Turn your Zapier integrations into native integrations with Xkit

Jul 29, 2021

Increase customer activation and retention through native integrations

You have Zapier-based integrations

If you’re building a B2B SaaS business, before too long you’ll start hearing requests from customers for integrations:

This looks great, but can it connect to HubSpot?

I love it, but my sales team won't use it unless it syncs with Pipedrive

How quickly can you build a Zendesk integration?

The first tool in the B2B SaaS startup founder’s toolbox is an obvious one: Zapier. With Zapier (and similar 3rd party automation platforms) you can allow your customers to connect your app with thousands of others without doing extra work on your part. It’s a perfect solution!

You want native integrations

And Zapier is a perfect solution, at first. But over time you’ll feel pressure to build the most popular of these integrations natively. That pressure usually comes from a few places:

Increase activation

For customers that don’t already use Zapier, getting them to sign up for another service (when you’ve just convinced them to sign up for yours!) is a tall task, and can reduce activation of your app. Leaving your app at all tends to reduce activation, so keeping your integration native is a big boost.

Increase retention

Integrations are a huge driver of customer retention, but that force isn’t as strong when the integration isn’t native.

Enterprise demands‍

Larger or enterprise customers may flat out refuse to use Zapier or similar tools for their integration. For them, it’s native or bust.

But your team doesn't have bandwidth

Your engineering team is probably dragging their feet, dreading the task of building a native integration when the Zapier integration works well enough. They know that building a native integration is going to take months to build and will be a constant time suck to maintain and handle edge cases. You can probably hear your engineers saying:

Why can’t our customers just use Zapier?

We built Xkit to solve this exact problem. It allows you to build native integrations using your existing API so you can build your integrations quickly and focus on your core product.

Easily convert your Zapier integrations to native integrations

After creating an Xkit account, the first thing you’ll do is select the Source of your customers’ data. We’ve already built connectors to the most popular data sources including HubSpot, Front, and Intercom, with new ones being released every month. In addition to configuring this source with your developer credentials (so you have a completely white-labeled experience for your customers), you’ll select the data that your app needs from that source. We’ve already done the work of determining what data is exposed by each API and how to get it - you just point and click.

If you’re converting a Zapier Zap, you’ll be selecting the app that serves as the Trigger of the Zap along with the data that the Trigger exposes.

Xkit Screenshot for setting up Intercom as a developer Configure your developer credentials for your integration

Xkit Screenshot for selecting Intercom data to sync Select which data exposed by the API to consume

Once you have a Source, you’ll need a Destination: a serverless function that tells Xkit where to send your data. This is usually an API endpoint that you already have.

Coming from Zapier, this is equivalent to the Actions that you defined on your Zapier app. The biggest difference is that Xkit Destinations are meant to be used by your team internally instead of by your customers directly.

Xkit Screenshot for creating a Destination Write a serverless function to send integration data to your API

With both a Source and a Destination defined, all that’s left is connecting them together. Since you’ve already selected the data you need from your Source, as well as the data your Destination expects, connecting these together is as simple as mapping the data from your Source to your Destination. This mapping is usually easy enough that you don’t even need an engineer to do it (but you can also drop down to code if you need to).

In Zapier, this is most similar to defining a Template, but since this is a native integration, you need to do this only once for all of your customers to benefit from it!

Xkit Screenshot for mapping Intercom data to the Destination Map the data from your Source to your Destination

Once your sources and destinations are connected, the last step is getting your users to authorize your native integration. To do that, you use xkit.js, our front-end SDK to embed a drop-in authorization experience, like Plaid Link.

Screenshot of a user providing authorization to access Intercom Get authorization from your users, right in your app

That’s it! You’ve now converted one of your most popular Zapier integrations to a native integration, and you can reap the activation and retention benefits without bearing the engineering costs.

If you want to start converting your Zapier integrations into native integrations, get a demo of Xkit today!

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