APIs Explained - Ad Upload to House of Home Automated
Here’s our guide to APIs – we’ve aimed to make it as easy to understand as possible. If you would like more technical information, then please see our open source api instructions here.
If you have other questions that you’d like answered please email us or give us a call on 03 9257 3240.
What’s an API and how can it help my business?
It’s an application-programming interface, which is a set of programming instructions and protocols for connecting to other Web-based software applications. But what does that mean? It means that House of Home has released its API so that other web site developers can easily connect to our system. For the retailer, it makes it easier to get product information into House of Home. But more importantly it can automate pricing updates, stock levels and sale pricing. So if you already have a point of sale system or a web store with all of your up to date product information – description, photos, pricing and stock level, an API connection to House of Home will help keep the two synchronized. And anything that saves time and duplicated effort is good for your business right? Which systems can an API link be built for? So if you are wondering if an API link to House of Home is an option for your business, lets talk about the systems it works well with. An API link can be easily set up between most well known ecommerce platforms. The key thing though is that the data in the system that you are linking to House of Home is up to date and accurate. Remember - rubbish in equals rubbish out. Remember the API connection is going to automatically transfer the pricing, stock levels etc from your system onto House of Home
I want to get an API in place for my business – where do I start?
Shopify and House of Home
We have designed & built a connector for linking Shopify and House of Home. This connector makes the process of creating the link between your Shopify site and our marketplace really easy. In most instances we can have the feed set up in half a day, plus ad mapping time. Sound good? Please Email Us to start the process.
This connector link will –
• Bring your ad content from your Shopify site into your House of Home account
• Update your prices, sale prices & stock levels on your ads on House of Home, so that they are the same as on your website.
• Then ongoing you only need to update your Shopify site.
See the guide to Shopify API Set Up at the end of this article
Big Commerce and House of Home
We have designed & built a connector for linking Big Commerce and House of Home. This connector makes the process of creating the link between your Big Commerce site and our marketplace really easy. In most instances we can have the feed set up in half a day, plus ad mapping time. Sound good? Please Email Us to start the process.
This connector link will –
• Bring your ad content from your Big Commerce site into your House of Home account
• Update your prices, sale prices & stock levels on your ads on House of Home, so that they are the same as whats on your website.
• Then ongoing you only need to update your Big Commerce site.
If you run a Magento webstore – we’ve made it very easy to connect we’ve had a Magento Extension built. Email Us for details on where to access this. We recommend using a Magento Gold Partner Help Desk to support you in the installation.
If you run WooCommerce or Big Cartel or another E-Commerce platform we can help you get the API link in place - just shoot us an email and let us know that you would like to discuss it further. If you’ve got another system not covered here, an API is most likely still possible, talk to us, and Email Us and lets see how we can help.
Interested in doing it yourself?
Setting up an API does require an IT professional. Generally the process looks like this:
You’ll need an API key for your webstore or Point of Sale system. You can generate an API key for your House of Home account directly through your account screen.
The developer you are working with needs these two API keys.
3 They then start the mapping. The fields in your system are mapped to match the fields in the House of Home API. So the price field needs to be linked to the HoH price field etc.
4 When this is complete the developer will push the data from your system into House of Home.
Because there is no standard categorization for homewares, furniture, decorating or building products there is still some manual work required. Once the data is in House of Home, the ads need to be reviewed individually and the proper product categories chosen. This only needs to be done once per ad. The rest of the detail will then update automatically.
API Set Up & Maintenance Guide for Shopify to House of Home Connections
• This is a guide for House of Home customers who connect their Shopify product feed to their House of Home account via API.
• When the API connection between House of Home and Shopify is established, Shopify becomes the ONLY source of data for product uploads.
• Any update to product information should only be made on Shopify, and then updated on House of Home via the feed. Shopify is the source of truth.
Initial Set Up Requirements
• Log into your Shopify dashboard and retrieve your API information to send to House of Home. To do this follow these three steps:
(1) On your Shopify dashboard, there is an 'Apps' icon listing of the left menu bar (bottom number two), click it and it will take you to Apps page on the right. There is a 'Private apps' on the top right. It will take you to 'Private apps' page.
(2) On 'Private apps' page, you can manage your private applications (you will create one next). The only way applications get access to your Shopify data is via API. So here they call it 'private apps' which actually means 'information for private apps'. You may 'create private app', and then fill in the title and email. Once finished, it will generate a new private app.
(3) Click into the new private app you just created, you need to send all of this information to House of Home. The keys are encrypted which means only the Shopify backend can recognize them. It's for API access only.
• The House of Home tech team will enter your credential information into the API connector. This creates the connection between House of Home and your Shopify store. House of Home will initialize all of the product data, which will fetch and feed data to House of Home via API. This initial import means that individual product ads will be created in your House of Home account. They are not ready to go live yet.
• The next step is to map the ads into the correct House of Home product categories, brands and variants. This needs to be done via the House of Home spreadsheet uploader. It needs to be completed before the adverts are put online. When accurately completed, ads can be set to publish online. This is done in the House of Home account ad by ad.
• Once the ads are online, House of Home will run regular data updates. Each time the update runs, the following fields are updated:
Information including product title, Description, Variant, Sku, Price and sale price Inventory quantity
Frequently Asked Questions
➢ How many pictures will be imported? The first four pictures on Shopify will be uploaded to each product ad on House of Home through the data initialization. Pictures won’t be update via API connector. If you need to update an image log into your House of Home account and update the images in the ad required.
➢ Product categories, brands and variants are manually set in your House of Home account after the initial import via spreadsheet prior to the ad going live. They are not updated by the API connection. We do not recommend changing the product categories, brands or variants after they are put live as it will break the association. If you need to change a categorisation please speak to your House of Home contact prior.
➢ The following data fields including ‘New or Used’, ‘availability’, ‘price type’, ‘price unit’, ‘barcode’, ‘features’, ‘specifications’, ‘standard postage’, ’extra postage’ will not be updated by API connector. They can be updated in your House of Home account. Updating these will not break any association.
➢ Data fields including product title, description, variant, sku, price and inventory quantity will be updated by API connector. They should not be modified in your House of Home account. Any changes should be made in Shopify - each time the API connector runs the new information from Shopify will update on House of Home.
➢ ‘Create’, ‘delete’ and ‘update’ of product variant should only be done on Shopify. The API connector will update the House of Home listings.
➢ ‘Create’, ‘delete’ and ‘update’ of product should only be done on Shopify. The API connector will update the House of Home listings.