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Rethinking the app landscape: Super Apps as part of your mobile-first strategy

5 minute read


The app market is booming. With millions of options available in your app store, it can get tricky to figure out which apps are actually worth a download and which are a pass. And this has changed potential strategies for our digital services immensely. Whilst in the earliest days of smartphones you’d be able to get hold of a growing user-market by introducing your very own app, in today’s saturated and competitive market, there is no guarantee for the same success anymore.

Although we are all aware of the gazillions of apps out there, many brands still are opting to add theirs, hoping they will stand out and appeal to a larger audience than others. It’s not unreasonable to think that large established brands will immediately witness at least some app adoption from their users, but the story can be different for new ones.

Many of these new platforms are emerging in specific sectors. Just think of how many fintech or streaming apps you know of? We at Tranzer see the same happening in our own industry, a bunch of new apps offering digital mobility services are added on the regular. And although this progress is great, adding more services to the market does not always result in more value. The extensive amount of options to choose from may leave consumers rather confused than satisfied with the value offered to them. Instead of choosing their favourite app out of a large range of alternatives, end-users may just not bother at all and stick to their traditional, yet familiar, ways of doing things.


From delivering services to the phones of users,

to delivering services to the apps of users.


So the more the merrier does not always apply here. Switching from long-loved brands to new platforms is tricky if users don’t know which app will improve their user experience. But then why is it that so many brands still have this main focus on becoming the next big AirBnB or Uber? Even though this is an exciting idea, could it be that your industry super app is already out there? Or maybe the ‘big app’ your potential users need, actually operates in an entirely different industry. It doesn’t really matter where your users’ super apps are, as long as they exist and your target group loves them.

It’s important to consider these dominant players, as this could change the relevancy of bringing yet another app into your market. These homescreen apps have already built their user communities, and often the goal is to become a super-app. Apps such as WeChat or AliPay provide some solid examples here, where apps with limited functionalities have grown out to be the go-to platform for nearly all activities day-to-day. 

We see the same happening with social media apps such as Instagram, Whatsapp or Tiktok. A plethora of digital services are added resulting in users spending more time interacting with these platforms. So with these ever-growing apps out there, what if new services, instead of being delivered to the phones of users through new apps, would simply be delivered to the already downloaded apps of users? Imagine booking tickets for a football match with friends, and within your football app you can go from arranging plans with your mates, to booking your tickets, your transport, and getting your friends to buy you a drink upfront. All without leaving the app. This is what the mobile apps industry is evolving towards, where digital services go from operating in silos, to being bundled within super apps.

When to play it differently

Of course, we’re not saying that it’s impossible for new apps to grow large user bases, but what we are getting at is that it does not always make sense to do so. And many brands are not conscious enough about having to decide between strategies here: either go all in or play it differently.

And playing it differently, is what we believe in at Tranzer. Adding value to existing super apps to create more relevance and engagement for both the end-users and brands behind the apps. By connecting to the interfaces of established apps, we save users the hassle of having to download yet another app. This will increase the chances of your services reaching end-users and being adopted, as your value is embedded in the app flows they are familiar with. This is how anticipating on industry super apps can create a win-win for you and your targeted users.

Taking the strategy home

Luckily, in our industry we see a rising trend of different platforms connecting to each other. However, it is interesting to question why this often stays within the boundaries of the mobility space. Offering multiple mobility services on one platform increases the value for users, yet it still requires them to download and open a ‘mobility platform’. Something they will only do when they specifically need mobility services. 

We think it’s about that one step further. One step into a different industry, towards platforms you may have never considered before to be relevant for your services. And that’s the point. They don’t need to be the closest related to your services; as long as they are relevant for your users they can be very relevant for you too. Users will spend tons of time at different platforms, and they may love using your services whilst they’re at it anyways, perhaps even without realising they did. 

Imagine someone scheduling an appointment for a job interview, and right after confirmation, the company applied for offers 50% discount on public transport tickets to get to their office. Or think of someone planning a doctor visit and within the same app you can buy your bus ticket to get there. 

Recombinations beyond your own space

Today’s boundaries between industries are blurred and this gives us opportunities to create value with interesting combinations of digital services. Think about your own industry and which platforms outside your scope of services could make up for incredible user experiences. Every time you open an app on your phone, consider how your services would fit on that platform. We are curious to hear about new combinations of services and apps you can come up with! What services are you missing in some of your downloaded super-apps?

If you want to read more about digitization strategies and mobility, make sure to check out the other articles on our blog! To keep up with our latest updates, follow us on LinkedIn or subscribe to our newsletter.

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