BigCommerce API

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About the BigCommerce API

Big Commerce has implemented a REST-ful API for manipulating certain components of their shopping cart system. The API allows for data to be transmitted using XML or JSON data formats, and requires SSL and HTTP Authentication to verify access.

The BigCommerce API allows developers to create software that can access almost every resource in the shopping cart system for transmittal to other APIs, end-users, etc. It also allows for developers to implement software that can modify the shopping cart system’s data, such as order statuses, product details, categories and brands.

In addition to its authentication and transmission security, they also allow for individual API users to be restricted to have specific access types to certain resources within the shopping cart system. This allows for tighter controls on what software can access and modify which resources within the shopping cart software.

The two primary resources in the BigCommerce API are Products (and associated resources, such as Images, Rules, SKUs, etc) and Orders; most API integrations will use one or both of these resources, along with sub-resources.


BigCommerce stores most product data within the Product resource itself; however there are certain, complex data types that are stored as external resources. This includes Images, Discount Rules, Custom Fields, Configurable Fields, Product Options, SKUs, Option-Rules, and Videos. Essentially any type information related to a product that is unique or configurable.

The Product resource in the BigCommerce API is almost entirely mutable, allowing for the API to modify almost any aspect of the product’s configuration. There are some minor caveats, but they’re typically giving way to the logic of a cart system (such as modifying product IDs, and the like).

External Product resources are a bit different, some are only available as read-only information, such as Bulk Rate Discounts, while others are entirely configurable, like product Images. Again, these restrictions typically follow with the logic of a cart system.


In BigCommerce, Orders are almost entirely read-only, and no order-specific details can be modified, aside from Status, and the addition of Shipment resources.

The primary purpose for the Orders resource is for fulfillment purposes. Each Order entry has a resource for Shipping & Billing Addresses, Shipments, and Products-as-purchased (including custom configurations). This allows for a script to relay order information to fulfillment centers with details specific to the end-client’s order.

The API automatically modifies the order status when new Shipment resources are created, and it can be manually updated as well. This allows for a script to relay the Order information to a fulfillment center and mark the item as ‘Awaiting Fulfillment’.

Once the fulfillment center has processed the order, the shipment details can be submitted for the order via the API by creating a Shipment Resource within the order. The Shipment resource is very straightforward, and it essentially tracks which Products were shipped from the Order and has capacity to store notes and tracking numbers. The API automatically updates the Order status when new Shipments are created; if all items are shipped it will be marked as ‘Shipped’; otherwise it will mark the Order as ‘Partially Shipped’.

Additional Resources

In addition to Products and Orders, the API allows for manipulation of Brands, Categories, Options, Option Sets, and Customers. Most of these are read-only, or specific to certain applications, but they also serve use for certain specific types of API operations, typically data exportation.

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