Tata Digital—the wholly owned unit of Tata Sons—has launched India’s first super app Tata Neu which allows users to shop across categories ranging from groceries to hotels and more using a unique loyalty program. Neu Pass allows users to spend NeuCoins every time they make a transaction across apps.
N Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons said that NeuCoins will become the “hook” for consumers to stay on the app. “The app’s loyalty program, Neu Pass will go beyond Tata Group at some point. It will be applicable for services that the super app would have in the future from ‘other groups’,” he said.
The loyalty program aims to drive more customers to download the app as it’s currently offering 5 per cent cash back as NeuCoins. “Members earn 5 per cent NeuCoins or more every time they shop, dine, or travel via Tata Neu. 1 NeuCoin equals Rs 1, and consumers enjoy limitless freedom to earn NeuCoins on all categories and spend these NeuCoins across any category," the company said.
Experts feel that digital rewards across apps like BigBasket, Tata Cliq, Croma, etc. will work in acquiring customers initially but app—which was downloaded over 2.2 million times since its launch on April 7—needs to add a little more to retain those customers.
Tata Neu has seen 10-30 per cent increase in their single category customers and it is expected to grow to 50 per cent in the next few months as more Tata-owned companies such as Vistara, Air India, Titan, Tanishq, Tata Motors, etc. are about to join the platform.
“What works favorably for the app is the trust factor because it’s coming from a Tata company which is a corporate power house. In terms of general features, I think it’s just like a Flipkart or an Amazon or a Jio Mart. There’s nothing much that one can differentiate. This app needs to innovate itself in terms of new offerings,” Karan Taurani, senior vice president, Elara Capital said.
While they have pay, electronics, fashion, Taurani adds, but they have to explore more partnerships and have to create more value for customer to use this app.
“In the Internet space we’ve seen that the first move advantage remains forever. Whoever is on Amazon or Flipkart, it’s very tough for them to come to a Tata Neu unless there’s something very different, value-added and innovative which is not provided by others,” he said.
Taurani adds that Tata Neu could also explore enhancing its customer experience. “If Amazon has something like a 1-day delivery, they could do something like a 12-hour delivery. It has to be something very different. It can’t be on par or less than Amazon or Flipkart. Product differentiation and partnerships is the need of the hour for this product to scale up,” he said.
Tata Neu would require much more than just NeuCoins to hook its customers for the long term, it seems.
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