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How to Create a Ride-Sharing App Such as Grab App?

Mobile App Development   -  

July 08, 2021

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Do all the old and new ride-hailing apps on the market make you feel like the market is full? So, how to create a ride-sharing app that will be popular?

You may have been in this fun and bad situation before: You have a lot of trouble getting a ride to work or to an appointment in the morning, even though you have a lot of ride-hailing apps on your phone. If a ride-hailing app isn’t thought out from the user’s point of view, it can take some time to figure out how to use it.

uber a ride sharing app

What Is Mobile Application Development?

A mobile app is a piece of software that can be used on mobile devices like phones, tablets, and smartwatches. In other words, they are small, separate pieces of software that only do a few things.

mobile application

These so-called “mobile apps” or “apps” are made for many different things, like making you more productive (notes, to-do lists, calendars, etc.), entertaining you (streaming services, social networks, etc.), and getting in touch with other people (phone, message, etc.), to name a few.

It first came out in 2003, but it didn’t become very popular until Apple’s App Store opened on July 30, 2008. Since then, the number of people using this type of software has grown exponentially.

According to a report from Statista, there were 194 billion downloads of mobile apps around the world in 2018. This means that a mobile user downloaded an average of 25 apps in just one year. And in the third quarter of 2019, Android users downloaded dozens of apps a total of 21.6 billion times.

But the thing is, I don’t see how mobile apps can help you. We have more than one reason. Users usually go online to find what they need because the Internet is growing so quickly. So, when a business uses a mobile app to improve itself, its brand could become more well-known. Subsequently, its sales could go up quickly, and customer service could be improved, among other things.

But before we can get all of these benefits, we need to make sure we have a good mobile app! Let’s look at a word from the Far East to make things clearer: Grab.

Recommended reading: How Grab Became No.1 in the Ride-hailing Market in Vietnam

How Is Grab Doing at the Moment?

To create a successful ride-sharing app, you need to look into what Grab is doing. But if you’ve never heard of Grab, let us give you a quick rundown of this huge company.

Previously, Anthony Tan and Tan Hooi Ling started Grab in 2012. At first, its users could only use it to call a ride. But right now, Grab is taking over the delivery business, food ordering service, and more in Southeast Asia. Hence, it’s now called a “super app.” And this company is making a lot of money from these areas.

mobile application

On the other hand, Uber, which used to be its biggest competitor, sold its operations in 8 countries to Grab in 2016 because it was losing money there. That’s why Grab is growing so quickly.

Next, 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 $10 billion and just successfully raised $2 billion for future growth.
  • Its mobile application was downloaded 160 million times by users across 8 countries.
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How Did Grab Get There?

This success didn’t come out of anywhere, that’s for sure. After doing a lot of research, the people at Designveloper found that these big successes are mostly due to two main factors.

1. Be flexible and value each market equally

Grab works with customers and drivers, who are the two main groups they deal with.

Additionally, it goes without saying that you need to make sure your customers are happy. If they have a good time, they will want to come back and spend their hard-earned money. Grab did a great job of making its main service, ride-hailing, work well in this area. As a result, they were able to improve their mobile app.

mobile application

First, they were able to figure out that each country has its own culture and, as a result, its people have their own way of getting from A to B.

For example, in Vietnam, where there are a lot of alleys and small roads, people love to travel by motorbike. In this country, you can use the Grab app to ask for a motorbike.

People in Singapore prefer to ride cars instead of two-wheelers, so they don’t have this service like they do in Vietnam.

2. Make things easier

The elderly are a key part of their workforce because they have time on their hands and are likely to stay with the company. What’s more, the older someone is, the more experience they have. But this has the downside that older people might not be as good at using technology as younger people. Because of this, Grab needs to make its driver app easy to understand and use.

The Passenger app has enough directions and explanations to help new users figure out how to use its main features.

Recommended reading: How To Create A Weather App with and Tailwind CSS

3. Improve and enhance the mobile application frequently

The last thing that helps Grab do so well is that they have a strong desire to improve and make their products even better.

Let’s look at GrabFood, which is the service that is growing the most quickly.

mobile application

Grab started letting people order food in 2017 and also put out a new version of its app with the GrabFood feature. But Jay Demetillo, Grab’s Lead UX/Visual Designer, said that it had a few problems:

  • 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?

And more…

Then, to figure out how to fix the problems, he went to Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia, which are some of GrabFood’s most important markets, to talk with and learn from people there. So, he and his team came up with different ways to improve the experience. For example, the back button was added, the search bar was changed, 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.

Other recommendations

In addition to the above lessons we learned from Grab, here are some more tips on how to make a great app for your business:

1. It’s all about your idea.

If your idea doesn’t help anyone but yourself, you should look for another one because no one will bother with an app that doesn’t do anything useful. Let’s read this article to help you come up with some if you haven’t already.

2. Focus on your signature features.

With this plan, your app will be more complete and the experience will be better. It’s always better to have one that works perfectly than a bunch that doesn’t.

3. Choose/set up a good development team.

This is something that will definitely affect how well your mobile app does. A business could use human resources in three ways.

One, they can build their own team, which makes it easier to run their team. But it’s expensive when you have to pay a lot to find, hire, and train your staff, among other things.

Second, you can hire people who work on their own. The price wouldn’t be too much. But it’s hard to tell if your team of freelancers is a good one.

mobile application
Designveloper team.

Last but not least, some companies that help with software development might be able to help you! They already have a skilled team of developers and other team members like business analysts, designers, and testers. On the one hand, they will handle your project on their own and report back to you, so you don’t have to worry about how it will be handled. On the other hand, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to find good employees, and this is a moderate cost.

5 Steps on How to Create a Ride-Sharing App

You and your coworkers might be complaining that these ride-hailing apps have too many commands and that it’s hard to find what you need. Accordingly, if this is the case, you might want to make a change.

People at Designveloper are more than happy to show you how to make a ride-sharing app that will help you, your coworkers, and millions of unhappy users.

5 Steps on How to Create a Ride Sharing App

Are you going to make your first business app for a mobile device? Here is an article to help you get the best result for your next project and be as successful as Grab, one of the most popular apps in Southeast Asia.

1. The Ride-Hailing Application Market in SEA

Investors and stakeholders from all over the world have found South East Asian countries to be a pot of gold because they are young and growing quickly. The SEA region is facing a big challenge because of the growing need to find a way to replace vehicles like cars and motorcycles that run on fossil fuels. Let’s look at the potential in Southeast Asian markets like Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

Vietnam India Indonesia Singapore Thailand
Market revenue: $722 million.
Total users: 5.2 million.
Annual growth rate of market revenue (2019-2023): 15.8%.
Expected market volume by 2023: $1.3 trillion.
Market revenue: $29.333 trillion.
Total users: 167.7 million.
Annual growth rate of market revenue (2019-2023): 8.8%.
Expected market volume by 2023: $41.059 trillion.
Market revenue: $5.325 trillion.
Total users: 25.7 million.
Annual growth rate of market revenue (2019-2023): 14.7%.
Expected market volume by 2023: $9.209 trillion.
Market revenue: $1.064 trillion.
Total users: 1.9 million.
Annual growth rate of market revenue (2019-2023): 7.4%.
Expected market volume by 2023: $1.416 trillion.
Market revenue: $1.037 trillion.
Total users: 4.8 million.
Annual growth rate of market revenue (2019-2023): 24.1%.
Expected market volume by 2023: $2.461 trillion.

Source: Statista

By using public transportation and ride-sharing services that are monitored by smart ride-hailing mobile apps, users can save time and energy worrying about where to park their cars and how to keep them in good shape. They can also make better use of the idle cars in the city where they live. Putting out a ride-hailing app in the SEA region could be a good way to start a business that will last and help people.

Specifically, the mobile app giant Grab has taken over the ride-hailing market in Vietnam since it bought Uber last year. Furthermore, let’s look at how much of the ride-sharing market the monopolist and its competitors have in Vietnam, Indonesia, and Singapore.

ride-sharing application
Source: The Asean Post

2. Research, research, research

“Know thy self, know thy enemy” – Sun Tzu. 

You could never go wrong with a little too much research. 

By spending money on research and development (R&D) before making a ride-hailing app, your business can get a good idea of the kind of market it would do well in. For example, R&D strategies could help you get a long way in the ride-sharing game, giving your business the chance to come up with creative ways to market a new ride-hailing app or a new feature for your ride-hailing app.

Additionally, by doing research ahead of time, your company won’t have to worry about being sent to a market it doesn’t know how to compete in with ride-hailing apps like Grab, Lyft, and GoJek, which could cause it to fail.

In a word, research would answer questions like “Who is your target market?” “What does this market segment lack?” and “What can your new ride-hailing app product offer?” Subsequently, this would get your business’s creative marketing campaigns going, giving you the freedom to come up with new ride-hailing products and features and getting more people to use them.

Importantly, your new products should be able to answer questions like, “Why should a user choose your app over others that are more well-known in the market? “, “How could your app improve the experience of drivers and riders?”, and “What will you do to make sure drivers and riders are safe and secure while using your services?” R&D could help you figure out what your ride-hailing app does best, where it falls short compared to the competition, how to use private information from users to improve the user experience, make sure the new product works smoothly, and how to protect users’ personal information.

By doing all of the above, your new product would be the talk of the town, which is exactly what you and your coworkers wanted.

3. Test Drive Existing Ride-Hailing Applications on the Market

design a ride-sharing application
Test driving is one of the longest traditions in the automotive field across the world. Source:

A test drive is one of the oldest traditions in the business of selling cars all over the world. Before investing in a piece of a vehicle that costs 400 times your annual income, it has always been recommended that you try it out first. Indeed, a test drive is a must if you want to know if the product will work fanatically well or pathetically badly in the real world.

First, let’s use the same way of thinking to make a ride-hailing app product. Instead of trying before we buy, why don’t we try before we sell our product to the desired market segment? In this case, a test drive would be very helpful for your business because it would let you know what you could have done differently with the app and if you could go the extra mile to make a new ride-hailing app that is better for the user experience.

A test drive, or ‘try before selling’ in this case, can help your business

  • Find out what your competitors offer and what lack
  • Learn what mistakes your competitors keep making
  • Investigate if other people are seeking a new and improved ride-hailing application

By doing a test drive before the app goes live, your business would be able to make a ride-hailing app that is truly customer-focused. In conclusion, what matters is what the customers really want, just like how much you wanted to make a ride-sharing service that would actually listen to you and your coworkers.

4. Choose a Design Platform

You can choose between two kinds of design platforms for your ride-hailing app: ones that are already made and ones that are made just for you. We at Designveloper would be happy to give you our opinion on whether you should use design templates or hire a design team for your new ride-hailing app. This would depend on your budget, how important looks are to you, the stability, security, and maintenance of your new product, and other factors.

Design templates Custom-made design models
– Budget-friendly – the investment option that would not budge your bank account balance.
– Large availability of design templates from dedicated designers and developers in different cultures. Each culture would carry a certain vibe to your design.
– A ready-to-go design template is one Google search away from showcasing its features in your new ride-hailing product.
You could find pre-designed templates for your application from Material Design Kit, and Dribble.
– Each of the designs would be carefully customized and tested for the suitability of user experience. A ride-hailing app should be about convenience, practicality and, minimalism.
– Projecting your business image and brand personality onto the design by following the design process step-by-step. By doing this, you could ensure your business service and values resonate well with users, even if they are not in your market segment. Take Grab as an example: the iconic shade of leafy green has positioned the brand and increased brand recognition throughout its representation, from the green-themed interface to drivers’ green jackets and riders’ green helmets.
– You will inevitably have a unique design that cannot be mistaken for other ride-hailing app products within the same competition. Again, take Grab’s brand logo as an instance. The designer wittily used double vertical strokes for the four letters G, R, A, B which symbolizes the image of a road – the ultimate on-site presence of Grab.
– Quick bug fixing and stability of the new product. By recruiting a design team for the ride-hailing app, you could make sure the application would function smoothly and recover fast after each technical glitch.
– Search engine friendly. The most frustrating service in a lot of ride-hailing applications is that GPS does not really pinpoint your actual location and that you cannot pinpoint the exact location you wish to travel to on the app. A design team would certainly make this problem disappear by creating a search engine with precision and latest updates from Google Maps.
– Modifiability. Users can get tired of the same interface after having used your ride-hailing service for a long time. A refreshing look on your product would rid of the old vibes of an outdated application, offering a new design that pumps excitement into your users’ daily rides. After three years of launching the ride-hailing app in Vietnam, Viet users finally got to experience an entirely new outlook of Grab mobile application with a lot more features, including the integration of entertainment and social media, raising user engagement with the mobile app.

By hiring a design team for your ride-hailing app, you show that you are serious about building a business that will provide a ride-hailing service that is easy to use. To beat the competitors you already have, you would have to spend a lot of money and work hard. Taking the first step toward working with a team of designers on your new ride-hailing app project would be a great way to get more useful ideas.

5. A little sketching would go a long way!

Mock-ups are important in the world of editorial fashion magazines. By seeing how your product would look to users before it comes out, your business and design team would be able to get a real sense of how users might see it after it comes out. The ability to show a logical progression of steps on your ride-hailing app would be improved by early sketches of prototypes. This would make sure that the app is easy to use and works smoothly with as few steps as possible, saving your future customers valuable time.

Check out our past projects to learn more about how to choose the right design for your business.

Before launching, you would have to pay a lot of attention to the graphic design of your ride-hailing app by making a lot of sketches and testing them out. To do this, your business should listen to what people who use other ride-hailing apps have to say. Remember how you and your coworkers used to complain that the existing ride-hailing apps got in the way of their daily lives and made them late for work and appointments? Users have no choice but to use Uber because there is no other ride-hailing service that is as easy to use and saves as much time. By listening to what users want, your product would solve the most important problem in the ride-hailing service. This would give you a huge competitive edge in the ride-sharing market.

Time to lay the groundwork!

There are 5 basic steps on how to create a ride-sharing app.

Designveloper has put together a list of the different stages of the design process so you can get a good idea of what it takes to design an entire ride-hailing product. Please get in touch with us if you want to know more. We would love to help you make your dream ride-hailing app a reality.

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