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The Rise of Super Apps & Successful Super Apps Examples
Published at January 11, 2023
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The rise of super apps is changing the mobile app industry. Super apps, also known as multi-services apps, are mobile applications that include multiple services providing users with a one-stop-shop for all their needs. Super apps are gaining popularity in today's digital transformation era.

The success of super apps can be attributed to their ability to provide convenience and simplicity for users. These apps offer a wide range of services, from messaging and e-commerce to transportation and financial services.

In this article, we will explore the rise of super apps and showcase some of the most successful examples in the market. Check them out!

What is a Super App?

The term "super apps" is believed to have originated in Asia, where platforms such as WeChat in China and Grab in Southeast Asia have become household names and are considered to be the early examples of super apps. These platforms offer a wide range of services, such as messaging, e-commerce, transportation, and mobile payments, all under one platform, providing users with a one-stop shop for all their needs.

The term “super app” became more widely used in the tech industry as more apps started to emulate the successful and convenient features of Asian apps. Many companies and investors started to realize that creating a platform that brings multiple services, such as ride-hailing, mobile payments, food delivery, and more into one app, can potentially increase user engagement and retention, creating more revenue opportunities.

A super app refers to a  mobile application that provides a wide variety of services that typically go beyond what a traditional app does. Super apps have the ability to create significant stickiness by having users engage with the app for a variety of reasons and for longer periods of time. They also offer a new revenue stream for companies looking to expand their offerings and reach new customers.

Characteristics of a Super App

According to MUO, there are seven services or functionalities for an app to be classified as a super app. Let's check them out!

1. Social platform

One of the key characteristics of a super app is the ability to include a messaging platform that allows users to communicate, share information, and interact with one another. This feature is beneficial in fostering a sense of community within the app, which can enhance user engagement.

2. E-Commerce services

Nowadays, a large portion of shopping is conducted through the internet. Therefore, any super app must incorporate a robust e-commerce feature. Super apps typically include a mobile marketplace where users can not only purchase but also put up items for sale. This feature is necessary for a successful super app.

3. Transportation services

Commuting from place to place, particularly in urban areas, typically involves using transportation services such as ride-hailing. To be useful for users, a super app should incorporate ride-hailing, bike and car-sharing services. This feature makes the app more convenient for users.

4. Financial services

For a super app to be considered complete it should include a banking feature that encompasses things like online money transfers and payments. Furthermore, it is beneficial for super apps to also include built-in financial services. This enables users to make payments for all the services provided through the app without having to exit the app.

5. Food Delivery services

Access to food is an important aspect of everyday life, so it is essential for super apps to incorporate meal delivery and online grocery shopping functionality. This feature allows users to easily purchase food items and have them delivered directly to their location. It makes a more convenient solution for users.

Additionally, including this feature can also increase user engagement and retention. People tend to use apps for ordering food more frequently than other features. Furthermore, by incorporating the option of grocery shopping in the app, users can save time and effort and also have the opportunity to have a wider range of food options to choose from.

6. Bill and Utility payment

Another function that enhances user engagement is consolidating all of one's bill payments in a single platform. This feature allows users to manage and pay their bills in one convenient location. People don't have to navigate through different apps or websites.

Furthermore, having this feature can save users time and effort by eliminating the need to log in to multiple accounts. In addition, this feature can also simplify and automate the bill payment process, helping users to stay on top of their payments and avoid late fees.

7. Healthcare services

With super apps, users can easily access various healthcare features within the same platform. This includes telehealth, which allows individuals to consult with medical professionals remotely, and ask-a-nurse functionality that provides users with access to nursing support.

In today’s digital transformation era, this feature offers convenience and accessibility for managing one's health needs without navigating multiple apps or websites. It also provides added value for companies by creating new revenue streams and monetization opportunities through partnerships with healthcare providers, insurance companies and other related businesses. It can also provide users with personal and valuable health information, enabling them to be more proactive in their healthcare.

5 Successful Super Apps in the World

Due to their growing popularity, these super apps are classified as the most prevalent super apps in the world. Adapted from Elluminati, these are the best five super apps.

1. WeChat

When it was first launched in 2011, WeChat was just like any other messaging app. However, over the decade, it has grown in popularity by offering a wide range of services. Currently, it boasts around 1 million mini-programs that allow users to engage in many activities, such as booking transportation, ordering food, and making payments, all within the same app.

This diversity of services is a significant reason why it has become so popular in China and is now considered a necessity for many users. The number of monthly active users for WeChat grew by 8.2% in Q1 2020. This diversity of services is still not common in the Western market, which is why WeChat is now gaining attention and popularity globally.

2. Alipay

Starting as a small department within Taobao, Alibaba's e-commerce platform, Alipay has become a popular and widely-used payment application in China. It is considered WeChat's closest competitor. Both are referred to as the Digital Twins of the Chinese market.

In March 2020, Alipay reported over 1.3 billion users. Like WeChat, it offers a wide range of services, such as payments, movie ticket bookings, transportation and food ordering, making it one of the largest online platforms globally.

3. Gojek

Beginning as a ride-hailing app in Indonesia, Gojek has expanded its offerings to include a range of online services in more than 23 countries. These services range from food and grocery ordering to ride-hailing and housekeeping services. What's remarkable about Gojek is its current valuation of around $5 Billion, due to its expansion of markets and services across regions.

4. Amazon

Amazon is also competing in the race to launch its super app. Known for its e-commerce platform, it has begun to offer a variety of services such as Amazon Pay, Amazon Pantry, Amazon Prime (entertainment services) and more. The company is now looking to bring all of these services together in one single app, providing users with a more convenient and streamlined experience.

5. Grab

Grab is a well-known ride-hailing company founded in Malaysia. It allows users to book transportation based on their preferences. Alongside this service, Grab's super app also offers a wide range of services such as grocery delivery, digital payments, delivery services, video streaming and more. With 2.8 million drivers, it has established a strong presence in the ASEAN market by providing users with a convenient one-stop shop for all their needs.

Conclusion

As more companies and entrepreneurs realise the potential of super apps, the trend towards creating these multi-services apps is likely to continue. Super apps can increase user engagement and retention, creating more revenue opportunities for companies. The future of super apps looks bright as more and more companies are looking to develop their multi-service apps. This trend is likely to continue in the coming years. The success stories of companies like WeChat and Grab have proven that the market for super apps is ripe for the taking.

Currently, the primary concern for businesses is how to rapidly adapt to meet the demands of consumers before their competition does. With professional experts and the best experience in their fields, VirtualSpirit can help build the best super app for your business.

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