6 Things You Need in an Integration Marketplace for Your B2B SaaS App

6 Things You Need in an Integration Marketplace for Your B2B SaaS App

An integration marketplace is B2B SaaS company's listing of its available integrations – the software that enables data to be exchanged between its product and all the other apps its customers use.

Here are a couple examples of integration marketplaces from Slack and Shortcut.

Slack and Shortcut Integration Marketplaces

In this post, we'd like to share the experience we've gained by working with our customers as they design and execute integration marketplaces using our embedded iPaaS. Of course, you don't need an embedded iPaaS to build an integration marketplace, but it can significantly reduce the work your engineering and customer-facing teams do to build, deploy, and support your integration marketplace.

(An integration marketplace provided via an embedded iPaaS is also called an embedded integration marketplace or a white label integration marketplace.)

A first-class integration marketplace should:

  • Be simple for prospects and customers to find
  • Be easy for users to search and filter
  • Provide essential product details
  • Enable your customers to activate integrations
  • Enable your customers to configure their integrations
  • Enable your customers to self-support their integrations

Simple for prospects and customers to find

Having your integrations displayed in an integration marketplace can be a product differentiator. As a result, you'll want to highlight the integration marketplace instead of hiding it.

Shortcut makes theirs easily discoverable by including it in the main nav. This is much better than sticking them in settings, or some other place that's not immediately accessible.

Shortcut app showing link to integration marketplace

First, you want to make the integration marketplace accessible to those searching for it. Much of this comes down to SEO (search engine optimization), particularly keywords. Ensure you have text on your primary integration marketplace page explaining what it is, tying the marketplace to your product name, company name, industry, and some of the most important integrations you provide.

Then, link to the integration marketplace wherever it makes sense for users already on your website (or in your app). Links in menus are standard but don't neglect footers or links from within content-based web pages. Your integrations (and integration marketplace) are valuable, and you want to showcase that value.

Easy for users to search and filter

While you may initially have one or two integrations in your integration marketplace (so you don't need searching and filtering), that situation won't last long.

Once you've got enough integrations to fill more than a page, it's essential to give users the means of quickly accessing the integrations they care about.

Organizing groups (categories) with a tag cloud at the top of the integration marketplace is one way to make it faster to find integrations. But you should also have a prominently placed search box, which, ideally, doesn't just let the user search the title of each integration but also searches the details.

If a user searches for something and cannot find it, it can be helpful for them to have a form or other means of easily letting you know or requesting further information.

Include essential product details

Be sure to include the necessary details in integration descriptions.

It's not uncommon for B2B SaaS companies to have several integrations with very similar names. For example, you might have integrations between your app and various Sage apps, including Sage HR and Sage Intacct.

In this scenario, you'll want to name each integration to differentiate it while realizing that the integration title can only do so much. For example, "Sage HR" is a more descriptive title than "Sage."

This is where the details become important. You don't need to write a book, but a description that includes essential differentiators (when the integration runs, what data is involved, export vs import, etc.) makes a difference to users.

For example, "Syncs data with Sage HR" is not a very useful description. "Syncs new contacts from Acme to Sage HR every Monday - Friday at 7 AM US Central Time" is a much better description.

Also, if there are any prerequisites or dependencies that aren't obvious, it's good to list them in the details, or include links to the docs to learn more. That way, users aren't confused or discouraged when they activate and configure those integrations.

Enable customers to activate their integrations

For customers who have successfully located the integrations that interest them within the marketplace, you want to ensure they can take the next step and activate (turn on) those integrations.

This allows them to act immediately upon their desire for a given integration, reducing the chance that they'll change their minds. It also ensures that your customer support team isn't kept busy with tasks that the customers are capable of handling for themselves.

You can see in this example from Asana's marketplace how the “Connect” button is prominently displayed for each integration.

Asana integrations showing how to activate

Enable customers to configure their integrations

Beyond activating integrations, a good integration marketplace lets them configure those integrations to work with their environment.

Configuration may be as simple as a customer user setting up OAuth 2.0 to allow the integration to successfully authenticate against a third-party app. In addition to authentication, configuration could include data mapping and defining options for using metric vs imperial measurements.

It may make sense for customers to contact customer support to activate and configure integrations, based on your customer's technical know-how, the overall complexity, and other factors. But most of the time, it will be more efficient to allow the customers to perform these steps themselves.

Ready to see some integration marketplaces in action?

View our integration marketplace webinar for all the details!

Enable customers to self-support their integrations

Once integrations have been activated and configured, they sometimes encounter problems. This can happen for various reasons, some of which are under customers' control.

As a result, you want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to perform initial support for their integrations. Did auth time-out? They should be able to re-enable authentication for the integration. Was there a network hiccup? They should be able to re-play (re-run) the integration.

To enable this, customers should be able to view the logs for the integrations and actively monitor them with alerts sent to individual users or groups to notify them when something goes wrong.

In this example from an Odoo integration, you can see the logs for each time the integration has been run.

Odoo integration showing log records

The bottom line is that when something unexpected occurs with an integration, your customers shouldn't need to call customer support to find out what happened. Instead, they should be able to perform first-level troubleshooting themselves. In many cases, they can resolve the issue and move on. In other cases, the problem may be more serious, and they'll contact your customer support accordingly.

An integration marketplace brings value to everyone

If you make your integrations discoverable, understandable, and actionable via an integration marketplace, prospects and customers will have everything necessary to successfully work with them.

Building and running an integration marketplace benefits everyone. An integration marketplace like we've described here can reduce the workload for your onboarding and support teams and drive greater customer engagement and retention.

Schedule a demo, and let us show you how an embedded iPaaS can enable your integration marketplace.

About Prismatic

Prismatic, the world's most versatile embedded iPaaS, helps B2B SaaS teams launch powerful product integrations up to 8x faster. The industry-leading platform provides a comprehensive toolset so teams can build integrations fast, deploy and support them at scale, and embed them in their products so customers can self-serve. It encompasses both low-code and code-native building experiences, pre-built app connectors, deployment and support tooling, and an embedded integration marketplace. From startups to Fortune 100, B2B SaaS companies across a wide range of verticals and many countries rely on Prismatic to power their integrations.