Industry vertical: retail

It's well known that the retail sector uses APIs to process payments, track shipping, and send customers alerts. What's less appreciated is that the sector also relies on APIs to deliver cost savings. These savings can range from more efficient inventory management to streamlined software development—and they can have a real impact on profitability.

Hero Retail. Illustration.

Postmanaut with calculator. Illustration.

Price pressures

Retail tends to have slimmer net profit margins than other sectors—as low as 1% for grocery store chains. And in times of inflation, consumers may balk at price increases.

That's when a smart approach to APIs can help, by reducing operating expenses. Forrester Consulting found that for every $1 spent on the Postman API Platform, enterprise customers get a $4.49 return on their investment and an $8.17 million net present value over 3 years.

In late 2022, we asked 1,350 retail professionals to share their views in Postman's State of the API Report, the largest and most comprehensive API survey in the world. We wanted to know what was uniquely important to retail. Below, we've called out four areas where the sector stands out from others when it comes to API usage and concerns.

Development priorities

Cost reduction is likelier to be a development-team priority for retail than for most sectors, with 36% of retail respondents selecting it. Only the non-profit sector placed a heavier emphasis on reducing costs, at 39%. Across all survey respondents, 32% chose cost savings as a development priority.

All sectors: 32%
Technology: 31%
Financial services: 29%
Retail: 36%

Producing APIs to save costs

The retail sector's focus on cost savings is reflected elsewhere. When it comes to deciding whether to produce an API, 37% percent of respondents said reducing operating expenses was a factor. That was higher than any other industry and above the average 34% figure.

All sectors: 34%
Manufacturing: 32%
Retail: 37%
Government: 27%

A focus on agility

Developers in retail particularly value the agility to respond to business needs. Seventy percent of respondents selected agility as important, more than in any other sector, and above the average figure of 64%.

All sectors: 64%
Financial services: 67%
Technology: 62%
Retail: 70%

Emphasis on private APIs

Retail places a heavier-than-average emphasis on private APIs. Almost two-thirds—64%—of retail's APIs are for use in-house only. That's more than the average for all sectors, where 58% of APIs are private. Only manufacturing had a bigger focus on private APIs, at 66%.

All sectors: 58%
Healthcare: 63%
Retail: 64%
Financial services: 60%

Postman can help

Postman has solutions for the retail sector, including collaborative workspaces, streamlined governance, and a private API network that maximizes developer productivity.

Private API Network

This central catalog of internal APIs supports versioning, which helps you control and manage multiple versions of your APIs in the network.


Postman's Workspaces let you invite teammates and even external partners to work on building products and services in a space that is shared, secure, and controlled.

API Governance

Teams know governance guidelines before they start work, ensuring APIs are high quality, consistent, and well integrated.

Role-Based Access Controls

Implement fine-grained access control rules for entities and workflows through Postman Enterprise. Securely enable visibility and read/write permissions.