Vendors including AWS, Microsoft, Shopify, Zoom, Slack and many others have pioneered a dynamic new channel business model: The Platform Marketplace.
These build upon and extend the traditional channel management model to integrate partners directly into the vendors core product.
Through API integrations and service marketplaces partners can become a component part of a highly customizable suite accessible via a one-stop-shop procurement.
This dynamic is extremely powerful for both parties. It greatly enhances the vendor’s product offering and in turn opens up a massive market for partners.
This trend presents huge opportunity but also significant challenge for partners: How best to adapt their products to integrate into the marketplaces, which to choose to concentrate their investment, and the new channel engagement models required to drive demand and sales.
For example Zoom has over 1,000 apps in their marketplace that enhance meeting functionality, such as Calendaring and Scheduling, Collaboration, Transcription and EdTech, integrated into the video conferencing service by utilizing the core enabling mechanic of the app marketplace, the SDK.
As just one example is Faye, who enables the ability to schedule and launch a Zoom meeting from within Zendesk and also save and access meeting recordings within Zendesk. Animaker provides a list of the Top 10 Zoom apps for Startups.
This dynamic is extremely powerful for both parties. It greatly enhances the core product and in turn offers developers a massively accelerated route to an already-qualified market. Twine for Zoom Events is a compelling example – Zoom is the building block of virtual meetings, with networking being the natural progression for this experience, and the startup is plugged into exactly their target market via instantaneous procurement of their app.
It’s an irresistible sales model, such a clearly defined and accessible channel and is thus ideal for startups who don’t need to invent these from scratch. Back in 2020 TechCrunch asked if Zoom was going to be the next hot platform highlighting how these marketplaces are ideal for startup ecosystems.
Shopify’s marketplace is a magnitude larger again, boasting over 8,000 apps that enhance a merchants ability to sell more online, from workflow through email marketing and dropshipping, with major integrations such as enabling Spotify artists to embed e-commerce into their profile. ReferalCandy lists the Top 50 Shopify apps for growing your e-commerce store.