April 2, 2019

Show IH: Violet - Unified API for any product on the internet.

Hey IH! After a couple of years working in semi-stealth we’re finally ready to show off what we’ve been building here at Violet.

Violet connects developers building apps to merchants looking for new distribution channels.
Traditionally, if a developer wants to sell real products in their app they are required to integrate with each of the e-commerce platforms their desired merchants are using in order to gain access to those products. Violet solves this problem. We perform the heavy lifting by integrating with all of the major and longtail e-commerce platforms and normalizing that data into a single schema. This means that with Violet you will only ever need to integrate with a single, headless API, to add a truly native checkout experience to any application you're building. There's no clickout, ever.

We’ve been in private beta with an initial cohort of developers, many from right here on IH, and today our API is officially accessible to everyone.

We’re a huge fan of the IH community, and we’d love to hear any feedback or answer any questions you might have. You can check us out at https://violet.io.

Dev Docs: https://violet.dev
API Reference: https://developers.violet.io

#product-feedback-request #showih #ecommerce #api

  1. 3

    This looks great! Looking forward to the official release.

    1. 1

      Thanks, Joshua! We appreciate the feedback.

  2. 3

    Nice to see Bigcommerce on the list as a partner :) Best of luck!

    1. 1

      Thanks, Scott! Appreciate the feedback and well wishes. We saw your usetag.io launch on ProductHunt! Congrats! Cool idea. I saw your comment regarding integrating with ecommerce platforms (for product data). Do you think VIOLET might be a reasonable option to consider for that product data without building all the integrations? You could even add checkout to your experience, right out of the box. Genuinely curious to hear your thoughts.

      1. 1

        Hi Rhen, thank you! I need to have a look through your docs but it's an interesting approach. My initial goals were to include an "import" feature -- similar to how Mailchimp sync with Bigcommerce/Shopify to choose one of their products. With VIOLET, are you syncing product data (pricing etc?). I really like the idea of integrated checkout within Tag itself though :)

        1. 1

          Yep we’re syncing full product data - prices, media, inventory, etc. On top of that we register event listeners so that anytime the data changes on the ecom platform our records are immediately updated.

          If you check out the docs and have any questions feel free to reach out anytime.

          1. 2

            Sounds interesting! Will have a read through the docs over the weekend. Cheers!

  3. 2

    Repeat purchases should really take off once the customer realizes that the "buy now" button is not an out-of-app experience.

    Are product and merchant reviews from the API on the roadmap? including some sales/returns metrics to help everyone in the chain?

    VIOLET collects 3% of the subtotal of the order. The Developer receives the amount set by the Merchant.

    Is this not a clear preference for the merchant's success over the developer?

    I imagine it could lead to murky situations where an item with tantalizing commission rates gets pointed to by some relevant dev produced content but it goes out of stock easily. Now the suggested cross selling items might be VERY VERY similar but have much LOWER commission (possibly from the same or rebranded merchant). And it is no skin off your back to stop the bait and switch game because you got yours.

    I don't know how the dynamic product search works exactly but I hope it favours the dev to avoid this scenario e.g. reverts out of stock item to some other high selling, high commission, low return items in the same category. But even then you'd probably need to readjust your commission scheme somehow, perhaps only take your last 1.5% after the dev has received his initial promised rate for the product. Proving you aren't out to let merchants game devs.

    1. 1

      Great questions. Thanks for spending the time to give us some feedback.

      1. Yes. Product reviews are in the roadmap.

      2. We have sales metrics already built into the dashboard.

      3. On your question regarding the payouts to developers, we specifically wanted to remove ourselves from this process. In most situations, companies in our position step in and set rates. We wanted the market to operate like a true market. Therefore, a merchant will need to set their rate at a competitive level in order to get developers to want to sell their products. And with all the different people selling products out there, we think this creates positive pressure in the developer’s interest. We also will allow developers to set a fixed rate, if they want. In this case, the merchant has to opt in the developer’s rates. The goal is to make it as developer-friendly, as possible. We encourage you to sign up and use the product. As you do, let us know of any other corner cases we’re missing! If you have specific questions regarding product search, etc, happy to move this to DMs to answer your questions in a detailed fashion regarding how we provide the level of granularity and control for developers within our API to make sure this doesn’t happen.

      Thanks again!

  4. 1

    Do you guys have any investors backing?