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Set up and use Zapier

This guide demonstrates how to connect Flex to Zapier, gives a brief overview of the events and information made available to Zapier, and finally the possibilities a working Zapier integration holds.

Table of Contents

What is Zapier and why should you use it?

Your Flex marketplace is built on top of APIs, which makes it possible for your marketplace app to talk to other web applications. Building third-party integrations is a great way to bring new features to your marketplace, but until now, it still required advanced coding skills to connect two apps.

With Zapier, you can connect your Flex marketplace with more than 3,000 other web apps with just a few clicks. You can then build "Zaps", which are automated workflows or sequences of actions that get kicked off by a trigger. An event in one app can set in motion an action in a second app and another action in a third app etc.

Once you’ve created a Zapier account and connected your Flex marketplace account, you can use nine different events in your marketplace as a trigger for actions in other apps. Zapier can also perform "search actions" in your marketplace data about users, listings or transactions.

Together this allows you to create complex workflows based on things happening in your marketplace. A new booking can trigger the sending of a text message with Twilio. A new user sign-up can set into action a campaign of drip emails in Mailchimp. A new listing can be automatically posted to any of your marketplace’s social accounts. And so much more.

Connecting Zapier to Flex

To take Zapier into use and connect it to Flex, you need:

  • An account at Zapier. There is a free trial, but eventually, based on your usage, you may need a paid plan at Zapier.
  • A Client ID and a Client Secret for the Integration API, which you need to authorize Zapier to connect to your Flex account. You can create a Client ID and a Client Secret by adding a new application in Console > Build > Applications.
  • An account for each third-party app you’d like to connect with.

1. Register a Zapier-account

  1. Go to www.zapier.com and click on “Sign up” in the top right corner.
  2. Choose your preferred method of signing up and follow the steps until you reach your Zapier Dashboard.

2. Create a new application with credentials in Flex console

  1. Go to Console > Build > Applications. Click on “+Add new”.
  2. Fill in a name (e.g. "Zapier") and select Integration API
  3. Copy the Client ID and the Client Secret somewhere secure before closing this modal. You will not be able to see it again! The client secret must be kept secure. Do not share it publicly. Sharetribe team will never ask you for your client secret.

3. Connect Zapier to Flex

  1. In your Zapier dashboard, go to "My Apps" and click "Add Connection"
  2. In the Search bar, type in "Sharetribe Flex", and select Sharetribe Flex from the results. This will open up a new pop-up window to authorize access to Flex.
  3. Here, fill in the Client ID & Client Secret from the previous step and click "Yes, continue".
  4. If the connection is successful, you'll be returned to a screen that shows you that you have a connection to your marketplace.

You can now connect Flex to any other app that you connect to Zapier.

Which events can be used as triggers in Zapier?

Currently the integration supports nine different events across three categories:

Listing events

  • Listing created: sent each time a listing is created
  • Listing updated: sent each time a listing is updated. Please note that in the default listing creation flow in FTW a new listing goes already through several (seven) updates between the first draft and eventual publishing. Be sure to check out Zapier's own Filter app to filter out the relevant ones.
  • Listing deleted: sent each time a listing is deleted

User events

  • User created: sent each time a user is created
  • User updated: sent each time a user is updated
  • User deleted: sent each time a user is deleted

Transaction events

  • Transaction initiated: sent each time a transaction is initiated
  • Transaction transitioned: sent each time a transaction transitions from one state to the next. What this means depends a lot on your own transaction flow.
  • Transaction updated: sent each time a transaction is updated without a transition taking place.

Which information is sent with each event?

Each event comes with a lot of information about the event, which you can then use in the rest of the Zap. For example, the transaction event contains information about when it was created, the customer id, the provider id, the listing id, the amount that was paid and many more things. Zapier can collect that information and send it to another app in the Zap, to send a text message, or an email, or store it in a sheet, for example.

You can read which information is available for each event in the API Reference Documentation and check the "resource format" for the event. Another easy way to check is to just test out each in Zapier and see what information Zapier is able to collect.

Which actions can Zapier take in my marketplace?

The Flex-Zapier integration doesn't only send events to Zapier, it can also receive commands from Zapier to perform "search actions" in your marketplace, based on relevant ids. There are three different search actions:

  • Show user: shows information about a user based on a user ID (both providers & buyers)
  • Show listing: shows information about a listing based on a listing ID
  • Show transaction: shows information about a transaction based on a transaction ID.

Additionally, each of these has so-called relationships with other data, which you can choose to include:

  • Show user: can include marketplace (the name of your marketplace), profile image (url to the user's profile image) and stripe account (of the user).
  • Show listing: can include marketplace, author (owner of the listing), currentStock, images the ordered list of listing images, if any.
  • Show transaction: can include marketplace, listing (that the transaction is about), provider (of the listing), customer (who initiated the transaction), booking (created by the transaction, if any), stockReservation, (created by the transaction, if any), reviews(of the parties in the transaction), messages (messages that the parties have sent to one another as part of the transaction, if any)

All of the information can again be used in the rest of the Zap, for example to insert in an email, or a Tweet etc.

Some examples of what you can do with Zapier and Flex

The above might all sound a bit dry and theoretical, so what does this mean in practice? Here are some ideas:

  • You can build a Zap with Twilio that sends a text message to the provider everytime a booking is made of their listing, containing information about who booked it and when. Here's a Zap template that you can use and adjust.
  • You can add a new marketplace user to a Mailchimp audience. (Zap template)
  • You can automatically send each transaction to a Google Sheet
  • You can expand on the existing email notifications by building your own email automation for certain actions
  • You can automatically post all new listings on your marketplace to your social channels

Zap templates

Zap templates are ready-made Zaps with the starting trigger and the actions already defined, which you can then take into use. It does still require you to sign in to all the services involved in the Zap and test the different steps. More templates are coming.

Video tutorials

How to connect Flex to Zapier

How to send information from Flex to Google Sheets using Zapier

How to build a text message integration in Sharetribe Flex using Twilio and Zapier

Further video tutorials will be added.