Superapps in Australia: How can they benefit your small business?

Published on 10/08/2023 by Ojasvini

We surveyed over 1000 Australian respondents to understand their familiarity, and interest or disinterest regarding superapps. Our survey article focuses on how small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) can develop and leverage superapps to their advantage and mitigate potential risks.

Superapps are all-in-one mobile applications with multiple standalone apps

More than 50% of the world's population will be daily active users of numerous superapps by 2027, according to Gartner. Additionally, a report by Allied Market Research states that the global superapp market is expected to reach US$722.4 billion by the year 2032. Considering the potential popularity of brand-based apps, it could be essential for Australian SMEs to understand the concept of superapps, know whether people in Australia would benefit from such superapps, and then create a structured plan to build such an app.

To create such apps, businesses can consider using app development software. Such tools can assist businesses in creating customised superapps that align with the organisation’s technology and information infrastructure.

To help SMEs gather insights on the usage of superapps, Software Advice conducted an online survey with 1,026 respondents answering questions related to their familiarity with the concept of superapps, their interest/disinterest in using such an app, and related causes of concern. The full methodology is available at the end of this article.

What is a superapp?

A superapp is an all-in-one mobile application that provides a range of services and functions, allowing users to perform various tasks within one app instead of using multiple separate apps. For instance, a single mobile app offering several services like travel booking, shopping, and online payments would be considered a superapp.

Did you know?

As per the Office of the Information Commissioner Queensland, it is important to take care of customer privacy and personal information while developing an app. The same report also mentions that developers should ideally complete a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA), and ‘map the flow of personal information and how it is collected, used, disclosed, accessed, stored and deleted. This will help to identify privacy vulnerabilities in a systematic way and potential ways to manage, minimise or avoid those vulnerabilities’. 

Therefore, businesses should ensure sensitive data is properly processed to counteract customer distrust and build brand loyalty.

65% of respondents were unfamiliar with the name/concept of superapps

Superapps are trending because users, especially the younger generation born in the age of smartphones, demand mobile-first experiences that are powerful and easy to use’, says an article by Gartner. Having said that, such apps may have changed how businesses run their operations and how consumers interact with digital platforms.

But when it comes to Australian customers, we found that the majority (65%) of our participants had no idea what superapps were, with just 7% of them knowing exactly what they entailed. As per this data, Australian SMEs still have room for growth and potential when it comes to creating superapps for their target market. However, the ideal way to manage such apps would be to adhere to some essential user experience principles, as listed below:

  • Be helpful: your superapp should be helpful for consumers and should cater to their needs
  • Be clear: your app should be easy to navigate and understand
  • Make it easy to use: it should be convenient for users to access information and complete transactions
  • Do what you say: in order to earn your customers' trust and loyalty, your superapp should be a representation of what you promised in promotional materials
Different types of superapps

In the next sections, we will discuss the interest of respondents regarding the usage of superapps, what they want to see in a superapp, and how such apps can benefit small businesses.

76% of respondents feel that superapps can help them save time

Super-Apps are inevitable’, says an article by Intelligencer. This statement points out the increasing popularity of superapps. Of those respondents who are interested in using superapps —whom we will refer to as interested respondents— (76%) feel that superapps can help them save time as they can access multiple features or services in one place.

What other benefits drive this interest in superapps? We questioned the same subset of interested respondents on the three primary reasons for their interest, and here’s what we found:

Primary reasons why some consumers are interested in using superapps

Superapps offer a wide range of services and features under one umbrella. Thanks to this, users can potentially conveniently access any services they require without navigating between numerous standalone apps. Moreover, in general, users may be more likely to use superapps because:

  • Some superapps can offer better integration between different services, making it easier to use them together
  • They can provide personalised experiences and recommendations based on user data collected via the usage of such apps
  • It might be easier to shop for multiple items under one roof using a superapp

Users want social media and email services in a superapp

Many people use social media tools, right? What about a superapp that combines financial processing, email services, and social networking services? That may be what our respondents want. When we asked interested respondents which features or services they would like to see in superapps, we got the following answers:

What do users want in a superapp?

Based on the data, we can say that potential superapp makers may want to take heed of this and build apps that cater to a variety of interests such as music, shopping, emails, and more. Now that we know why respondents are interested in using superapps, we can go on to find out why some of them find them to be unappealing in the next section.

Almost 7 out of 10 respondents fear that with superapps everything would be centralised

While the previous section covered which services some respondents would like in superapps, this section will majorly focus on the drawbacks of superapps. Too much information can sometimes be overwhelming. Even the majority (68%) of our survey-takers also believe that everything will be centralised with superapps. Additionally, as per interested respondents, there are other drawbacks associated with them, which are given below:

Drawbacks of using superapps

SMEs can consider opting for the following methods in order to overcome potential obstacles associated with the usage of superapps:

  1. It may be essential to differentiate your app's offerings and provide a unique value proposition to the customers. For instance, some value-adding boosters could be offering sustainable products, providing options for donations, free shipping, next-day delivery, free trials, order tracking, and free order cancellation.
  2. Making sure to protect customer privacy, maintaining control of data, and complying with local data protection regulations should be a priority.
  3. Using various content marketing tools to build brand recognition and reinforce an effective business presence.
  4. Using automation and collaboration tools to streamline workflows and expenses, and improve team productivity
  5. Conducting user experience tests, and asking for customer satisfaction feedback can be effective in facilitating customer-centric services.

Some respondents don't want to use superapps as they prefer standalone apps

Some of our participants (41%) expressed a lack of interest in using superapps. To understand more, we asked participants who expressed a reluctance to use superapps to list up to three primary causes behind that. The observation is recorded as below:

Primary reasons why some consumers are not interested in using superapps

Consumer privacy and data were among the primary sources of worry in this case. Considering this, it may be ideal for businesses to take these concerns into account and deploy tools such as compliance software to ensure that rules and standards are followed. Some such tools can also help organisations streamline their financial reporting and documentation, audit trails, and monitor internal controls.

How does the government protect the privacy of Australian consumers?

As per the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, a policy called the ‘Consumer Data Right’ includes privacy safeguard measures to ensure that consumer data is protected. The same article also mentions that ‘a business can only handle your data under the Consumer Data Right if accredited by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Businesses must follow strict information security requirements around governance, minimum system controls, testing, monitoring, evaluation and reporting. Generally, they are required to destroy or de-identify your data if it is no longer needed’.

43% say that nothing would change their mind regarding disinterest in superapps

Building on the notion of disinterest, we wanted to learn more about the subject and determine whether there was anything that may persuade consumers to reconsider. As a result, we asked the same subset of participants as before to choose up to three options that would make them change their minds about using superapps. We received the following responses:

  • 43% of the participants said ‘nothing would change their mind regarding their disinterest in superapps’
  • 33% said they would only change their mind ‘if it's proven that personal data is very well protected’
  • 22% answered with ‘if its use is widespread in their country’
  • Other responses included ‘if an app that they trust creates a superapp’ (15%), ‘if all the services they use were consolidated in a superapp’ (15%), and ‘if the superapp offers their favourite brands’ (8%)

Superapps may provide many advantages, but SMEs should also take into account any potential drawbacks and different customer-centric concerns. For businesses to potentially alleviate such worries, maintaining an effective brand presence outside the superapp ecosystem may also be vital.

In addition, brands may be able to persuade consumers to change their minds about their disinterest if they concentrate on building consumer confidence in data protection.

How can superapps be helpful for SMEs?

We have already covered why respondents are interested or disinterested in using superapps. But how can such apps help the companies that make them? Let’s dive into the potential benefits of superapps for SMEs:

  • Helps consolidation of different functionalities: superapps can combine multiple apps into one, making it convenient for users to access all their digital needs with a single sign-up and sign-in. This can help increase the number of downloads for a business app, which can potentially lead to increased revenue.
  • Assists in collecting customer data: such apps can also help brands collect diversified customer data. This can help them further assess consumer preferences which can again be used to personalise app features and optimise marketing campaigns.
  • Helps reduce maintenance and development costs: developing and maintaining a unified superapp could be more economical than creating multiple individual apps. 
  • Takes up less storage on the user’s device: 32% of users delete an app that takes too much space on their smartphones. A multi-functional superapp, in this case, may eliminate the need for lots of standalone apps, thereby helping save storage space. 

Superapps may have become an important part of many people's life around the world. However, due to a variety of factors outlined in the article, some Australian users remain skeptical about its use. While 35% of our participants believe that superapps will remain as popular as single apps, 27% feel that ‘they will become the standard for apps usage in the future’. Having said that, with their ability to adapt to different consumer needs, superapps can reshape the way we interact with our smartphones.

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For this statistical report, Software Advice conducted an online survey starting on 1 June 2023, gathering the participation of 1,026 Australian respondents. The selection criteria for the participants is mentioned below:

  • Australian residents aged between 18 and 65 years
  • Those who use apps on their smartphones ranging from ‘a few times a week’ to ‘more than 20 times a day’ 
  • Those who are either basic, intermediate, or advanced users of apps on their smartphones

This article may refer to products, programs or services that are not available in your country, or that may be restricted under the laws or regulations of your country. We suggest that you consult the software provider directly for information regarding product availability and compliance with local laws.

About the author

Ojasvini is a content analyst for Software Advic. She shares insights about software technologies critical to SMEs. Inspired by growing tech trends and how these help SMEs to grow.

Ojasvini is a content analyst for Software Advic. She shares insights about software technologies critical to SMEs. Inspired by growing tech trends and how these help SMEs to grow.