The Rise of Super Apps: Redefining the Mobile App Ecosystem

January 25, 2023

Need to stay connected but don’t have the time to waste on installing apps? This guide will introduce you to the world of mobile app ecosystems! Learn everything you need to know before investing in one.👇


Say you and a few friends want brunch next week in Sacramento. There are at least a few apps involved in going – you might coordinate plans on WhatsApp, buy tickets from Ticketmaster, get a ride from Uber, and pay each other back over Venmo. Wouldn’t it be great if all that activity could be gathered in one app? Yes, it’s possible.

WeChat is a Chinese app that allows users to do many different activities, such as social media, book movies, hail taxis, make payments, and video calls, all in one place. It has over a billion monthly active users and is used an average of ten times daily. Businesses and government agencies also use it. Many users also use it to purchase products online, with over 80% making purchases through the app. It is more like an operating system for smartphones than just an app and is referred to as a “super app.” An example of its popularity is that a Chinese documentary called Under The Dome was viewed by over 200 million people within three days. With over 40% of those views coming through WeChat.

Table Of Content 🧾

What Is A Super App
How Does A Super App Work?
Why Should You Build A Super App?
Examples Of Super Apps
Developing Super Apps
Summing Up

What Is A Super App, And Why Are They Gaining Traction?

“Super apps” were first mentioned by BlackBerry founder Mike Lazaridis in 2010. These apps allow users to perform multiple tasks, such as chatting, ordering food, booking tickets, transferring money, shopping, and paying bills, all within a single platform. This makes it easier for users to manage their activities and reduces the need to install multiple separate apps. Businesses are increasingly leveraging mobile app development services to create super apps because they benefit users and brands long-term.

A survey conducted in 2022 found that over 60% of respondents wanted to combine their grocery and retail purchases into a single super app. 66% of respondents said that the main benefit of a super app would be convenience, while 61% valued the security of having all their data in one place & 54% liked the idea of being able to coordinate various aspects of their lives through a single app.

How Does A Super App Work?

Users access various discrete services through an ecosystem of micro-apps built and deployed by internal development teams and external partners within the super app. This provider ecosystem also increases the value of the super app by offering convenient access to a broader range of services within the app.

Several technology vendors already offer tools and platforms to help software engineering leaders build super apps, including platform as a service (PaaS) vendors, front-end frameworks, multi-experience (MX) development platforms, and mobile app development services providers.

Users can tailor their super app experience by selecting the mini app they want to use when they need it within the super app. Data sharing is vital for this to work, and it can be facilitated through simple user authentication methods like single sign-on (SSO) and tracking user preferences or app usage.

Why Should You Build A Super App?

It’s a “dog-eat-dog” world out there, and companies are constantly battling for consumer attention, especially since the State of Mobile 2021 report from App Annie shows that people spend an average of 4.2 hours per day on their phones. To keep up with the competition, you should up your game and turn your app into a one-stop shop by including as many services as possible. This way, your customers will stay on your app for a longer time as long as you provide a smooth-as-silk user experience. Keeping users happy and engaged is crucial so they don’t click away from other apps. By expanding your services, you’ll also have access to more data about your customers, which can be used across all the different services within your app. If creating a “super app” isn’t on your radar, it’s important to consider how these apps might affect your business. Will they be competitors, or could they offer integration opportunities? Only time will tell if super apps will eventually phase out single-purpose apps, but as companies shift towards a digital-first, app-centered model, it’s definitely a trend worth keeping an eye on.

Examples Of Super Apps


WeChat App

These companies are really “killing two birds with one stone” by offering multiple services within their apps. WeChat, which has over a billion users and is owned by Tencent, started as a messaging service similar to WhatsApp. But it has now become a jack of all trades, allowing users to book hotels and flights, hail rides, make digital payments, and even play games. 


Gojek App

Indonesian app Gojek, known for processing more than 7 million orders a day, has become the bee’s knees in Southeast Asia by allowing users to access various services within the app, including food delivery, transportation, package delivery, digital payments, and even massages. 


Grab Super app

Grab, another Southeast Asian company began as a ride-hailing service but has now “spread its wings” and expanded into other areas such as ticket purchasing, hotel booking, on-demand video, grocery shopping, and financial services. Even the Facebook app and TikTok have gotten in on the action by adding features such as shopping and dating services, and TikTok even has an in-app shopping experience.

Developing Super Apps: Possible Pitfalls

At first glance, the rise of super apps worldwide might seem like a minor trend that won’t greatly impact the banking industry. However, these types of apps can completely turn the tables on traditional banking. There are three key reasons why bankers should pay attention to the rise of SuperApps:

  1. Customers can access basic banking, savings, and investment services through SuperApps like WeChat and Alipay, which means that financial institutions may eventually be limited to performing only regulated activities. These apps also control the customer experience and relationship, much like how platform plays and aggregators have taken over in the insurance sector.
  1. Not only do SuperApps have access to an unprecedented amount of customer data, but they’re also able to use it effectively to improve the customer experience. For example, they can use social media and transactional data to assess the risk of loan applicants and better target financial products to customers at the exact time they need them. On the other hand, traditional banks often struggle to get a clear picture of their customers due to outdated, siloed technology.
  1. Building a business ecosystem can be just as challenging as implementing technology. The way that different users interact with apps varies, so getting the design of a super app right for a specific audience and maintaining consistency across mini-apps can be vital to adoption and retention.

Summing Up

Super apps are just as popular among users as in categories like food delivery and e-commerce. Some companies are turning their apps into super apps, while others hope to partner with popular apps to attract more users. This high demand for super apps means they’re likely to get even more attention, and users will be more likely to download any app that meets their needs and simplifies their lives. Contact us right away to make your app development super beneficial and easy!🚀


Jinesh Shah



Recent Post

Recommended Blogs