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Alibris encourages app development to drive sales of books, music, movies

Monsoon Commerce Solutions’ online media marketplace Alibris has launched an application programming interface portal to encourage developers to build applications for its commerce platform.

Built using Mashery’s API management tools, the Alibris API enables developers to build applications that access the Monsoon Commerce Solutions network of independent sellers of new and used books, textbooks, music and movies, and their selection of more than 140 million inventory items. Additionally, the Alibris API offers access to extensive data on nine million titles, customer reviews, and Alibris’s recommendation engine.

“Monsoon Commerce Solutions is dedicated to growing sales for our independent sellers,” said Liz Derr, chief operating officer of Monsoon Commerce Solutions, Emeryville, CA. “More and more online commerce is going mobile, and we need to get our seller’s selection to where the buyers are.

“By expanding Alibris’ reach into the mobile market, we’re opening up new sales opportunities for our independent sellers,” she said. “To help our sellers reach their mobile customers, we’ve created individual mobile storefronts on Alibris for each of them.” is the retail division of Monsoon Commerce Solutions. MCS helps online sellers and retailers grow their sales through online marketplaces.

Mashery’s API management tools and strategic services help companies connect with customers and partners in a changing digital world.

Mobile media sales
The Alibris API was used to build the new “Alibris Recommends” application for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, available in Apple’s App store.

The application uses Alibris’s search and recommendation APIs to help users find books they will enjoy.

Ms. Derr said that by providing application developers with access to our extensive inventory and Alibris’s exclusive recommendation ability, Monsoon Commerce Solutions is extending Alibris’s reach to a variety of platforms and devices.

The company is giving developers new opportunities to profit from their work by building applications that drive users to Alibris’s new mobile-optimized ecommerce site.

“We are partnering with Mashery to reach and manage application developers,” Ms. Derr said. “Our APIs historically have been available only to a small set of business partners.

“By opening them up to application developers, with the support and analytics that Mashery offers, we’re encouraging developers on all platforms to create new ways to leverage our unbeatable selection, bibliographic data and recommendations technology,” she said.

Alibris Developer Portal
The Alibris Developer Portal includes technical documentation, developer forums and sample code libraries.

As an added incentive, developers can sign up for the Alibris affiliate program and earn 5 percent or more on all merchandise purchases they drive to

Leveraging APIs, Alibris is innovating in an industry undergoing rapid transformation, according to Mashery.

The combination of the Alibris APIs and Mashery’s developer community meets an untapped need for independent booksellers to remain relevant in an evolving space.

“Mashery helps us scale our support for developers, and the Mashery analytics offer business insight into our API program for both us and application developers,” Ms. Derr said. “You can’t have a successful online commerce program without analytics, and Mashery offers extensive, easy-to-use tools for both API owners and API developers.

“Partnering with Mashery gives us a significant time to market advantage over building these types of tools ourselves,” she said.

Ms. Derr said that Monsoon Commerce Solutions sees tremendous growth potential for mobile commerce in 2011.

“We’ve seen increased mobile traffic and sales immediately after launching our new mobile-optimized site,” Ms. Derr said.

“We’re very excited about the opportunities mobile can offer buyers, sellers, and application developers, and we are dedicated to helping our independent booksellers thrive in this dynamic market,” she said.

Final Take
Best Buy’s Ornar Abdelwahed talks Remix and APIs at Mashery’s Circus Mashimus lounge at SXSW