Ecosystem Roles

While your app ecosystem may differ, marketplaces usually feature three roles:

  • End users

  • Developers

  • Marketplace owner

See more marketplace terminology on our Key Terms page.

End Users

End users are individuals or organizations who use the marketplace owner's core product or platform, and are likely to use the app marketplace and its apps.

We call them "users" for short.

Goals

The most common goals for end users are:

  • Unlocking new functionality

  • Enabling integration with third-party software and systems

In both cases, users are ultimately motivated to save time or money, or simply make life easier, by using apps. This can be a helpful lens to understand what users are looking for when they interact with an app marketplace.

Touchpoints

Within an app ecosystem, end user touchpoints include:

The homepage is the first thing users see when opening the Slack App Directory.

Developers

Developers, also known as partners, are individuals or organizations who submit apps to the marketplace.

This includes both internal developers (who work for the marketplace owner) and third-party developers, although we're usually referring to the latter when we say "developer".

Goals

The most common goals for developers are:

  • To gain exposure for their own products and services

  • To drive leads for their own products and services

  • To generate revenue through paid app sales on the marketplace

Touchpoints

Within an app ecosystem, developer touchpoints include:

Example: Zoom developer guide

Marketplace Owner

The marketplace owner is the organization responsible for launching and maintaining the app marketplace. The marketplace is used to extend the organization's core product or platform.

There's no fixed terminology, but when we say "marketplace owner", we mean all of the individuals/groups at the organization responsible for the marketplace.

This includes the stakeholders who need to buy-in to creating the app marketplace, the internal developers who are responsible for it, and the other team members (such as the marketplace administrators) who run it day-to-day.

Goals

The most common goals for marketplace owners are discussed on the previous page:

  • Expanding product functionality

  • Revenue growth

  • Meeting industry expectations

  • Differentiation

Touchpoints

Within an app ecosystem, the marketplace owner's touchpoints include: