Product Advertising API
Getting Started Guide (API Version 2013-08-01)

Next Steps

Congratulations! Now that you have completed the basic example presented in this guide, you are ready to start designing your own Product Advertising API application. Although most applications built on Product Advertising API are not as simple as the example in this guide, the same principles used in the example apply to more complex applications.

The Product Advertising API provides opportunities for developing new and innovative applications and websites. Previous sections covered how to find an item for sale using ItemSearch. Finding an item is often the first task a Product Advertising API application implements. The tasks presented in this section are ordered in a use case scenario that is common for a customer using a Product Advertising API application.

All of these tasks are covered in more detail in the Product Advertising API Developer Guide.

Providing More Item Details

An ItemSearch request, which was discussed and implemented in the previous sections, often returns multiple items. Typically, a Product Advertising API application displays a small image of each item along with a short description. Customers often like to pick from the list one or more items that look interesting so they can learn more about them. It is possible to display extended information about each of the items returned by ItemSearch, and the length of the web page would grow substantially. For that reason, provide customers with extended information only when they show interest in a specific item.

Given the item identifier returned by ItemSearch, you can return extended information about any of the displayed items using the ItemLookup operation. For example, ItemLookup can return all of the physical details and pricing information of the item.

Adding an Item to a Shopping Cart

After a customer decides to purchase an item, he or she must be able to add it to a Product Advertising API remote shopping cart. Typically, you implement this with a user interface button labeled, for example, Add to Cart. The Product Advertising API operations that facilitate this functionality are CartCreate and CartAdd. Use CartCreate if the customer does not already have a shopping cart. Use CartAdd if the customer has a shopping cart.

Purchasing the Item

Now that the item is in the Product Advertising API remote shopping cart, the customer can purchase it. You can implement this task using a user interface button labeled, for example, Proceed to Checkout. The process of getting the customer's billing and shipping information and method of payment is handled entirely by Amazon in what is called the Order Pipeline. The only task your application or website must implement is the sending of a PurchaseURL in a request to Amazon. Every cart operation returns the PurchaseURL. It contains all of the information required for Amazon to locate the customer's Product Advertising API remote shopping cart on its servers. The PurchaseURL also contains Associate information so that if an Associate brokered the sale, the Associate will receive a commission.

Where to Go from Here

There you have it: a complete shopping cycle, from finding an item to purchasing it. The use case scenario covers only a small slice of the functionality that Product Advertising API offers. For example, given a customer's demonstrated interest in an item, you might want to:

  • Present similar or accessory items for sale to the customer.

  • Present the top-selling items in the same product category.

  • Help the customer find a friend's wish list to purchase a wedding or baby shower gift.

For more information, see Resources.