In today’s digitally-driven world, businesses rely on a multitude of apps to get the job done. To make things easier for them, they want those apps to be able to interact with one another. The problem is that the SaaS companies delivering them can’t build the ever-growing number of integrations necessary to facilitate every customer’s unique need.
Today, there are more than 30,000 SaaS applications available to businesses, each serving a slightly different purpose. Just like your customers use your application to do A, they turn to another application to achieve B. Naturally, they may want these tools to be connected, allowing them to sync data automatically and maximize the usage of both tools.
If the desire of your customer is to connect with one third-party app, integration marketplaces might be of little interest to you. But, if your customers ask for integrations with dozens of apps, giving them a single place to launch and manage their integrations will help you win the day.
Pipedrive is one such example, requiring a connection to a plethora of other tools to provide maximum value to its customer base. To achieve this, it chose an integration marketplace that's simple to navigate and easily attracts, acquires, and retains valuable customers.
What is an integration marketplace?
Just like a marketplace is an obvious place to organize and showcase all the products a business sells, an integration marketplace is a great platform for showcasing all the apps your SaaS can integrate with.
Displaying all the integrations you offer in a way that’s simple and easy to navigate for end customers is hugely beneficial; to them and to your business. Typically, integration marketplaces come in two types.
Open integration marketplaces
Open marketplaces, like the one used by Pipedrive shown above, allow end customers to access and browse available integrations without having to log in or sign up to the platform (hence the term ‘open’). With no barrier to entry, open integration marketplaces invite more traffic and therefore convert more users by making it easy for them to find exactly what they’re looking for.
In-app integration marketplaces
The difference with in-app integration marketplaces is that they require the end customer to log in or sign up in order to access the marketplace and browse the integrations they are looking for.
The company behind the marketplace may openly list available integrations via its website, as per Snov.io’s marketplace below, but features, reviews, and other information are hidden until the customer signs up.
How do I build my own integration marketplace?
Now that you know the value an integration marketplace can offer you and your customers, you’re probably ready to launch your own. To do so, you can either build it yourself or go the embedded integration route.
To build your own marketplace, you’ll need upfront and ongoing investment of time, money, and resources as you create the UI, develop an automation engine to execute each integration, create connectors and keep up with ongoing maintenance to keep things running smoothly.
If that sounds burdensome or expensive, you can use an embedded integration marketplace from a provider that’s happy to do the heavy lifting for you. This route allows marketplaces to be built using an embedded iPaaS, an end-to-end platform complete with everything you could possibly need to build, deploy and run productized native integrations. These solutions, like Appmixer’s own, ideally come equipped with no-code automation designers, a library of pre-built connectors, and a range of support options so you can get your marketplace up and running in no time, regardless of your technical ability.
If an embedded iPaaS is the way you want to go, we’ve outlined five simple steps to guide you through the process of launching your own marketplace.
Step 1: Prepare your criteria
Let’s start at the beginning. Before you can embed your marketplace, you need to prepare your criteria. This includes specifying everything customers need to know once it’s live: whether it can be self-activated or if customers must engage with you to activate it for them, what connectors your customers will need, how they will be displayed within the app, and whether or not you want to monetize them.
Step 2: Choose a vendor
Now it’s time to choose a vendor to help you. Only you can know what you want, so it’s best to perform some due diligence here: research your options, utilize free trials and start discussions with sales reps to see which vendor is best suited to helping you get your integration marketplace up and running.
Step 3: Build your connector
Connectors are critical for integrating your app with thousands of others. Embedded iPaaS providers, like Appmixer, can help you build countless custom connectors to third-party apps using a vast library of pre-built connectors that you can test and launch yourself – straight out of the box. In addition to this, solutions like ours allow you to build bespoke custom connectors for your customer’s unique needs (e.g., for niche applications or your own APIs), or request them for us to build for you.
Step 4: Make sure it’s on-brand
Step 5: Embed the marketplace into your app
When everything is ready, it’s time to embed a marketplace into your app. This is a simpler process than it may sound, requiring you to either develop a blend with the marketplace of your choice through a simple UI configuration and a few lines of code or create a marketplace UI from scratch while still relying on the vendor's backend. In either instance you’ll have full control of your UI, but it may be easier and require less resources to opt for a pre-made UI here.
Once all these steps are completed, you’re ready to offer native integrations with tens of hundreds of third-party apps, and reap the rewards that come with it!
If you want to cater to every customer’s connector needs without putting tremendous pressure on your dev teams and your bottom line, embedded integration marketplaces are the way forward. In no time at all, you’ll be able to offer an unbeatable user experience and free up resources–all without the investment needed to build a marketplace from the ground up.
If you’re ready to build your own integration marketplace today, request a free trial to experience the power of Appmixer.