Having a dedicated software platform brings huge benefits to your bottom line, including increased visibility for customers, an additional direct marketing channel, increased value, stronger brand recognition, improved customer engagement and customer loyalty, insights on customer behavior, and a better overall brand experience. More recently, companies have accelerated the shift from basic, single-use apps to multi-purpose ones, also known as super apps, which, from a business perspective, essentially offer greater convenience and simplicity for users.
What is a super app?
Coined by BlackBerry founder Mike Lazaridis in 2010, a “super app” is defined as a “closed ecosystem of many apps that people would use every day because they offer such a seamless, integrated, contextualized, and efficient experience.” That is, super apps provide multiple functions in one application. Or in other words, super apps are a one-stop app that covers a diverse range of daily services in a single place — whether it be for shopping, healthcare, payments, audio or video streaming, etc. A few commonplace examples of super apps in Asia are Grab, AliPay, Uber, Line, WeChat, GoJek, etc.
To ensure you build the super app that your brand truly needs, it’s important to consider the following factors before diving into your super app development strategy.
1. One solid and strong main use case
Behind every successful super app is a solid and strong frequent core use case. In various markets, the most common use cases are payments, transportation and food. Other capabilities that your super app can host include: social, e-commerce, health services, hotel and flight booking, gaming, insurance, government, and public services. You can start your super app with one strong main use case then gradually add other functions to it later on. Given the deep interweaving of customer service into these capabilities, super apps serve as a channel for your brand to connect with your customers when needed.
2. Cohesive additional use cases
To build a more meaningful connection with your customers via your super app, delivering a consistent experience for your users. It is, therefore, important to take into consideration that the functions or services you wish to augment into your app should be relevant or adjacent to your core use cases. Grab, for example, Over the years, has broadened its offerings across Southeast Asia to include deliveries, mobility, financial services, and others. This synergistic combination of many different services enhances the ability of your brand to provide reliable and high-quality services to your users.
3. Ease of payment access
Generally speaking, super apps use payment systems to its advantage in order to build a wide-ranging ecosystem based on multiple functions or services. A good, unified payment scheme is vital to ensuring streamlined end-to-end user journey. Later on, you can also integrate an e-wallet function so your users can conveniently process and complete their payments without the need to exit the app.
Whether it be single-purpose or multi-purpose, the bedrock of any successful application is user experience. From the moment they open your app, deciding which item to order or purchase to making the payment, your super app must guarantee a simplified experience for your users. Your ability to enable such consumer-focused experiences related to your super app will be a huge determining factor whether your users will use your app or be encouraged to keep using it. It is therefore crucial to ask: Is your user experience value-adding, easy to use and effective for your target audiences?
5. Building a long-term mindset
Setting long-term goals is crucial for planning a successful super app strategy. Businesses, regardless of nature and size, that are looking to develop a super app must not only visualize the success of a super app in a single moment, but also how it can be sustained. Taking the long view from the very beginning also helps guide decision-making processes and better amplifies the relevance of your super app development, keeping in mind how it can deliver superior value and improved results based on digitized customer journeys and experiences. It's also important to consider the reduction of technical debt to ensure that your app is built for the long haul.
6. Expert resources
Super app development requires a better-established infrastructure and more excellent resources than a simple app. Data is also a fundamental component of your super app; and without data infrastructure, you cannot create value of data, which you need a vast wealth of to deliver better services. This is why it is critical that before you embark on your super app journey, you have the best software development service providers and highly experienced and skilled teams to help you put the complex pieces of the puzzle together in a way that benefits your customers and yields maximum results for your business.
In today’s competitive digital-first era, the game-changing super apps are taking the leap and are definitely here to stay, shaping the future of digital innovation as they continue to change the way consumers socialize, shop, eat, travel and pay. With that, they unlock great potentials that expand your brand presence and present new opportunities for attracting new customers, helping boost innovation and the customer experience in the online space. With the capabilities it can offer for increased growth, customer engagement and retention, super apps are likely to remain strong and healthy for many years.
White Cloak is a trusted and renowned mobile application company that you can partner with in bringing your super app to life. Backed with expertise in software platform and mobile app development, White Cloak’s high-caliber and passionate teams aim to deliver tailor-fit high-performing mobile apps that bring high efficiency, productivity and value to empower our partners. Contact us today to book a consultation and explore the best industry practices for your own super app development.