Right from Swiss Army knives to smartphones, people have always loved the idea of a single device offering multiple utilities. The same notion can be extended to the world of mobile apps. Largely, mobile apps have only been providing a single utility or maybe, in a few instances, a few similar or congruent utilities clubbed together. For example, a taxi booking app can offer bike and car rides.
While the rest might not be completely familiar, there are a lot of apps in countries like China, Indonesia, and India that offer multiple utilities in a single app. When we say multiple, we literally mean it in the truest sense. The diversity of utilities offered by the app can range right from The usual ride healing to some of the most unusual services like fuel delivery.
Such apps that provide different services are appropriately named super applications or super apps.
There are a lot of multi-services app brands available in the market. In all of this, that is one app that carved a niche for itself in terms of its excellence, marketing, the balance of utility, impact on economics, valuation, and investor portfolio. We are talking about the Indonesian app called GoJek.
GoJek was founded by alumni of Harvard. It started as a simple call center that mediated between drivers and passengers. In 2015, an app was launched offering just four services. Ever since then, the app grew by leaps and bounds. Within a month of its launch, the money metric score of GoJek skyrocketed from 4.4 to 16.4. It also grew from a customer satisfaction score of 1 to 22.3.
GoJek has its operations running in the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, and Thailand in addition to its home country Indonesia. It has also gone on to acquire a few artificial intelligence and financial technology companies in India, establishing its corporate presence in the city of Bangalore.
What makes GoJek even more interesting is the amazing portfolio of investments it has acquired. The investors include formidable names like Sequoia, Facebook, PayPal, Mitsubishi, and Google. Recently, GoJek acquired an investment of about $1.2 billion from Google, and it put the valuation of the company at $10 billion.
While the success story of GoJek can be viewed as inspiration, some serious entrepreneurs have taken upon it as a business model to replicate. This has prompted lot of entrepreneurs to think about the launch of a super app like GoJek.
What services does GoJek offer?
Rather than listing all the services offered by GoJek, it could be a good idea to look at the diversity of services offered. A few of the services offered by GoJek include:
- Transportation – GoJek offers both bike and Car taxi services.
- Delivery – GoJek facilitates food delivery, grocery delivery, and career pick up on demand. It also offers a separate service for buying from shops that are not listed under its umbrella.
- Lifestyle – GoJek offers beauty services at home. It also extends into providing massage services at home.
- Finance – GoJek offers bill payments, UBI payment services, and micro-financing.
- Household and handyman services – GoJek offers house cleaning, appliance repair and servicing, and auto servicing and cleaning services at home.
It can be inferred that almost every service needed for life, at least from an Indonesian perspective is effectively taken care of by GoJek. Needless to say, the number of avenues for earning revenue are also multiplied proportionately to the number of services offered.
The advantages brought about by super apps
Super apps like GoJek bring a lot of advantages both for the user and the business.
For the user, the obvious advantage is that they can avail of multiple services under a single application. This means that they do not have to go through the hassle of managing multiple downloads and multiple logins. This also makes it easy for them to manage their reward/loyalty points. It means that they will not have to wait for the next electricity bill if they can redeem the points for the next restaurant order.
For the business, it helps in retaining customers even if they have to use a single utility offered by the multi-services app. In addition, they also get a steady supply of rich data that helps in facilitating microfinance with negligible instances of default and quick processing time.
In addition, an app like GoJek also opens up employment and earning opportunities for a lot of people. In the world of the gig economy, on-demand apps like GoJek can be considered the backbone. The fact that GoJek was instrumental in increasing the average income and the GDP per capita of Indonesia is a resounding testimony to this fact.
The changing perspective
The West has always been averse to the idea of integrating multiple services under a single app. The success of GoJek, however, is making them rethink the entire idea. A lot of entrepreneurs are already contemplating on launching a super app like GoJek.
Building the app from scratch is quite a demanding task. It involves hours of development and design, and there’s not even a guarantee that the endpoint will have a product free of bugs and glitches. It also takes quite a lot of time to build the product from scratch.
As an alternative, you can consider using a app solution. The white-label Gojek clone is available as a product and can be customized. You not only have the option to garnish the app with the elements of your brand but also to add or remove utilities. This is an important feature as some services might not be legally compliant in your jurisdiction.
Even if you go for a white label solution, you will need to ensure that certain features are in place.
The essential features of a super app
- The app should make it easy for users to register and log in. If need be, they should be able to login using existing credentials like Google and Facebook. The registration should immediately create a profile that records all the services that they request.
- An inevitable outcome of big numbers is clutter. Although the app offers multiple services, they should be properly laid out on a simple and easily navigable menu that helps users quickly choose what they want.
- The app should be integrated with a proper and versatile payment gateway that enables people to make payments using multiple payment instruments like credit cards, debit cards, Internet banking, and wallets.
- The users should be able to submit reviews and ratings for the services that they received. This week ensure that the quality of services is always maintained at a good standard.
- Push notifications are a massive advantage with respect to smartphones. However, it should be properly used and should not push the user to the territory of irritation. In addition to the updates, push notifications can also be used to publish promotions and offers.
It is not a full bed of roses for a multi-service app. There are a few challenges that need to be encountered before you taste your success and profit.
The first challenge and rather the one time challenge is to acquire your first set of customers. It is quite possible that there are different apps that offer the same service as yours although not under a single login. It is the interactiveness and the lucrativeness that will draw users to your super app. Once you have the first set of users, it is important to grow them consistently. An organized effort in digital marketing will get things done.
A super app is a mediator by its design, and it means that it is not enough if you have just a good set of users. You will also need to recruit service providers who will provide the services listed on the app. Attractive commission rates, quick payments, and a referral program might help in increasing the number of service providers who work with your app.
Even if you have the best service providers and a good count of users, it might not give decide results if you do not have proper customer service. Parallel to technology, customer service also deserves attention and it needs to be in place by the time you get your first set of customers.
Now that all the aspects of a super app like GoJek having unraveled, all that is left for you to do is to strategize the concept of on-demand applications and implement it with the help of an app development company. They will take care to understand your business requirement, customize the app, and deliver it to you, so you can start making your profit… And maybe, super profit!
Jennifer Atkinson is a growth hacker and marketer who helps startups in achieving online visibility and reach among their intended customers. Other than marketing and online workshops, she is interested in giving consultations for businesses that are looking to market their brand online.