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News & Analysis

Accounting platform Xero is now in the app business

- August 9, 2021 2 MIN READ
Xero, Steve Vamos
Xero CEO Steve Vamos
ASX-listed business accounting platform Xero is taking on Google and Apple at their own game, launching an app store selling Xero-connected apps.

The Xero App Store lets small businesses, accountants and bookkeepers purchase apps to help run their companies, and went live last week.

Xero app partners in Australia, United Kingdom and New Zealand now have access to a suite of new subscription and billing APIs (Xero App Store Subscriptions) that will enable them to offer Xero customers the ability to trial, purchase and manage their app from the Xero App Store.

The company plans to roll out the offering in the US and Canada in the next 12 months, followed by Asia and South Africa.

It’s also offering a better deal for developers than with Apple and Google, which charge up to 30% commission on sales through their platforms. The Xero App Store charges a referral revenue share of 15% (excluding fees) on subscriptions for new customers, who sign up through its store. App partners can continue to sell their apps to Xero customers via other channels, with the referral revenue share only applying to sales generated via the Xero App Store.

Xero CEO Steve Vamos said the company’s vision for the app store is to be the place where small businesses discover and buy apps that complement Xero, as well as helping developers grow their business.

“Today’s milestone is exciting because better connecting Xero’s platform to external apps — whether it’s to manage inventory, receipts or their customer relationships — is a powerful enabler for small businesses looking to grow, manage their workflows or digitally transform their business,” he said.

“With these improvements, we can better connect small businesses and developers to each other, in smarter and more seamless ways.”

The Xero App Store has improved search capabilities and personalised recommendations powered by machine learning to make it easier for businesses to find the right apps for their needs, with detailed app reviews highlighted.

A new app Partner Dashboard gives developers access to analytics and insights to help track customer conversion and get real-time customer feedback.

Existing apps have 12 months grace period before they’re integrated into the app store’s terms.

Xero’s Executive General Manager of Ecosystem, Nick Houldsworth, said they’d been building towards the launch of the app store for more than 18 months.

“The Xero App Store now provides strong foundations for encouraging greater digital transformation, while democratising access to technology for small businesses,” he said.

“As Xero scales globally, this is reflected in the calibre of services offered by our partners in the Xero App Store,”