, spanning mobile and social computing and other innovative forms of e-commerce.
Most everybody wants to understand more about wine, so Wine.com, anticipating potentially exponential popularity, realized that managing the Wine.com API would generate additional infrastructure demands. With more than 10 years of unique, structured wine data that varies by state, this would require additional network capacity, user account provisioning, authentication and authorization, tracking and analytics, governance, performance management and other functions critical to the ongoing operation of an API business. But because the venture was unproven, Wine.com wanted a cost-effective, proven management solution that would scale without taxing internal resources. Wine.com selected 3scale based on its unique proxy-less architecture, customer support and overall value.
“Given our project load, we wanted to give developers access to our data with as little impact on our organization as possible. 3scale helped us scale the administration and tracking of our API program with minimal time and effort on our end.” Cam Fortin – Director of Business Development of Wine.com
Indeed, Wine.com’s API initiative continues to ramp up with exponential success, requiring project and product management similar to that of a full-blown Web application.
- Achieved >600 registered users
- E-retailers are embracing mobile
- iPhone apps > 200k hits/month
- Great variety of creative wine discovery apps (e.g. personal recommendations)
Wine.com Customer Profile and the Goal of Wine.com’s Public API
Wine.com is the nation’s #1 online wine retailer, according to Internet Retailer magazine’s annual ranking of websites by revenue, offering thousands of wines, wine gifts, gift baskets and monthly wine clubs. Wine.com’s mission is to be the ultimate resource for wine enthusiasts, whether shopping for themselves or sending a gift, by offering a great selection, low prices, convenient delivery and helpful information. Wine.com is the world’s most visited wine website, according to comScore Media Metrix and also runs the wine flash sales site, WineShopper. For more information, visit the company’s website at http://www.wine.com, its blog at http://blog.wine.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/winecom and on Twitter at @wine_com. Visit WineShopper at http://wineshopper.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wineshopper and http://twitter.com/wine_shopper.
The goal of Wine.com’s Public API is to provide developers access to its extensive catalog of wine and wine related content in an open and easy to use manner. The API is built using REST principles. Developers can retrieve content in either XML or JSON format. Please visit documentation to read how the API works and the conditions of use.
All users are signed up for “Developer” plan by default, with limited access to data and a limit of 1,000 calls per day. To request an evaluation to receive full access to the data within the Wine.com API and additional call per day please send your user name and an active URL or screenshots of your proposed use to email@example.com. Wine.com wants people to use its API, and most people will be given “Premium” access for free once Wine.com has reviewed your plans to use the data.
The “Developer” plan includes access to search and list functionality, limited wine information, label photos, wine basics content and more. Some of the benefits of the “Premium” plan include access to full product descriptions and wine-maker notes for all Wine.com products and descriptions and geo-code data on thousands of wineries worldwide.
You may use this API for commercial purposes, for details on becoming an affiliate and receiving payment for driving sales through Wine.com please view this forum thread. The API is currently in a beta release. It is stable, and completely usable at this time. The current URI access point to the API is: http://services.wine.com/api/beta2/service.svc/format/resource?apikey=key¶meters.
The Challenge: Lowering the Barrier to Integration while Operating and Scaling Effectively!
Cam Fortin, Director of Business Development, Wine.com
Wine.com needed Cloud API management from a provider that could deliver a combination of services enabling the deployment, intermediation, governance, registration, tracking, reporting and securing of its Web API.
Wine.com investigated several platform providers.: “We were looking for a Cloud solution that would provide rapid integration and speed distribution.” Because Wine.com targets social, mobile, and other emerging marketing communication and e-commerce channels, they appreciated 3scale as both an infrastructure provider and also for their strategic counsel with planning, deploying, and managing Wine.com API initiative. For example, Wine.com wanted a portal for developers to make it simpler to learn how to explore, test and debug their particular app. 3scale provided the power and flexibility we anticipated for effective distribution and enhanced application performance for geographically dispersed customers of Web, social and mobile apps.
3scale provides Wine.com a trusted platform to do the following:
- Take advantage of new digital channels without additional IT resources
- Create Brand Awareness.
- Support flexible range of Apps: from educational to revenue driving through affiliate model.
- Exciting new features coming soon
- including mobile enabled in-app commerce for select partners
The Bottom Line
“Ultimately the success of Wine.com’s API is measured by the success of our more than 600 developers,” said Fortin.
In fact one of our power partners, WineMC.com a wine and food pairing app available on the iPhone, is now tracking more than 120,000 hits monthly-ROI that counts for our partner and Wine.com.
3scale provides a Plug & Play Cloud API management Platform & Infrastructure for developers, and companies to securely open, control, manage, operate and monetize their API to 3rd parties (e.g. developers, business partners, etc). 3scale customer references include Skype, Wine.com, IGN.com, Softonic and Pingar. 3scale has offices in the Silicon Valley, the UK and Spain. For more information on 3scale, visit: www.3scale.net.