The rise of superapps has been one of the most significant developments in the mobile landscape over the past few years. A superapp is a single application that offers a wide range of services and functions, from messaging and social networking to e-commerce and on-demand services. Some of the most well-known superapps include WeChat in China, Go-Jek in Indonesia, and Grab in Southeast Asia.
By 2027, Gartner expects that more than half of the world’s population will be daily users of multiple superapps, which it defines as an application that combines the features of an app, a platform and an ecosystem.
What are SuperApps?
Originally a messaging app, WeChat has expanded into a commerce platform to enable its 1.25 billion active monthly users to conduct a variety of day-to-day tasks. These superapps have proven to be incredibly popular with users, who appreciate the convenience of having all of their favorite services and functions in one place. They have also been a big hit with investors, who see them as a way to tap into the growing demand for mobile services in emerging markets.
But what does the future hold for superapps? And how will they continue to shape the mobile landscape in the coming years?
One of the biggest trends we are likely to see in the future of superapps is the continued expansion of their capabilities. As superapps continue to grow in popularity, they will seek out new partnerships and acquisitions that will allow them to offer an even wider range of services and functions. For example, WeChat has already expanded beyond its roots as a messaging app to become a platform for a wide range of services, including e-commerce, banking, and even ride-hailing.
Another trend we are likely to see is the increasing use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to enhance the user experience. According to the State of Mobile 2021 report from App Annie, people are spending 4.2 hours a day on their phones, and companies are determined to find new ways to capture that consumer attention. Superapps will use these technologies to personalize recommendations and provide more targeted advertising to users. They will also use AI to improve the efficiency of their operations and to automate tasks such as customer service.
SuperApp Challenges & Obstacles
One of the biggest obstacles facing superapps in the future will be the need to navigate a complex regulatory landscape. As they expand their capabilities and collect more data on their users, they will face increased scrutiny from governments and regulatory bodies around the world. It will be important for superapps to establish strong privacy policies and to be transparent about their data collection practices in order to maintain the trust of their users. App responsiveness might cost companies more than they know, with one Deloitte study indicating that a load-time increase of just 0.1s can result in up to 8% conversions.
According to Gartner, there are numerous technical ways to build a superapp, but creating the business ecosystem can become a bigger challenge than technology implementation. A superapp serves as a platform for internally developed microapps and for third-party, externally developed microapps. Business partners to create an extended ecosystem for monetization by deploying microapps to an established user base. This provider ecosystem also amplifies the superapp’s value by providing convenient access to a broader range of services within the app.
Why Enterprise Businesses Should Take Note
2023 is the year to begin implementing your superapp strategy. There are massive opportunities for customers, employees and digital partners looking for new ways to leverage mobile experiences to meet user needs. Corporations are also leveraging superapps to improve employee experience, creating designated work hubs rather than forcing employees to use multiple disparate apps.
The Gartner report details that “as of November 2021, around 67% of consumers in the United States reported being interested in integrating multiple digital experiences in one superapp.” They go on to suggests taking a good look at the applications you are currently using and start thinking about where you can consolidate. Whether via superapp or miniapp, look at the high-engagement features of your applications and use those to help drive adoption. Tech leaders will want to prioritize creating the right environments for developers to create superapp experiences and convenient developer tools like APIs, design and SDKs.
Despite any perceived challenges, the future looks bright for superapps. As mobile usage continues to grow around the world, there will be an increasing demand for convenient and efficient ways to access a wide range of services and functions that streamline and customize the digital user experience.
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