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5 Benefits of Super Apps for Retailers

What Are Super Apps and Why Are They Beneficial for Retailers?

Once a luxury, smartphones are ubiquitous today. Over 86% of the world’s population now owns a smartphone, and most of us simply cannot imagine a life without it. The rapid expansion of the mobile app sector comes as no surprise, given the vast penetration of smartphones worldwide (predicted to reach 7.1 billion by the end of 2024). In fact, we see no sign of a slowdown in either app usage or smartphone penetration, both of which are continually rising at a good clip.

Surprisingly, of late, there has been a decline in individual app downloads. A growing number of app users are discovering that they can complete multiple tasks within a single app (or super app), leading to a decrease in the overall number of opened or installed apps.

At present, super apps are gaining traction in Asia and Latin America, not to mention their pervasiveness in China, mainly because of the country’s mobile-first culture. In the West, however, super apps are still in their infancy, and it is debatable whether they will achieve the same level of success and amass enormous user bases as they have in these other regions. That being said, a survey conducted in January 2022 reveals that a well-executed super app could attract as many as 98 million users on its launch days.

So, What Are Super Apps and How Do They Work? 

A super app, also known as a multi-service marketplace, is a mobile or web-based software platform that combines several services into a single interface. Super apps have a set of main features, as well as mini apps that could also work on their own as a separate app for a single purpose.

For instance, a super app might have mini apps for social networking, online shopping, banking, messaging, food delivery, or transportation. Users can activate these mini apps whenever they need them. For example, they can book a movie ticket, order food, buy a pair of shoes, hail a cab, pay their electricity bill, and donate to charity, all on a single app: the super app!

Statistics show that an average smartphone user has around 80 apps installed on their device. But they spend 90% of their time on only 18 or 20 apps.

They may use the other applications only occasionally, but it’s counterintuitive to have that many options. In any case, decision fatigue due to choice overload is taxing on a person’s brain. It also makes for a bad user experience. Instead of 60 apps for 60 different tasks, most smartphone users would rather have an all-in-one application that allows them to do lots of different things at one place without having to install and navigate between multiple apps.

And a super app does exactly that!

core features

5 Benefits of Super Apps for Retailers

If you’re a retailer, chances are that your niche already has a super app, in your region, or it will have one soon.

mobile application market

To get the first-mover advantage and take a piece of this multi-billion-dollar market, you must know precisely how you stand to benefit from building a super app.

1. Streamlined E-Commerce

Online shoppers have grown accustomed to the ease of exploring and buying products online. By integrating additional services and providing users with the convenience they expect without ever having to leave the app or face the functional issues associated with a website, a super app elevates the overall experience to that of a shopping mall.

Similar to a brick-and-mortar shopping mall, which offers a wide range of stores from clothing to electronics, entertainment venues, service providers like banks and pharmacies, and food courts, the super app allows you to browse through various virtual stores within the app and enjoy a similar digital experience. In fact, even better!

Let’s say you order something on a super app for in-store pickup. Now you can utilize the same app’s ride-hailing feature to get to the physical shop and pick up your lunch on the way, all without ever leaving the app. A super app simplifies your customer journey and increases the likelihood of repeat purchases, which brings us to our next point.

2. Customer Retention

Consider this scenario: if a customer only uses your ride-hailing app a few times a month, they are unlikely to engage with it frequently and may even opt to delete it from their phone.

Given that it’s not a service they frequently use, it’s understandable that they may not have a strong connection with your brand.

On the other hand, if a customer uses your app on a daily basis for both online shopping and food ordering, it’s next to impossible that they will uninstall it. Since they already have your super app installed on their phone and possibly trust your brand as well, it is highly likely that the customer will also avail your ride-hailing feature whenever they require transportation.

In short, your customer’s loyalty to one service will result in their increased willingness to explore your other offerings, which will, in turn, increase their lifetime value.

3. Broader User Base

adressable market total

Imagine the immense potential of building a platform that captures the cumulative revenue of all six e-commerce niches worldwide.

Super apps offer a clever workaround to the traditional scaling method of niching down. Your super app’s convenience already draws in users. And the infrastructure and technology of the platform are also in place. You don’t need to invest time and money in building and marketing a separate app for a new region. On the existing platform, you can onboard local partners, tap into their existing user base, and quickly expand into new markets.

4. Low Customer Acquisition Cost

Super apps offer a significant advantage by focusing on maximizing the value of each user  rather than just the quantity of users. It is possible because super apps are essentially a collection of various apps that a user would typically use throughout the day.

Instead of targeting a larger audience, you are effectively demonstrating to your existing customers, who already have a positive perception of your brand, that you now provide solutions for their additional needs.

Given their existing loyalty, conversion rates for more product or service listings are likely to be quite high. With this approach, you can expect a significant decrease in customer acquisition costs, allowing for exponential revenue growth.

5. Data Analytics

Super apps, like other mobile and web applications, monitor user activity and gather a wealth of user data related to:

  • Shopping preferences
  • Shopping behaviour
  • Demographics
  • Feature usage
  • User engagement

This data then gives you actionable insights as to how you can tailor your sales and marketing strategy to get higher conversion rates, and ultimately, maximize the lifetime value of your customers.

Why Develop a Super App With Mile

We at Mile know exactly what it takes to develop a super app that is flexible and will stand out from the competition, thanks to our years of experience and expertise in the field. We specially design our solutions to adapt to a wide range of market conditions, both now and in the future, as customer demands and markets continue to change.

We prioritize innovation by providing modular and highly configurable solutions that facilitate the development of a multi-service marketplace or super app. This approach empowers our clients to remain flexible and dynamic over time. Moreover, we possess the necessary knowledge and skills to build and expand an interconnected partner network within a super app ecosystem.

Our marketplace platform comes with open APIs that enable seamless third-party integrations and service expansion. With our support, you can confidently expand your operations and implement unique solutions as you achieve success in your region.

Frequently Asked Questions About Super Apps

Who coined the word “super app”?

Mike Lazaridis, the founder of Blackberry, introduced the concept of “super apps” in 2010.

What is a super app?

A super app is a mobile application that combines multiple services, such as messaging, banking, e-commerce, ride-hailing, and entertainment, into one platform.

How do super apps work?

Super apps provide users with access to various services within a single interface. Users can perform different tasks, like messaging friends, ordering food, reserving a table at a restaurant, booking an event ticket, or paying bills, all within the same app.

What are some successful examples of super apps?

Popular examples of super apps include Careem, Grab, WeChat, Revolut, Hugo, Snapp, and Yandex Go.

Are super apps secure?

Super apps prioritize security to protect users’ personal information and financial transactions. They implement various security measures, such as encryption and authentication protocols, to ensure the safety of user data.

Are super apps available worldwide?

While some super apps have achieved global popularity, others are more localized to specific regions. Nonetheless, more and more companies are now recognizing the advantages of offering comprehensive services on a single platform.

How do super apps generate revenue?

Super apps use various revenue models, including advertising, transaction fees, subscription services, and partnerships with businesses offering services within the app. These revenue streams contribute to the sustainability and growth of the super app ecosystem.