From XU Magazine, 
Issue 28

Visit the Xero App Store

In August, Xero launched its new App Store, where small businesses go to discover and buy Xero connected apps, and app developers go to grow their business. Nick Houldsworth, EGM of Ecosystem, shares with XU Magazine what it’s all about.
This article originated from the Xero blog. The XU Hub is an independent news and media platform - for Xero users, by Xero users. Any content, imagery and associated links below are directly from Xero and not produced by the XU Hub.
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Our vision is to become the most insightful and trusted small business platform, and we’re on a mission to get more apps in the hands of small businesses. Why? Because we know they support increased revenue and resilience. In fact, Xero’s report, The Job Ahead: Small businesses and the global economic recovery, revealed firms in Australia, New Zealand and the UK with five or more apps grew their sales by 4.3% in the year to December 2020, while those without apps saw a decline of 3.4%. 

Yet, a lot of small businesses still aren’t making the most of apps. For many, the choice can be overwhelming, while others don’t know what’s available, or lack the time to find out. The Xero App Store aims to solve this challenge by making it easier for small businesses and their advisors to discover, choose and buy the right apps to run their businesses.

What’s new? 

We’ve made a number of changes to the design layout of the storefront to make it easier to navigate and find the right apps to solve your business’ unique challenges. But it’s what’s under the hood that is much more exciting.

Find the right Xero connected app, when you need it 

With improved search capabilities and personalised recommendations, powered by machine learning, the new Xero App Store uses insights to surface the right apps for you, based upon your industry and unique profile. This also benefits our app partner community by better ‘matchmaking’: connecting their apps to the right clients.

Choose the right app through enhanced app reviews and greater insights

New, more detailed and relevant app reviews are now front-and-centre to help small businesses decide on the right app for them. Sophisticated analytics have been introduced to support app developers to improve their offerings.

Buy the right app through a new Xero App Store Subscriptions offering

The new Xero App Store makes it possible to start a trial and securely purchase apps in just a few clicks, all using your single Xero login. And to make life even easier, you can manage all of those subscriptions in one place.

This particular functionality is now available for our app partners to start using and offering to their customers in Australia, New Zealand and the UK, and we already have some early adopters taking it up. Over time, we expect more and more of our app partners offering this functionality and as we make it available in other markets.

A more seamless experience

With so many types of apps, to support everything from ecommerce to cash flow management, and industry-specific needs, we know it’s important for us to help make the right choice of app easy.

So how does this work in practice?

To explain how this new journey will work – let’s use a hypothetical customer, Malia – a small business owner who has recently opened her own hair salon and manages her business day-to-day via Xero. With business starting to boom since the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, Malia has hired three new employees to help support her customer base of 100 regulars. She is now looking to expand her Xero experience with plug-in apps to manage timesheets, a new CRM and other payments.

When she jumps on the new Xero App Store and starts using the new smarter search engine (powered by machine learning), it has already analysed her Xero profile and combined this with insights from other users in her industry to better recommend apps that will suit her needs.

The Xero App Store surfaces a selection of apps for Malia, and the new, more comprehensive reviews (based upon other Xero users’ feedback) assists her in filtering through the multitude of options presented to her. Better yet, once she’s shortlisted her favoured apps, she is then able to trial each app before committing to a purchase. Once Malia is ready to purchase, she can do so with a few clicks using her Xero credentials (and without leaving the Xero App Store) – and she’ll be able to manage all of her app subscriptions within Xero. Too easy!

Strengthening our small business offering

We believe this new customer experience will help make Xero an even stronger small business platform for our customers. It also provides that vital ‘match-making’ function for our app developer partners to better access the Xero customer base, and create new opportunities for their business to grow.

Why leave it there?

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