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Zapier has 3,000 app partners: what does this mean for other no-code automation tools?

Zapier can now integrate with over 3,000 different apps. As of February, 2021, this is 1,300 more apps than its closest competitor Workato. Having 3,000 Zapier partner apps means more than just prestige. It means that you reap the benefits as a user.

Is there any room for other automation tools in the space? The answer is yes, absolutely. I explore why later in this post.

Before we get there, let’s look at some benefits Zapier users receive by Zapier topping the list for number of partner apps:

  • More apps will flock to Zapier, first. Once an app builds on Zapier’s dev platform, their app automatically integrates with all 3,000 partner apps. It makes sense that new apps are going to prioritize jumping on Zapier, first.
  • App maintenance and updates. Apps will prioritize their integrations on Zapier above other automation tools. There’s more to gain for them. In most cases, the apps on Zapier will be up-to-date and robust.
  • Remain flexible with the current apps you use. Tired of Trello? No worries, Zapier integrates with Asana. Tired of Google Sheets? Zapier integrates with every other spreadsheet tool out there.

Partner apps are at the heart of Zapier. Since Zapier is so far out ahead of the other automation tools in the space in regard to number of app integrations, they have a serious advantage.

What could this mean for all of the small no-code automation players out there?

If I were a new no-code automation tool on the block, I would niche down hard. One way to do this is to find a specific job role to serve and go after them. Automation looks very different for Real Estate agents than it does for Ecommerce store owners.

For instance, Parabola.io is an automation tool that has steered towards Ecommerce and even focuses on Shopify to drive sales. Brilliant!

Parabola.io Website Screenshot

Parabola.io website screenshot of text

Here’s an idea. Imagine an automation tool specifically designed for Email Marketers. It might connect website forms to a database, to a campaign planning calendar, to copywriting documents, to email delivery, to analytics. Automation glues all this together. It could almost feel like a CRM with the ability to swap certain components. Choose your database: Google Sheets or Airtable. The “CRM” would be the sum of all of the apps that are glued together by automation.

If I were creating this CRM-like automation tool for Email Marketers, I would create an interface that looked like a CRM. I’d create the foundation and bare bones framework for a CRM and then let my Email Marketer customers decide which apps they wanto use to piece together their own unique and automated CRM.

If Zapier did this, I’d call it a ZRM and maybe it would look a lot like Clickup:

A mockup of a CRM in Zapier

Zapier’s mission is to democratize automation. It’s a big task. And it’s going to be that much harder if other automation tools start creating products that cater to specific job roles or industries.

If you are looking to build an automation tool, I think you have a good chance to do well as long as you get specific with who your customers are.

Happy building,

Bryce