Mobile Application: A Guide To Be The Next Grab
Are you planning to build your very first mobile application for your business? Here is an article to help you get the best result of the upcoming project and be as successful as Grab — one of the most common apps in Southeast Asia.
1, What is mobile application development?
Mobile application is a software program run on mobile gadgets such as phones, tablets or smartwatches. In other words, they are individual and small software with limited functions to look for.
These so-called mobile apps or just apps are designed for various purposes like increasing productivity (note, check-list, calendar, etc.), entertaining (streaming services, social networks, etc.), connecting with others (phone, message, etc.), just to name a few.
Their debut was marked in the year 2003, however, it was not until the launch of Apple’s App Store on July, 30th 2008, that this type of software became more and more popular and increased exponentially.
By “exponentially” I mean that according to a report from Statista, the number of mobile application downloads worldwide was 194 billion in 2018, in other words, a mobile user downloaded averagely 25 apps in just one year. And merely in the third quarter of 2019, Android users have downloaded dozens of apps with a jaw-dropping amount of 21.6 billion times.
But the thing is that how mobile applications can do you any good? Our reasons are several. Because of the robust growth of the Internet, users tend to go online and look for items/services they need. As a result, when a business optimizes itself by using a mobile application, its brand could be more popular, the revenues would increase rapidly, the customer service could be improved too and more.
However, before all of these benefits comes to us, it’s essential to develop an effective mobile app! To make things easier, let’s dig into an example from the Far East: Grab.
2, How is Grab doing at the moment?
Maybe you haven’t heard of Grab before, so let me give you a quick tour of this huge business.
Grab was launched in 2012 by Anthony Tan and Tan Hooi Ling. At first, it only provided ride-hailing service to its users. However, at the moment, Grab is taking over the delivery business, food ordering service and more (now it’s called a super app) in the Southeast Asia market. And these sectors are bringing a big profit to this very company.
On the other hand, in 2016, its once-biggest competitor — Uber — found a way to get out of this region by selling the operation in 8 countries to Grab due to revenue losses. That’s how Grab expands so rapidly like this.
Let’s see how big the business is with some facts and figures below:
- There are 5.1 million ride orders every month.
- There are 2.5 billion rides up to date.
- Grab now has 36 million passengers and 112 million unique users in 2019.
- It accounts for 60% market share in Southeast Asia.
- It is considered to value at $10 billion and just successfully raised $2 billion for future growth.
- Its mobile application was downloaded 160 million times by users across 8 countries.
3, How did it get there?
Obviously, this success did out of nowhere. After doing an in-depth piece of research, people at Designveloper found that there are 2 main reasons that lead to these considerable achievements.
Be flexible and value each market equally
As for Grab, they work with not only one but two main parties which are customers and drivers.
It’s needless to say about why you must satisfy your customers. With good experiences, they will come back for more and be willing to spend their hard-earned money. In this case, Grab did a very good job of localizing its main service: ride-hailing, as a result, they were able to optimize their mobile application.
First of all, they successfully realized that each country has its own culture, and accordingly, their people have a distinct habit of traveling from A to B.
For example, in Vietnam, people love to travel by motorbike since there are a lot of alleys and small roads here. And Grab app in this country has an option to ask for a motorbike.
As for Singapore, passengers in this country prefer using cars over 2-wheelers, that’s why they don’t include such service as in Vietnam here.
Make things easier
The elderly are an important group of their workforce since they have free time and will probably be loyal to the company. More importantly, the older one is, the more experience he/she has. However, this comes with a disadvantage that old people might not use technology devices as well as the young. That’s why Grab has to make its driver app simple and easy-to-use.
With the passenger app, they include enough instructions and explanations to guide new users through several main functions of it.
Improve and enhance the mobile application frequently
The very last factor that helps Grab gain such a fantastic result is that the urge to improve and enhance their products is considerably strong.
Let’s take an example from GrabFood — the fastest-growing service of Grab.
In 2017, Grab started its food ordering service as well as launched the new version of the app including GrabFood feature. However, Jay Demetillo, Grab’s Lead UX/Visual Designer, pointed out several downsides of it:
- The address bar: should we input our address of the restaurant’s address?
- Search bar: it did not look like a search bar, so how can users use such a tool to look for food easily?
- Banner: is this really a promotion or an ad?
Then, to solve the problems, he went to GrabFood’s main markets such as Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia to listen and discuss with local. As a result, he and his team came to various ideas to upgrade the experience. For example: added the back button, redesigned the search bar, etc.
So, what could you apply to your own business?
- Look for the insights of each market to design the best product.
- Give users what they can use.
- Always look for a way to improve your app.
4, Other recommendations
Besides the above lessons we got from Grab, here are some other tips to make an amazing app for your business:
It’s all about your idea.
If your idea does not benefit anyone other than yourself, then start looking for another one since no one will bother such a useless app. In case you haven’t thought of any, let’s read this article to spark some!
Focus on your signature features.
Thanks to this strategy, your app will be more complete and has a better experience. It’s always better to have a perfect one than many clumsy ones, right?
Choose/set up a good development team.
This factor will definitely affect the success of your mobile application! There are 3 ways a business could use to use human resources.
One, build their own team, with this approaching, it’s easier to manage your team. Nevertheless, it’s costly when you have to spend a lot to seek, hire as well as onboard your personnel and more.
Second, you can employ some freelancers. The cost would be not too high. However, it’s difficult to know whether your freelance team is a good one.
Last but not least, some software development outsourcing companies might help you! They already have a skilled team of developers and other necessary team players like business analysts, designers, testers. On the one hand, they will manage your project independently and report it to you, so there is no need to worry about the management. On the other hand, you don’t have to spend a lot to find suitable employees, and the cost of this is considered moderation.