AppDirect or Google App Marketplace?

AppDirect or Google App Marketplace?

Looking at the end of the beta of or SaaS application, which will come soon, O have to think about payment options and marketing channels. We did not start of a lean and agile company like we read about everywhere, but this is rapidly changing now we found out who loves our product. This product market fit quest is not over at launch, it will only start all over again, but with a slightly more focus on business and enterprise, we should have iterations faster if needed.

A payment gateway and merchant account and thinking about how to get more users into out beta and future free trial options, got me thinking about the App Markets that now pop-up up everywhere. How would this benefit the Convert Application?

Comparing apples with apples?

AppDirect and Google App Marketplace are a bit different, Google App Marketplace can be used for any application that integrates with existing Google API’s so for example we could use Google Contacts for multi-user features in Convert Insights or add a integration with Google Analytics and that would be enough to enter in the Marketplace. AppDirect required a deeper integration including sign-on and billing. But When looking at Google App Marketplace as a more integrated option including Google Billing API and Google Checkout the two services actually are very similar.

How to pick? Market-size?

Well it’s true everyone likes simple sign-up and sign-on so Twitter and Facebook integration could be an option. But Facebook Sign-On for a business and enterprise focused business does not make sense, so that leaves Twitter, OpenID and Google. Besides the ease of sign-up the market size is important with 2 million active businesses inside the Google App environment and 1.000 daily visitors of AppDirect you can see where I am going. Add the 24 available apps in AppDirect and 300 in Google App Marketplace, the 20% cut Google takes vs. the 35% AppDirect asks… the choice seems too easy.

OK if Google App Marketplace it is… what would that involve?

Well going with the idea of Google App Marketplace involves some important changes. Single-Sign On, more integration with Google Contacts, Google Billing API (that’s in beta) and a Google Adwords extension that we wanted, all need to move forward in our planning. So it’s not final choice, but something that seems worth exploring.

Anyone thinking of entering that Google App Marketplace and interested in sharing there ideas and experiences of the impact it had on their business and application?

Originally published March 17, 2011 - Updated September 20, 2012
Dennis van der Heijden
Co-founder and CEO of, Dennis is a passionate community builder and out of the box thinker. He spends his time innovating to make Convert Experiences better. Learn about his journey as an entrepreneur and leader on the SaaS Club podcast.
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