What's inside the Grab super application – compare with Russian counterparts


In the translation of the article “Super app: a new approach to creating a complete user experience?” We briefly talked about Grab, the number one passenger travel application in Southeast Asia, which also provides food delivery services and cashless payment solutions. In addition to the business model, we were interested in the application interface: how to correctly fit so many services and not confuse the user?

We decided to look at Grab in comparison with Yandex applications popular in Russia. At the sight of the team Heads and hands, they are most similar in product line.

Image from the official website of the company Grab

Approach to work

The main goal of Grab is to provide people with a unique and personalized experience, interacting with the services they use daily. As Grab continues to add new sections, services and content, there is a risk that it will be more difficult for users to find information related to them. Therefore, the main thing that the service is working on is the ability to distinguish and display information depending on the user's preferences.

Technologies for building individual recommendations in Grab:

  • Popular. This strategy is better known as Trending Recommendations. Grab captures the events of the online click stream through a sliding time window and aggregates events to show the user the currently popular content. This strategy helps solve the Cold Start problem by providing recommendations for new users.
  • Favorites. In this strategy, Grab takes into account the user's personal interaction with content and changing preferences.
  • Collaborative filtering. Grab groups users according to their interests in order to identify a number of similar preferences. Further, the service can use a selection of such preferences to show it to another group of similar users.
  • Habitual behavior. Sometimes a user wants to use Grab only for a certain action: for example, he always scrolls through the selection of products for lunch to see the demand level on Sunday morning. Grab will simplify the user’s path and hide the block with the choice of products.
  • Deep recommendations. Grab also uses platform reverse data (feeds) to control user behavior. For example, a user looked at a specific section of an application several times, but never completed a targeted action. Grab will notice the interest and suggest this section again.

Application interface

Since Grab has a fairly wide functionality, three directions were chosen for analysis: transport, food delivery and movie ticket purchase. We start the review from the main page of the application.

Paying with a QR code is popular in Asia, so it’s important to always have a reader on hand. In Grab, it is placed at the very top of the main screen.

The menu with the basic functionality doesn’t quite fit under the finger in the iPhone 11; from the bottom it is “supported” by a sheet with promotional offers. Grab explains such a number of promotional offers by an attempt to determine the interests of a new user and the fact that in the future the grid will consist of individual recommendations (the question of quantity has remained open).

For the review, a new account was used, recommendations in which were based on the most popular content now.

At the bottom of the Tab Bar main screen with activity history, payments, instant messenger and personal profile – it’s convenient to switch between sections.


The Yandex.Taxi service is most suitable for reviewing the Transport Grab section of all Yandex products. The first and main difference between them: in Grab, the first step is to choose the type of service – taxi or rent a vehicle. Each type has its own tab. This time we are only interested in taxis.

In Grab, at the first stage of the order, you can choose exactly when the machine is needed: now or by a certain time. Before ordering a machine, you can also change the feed time through the icon. Yandex is more complicated with this, the function is located in the "Wishes" section, and you need to get to it.

What I liked more about Yandex was the scroll of the car level to the left. Grab has a curtain function.

Food delivery

For a review of the Food section, the Yandex.Food app is most suitable. Services have the most similar functionality. The main difference is that pickup from some restaurants is available in Grab.

The main page at Grab Food looks heavier: animated banners, many sections, continuous promotional offers. The images of restaurants have been reduced to fit as many units as possible on the page – this does not look “tasty” and breaks our usual idea that the image of food should be appetizing. More detailed filtering is available only at the subsection level.

To get to your favorite restaurant faster, you can add it to your Favorites. Yandex.Food does not have such an option, but it is not particularly needed. You can always simply repeat the order through the story.

On the restaurant page in Yandex.Food, a more accented image of the product is the restaurant menu in tab format. Grab is again focusing on promotional offers.

Buying tickets

Section with tickets – WebView affiliate program Grab and bookmyshow. After choosing a movie, we get into a simple menu with a choice of date, cinema and time. Very similar to a good version of a movie theater site in Russia. We did not compare this section with Yandex.Afisha, since it has much wider functionality.


Many of the solutions at Grab are driven by market conditions and a large number of competing offers. For example, in the Food section you can get lost among accent promo banners and not find your favorite restaurant.

But this is only for the role of a beginner, later Grab promises a more personal approach (not a reduction in the number of banners). According to the team Heads and hands, in Russia such a super app can only become popular in a more concise shell. But despite the geography of the superapp, Grab remains as clear as possible and does not raise questions when searching for services.

Would you replace a set of familiar everyday apps with the Super App?

Difficult to answer.

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