You might never find this in the vision and mission statement of any website, but outside all the ranting about helping the society and making the world a better place, every business is about earning higher profits. It is quite known, right from primary school mathematics, that profit is what remains after you have deducted your investment from your total earnings. Therefore, if your profit has to be higher, your investment has to be optimal. At the same time, you cannot expect a lot of profit by investing a minimal amount.
One of the biggest chunks of expenses in any business falls in acquiring customers through marketing or direct selling. It is cumbersome and expensive to find the right customers, leave alone selling your product or service to them.
What if there was a business model where you acquire customers for one product or service and end up selling multiple products or services to them? Turns out we already have an answer!
To understand how things work, we will have to understand how the first set of customers are acquired. One of the biggest challenges in acquiring customers is identifying them. Uber addressed this challenge by incorporating two simple manifestations of technology – the GPS and personal profile. With this conversation, it was not possible for the business to find out who exactly wanted a cab, when exactly did they want one and where exactly did they want the car to be!
Uber had cracked a billion-dollar challenge! It gave rise to a lot of businesses following the same model. Suddenly, there was a flurry of businesses offering variations of the same business model, including but not limited to food, grocery delivery, medicine delivery, household and handyman services, courier pick up, pet walking, babysitting, and a lot more of them. Everything seemed to go through a linear progression… Until a couple of Asian companies challenge the status quo – WeChat and GoJek.
WeChat and GoJek, from China and Indonesia, in that order, were contemplating on offering multiple services within a single app. Let us look at the question asked above – both these companies are now looking at a practical answer to that question!
Apps like WeChat and GoJek that provide multiple utilities under a single login aptly named super applications or super apps.
How does a super app typically work?
We have already seen the basic definition of what a super app is. Super apps and their growing popularity, at least in the Asian markets have been fueled or rather influenced by the growing penetration of smartphones. Today, people depend on smartphones for almost every activity ranging from grocery to taxi to alcohol buying, and even finding a date!
The COVID-19 crisis, the social distancing, and stay-at-home imposition have been catalysts, not for smartphone penetration, but for dependency on mobile apps. People might find it cumbersome and confusing to have multiple apps. These super apps help people avail of multiple utilities from a single application using a single login.
GoJek, for example, offers more than 20 different services. WeChat has a lot of mini-programs that run within the app spending multiple articles. In India, apps like PayTM and MyJio also function in the same way. A super app can offer different utilities but most of them fall under one of the following umbrellas:
a). Transportation and ride-hailing –
This segment includes cabs, bike taxis, electric vehicles, shuttle services, public transport, car rentals, and the currently obsolete ridesharing.
b). Courier and parcel services –
These services can be either to pick up your courier if it is inter-city or engage with independent delivery executives if the parcel is light and intracity.
c). Services on demand –
It can encompass simple household services like electricians, beauticians, and plumber, and specialized services like massage therapy, medical services, dog walking, and babysitting, and some specific services like a tutor on-demand.
d). Delivery on demand –
The delivery might include food from restaurants, grocery, pharmacy, alcohol, potable water, fuel, and if legally acceptable, even medical marijuana.
Super apps present a lot of advantages to both users and the business.
As we have already seen one of the best advantages that is user experience is the declutter. Instead of rummaging through multiple applications, they can access all the utilities within a single app. This not only results in better navigation but also in space saved.
More than the user, the super app benefits the business. The biggest benefit is that it brings forth to the business is the richness in data. It is easy to profile a user with multiple attributes instead of depending on a single attribute. Some super apps have launched their microfinance division which gives small loans to customers with instant approval and disbursal.
Based on their spending history with the different offerings the app provides, it becomes easy for the business to provide users with their repayment capacity. This enables the business to offer loans with very little risk involved. It also helps these customers avail of these benefits which might not be possible otherwise.
The relevance of super apps has considerably increased during COVID-19 times. For example, cabs have come to a screeching halt because of the pandemic, both literally and figuratively. If a driver was attached to a business that provided only transportation services, it might have been difficult for the person to survive during these testing times. However, if they have their vehicle attached to a super app, it is quite possible that they can explore other avenues like delivering groceries and couriers.
The basic structure
Just like any other on-demand app, even super applications have the same skeleton. On one side, there is the user and on the other, there are service provider executives. Mediating and managing them is an administrator. In certain cases like restaurants and grocery delivery, there might be additional entities involved.
Each entity is given an exclusive app that enables them to execute the desired action in the easiest and most intuitive way possible. At the epicenter of all these functionalities lies the payment mechanism. The user should be able to make the payment without any hassle using any mainstream digital payment instrument like credit card, debit card, Internet banking, and wallets. In the long run, the app might even be customized to include cryptocurrency. The businesses and the executives should have their earnings credited to their bank accounts without much delay.
To keep the entire ecosystem democratic, super apps, just like any on-demand app, should feature a review and rating system for both users and service providers. The rating system passively ensures a good quality of service from the provider and courteous behavior from the user.
The business earns from multiple channels like charging a commission from the service provider, collecting a delivery fee from the user, sponsorships, and featured listings. All these avenues make a super app one of the most profitable business models of the current times.
With the profitability being so evident, it is only natural that any aspiring entrepreneur who wants to explore the on-demand realm might want to build a super app. Building the app from scratch, however, might be a daunting process. The intensity of time, effort, and money it demands are quite exorbitant whether you have your own team or partner with an app development company.
Alternatively, you can consider using a white label GoJek clone. The GoJek clone script, in most cases, is loaded with all the default features. The GoJek clone app is also extremely customizable, enabling you to disable or embellish certain features of your choice.
All you need to do is get in touch with a company that specializes in building and customizing a GoJek clone app. They will take care to understand your requirement, build the app in line with your business needs, and deliver it to you, so you can launch your super app to make super profits!