March 18, 2024
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The Anatomy of a Superapp

Jacklin Altman

Product Team

Superapps have the power to transform the way we get things done throughout the day. Rather than juggling dozens of logins and hopping between disparate apps on our mobile devices, superapps enable a smoother, more consistent user experience by consolidating numerous apps into one. But what exactly goes into a superapp? How are they used? And how can you start building one?

Let’s find out 👇

What actually is a superapp?

A superapp is an all-in-one ecosystem for various services within the context of a single mobile application. In other words, a one-stop-shop for typically disparate digital experiences.  Superapps feature a composable platform engineered using a modular architecture, with a native shell that encompasses various mini-apps. Each mini app can provide a different experience, from chat functionality to time tracking and more. Ultimately, superapps provide the connected and personalized experiences users desire, with more time spent using apps and less time spent switching between them. 

Is the market ready for superapps?

Superapps can be transformative for a business, be it for the employee, employer, or even C-level. They’re suitable for workplace applications, merging everything from HR tools, communication, time-tracking, inventory, etc. into one seamless experience. On the consumer side, messaging, payments, shopping, event tickets, and more can be combined into a single superapp. 

The global superapps market size was valued at USD 61.30 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.8% from 2023 to 2030 (Grand View Research, Super Apps Market Size, Share, Growth & Trends Report 2030). Gartner also expects that by 2027, more than 50% of the global population will be daily active users of multiple superapps. Clearly, the market is ready for scalable, personalized digital experiences and superapps are the best way to deliver them.

Businesses are already having success with superapps

If you’re still not sold on the value of superapps, then check out some examples from real businesses using them to transform their app development. Our customers have:

  • Reduced time to market by 75%
  • Accelerated a previously 6 month long release cycle down to just 6 weeks
  • Developed a new superapp in under 5 months
  • Increased time spent actually working with customers by 20%
  • Consolidated 8 different apps into a single superapp experience 

The makings of a superapp

The building blocks of any superapp are similar, but each app can scale according to an individual business’s needs. At the core is an application shell with key functionality, like authentication and messaging, built using platform tools (Swift & Kotlin). Within the native foundation, users can browse and install mini apps relevant to them. These lightweight, cross-platform apps are easy to build using standard web technologies such as HTML, CSS, & JS. Modular services connect mini apps to the native shell and device features for a seamless experience. Lastly, CI/CD tools are leveraged to build web bundles and native binaries for app store publishing.

How Ionic can help

Ready to create a superapp but aren’t sure where to start? That’s where we come in. With Ionic’s Superapp SDK, teams can develop rapidly, while spending less, with less technical limitations. With the SDK, there’s less overhead and fewer development cycles required as opposed to building from scratch, so you can get your superapp to market faster than ever. 

Ionic features a complete framework for building hybrid mini apps using web technologies, so you can do more with your existing web development teams. Developers can work in parallel, without worrying about holding others up, streamlining the development process. Meanwhile, get more out of your code as well – code once and push cross-platform product releases with hybrid mini app development, and re-use code as needed.

With Live Updates, enhancements and bug fixes can be pushed to users without waiting for app store approval, allowing you to get the best possible product out as quickly as possible. Easily manage signing certificates, build artifacts, and build environments. 

Our team will be with you every step of the way as well, providing expert guidance and assistance from project scope to launch and beyond. Ready to get started? Chat with a superapp specialist today. 

Fill out the form below to download the complete “Anatomy of a Superapp” infographic.

Jacklin Altman

Product Team