With an eye on middle-market online inventory solutions, provider Stitch Labs officially launched a new API, or application program interface, aimed at addressing the demands of an omnichannel retail environment.

The API will be part of the company’s Enterprise and Enterprise Plus platforms, and aims to “help retailers quickly innovate and streamline their operational infrastructure,” the company said.

Simultaneously, San Francisco-based Stitch Labs released the results of a survey conducted earlier this year with U.S. retailers, which found a large number of respondents feeling frustrated over “disparate systems” in the market and in their businesses.

The survey found that 27 percent of those polled cited disparate systems as the “top inhibitor” of their growth. “The commerce technology landscape is rapidly evolving, and retailers find themselves struggling to both adapt and unify their systems,” said researchers of the report, adding that inventory management is the top investment priority for respondents.

“The survey also found that retailers’ biggest fear when it comes to adopting new technology is the time it takes to implement it, while 36 percent say interoperability is the most important factor to consider when adopting these new solutions,” the researchers noted.

Regarding types of platforms and e-commerce solutions sought, there is also a clear drive toward the cloud. The survey revealed that 49 percent of retailers polled said “over three-quarters of their solutions are SaaS/cloud-based, and the trend is on the rise; 78 percent say their most recent technology purchase was of a SaaS/cloud-based product.”

Regarding economic conditions, optimism was prevalent with 53 percent of retailers polled saying they “are optimistic heading into the second half of 2016,” while 83 percent “believe industry sales will improve this upcoming holiday season versus last year.” And 36 percent of respondents said they “plan to maximize holiday sales by offering free shipping in the face of an economic slowdown.”

Jake Gasaway, Stitch Labs cofounder and vice president of platform, said an “omnichannel experience is what shoppers expect in today’s retail environment, so businesses must be able to operate multiple channels seamlessly in order to compete. To succeed in commerce, retailers must be able to embrace and implement new technologies as quickly as the space is evolving.”

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