The state of super apps: Statistics and trends
Still an emerging trend in the West, super apps are a mainstay in Asia and Africa, with Europe and the U.S. eagerly eyeing these self-contained, all-encompassing web and mobile applications. From China’s WeChat to Latin America’s Rappi, super apps are the standard in many countries and have disrupted everything from digital financial services to online marketplaces. We explore the latest statistics on the topic and dive into where we believe super apps are headed beyond 2022.
Refresher: What is a super app?
Super apps are made up of lightweight apps, known as mini programs or applets, which run inside the main app itself. These mini programs don’t need to be downloaded from an app store, which is why a single super app can perform multiple services. Therefore, users save storage space on their smartphones by opting for one super app over multiple individual apps.
Most super apps contain social features, e-commerce marketplaces, financial services, transportation services, messaging capabilities, and delivery services. Many developers who create standalone apps will also create an applet for super apps to ensure accessibility. And the list of mini-programs is ever-growing, with some super apps adding services like filing for a divorce, booking a doctor, and applying for a visa. Having all of these offerings in a single platform provides a frictionless experience for users when switching activities as they never need to leave the super app ecosystem.
Super app technology is anticipated to develop to support Internet of Things technologies, chatbots, and immersive experiences.
The latest statistics on super apps
Reviewing the latest reports and figures across the globe, we’ve collected the top statistics for super apps below:
One in three people in the world are super app users.
Across the U.K., Germany, the U.S., and Australia, 72% of consumers are interested in super apps.
See chart below for a breakdown.
90% of those surveyed above are motivated by the convenience of a super app.
In the U.S., millennials are most likely to be interested in super apps.
U.K. customers trust PayPal’s super app more than banking apps.
Travel, entertainment, and shopping are the most-cited topics consumers desire to be integrated into a super app.
Concern over data security is the biggest worry among those interested in super apps.
The super apps market in Russia is expected to reach $134 billion by 2025.
Super app WeChat has the most users of any super app, at 1.24 billion users.
Singapore’s super app Grab enjoys a majority portion of Southeast Asia’s food delivery market share.
Four predictions moving forward
1. Super apps will gain traction in Africa and the Middle East
According to the World Economic Forum, 85% of all smartphones shipped last year to Africa were low-end, making super apps an effective option to save on broadband and storage. Pair this with a rising digitally savvy young generation ready to embrace new technologies, and one can see the continent as an opportunity for super apps.
Already five super apps are available to Africans and provide services such as microfinancing, transport, commerce, mobility, communication, and various payment methods. Just this month, Kenyan startup Araka launched its super app for drivers. The app allows drivers access to short-term credit, financial tools, and the ability to connect with clients.
Similarly, the Middle East has a burgeoning youth population and increasingly more liberal privacy regulations, making it a significant new market for super apps. As a result, investment in super apps has grown, paralleling the rise in user interest. For instance, Temtem, a ride-hailing app based in Algeria, recently launched its one super app, Temtem ONE, with e-commerce, delivery, and transportation services.
2. Banking apps may form partnerships
In regions being taken over by super apps, banking apps face a tough decision ahead.
As financial services are part of a super app platform, users may opt for offerings of a super app over a standalone banking app. For example, super apps like Alipay and WeChat provide basic savings, banking, and investment products. Additionally, digital wallets are becoming more popular among super apps, allowing users to stay in the ecosystem and avoid cash, credit cards, and, well, banking apps.
However, some banks have decided to build strategic partnerships with super apps by providing them with an unbranded “banking-as-a-service” feature, seamlessly integrated into the super app. Often super apps prefer this, unwilling to tackle regulations in finance for each of their markets.
3. Super apps will penetrate SMEs
Small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) are still the backbone of most economies, particularly in countries where super apps have ample opportunity to thrive due to drivers such as financial inclusion and younger demographics. The more SMEs a super app hosts on its platform, the less likely its users will leave the app as everything they need is within it.
SMEs stand to benefit too and are beginning to turn to super apps for business management. Marketed as Southeast Asia’s first SME super app, Enstack provides accounting, reporting, and inventory management tools, online web store creation, and offline cashless payment options. SMEs can access all of these features from their smartphones to fully digitize their business.
4. E-commerce and fintech will snag a piece of the pie
Already, fintech and e-commerce companies are beginning to tap into the super app economy. Many companies in these two verticals are integrating with super apps to provide gig-economy platforms and marketplaces. These utilize localized and cross-border payment methods, allowing users to pay and get paid how they desire.
For instance, Walmart+, Walmart’s subscription membership app, has now added its InHome Delivery Service as an optional add-on within the Walmart+ app. So now Walmart+ subscribers have the option of getting their groceries delivered to their homes as well. But we posit this is just the beginning as Walmart appears to have plans to build a one-shop-stop super app, recently acquiring and partnering with several fintechs. Additionally, the brand already has a partnership with Shopify, enabling Shopify sellers to sell within the Walmart Marketplace, and has Walmart Health, a potential add-on for its super app for virtual healthcare.
Then there’s Revolut, self-described as a “global financial super app”. The London-based company has expanded its offerings beyond accounts, saving and budgeting tools, and fee-free ATMs. Continually expanding, the super app now offers business banking and retail services, as well as travel and device insurance, crypto services, investing, and, most recently, merchant services.
If you’re craving more mobile app statistics, dive into our Mobile app trends 2023 report for industry analytics and benchmarks covering fintech, gaming, and e-commerce.
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