I am not making any guesstimates on how many of you are reading this blog on your smartphones. I can sense that their number is legion. We are fast turning into a mobile-first species. The one that toggles through apps on the mobile handset for a variety of reasons. Just think about the number of apps that we navigate. For shopping, ordering food, ride-hailing, booking tickets or hotels, logging in for office meetings, paying our bills and so on. What if one app can subsume all products and offerings? Yes, an all-encompassing app.
As we have turned on a new calendar, let's chew this – super apps are going to be the super disruptors in our lives.
The Evolution into Disruption
A super app is a seamless mobile application that bundles a bouquet of services. It's a digital front door- a mass marketplace of services and offerings. The USP is one app, one sign-in, one UX — for virtually any product or service you need. The super app phenomenon began in China with We Chat. Starting off as a messaging platform, We Chat has snowballed into a super app with three million mini-apps in it, performing transactions worth $240 billion last year. In India, Alibaba Group investee Paytm and the Walmart backed Phone Pe have evolved into super apps. Corporates are warming up to the idea as a super app offers the opportunity to provide a holistic UX in all customer interfacing businesses. Salt-to-software conglomerate Tata Group and farm-to-finance major Mahindra Group are planning to launch their super apps.
The Super App Ecosystem- What Are the Benefits?
A country becomes super app ready when a large swathe of its population turns smartphone first. India has already turned into a market where most of its users are exposed to the internet on their handheld devices. Due to the consolidation of services, super apps provide insights into enormous consumer data that can be tapped to learn more about user behaviour. The super apps offer numerous benefits like securing a loyal customer base, meeting your customers within their preferred digital premises, securing the lion's share of the digital revenue tied to your customers, collecting a wealth of user data, lower product ownership and development costs, minimized KYC costs and effective onboarding and saving your customers time and effort in the long run.
The Swirling Concerns
The super app ecosystem is likely to strengthen the monopoly of large corporations. Yet, the bigger concern is user privacy. Companies aspiring to roll out their super apps face increasing scrutiny from the regulatory system. Regulators in the US and Europe are increasingly critical of the biggest internet platforms. Policymakers in these geographies are more protective of personal data. This is a crucial challenge for super app developers since data is the foundational component to the success of a super app. The more data collected, the better the offerings for individuals using it.
Super Apps Are Inevitable for A Tech Economy
The world is shrinking into a smaller, seamless digital space, especially after the pandemic broke out. It's a raging competition between digitally born companies and legacy firms fast pedaling their digital transformation drive. In such a backdrop, getting the user glued to your products or services is what will elevate you above the curve. An omnichannel experience in a digital-first world! Think of super apps as the driver of a rampaging tech economy. The possibilities have just begun, unwrapping.
This blog was first published on Priyadarshi Nanu Pany’s Medium account.