In today’s digital era, e-commerce is fiercely competing with modern retail & mobile commerce is adding impetus to this growth. According to Beyond the Checkout Cart report by MIT, 80% of shoppers check online prices, with one-third of them accessing the information on their mobile devices while in the store. This implies customers are using multiple channels & touch-points to keep themselves as informed about products/services as possible. 

To quench the transitioning need of customers, brands are moving toward a mobile-first approach. The popularity of SuperApps is driven by this upgraded pattern of customer interactions to improve customer engagement & centralize customer experiences. The SuperApp experts of India’s most awaited SuperApp – TATANeu launched in April 2022, Pratik Pal (CEO, TATA Digital) & Harveer Singh (CBO, TATA Digital) joined us in our exclusive fireside chat on Era of SuperApps – Unearthing digital growth possibilities along with Aneesh Reddy (Executive Director & CEO, Capillary Technologies). 

Here are the 4 takeaways from their conversation:

SuperApp: The driver of brand growth and customers’ convenience

In contrast to the standalone apps, SuperApps support a composable business ecosystem by offering multiple products and services under one umbrella. They are to simplify the lives of customers by offering them everything they need from basic to fitness to finance & luxury in one spot. They open a stream of options for customers to shop from, engage more with the app, and earn rewards.  

Highlighting TATA Digital’s approach here, Pratik Pal said “TATA’s checked on its offerings of customer brands in major categories namely Fashion, Electronics, Pharmacy, Lifestyle, etc. TATA group has an assembly of renowned customer-facing brands, a nationwide customer base of 120 mn customers, a strong omnichannel footprint, & an ecosystem – that’s where we decided our offerings can be realized via SuperApp.” 

For instance, shoppers can purchase a smartphone, earn NeuCoins, and redeem them to shop for shoes, apparel, or groceries. In this way, every transaction unlocks new rewards for customers on SuperApps. This way, SuperApps unfolds new growth dimensions for brands (TATA Digital drove 7Mn+ users in just 5 months) and provide a delightful customer experience with unbelievable rewards.

Strategies to deploy a SuperApp

Brands planning to launch a SuperApp need to explore the high-frequency use case they believe in. Pratik said “Our belief for TATA Neu is in loyalty. We’ve designed it as ‘Earn & Burn Everywhere’ for all our offerings. So, the more the customer’s shop, the more they will earn & this can be redeemed anywhere across groups & brands under TATA.” Further, Harveer adds “We believe loyalty is much more than rewarding customers with rewards driven by some sort of mathematical formula in exchange for a transaction.” That’s how TATA came up with the idea of launching “Neupass: Pass to the good life”, as they mention adding 5% of transaction value every time a customer makes a new transaction & eliminating any usage restrictions on that.

Another key learning Pratik mentions is “Never take technology for granted”. When building a SuperApp, it’s not only about building an app, you need to consider the user base of millions of customers, concurrency in terms of mobile devices & multiple use cases which you need to consider to make technology choices. Needless to say, the app-building principles, data backups, massive cloud infrastructure, & selection of the right service/solution provider are the core factors when you plan to design & launch a SuperApp. 

Customer Data: Key to unlocking memorable customer experiences

SuperApps open another dimension of gathering data to create a 360-degree view of their shoppers while shopping across brands. This helps brands within a group widen their range of target audiences. Furthermore, it helps them understand customers’ shopping preferences to cross-sell services and provide meaningful rewards.

When new norms of customer privacy rules are flashing every now and then, it’s the responsibility of the brand to safeguard its customers’ data. TATADigital is one of those brands which are already practicing consented marketing. To this Pratik further adds “We’ve consent architecture in place for customer data as the data security policies across different brands in TATA group are regulated under different laws & rules.” As SuperApps have multiple offerings from multiple brands, a single data privacy policy can’t rule. The data privacy guidelines for financial services and that of pharmacy brands will be different. 

Emerging customer and digital trends across different sectors in India

As India is transforming into Digital India, more & more online transactions are happening from tier 2 & tier 3 cities as well. The leading customer trends according to the speakers mentioned are: 

  • Evolution in payment systems 
  • Localization
  • Focus on Supply chain & Infrastructure 
  • Sustainability 

Pratik believes supply chain & infrastructure needs a lot of focus and development, especially since we are moving more towards instant commerce – deliveries of food, grocery & products within 20-30 mins of time frame. However, to be more efficient in instant commerce, technology adoption has to be significant. A lot of human involvement at present will be replaced by technology to provide convenience and quick resolution to customer needs. 

Further, you can tune in here to watch the session to get some significant insights & leadership lessons on SuperApps & its evolving ecosystem. 

Aprajeeta Singh
Writer by profession & an artist by passion. Aprajeeta spends most of her days writing the tales of brands and those of her imagination. In odd hours you find her reading literature & diving deeper into ecommerce sciences. Art fuels her creativity & she adores experimenting with it.