When you are building a new application for a business solution, you aim to create something which is in-sync with current trends and is easy to deploy in operations. But choosing a third-party solution is not a cakewalk. This article discusses all the important concerns and crucial tips to make the final decision before commencing with the integration.
You must aim to keep up with the new emerging trends to attract new customers and let them latch onto you for the long haul. You can do it if you have the required understanding of the current features and popular UX innovations.
From the business longevity standpoint, your customer funnel should be able to retain the customers and help build a sustainable community that patronizes your application ecosystem.
If you are not able to scale up your conversions into a community, you face the uphill task of investing in a mediocre technology.
In this context, the Third-Party Integrations are fast becoming a norm with publishers who wish to add an extra edge to their current systems and processes. It helps them serve their customers in a better way and differentiate them uniquely from their competitors.
Word of caution: if you are not selective about third-party integrations with the system in place, you risk putting off your customers. In our experience, publishers increasingly feel it is a daunting task to choose the right combination of tools. They are not comfortable with the idea of going for other applications without substantial homework or help from a proven technology partner.
Any attempt to shift the focus from the core system to a new standalone application will not only disturb the whole funnel but also puts the customer acquisition process to risk.
The pressing question is…
How to choose the right third-party integrations?
Who are your subscribers?
It all begins with to whom you are selling your product/service. You most probably have an idea of your customer persona. It only makes sense to make decisions based on the value each of these integrations brings to your customers.
For example, your customers need tools that are used for distributing content. You may integrate the following tools in your core system.
- Dropbox or Google Drive
- Google Pay or Paypal
Whether you are in a B2B or B2C model, the composition of your third-party integrations varies accordingly. For example, a B2C model requires more social media and messaging focused applications in the core system in comparison to the B2B model. However, you must verify beforehand if the app you wish to integrate is readily available.
What your customers are talking about?
The safest and quickest way to ensure that you are looking at the right direction is by directly asking the audience about their preferences. This could lead to an invaluable clue in devising an integration strategy.
Is there a complimentary match?
Third-party applications save your valuable time and efforts that go into developing the same features. It only makes sense to get them a customer-validated application that already exists in the market. Why reinvent the wheel when somebody else has already done it for you.
Your foremost concern should be that the application offers a seamless experience to the customers instead of causing annoyance and hindering their productivity. We have seen many incoherent systems wherein the core system and the integrated applications have created a mess. You should avoid this scenario at all costs!
Just because the majority of people are using Dropbox, it doesn’t automatically qualify as the right candidate for your business. Maybe Google Drive is all you need.
A commonality between your system and the application
If you can find out common ground between your audience and the target application’s audience, then you have hit the sweet spot. From the marketing point of view, it becomes effortless to market your offerings and strike a partnership deal with the application owners. It allows both parties to tap into each other’s customer pool. You can leverage the marketing channels of the application partner to position yourself as a credible brand and get endorsed, if not promoted.
Scope of improvement
One of the most crucial features in third-party applications is the flexibility it offers. You don’t want to get tied down with a stubborn API that refuses to evolve with changing time. All this should not come at the cost of simplicity because you want to carry out all future up-gradation seamlessly.
Other factors to consider while choosing the right set of third-party integrations is to choose the ones that are going strong for the past couple of years. They have a sizeable number of subscriber base and are also popular within their community. They should be coming up with regular updates and new versions in the market.
It is common practice to go with applications developed by major brands that guarantee continual support of applications in the event of crashes or other technology problems.
Beware of common pitfalls
The most common trap to fall for is to go for a large number of third party applications for integration. This creates too much dependence on external sources and leads to a tricky situation where you have no clue about the problem.
It is always advisable to stick with an application that is best at doing a handful of functions instead of being mediocre in every area. The key is to deliver value to your customers instead of confusing them with many choices and increasing your system’s downtime. For example, your core system can get slow due to third-party integrations and in the process ruins the overall customer experience. You don’t want that, do you?
Also, some applications can give client-side problems which may come across as a total surprise to you.
Well, how do you know if you have found the right third-party integrations? The application should save time and expense by utilizing the existing infrastructure of your core system and deliver enhanced customer experience. You should select apps that are already in use by your customers and can integrate with your system without much of a technical hassle.