Transport company ComfortDelGro made its first foray into the lifestyle scene with the launch of a new app offering last week (March 9).
Called Zig, it allows users to book a taxi, plan their journey, make dining or hotel reservations, place click-to-collect orders at food and beverage outlets, find deals, and buy tickets for attractions and entertainment outlets.
According to the company, the app is aimed at helping users “connect and commute conveniently, as well as discover new experiences in and around Singapore”.
The app is conceptualised and operated by CDG Zig Pte Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ComfortDelGro Group.
It took them six months to develop the app, costing millions of dollars, tapping on its S$100 million venture capital fund in 2018 to boost its digitalisation efforts.
“Zig is a key digital transformation initiative under the ComfortDelGro Group, which aims to digitalise the mobility business and to rethink what mobility is,” said Liew Wei Chee, CEO of Zig.
“Our vision is to encourage and enable commuters to explore their physical environment, supporting brick and mortar retail merchants in this current climate which has been altered (by) the global pandemic.”
Over 100 Partners Including Klook, Chope
Liew described Zig as a “mobility and lifestyle app that combines journey planning, taxi bookings and lifestyle discovery into an all-in-one app.”
He added that Zig only includes features that “users really wanted and valued”.
For one, Zig offers journey planning and taxi booking services on the same platform, making it convenient to travel from one place to another.
The app also provides an interactive map-based interface that shows both nearby attractions and functions as a navigation tool, giving locals and tourists an avenue to discover the hidden gems of Singapore.
According to Liew, Zig currently has over 100 partners onboard, including restaurant-booking platform Chope and travel agent Klook.
It has also partnered with local F&B players such as MXG Classics (which sells mala), cake shop PIVOT and Japanese eatery Gyu Nami.
The app will initially offer more than 1,500 dining options and more than 300 entertainment deals including hotel staycations, parkour lessons and kayaking excursions.
Is Zig Competing With Grab’s Super App?
With so many services housed in a single app, would it be right to call Zig a super app?
“While our vision is to bring together mobility and lifestyle services into a single convenient platform, we do recognise that the right to be called a “super app” needs to be earned,” said Liew.
“Unlike most lifestyle apps, Zig’s unique proposition is that we offer both mobility and lifestyle services within the Zig app itself, such as booking a taxi, making a reservation or purchasing a deal.”
Regardless, Zig and Grab bears plenty of similarities. Both platforms offer ride-hailing, food options, as well as hotel and attraction bookings.
That said, Liew is well aware that Zig is “moving into a very competitive space”.
However, since Grab is already very established in food and transport, does Zig stand a strong fighting chance against it?
While acquiring customers to download another app may be a tall order, Zig can convince users to do so if it differentiates itself from other apps (ie. Grab).
“If the current offering is really just ComfortDelGro’s transport serviced coupled with booking services from Klook and Chope, I do not foresee this to be able to achieve long-term organic growth,” Alex Zhang, head of strategy, APAC at VCCP told Marketing Interactive.
There needs to be a compelling reason for users to download Zig, and right now, there isn’t one. What can be done on Zig can already be done on other apps that is already found in users’ phones.
If Zig is able to achieve that, it will be able to disrupt Grab in the lifestyle apps arena, much like how Grab disrupted ComfortDelGro in the transport sector.
Merging Mobility And Lifestyle
Commenting on their entry into the lifestyle app scene, Liew said that it’s a “logical extension” of their mobility business as they aim to bring services to their users and make the commuting journey more seamless.
This move came after the company saw a decline in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
Its financial results report revealed that ComfortDelGro saw its group revenue dropped by S$672.5 million to S$3.2 billion in 2020.
With the accelerated pace of digitalisation the Covid-19 pandemic has brought about, Zig wants to provide more avenues for commuters to interact digitally with retail merchants in an online to offline environment.
Liew refused to disclose the number of app downloads and registered users that Zig has acquired so far.
He also didn’t share specific details about plans in the pipeline, but revealed that Zig will be rolling out “new features in both the mobility and lifestyle space in the coming months.”
As its user base grows, Zig might be adding a grocery pick-up service in the future. A loyalty rewards programme will also be launched in the second quarter of the year.
Featured Image Credit: ComfortDelGro / Zig