Building a Marketplace app? Get It Approved on the First Review!

Daniel Picon
Jul 1, 2020 · 6 min read

Pipedrive’s App Marketplace has been around since the end of 2017 and within that time has added over 200 apps. In order for someone to add an application to the Marketplace, we require that the application uses OAuth authentication and meets minimum viable product criteria. From my experience, I find that, more often than not, the minimum requirement tends to be missed. This prompted me to write an article to help apps have a higher chance of being approved on their first attempt.

Since a particular level of quality is expected in the apps listed on our Marketplace, we monitor UX consistency as well and standards that resonate with the Pipedrive brand. The Marketplace should be seen as a bridge between a 3rd party product and Pipedrive, from the customer’s perspective, there’s a user experience expectation that needs to be smooth throughout the whole journey — from finding your app in the Marketplace to installing it, and finally to using it.

What are the most common roadblocks that app developers often face and what exactly is the quality standard I previously mentioned?

I will divide the journey into 3 separate parts in order to better answer these questions and to separate the important aspects that pertain to each area — whether it’s landing page content, OAuth installation, or API functionality.

Part. 1 — App discoverability in the Marketplace

The first mistake I have noticed many app developers making is that they don’t consider the users who look for apps in our Marketplace. This leads them to applying very little effort to their own app’s landing page. For us, it’s important that an app maintains a presentation style that is not only consistent with Pipedrive’s own design but also with the rest of the apps in the Marketplace. A quick solution is to simply check out some of the other apps within the Marketplace to compare.

To help new apps stand out, we advise them to utilize all of the options available via the Marketplace Manager to enhance their landing page. Options include adding customized text, links, images as well as a youtube video. All of these aspects together can greatly improve how your app looks for new users — an app that is nicely presented (clearly showing the capabilities and potential via images and video) is much more likely to gain the trust of new users.

We have a few minimum requirements to have your app listed (at least one image, certain required fields, etc), but if an app is sent to us for reviewal with minimal effort placing into its landing page, it may be rejected on this fact alone. As the Marketplace is operated by Pipedrive, the quality of the apps located within also reflect back on our product — this is why we maintain a seriousness for aesthetics and presentation. We expect that once a user lands on an app page, they will quickly and easily be able to understand what the app does, and shouldn’t view the aesthetics of the app as a question of its authenticity.

Part. 2 — An App’s Purpose is Easily Understood

Can a user install the app directly from the Marketplace following all 3 of the user installation flows explained within our documentation here. From our end, it’s imperative that an app fully follows these requirements, otherwise, the app will most likely be rejected. Please also pay special attention to these requirements as we are not likely to approve any overly complicated installation flows. The user should be able to experience a simple 1-click installation flow.

Creating a page asking whether or not there’s an existing account is ideal

In the image above, you can see how one app followed the installation requirements. You can use this as a UX example to follow — remember, we prefer consistency between all apps.

Yes, this can complicate the process, but if you make the account creation process happen within 5 minutes, there shouldn’t be any real problem (the authorization code that is given to your app once a user clicks on “Allow and Install” is valid for 5 minutes). We expect you to pass this code all the way through, even after the user receives a confirmation email for a new account.

The desired outcome is that the user will be redirected to an integration hub, on your platform, where they can already see the app as installed, perhaps then allowing them to fine-tune some settings. *Please take note, at this point the app should already show as installed, and won’t require users to install the app again.

If it happens that the user took more than 5 minutes, the authorization code will be invalid and the user will have to install the app again. If this occurs, we expect you to explain this to the user, don’t leave them in the dark — guide them as much as possible regardless of the situation.

We try to avoid these scenarios as much as possible, but they do occur from time to time. Although we prefer consistent installation flows across all apps on our Marketplace, in these scenarios we understand that it’s not possible.

If you can explain to us that it’s not a possibility, we then expect you to make it clear within your app page’s description and handle new users who install your app and expecting a sign-up option. Simply place yourself in the position of a new user. Use the tools at your disposal to mitigate any confusion that this situation might create.
Hint: Explain on your login page, on the landing page description and installation instructions.

Part. 3 — App installed! Make the most out of our API and the functionality of the integration.

Make sure to check the full capability of our API and make use of all the functionality you can add to your integration. Do research and try to understand what users may be expecting.

For example, let’s say you are creating an SMS app. We expect that all the messages that the user sends will be carried over to Pipedrive via a note and activity. Take a look below at how NectarDesk handled this:

The above is a very simple example, and perhaps has nothing to do with what your app will do, but the main takeaway is that we want you to really look into what you offer. Look at how you can connect the data from your platform and how to do it in a way that makes sense to the user.

Some recommendations:

  1. Use webhooks as much as possible
  2. Use app extensions
  3. Don’t abuse the API rate limits
  4. Getting some errors? Check our error codes

Checklist

We will always check the following points and we may reject an app if something doesn’t work as expected or as described within an app’s description.

  1. Handle Installation flows
  2. Handle user uninstallation
  3. Is the app easy to configure after installation?
  4. Do all your features work as intended? Please test all features as much as possible, get some beta testers to help you out with user experience feedback.
  5. Make the app landing page presentable, use images to visually explain what the app does.

Here are some apps that went through a thorough review process but in the end delivered an exemplary app:

Hopefully, this gives you a better idea of what to do to create a successful app that gets approved on the first review.

Pipedrive Engineering

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