From the beginning, the team at Recharge has treated our API as a core product, meticulously designing it for robust functionality and ease of use.  Recharge has always offered an administrative API that has all the power of our platform, and with each new endpoint or resource, that power has grown and multiplied the use cases we enable. 

Recently, the time came to prepare for the next chapter of API development. Over the course of 2022, our Product and R&D teams connected with several merchants and partners across verticals. We compared their feedback to the direction of ecommerce technology evolution to uncover three guiding principles: 

  1. Significant changes in the way data is shared have caused customer acquisition costs to skyrocket, making retention a critical area of investment for sellers. 
  2. The technology used to build custom experiences is evolving toward composable commerce, creating an expectation for low-cost and low-dev solutions for customizations.
  3. Some use cases remain simple even as their tools become more complex, so simple developer tool sets remain important. 

In other words, we needed to steer our roadmap from making the API more powerful to making it more accessible. Today, we’re excited to announce two major updates to our API that serve this goal: Storefront API Access and JavaScript SDK.

Storefront API Access

Sometimes, protecting your customers and your business requires blocking some functionality or information from users. For example, a customer shouldn’t be able to see another customer’s information, and the ability to create new discounts should be limited to your Administrative team. While this can be effectively implemented via the Recharge API, it does require backend and frontend developers and expensive proxy servers, and it usually increases in cost as businesses scale. 

Our first step was to make our API a lot more accessible while ensuring automated data privacy and security controls. We’re excited to announce browser accessibility via an all-new Storefront API Access feature. Now, developers have an entirely new way to leverage the same REST API, but with additional capabilities like: 

  • Secured API access directly within the browser
  • Automatic filtering of data/functionality based on the needs of the use case
  • Cost savings by eliminating proxy servers and interstitial layers
  • Built-in integration with our passwordless authentication and login capabilities—and so much more

This new access pattern is built for all platform and technology stacks, so building a customer portal is easier. It natively works with Shopify Hydrogen and Storefront so you can build custom experiences with just Shopify Liquid and JavaScript code. 

JavaScript SDK

With browser accessibility in our toolbelt, we were ready to further extend the accessibility of our API. This leads to our second major announcement: a JavaScript SDK. This fully-typed SDK is our new foundation to level up the developer experience by streamlining common development tasks, making it less expensive to build and driving maintenance costs toward zero. 

At launch, the SDK includes several pre-made functions to streamline authentication, data fetching, and other complex actions like merging addresses. It also supports bundling functionality, so you can easily build incredible bundling experiences. More importantly, our developer community asked for a fully-typed SDK, so we utilized Typescript to offer just that, enabling improved debugging and auto-complete capabilities. 

Just like our API, the SDK is platform-independent. In other words, developers can use our SDK for integrations with the Shopify storefront, Hydrogen Apps, React apps, and a host of other technology frameworks. 

Finally, a good developer experience is founded in strong documentation. Our team has created a Getting Started guide, which we will continue to expand upon, just like our API reference documentation. 

What’s next?

All these new accessibility tools are built on top of our existing REST API, ensuring scalability and consistency of performance. The infrastructure you leverage will be the same that powers our third-party integrations, hosted customer portals, and even our own Merchant Admin Portal. It’s the same API handling over 45 million requests every day across thousands of merchants. 

Both the Storefront API Access and the JavaScript SDK are available to merchants on the Recharge Pro plan or higher. If you’re interested to learn more, check out our guides or contact our Sales team.