Nov 27 2023

Cyber Monday: Six Ways Retailers Can Use Superapps Between Now and 2030

The next stage of retail apps could be a pivot point for customer loyalty. Get all the details you need in time for holiday shopping season.

There’s a superapp for that — or there will be soon. And just in time for Cyber Monday! 

Superapps, consolidated apps that combine the capabilities of other apps, are already popular in Asia. Their global market size is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 28 percent through 2030, a figure that includes their anticipated entry into U.S. markets. (In fact, if you use Microsoft Teams, you’re using a tool that’s akin to a superapp, as it extends into third-party apps and performs functions that were previously fulfilled by separate tools.)

Superapps offer many of the capabilities of a website, but they give the app owner more control. They have enormous potential to improve the customer experience. Here are six superapp services retailers could deliver to customers in an all-in-one platform.

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Superapp Reward #1: E-Commerce Integration

Customers are accustomed to the convenience of browsing and purchasing from an online retailer. A superapp revs up the experience by becoming an integrated online store that offers the convenience shoppers expect without leaving the app — and without the functionality concerns of a website — but with the integration of added services.

For example, someone who purchases an item online for store pickup (see below) could use a superapp’s rideshare functionality to go to the brick-and-mortar location, picking up a preordered lunch on the way — all without leaving the app. This streamlines the shopping experience, upping the chance of a sale.

WATCH: Find out how automation is transforming the digital experience for retailers. 

Superapp Reward #2: Omnichannel Retailing

Superapps can help retailers bridge the gap between online and in-store shopping experiences. Omnichannel retail can ensure stock availability, provide more avenues to purchase, reach new customers, and increase operational efficiency — all of which add up to brand loyalty.

With an omnichannel strategy supported by a superapp, a customer can do more than just purchase an item online and pick it up in the store. The superapp can go further in engaging customers and bringing them deeper into the retailer’s ecosystem.

Source: Source: “SuperApps Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report,” Grand View Research, 2023

Superapp Reward #3: Mobile Payment Solutions

The future of payments is encapsulated, contextualized, democratized and programmable, according to Forrester. In a word, simple — a quality that superapps, despite their ability to encompass numerous app capabilities, excel at.

“When I started designing user interactions for [desktop email client] Foxmail, I complicated everything,” said Allen Zhang, the founder of Chinese superapp WeChat, in an interview with Harvard Business Review. “For WeChat, I now see the necessity of subtraction — making things simpler — and focusing on the product’s aesthetic quality.”

Integrated payment systems let retailers offer a variety of in-app options. This encourages customers to stay in the superapp, boosting sales and cutting third-party costs.

READ MORE: Discover how retailers are leveraging AI for customer service.

Superapp Reward #4: Customer Support and Engagement

Superapps can pull in customer support parties such as Zendesk, allowing customers to get in-app help. Live chat, call center connections, FAQs and other tools — some of which can deploy generative artificial intelligence — can all live within the superapp.

By keeping customers in the brand environment, superapps can also encourage engagement. For example, a wardrobe retailer could offer augmented reality features for virtual try-ons, users could write reviews without disruption, and feedback could be solicited more organically.

DISCOVER: Find out how smart shelves revolutionizing retail.

Superapp Reward #5: Data Analytics

Superapps collect a huge amount of user data. In-app actions, shopping preferences, behavior, demographics — all of this information is pooled through the superapp, giving retailers proprietary insights they can use to make evidence-based decisions.

Superapp Reward #6: Personalization

All of that data adds up to a personalized shopping experience for users, enabling more accurate and specific recommendations that enhance the customer’s sense that the brand “knows” them. Despite concerns about privacy, 71 percent of consumers expect personalization, according to McKinsey.

Retailers who accommodate this customer preference are rewarded: Companies that do personalization well generate 40 percent more revenue from personalization-related activities, compared with the average, and increase their marketing ROI by up to 30 percent, McKinsey reports.

In an increasingly competitive retail landscape, superapps stand as a dynamic catalyst for transformative customer experiences. Seamlessly integrating e-commerce, personalization, omnichannel solutions, payments, support, and data insights, they hold the potential to redefine the retail paradigm, offering a multifaceted tool to elevate customer satisfaction and brand success.

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