In recent years, the rise of superapps has been an increasing phenomenon, particularly in Asia. Gartner defines superapp as an application that provides end users with a set of core features plus access to independently created miniapps. These apps provide users with convenience in a variety of activities such as message exchange, payment, e-commerce, ride-hailing, restaurant ordering, and goods delivery, among others.
The growing desire for service integration is one of the primary causes behind the emergence of superapps. Many app users feel more at ease when they can access different services from a single platform without switching to another app. As a result, the presence of superapps is thought to be capable of increasing the effectiveness of many human activities.
Another area where superapps are gaining popularity is their capacity to use data and insights to provide personalized and targeted services. Superapps can deliver recommendations and promotions to the right individuals, drive engagement, and increase clients’ loyalty by analyzing user behavior and preferences.
Based on the evolution of superapps over the years, Gartner predicts that more than half of the world’s population will become active users of various superapps. This increase in demand for mobile experiences is consistent with the rise of generations born in the smartphone era.
Those Who Have Developed into Superapps
WeChat, a Chinese chat app, is one noteworthy superapp. Tencent has been working on this project since 2010 when the corporation recognized the enormous potential of smartphone-based communication with social networking elements.
According to the most recent Oberlo data, WeChat will have over 872 million Chinese users by 2023. As a result, it can be stated that this application is used by more than half of the country’s population. In total, more than 1.3 billion users worldwide have downloaded and utilized the program.
WeChat has grown since its debut by adding services such as games to digital wallets. In addition, WeChat expanded its services by investing in Didi, a ride-hailing app. Due to the presence of the digital wallet, WeChat Pay, consumers do not need to transfer platforms when using this service.
WeChat took a risky step by integrating e-commerce in 2014, realizing its potential. Three years later, WeChat decided to open up collaboration chances with third parties interested in entering their ecosystem.
Here, in Indonesia, Gojek, the ride-hailing service that began in 2015, now dominates the market with a significant increase in business. From 2015 to 2016, the number of service bookings increased from 700,000 to 20 million, showing year-on-year growth.
By the end of 2016, Gojek had expanded its service offerings to six areas, including transportation, logistics, food, daily needs, payment, entertainment, and business. Gojek is now present in Singapore, Vietnam, and Thailand, not only growing to all corners of the country but also attempting to reach other countries.
Gojek, like WeChat, collaborates with third parties to improve their services. Gojek is an example of a superapp that is still growing by attempting to meet users’ needs and deliver convenience through a single application.
Exploring the Business Value
As previously said, superapps are thriving in the Asian market, as evidenced by the success of WeChat and Gojek. There are various reasons why superapps are so effective at developing, growing, and meeting business objectives.
For starters, it promotes business expansion. Many superapp creators start with just one app. However, over time, the superapp aided the company’s long-term growth as well as its short-term growth.
Why is this the case? The gradual addition of services by superapp developers permits long-term growth from within the organization.
Second, superapps can assist businesses in increasing consumer loyalty. Users used to have to switch from one app to another to access different services, but superapps allow them to focus on using one app for several purposes.
Users become loyal when the numerous services they receive are satisfactory, and purchases or app usage activities are repeated. Users are willing to pay more for the convenience that the app provides.
Third, superapps collect information. Why is this important for the long-term sustainability of a business? Consumer data may help businesses better understand their customers. As a result, in the future, they will be able to deliver items or services that consumers truly require.
Superapps can also use this data to create relevant offers or promotions, enhance conversions, and optimize campaigns as marketing techniques.
Fourth, market expansion. Gojek, which was previously present to fill the ride-hailing industry, is an example. Along with expanding its services, they are now entering the food delivery sector with Gofood, the entertainment business with Goplay, payments and digital wallets with Gopay, and several other markets with features integrated into the app.
Fifth, it attracts investors’ attention. Many parties have turned to Superapp as an investment target. The reason for this is that superapps have a high development potential and multiple streams of income on a single platform. This is a value that can encourage investors to disburse funds to them.
The presence of superapps demonstrates how consumers’ wants and preferences are changing constantly in the digital era. Regardless of the benefits they give, players in the superapp world must plan for risk mitigation, such as protecting user privacy. Furthermore, they must maintain the quality of the user experience to attract new users and keep existing ones.