By opening their APIs to outside developers, brands and retailers are keeping pace with the changing marketplace.

Many of the best ideas on the web have been built on a culture of remixing: pictures, text, video and digital files can be altered to such a degree that they take on a life of their own. Application programmer interfaces or APIs work much in the same way. This source code, which has been created by an initial programmer enables subsequent software developers to work from to create their own programs and interfaces. As the value of this third party innovation becomes more apparent, we're witnessing a loosening of the reins on the part of retailers and brands as they make some of their programming and data assets available for others to leverage.

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