Beatrice Hu
Head of Mexico
Cornershop by Uber
/
Expert Contributor

Four Reasons Why ‘Super Apps’ Will Redefine Digital Consumption

By Beatrice Hu | Thu, 11/18/2021 - 09:09

It has been a while since WeChat, the pioneer of the so-called “super apps,” arrived in the Chinese market. Since then, this concept has not stopped changing how, as consumers, we relate to technology: today, through a single data log, we have access to an endless number of high-quality products and services.

If you are not yet familiar with this concept, let me share with you a brief explanation. Super apps are those that start with an anchor solution – messaging, financial services, transportation or delivery, etc. – to which functions or benefits are added that significantly improve the user experience.

They originated in China and are very popular in Southeast Asia because, for many users, these apps represent the entrance to digital life. Among them, we can mention big names such as Alipay or WeChat and disruptive proposals such as Grab, GoTo, and Sea, which offer services ranging from messaging to travel and entertainment from one place.

On this side of the world, you probably haven't heard the term “super app” enough but it's even more likely that you use one in your day-to-day life and don't know it. According to a PROSA survey, 42 percent of Mexicans claim not to know any. The reality is that we have been using some of them in the country for years, such as Uber, Mercado Libre or even Google.

However, the popularity in Latin America of these apps is about to take off: the same PROSA survey indicates that 61 percent of Mexicans use more than five applications a day to perform their daily tasks; however, the pandemic has driven many of these technology companies to offer greater accessibility and shorter response times in their services.

Platforms like Uber are migrating their service and business model to robust, complete, and multifunctional platforms. Today, Uber’s ecosystem hosts services such as Uber Eats and Cornershop, with which the company seeks to meet the needs of consumers in a new lifestyle marked by digital services.

Super apps represent a significant disruption for companies and consumers, as well as countless opportunities for the Mexican market for four main reasons:

  • Convenience and security: Super apps integrate secure payments using the same registration data and providing additional benefits. From a single account, users access a hub of services tailored to their needs, such as fashion shopping, groceries, food delivery and even mobility by requesting a driver.
  • Smarter shopping: They help users make better purchases. Through membership, they can place several orders a week with lower prices and more significant benefits.
  • Opportunities for a more collaborative economy: Many brands and services can be offered from the same space: stores, supermarkets, travel agencies, and others can use super apps as another channel to reach their customers.
  • Improve customer experience and loyalty: When users find what they want, why would they go anywhere else? Super apps aim to become that ally that offers them a helping hand, whether they need a mobility solution or shop for groceries from home.

Specifically, today's users require solutions that help them thrive in their new lifestyle, and they crave it from the best possible experience. In this sense, super apps are positioning themselves as critical players that, in addition to providing a better service, are offering greater practicality and convenience in day-to-day life.

Photo by:   Beatrice Hu