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AirAsia: A Case Study From Airline Brand To ASEAN Super App

By November 8, 2020November 23rd, 2020No Comments

AirAsia has revealed a new identity online as ASEAN super app to offer more than just flight tickets. The AirAsia super app will provide a simpler, faster and more convenient user experience. Moreover, this renewed platform features 15 different products and services under the three main categories including travel, e-commerce and fintech. But what exactly will the app do, and what does this mean for the airline? Let’s find out.

What is AirAsia super app?

Actually, the super app is already visible on the current iteration of the AirAsia website and apps. Now, with airasia.com, you can fly, stay, shop, and eat, all at the convenience of one super app.

Not only connecting people to destinations, this everyday super app also connects people to people, which helps create a communities to share best tips for travelers. Especially, users now can seamlessly pay with BIG Points across their diverse range of products through a one-click checkout.

The downturn was a blessing in disguise in some ways as it allowed us to focus more on it. Running an airline takes up a lot of our time but we have been given the opportunity and time to focus on our digital business.

AirAsia’s founder Tony Fernandes said in the interview with the BBC

Airasia.com CEO Karen Chan also added: “The launch of airasia.com super app is a testimony of AirAsia’s continuous innovation culture and our drive to deliver value to our customers. In this new era of post-COVID-19, we do understand customers’ need for travel flexibility. Therefore, launching the uniquely innovative AirAsia Unlimited Pass, a buy-now-fly-later model has now become a blueprint and trendsetter for other carriers”.

AirAsia Super Sale

This Super Sale is the launch event for the airasia.com new identity online as ASEAN’s super app. The launch completes AirAsia’s transformation from a digital airline into a comprehensive lifestyle platform for everyone. After about three hours of the sale, the promotion counted about 1,000 food delivery, and 400 fresh food orders.

To find out more, you can visit AirAsia.com. Alternatively, you can download the app which is available on Apple App store and Google Play Store.

Why does AirAsia build super app?

Since 2001, AirAsia has operated an network of more than 140 destinations from 25 hubs in 22 markets. AirAsia has been bullish on e-commerce and financial technology over the last couple of years

However, due to the Covid-19 crisis, AirAsia’s revenue fell to RM2.31 billion from RM2.73 billion previously. Hence, this outbreak gave the management of AirAsia some space to work towards the super-app.

We need to start focusing on growth. If we look at the airline for the next maybe 12 to 24 months, it would be about cost containment and rationalization. AirAsia.com as the platform is purely about growth.

Karen Chan said at an online event held by Skift

Large customer base

Currently, AirAsia has over 75 million users, which come directly from its mobile responsive web and app. Because of having an established presence across ASEAN, it’s worth to think that AirAsia can successfully merge both the online audience as well as offline markets.

With a great customer base on airasia.com, they focus on customer conversion, driving frequency to site with new product offerings and increasing basket value by targeted cross-sell and up-sell.

Rich data

On the other hands, over the past 19 years, AirAsia airline has a primary database of 75 million users from airasia.com. The data is extensively from their country of origin, destination, past purchase behavior to traveller profile.

This allows our platform marketing strategy to be data-driven from end to end, from segmentation to cross-selling and up-selling predictions to curated advertising,

Karen Chan said.

Therefore, these insights will personalize its product marketing and push out products that are most likely to be purchased.

Great ecosystem

Lastly, despite being in the industry for close to two decades, the airline still holds dear to its agile, “never stand still” culture with its 20,000 employees. “We have over 10 nationalities in our team, and 50% of our leadership team consists of women. We are also a big believer of on-boarding global digital talent, with digital and data engineering hubs in Malaysia, Singapore, India and very soon in Vietnam,” she added. Across the ASEAN region, its ecosystem offers both digital and offline channels.

AirAsia super app vs Grab vs GoJek

As we mentioned above, the airasia.com super app will be a one-stop app for entertainment, shopping, payments, and travel. This app follows the trends of super app in Asia like Grab, GoJek.

Pointing to Grab, the leading super app in Southeast Asian began just offering rides. While Amazon had its beginnings selling books. Now they are selling cloud space.

We already have a very high average revenue per user as compared to some other super apps, because they have been so used to purchasing [airline] tickets. The barrier for entry is much less than when you are actually selling ride-hailing, and then you need to go and sell a flight ticket.

Chan said.

Additionally, meanwhile other super apps are losing hundreds of millions,  AirAsia Digital’s BigPay is only losing money because of the interchange charge.  Fernandes added: “We are in a pretty good position.”

According to CNBC, Grab’s valuation is about $14 billion in 2020. While GoJek is valued over $12 billion. AirAsia, which is listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange, has a market capitalization of $624 million.

As you can see, AirAsia is nowhere near the size of Grab or GoJek. But AirAsia’s not about being dominant in one country Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. Fernandes said that their strength has always been in Southeast Asia. That’s where they are going to continue to focus on.

Conclusion

In just a few years, super app has become emerging trends in many markets. The key strategy to develop successful super app is to offer convenience and simplicity for customers. Business leaders need to find ways to simplify all aspects of the purchase journey, from discovery to purchase to fulfillment. 

Why should business owners build super apps?

  • Companies don’t need to develop their own super apps. Instead, you can join the ecosystems that already exist.
  • Even if you need a standalone app, you can adapt the super app strategy after that. 
  • Super apps help earn fees and commissions from transactions, monetization opportunities as well as advertising opportunities.
  • There’s higher user retention. Because super apps offer much more than standalone app, users can comeback for its convenience.

What are benefits of super app for users?

  • From the user’s perspective, you don’t have to download new apps for daily activities.
  • Mini programs require fewer clicks to do a task than a stand-alone app. Because users don’t have to go outside the super app.

Our experience

Building a Super App might seem like a promising idea. However,  it might not be the right strategy for every business. Some factors that companies should consider:

  • When comparing to create a single app, the cost, resources, and time in building super app is higher.
  • A great user experience will make your users happier.
  • If your services are too specific, it might not make sense to integrate them into one platform.

As the result, if you want to keep up with one of the most technology trends in 2020, we will give you consultation. Here, we can help you find the solutions to your issues.

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