Superapps are one of the key digital economy trends of the 21st century. The fundamental idea behind a superapp is a ‘one-stop-shop’ built to leverage digital users’ desire for an engaging, convenient, and efficient user experience. They represent a shift in focus from developing singular apps to comprehensive platforms that can cater to any and all user needs.
Companies such as WeChat and Alipay have quickly emerged as some of the largest businesses in the world, built on the back of a consistent customer experience, and the convenience of a single-login, single-account user interface.
Superapps usually start as apps that offer a single core service, building customers and credibility with exceptional loyalty and regular use. Once they have grown to a sizable number of daily users, many add additional services and features in order to further grow revenues and loyalise their users further. Many superapps have already added mobility, food, groceries, and even financial services to their platforms. The next, and inevitable step, is to add travel, tours, tickets, and other things-to-do (“Experiences'') to these apps.
Why should you integrate new experiences within your superapp?
Integrating tours and experiences within your superapp helps you in two primary ways - opening your platform to an even wider consumer base, and increasing the revenues and loyalty from your existing users. Here are some factors to consider in favour of launching other products and experiences through your superapp.
Entering the next untapped market in online travel
According to Skift, the global tours and activities market is already around $150 billion annually, and is expected to grow quickly, especially post-pandemic. From immersive experiences to street-art safaris, tourism is one of the most vibrant and important contributors to our economy. With the democratization of travel and the rising importance of experiences to consumers, consumers are choosing to book online through sites like TripAdvisor, but 80 percent of the sector’s gross bookings still take place offline. With time, the long tail of activities scattered in destinations all over the world will be present on mobile, allowing superapps to add tours and activities to their core services.
Quick and profitable new product launch
The greatest challenge when it comes to launching a new product - like travel experiences - onto your superapp, is finding a suitable consumer base. Most products take time to attract a sizable number of users and start generating profits. But as a superapp, you have an existing, loyal user base to introduce the new product to, which de-risks any launch. And with experiences, you have a large and growing product to offer your users.
Data from your supply partner - in this case, Splyt - can help guide you to where and which customer groups are most suited for tours, tickets, and things-to-do.
Lower customer acquisition and product development costs
As a superapp, your most powerful leverage is your active and engaged consumer base. Once acquired, each customer relationship can be enriched and built-upon with additional services. Your focus is on exciting, loyalising and growing the relationship with your customers - especially with new products and services.
By integrating innovative products developed by other businesses, you can bypass the long iterative cycle of new product development. Most superapps existing today have followed this platform-based expansion plan by continually adding stand-alone services like last-mile food and grocery delivery, online pharmacies, and fashion marketplaces.
Seamless onboarding process
New fintech services usually suffer through a longer customer acquisition cycle because of the lengthy Know Your Customer (KYC) requirement. Users tend to get frustrated with providing personal details and leave the KYC process halfway. If fintech services are included in your superapp, most of the KYC process can be automated using the user data from other linked apps. This helps cut the lengthy process down to a few clicks; all the user needs to do is check and authenticate personal details. An excellent example of this is the way video games and e-commerce sites offer lightning-fast on-platform wallet integration with your bank account.
Much higher volume of user data
Superapps generate a high volume of user data. Insights gleaned from detailed analysis of extensive user data, can help you provide highly customised and engaging product and service offerings that keep customers coming back.
Experiences - whether they are close to home, or far away - are key interactions with your user base, which allow you to learn more about each individual user and their travel companions.
How can you integrate experiences within your superapp?
While there are many ways to integrate new products and services within Superapps, there are generally two paths to smoother and faster integration.
An SDK or a Software Development Kit is a set of tools and programs that are used to install an application onto a native system. The primary benefit of SDKs is that they are comprehensive installation kits and do not have external runtime requirements. SDKs come loaded with all the libraries, code, code samples, processes, and documentation needed to finish the installation of an application. They are usually designed for specific platforms, for example, Android SDKs are used for installing Android apps, iOS SDKs for iOS apps, and so on.
An API or Application Programming Interface is a set of protocols and definitions that helps developers build and integrate application software. The API allows two products (in this case, your superapp and the app to be integrated) to interact without the need for the standardisation and execution of code. APIs can be thought of as application files that simply latch onto existing applications without the need for the installation or execution of any processes. This allows for seamless integration of services which can be customised down to the last detail.
A more efficient alternative
Splyt already helps superapps integrate ridehailing, airport transfers, bikesharing, scooters, and food delivery using both SDKs and APIs. Splyt’s seamless integration, which eliminates the need for any external interfaces, is backed by several useful features like one contract, one invoice, and multilingual customer support. Experiences are the next product that you - as a superapp or superapp-in-development - will be able to integrate.
Once integrated, these services can help your superapp generate more revenue and provide users with a smooth and engaging user experience.