Best 4 Zapier alternatives & competitors [Updated - 2023]
There are many Zapier competitors in the market and as you can guess, not all Zapier competitors are better alternatives. Some of them are more expensive or complicated than Zapier.
So we made it easier for you by testing the top alternatives to Zapier and writing down the following comparison.
Short Answer: If you are looking for a simple, modern and actively improving alternative to Zapier, we recommend Activepieces. It covers your business automation needs, and it combines the good and removes all the bad about Zapier's alternatives.
Zapier competitors and alternatives
Zapier alternatives is a hot topic. There are different kinds of alternatives to Zapier in the market, some are better for bigger companies (aka enterprise business automation), others are better for hobbyists (like the open source alternatives to Zapier), and others are better for specific use cases. We'll navigate the head to head Zapier competitors in this article.
Reasons to look for Zapier competitors and alternatives
While Zapier is a great tool, there are downsides to it. Many users are moving out of it for some of these reasons:
- Zapier is too expensive: Users find Zapier too expensive because of their continuous price increase without offering solutions to their users. They also charge a lot per task, and many users are annoyed by having to pay much more if they'd like to invite their teammates.
- Zapier support is ineffective: Users find Zapier support slow and unhelpful. Some of their support requests take several days in back and forth messages without real help.
- Complex automations are impossible on Zapier: There is nothing much you can do when your automation flow has so many conditions, loops or complex logic. Even writing code is not very inconvenient on Zapier.
- Zapier's linear flow editor is limiting: Users think about business automation as connected processes working together to speed up their work. The way Zapier's editor is built limits that to a one-direction linear logic.
- Zapier is closed source: While Zapier claims high levels of security and data privacy, there is no material evidence to show it transparently. You can't read the engine's code to see how it exactly works or to add missing functionality to it.
Best Zapier alternatives / competitors in 2023 (ranked)
#1 - Activepieces 🥇
Activepieces is an open source no-code business automation tool designed for teams to automate their work without restrictions. It should be your first option to explore as a very strong Zapier alternative.
- Loved UI: Users find the UI of Activepieces very impressive. It combines ease, simplicity and power. It's not a linear editor like Zapier's editor, nor a free canvas that can complicate your flows. This is one of the biggest advantages of using Activepieces as a no-code user.
- A privacy-first Zapier alternative: Activepieces is open source. Which means you can find the source code of Activepieces publicly. Being open source, it ensures a very high level of data privacy. If you'd like to ensure full privacy, you can even host it on your own server.
- Interactive community: While users had bad experience with Zapier's support, it's only a Discord-server away to get prompt answers to your questions with Activepieces. The community hang out there including the founders of the company.
- Fast product updates: Activepieces ships new releases very quickly. There are weekly or bi-weekly updates to the product. If any crucial feature is missing, chances it will be covered in soon releases are high if you report it to the team.
- A cost effective alternative to Zapier: Activepieces pricing is affordable and it has a generous free tier that lets you play around the product without much worry. There is a $19/month plan that can be sufficient for small teams' automations.
- Fewer apps: Activepieces has a fewer number of 3rd party connectors than Zapier because it was created way later. However, the fast shipping routine is already dealing with this issue, we expect it not to be a weakness at any time soon.
- Single Sign On is missing: For teams who'd like to benefit from SSO features, it's not yet implemented on Activepieces. However, it's common that softwares add this feature as they go and as they launch.
#2 - Make
Make is another Zapier competitor. It's an automation tool, often perceived as a cheaper version of Zapier. Users go to Make to cut their increasing Zapier bills and because Make allows for more complex automation workflows.
- A cheap alternative to Zapier: Many users turn to Make because it's positioned itself as a very cheap business automation tool.
- It has many connectors: Because Make has 1,400+ apps, you will expect most of the famous apps are there and ready to integrate.
- Complex automations are possible: Make doesn't go linear with its editor like Zapier, you can branch out from any module and create complex scenarios, and you can move freely in the canvas, which despite being powerful is one of the weaknesses (read ahead).
- Steep leaning curve: While every product has its own learning curve, Make makes it very challenging to start with. From its non-standard terminology (like Modules and Scenarios), to how you can work with it, it's always difficult. For example, I had to search the internet about how to delete a Module, the answer was by right clicking it (not a standard practice on the web). And when I was looking for the "If condition" or "Branching" I had to search again to realize it's called "Router" on Make. You have to make efforts to learn everything about it!
- Make has a complex canvas: It lets you roam around, move modules, reorder them, unlink them and relink them again. While power users find all this helpful, the majority of users finding confusing and unnecessary.
- Users think Make's support doesn't exist: Most of Make users complain about its very slow support, in many internet discussions they describe it as nonexistent.
#3 - Pipedream
- Developers feel good about it: Pipedream is liked by developers because it offers raw technical functionalities like writing code, or sending custom HTTP requests. It's interface is also not intended to be too fancy. It looks similar to the other tools developers use for their work.
- Similar interface to Zapier: Pipedream workflows are linear like Zapier. There is one line of sequential steps just like how Zapier looks. If you're looking for a Zapier alternative that is more technical than Zapier, you might feel good about Pipedream.
- Affordable pricing: Some users use Pipedream for low volume automations and it won't be too expensive for their use cases. They have a $29/month plan that works for many user segments.
- Linear flow editor is limiting: Since some users run away from Zapier because of its linear editor that doesn't let them achieve complex automation goals, Pipedream doesn't do a better job at this since it follows Zapier's style in flow design.
- Pipedream looks technical: Users looking for a no-code solution to automate their work might not find Piepedream so intuitive as it focuses on empowering developers rather than simplifying the interface. For example, if you choose the Slack connector, it starts by asking you whether you'd like to send a request to Slack APIs or to use Slack in Python.
- Many connectors are not usable: If you choose a random connector on Pipedream, say Asana, then try to update a task, it will ask you for the Task ID instead of showing you the tasks in your account. This usually happens when the connector's interface is generated automatically from code or another technical schema, and it looks like this strategy is highly adopted at Pipedream which makes it harder to use by everyone (even developers).
#4 - Workato
- A beautiful Zapier alternative: I have to admit it, Workato did a great job at designing their platform. Users like how it looks and it puts it in the premium category of automation tools. However, read the cons because maybe they did a less-good job at user experience.
- Helpful support: Since Workato sells to enterprise customers, it only makes sense to not understaff their support team. Users find their support helpful unlike the other alternatives mentioned earlier.
- Enterprise connectors available: Workato offers connectors to the most common software used at big companies including SAP, NetSuite and Salesforce.
- Pricing designed for big companies: You have to talk with Workato's sales team to get a quote that is usually over $30k a year, which makes it difficult to start with. Even if you are a big company, it feels restricted to experiment before deploying at a high scale.
- Steep learning curve: While Workato's design is well done, many users think it has a steep learning curve and left without much material to learn from, so you have to keep asking their support and learn from them.
- Closed sign up: You can't jump on the product and give it an immediate try. Instead, you'll have to start a relationship with their sales team until you get a quote and sign a contract, which is a barrier if you're adopting automation as an individual contributor before spreading the word across your team, which is usually the case.