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Tata’s Neu super app is a total mess

Glitches and poor customer experience are a damper on the app that was in the making since 2020.

After several delays and months of testing by employees of the company, Tata finally launched the Tata Neu super app to the general public on April 7. But if you’re excited to test out the new app, brace yourself because the app is a total mess at this point.

Tata first indicated its plan to launch a super app in August 2020 and said that the app will offer users a range of services offered by the Tata Group, including food and grocery delivery, fashion and lifestyle, consumer electronics and consumer durables, insurance and financial services, education, healthcare, and bill payments. But since the announcement, the company faced multiple setbacks, most noticeably the challenges posed by the proposed e-commerce rules.


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The app is just a glorified browser

Upon launching the app, N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons, said:

 “As the Tata Neu app goes live today, it makes me proud to see so many of our trusted and loved brands Air Asia, BigBasket, Croma, IHCL, Qmin, Starbucks, Tata 1Mg, Tata AIG, Tata Capital, TataCLiQ, Tata Play, Westside on the Tata Neu platform already, and Vistara, Air India, Titan, Tanishq, Tata Motors, Tata AIA soon to join.”

It turns out that Chandrasekaran literally meant that all these others apps are on the Tata Neu app. As in, if you click on electronics, you’re taken to the Croma app in a browser-like view within the Tata Neu app. Same for 1MG, AirAsia, BigBasket, etc. Basically, the app is a glorified browser with bookmarked tabs to the various Tata offerings. There is no unified cart or orders page and the only way you can buy something is within the individual apps.

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Image: Screenshots of Tata Neu home page; and 1MG and Croma apps loading within Tata Neu

This is a terrible user experience and multiple users have already pointed this out in the app reviews submitted on Google Play Store and Apple App Store:

I don’t know which technology under the hood is powering this app, the experience is pathetic. I don’t understand why is this called a superapp. It looks like just a bunch of web pages are stitched. I am trashing this app. Hope a better usable version comes. – Review by user named Swapan Dutta on Google Play Store (emphasis ours)

The app looks nice, doesn’t have any clutter. But, the app within an app or browser experience is so slow – like it’s 10 years in the past. Bigbasket pages are slow sluggish that I end being using BB app. Jumping between the apps just breaks the experience. Please have a rethink – opening TataCLiQ and BB from TataNeu vs using TataCLiQ, as of today I would use TataCLiQ. Since the app is just more fluid and easy on the experience. – Review by user handle TheBasicTruth on App Store (emphasis ours)

Please list all the orders in one place instead of hiding them inside each category. – Review by user named Mohankumar S on Google Play Store

Sluggish and bug-ridden

You might have been able to forgive the “app within an app” experience if it was snappy, but that’s not the case. Each page within the app takes its own sweet time to load and sometimes it doesn’t even load and returns an error. This is not lost upon users who have given the app a 3 out of 5 on the Google Play Store.

I am writing this after two weeks use, loading time, it’s incredible lag takes too much time to navigate one page to another. An app like this should work seemlessly and efficiently. Please work on this. – Review by user named G Yellaji on Google Play Store

Very slow app. Interface needs to be improved. Take some learnings from flipkart and Amazon’s. Product Range also needs to be enhanced. Extremely slow although same phone uses flipkart and amazon so fast.. Dont know why tata can’t use their TCS expertise efficiently 🤔. – Review by user named Chintu Singh on Google Play Store (emphasis ours)

App is too slow. You click and it takes sometime to change to the next screen. I tried buying some items from their big basket store. After I add items to the cart and get out of the app and log back in, i find half of my items missing from the cart and have to add those back again. Frustrating experience. – Review by user named Sujai on Google Play Store (emphasis ours)

When we click on any hyperlink within app it starts loading ‘N’ and it keeps loading forever without displaying anything. The only option left is force close the complete app. – Review by user handle vjain85 on App Store

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App has bugs. When I try to change pin code it tells certificate expired and shut down abnormally. – Review by user named Bhagyesh K on Google Play Store

The look and feel about the App is decent/good Some observations 1) The integration between Tata Neu App and BigBasket is missing bigtime. And it also shows some constraints with pincode when using BigBasket through Tata Neu 2) Why are you showing my BigBasket order history in Tata Neu before April 7th? 3) There is NO edit option in address and seems Tata Neu app is fetching all my location details from last 5-7 years and now not allowing me to delete or edit them Will keep exploring the App. – Review by user named Shriram Rajasekaran on Google Play Store

Even though this is the first public iteration of the app and is bound to have bugs, Tata has been testing the app with its more than 5 lakh employees since October last year and should’ve ironed out at least the major issues.

Search is pretty much useless

The app has a universal search feature but products appear to have not been properly indexed and optimised for search because users aren’t able to find what they want even after typing the exact name of the product.

Searching is very bad, you won’t search items 9 out of 10 times. Even if you type in exact name of item which is there on apps like BB or TataCLiQ is difficult to found. […] From past two days I cannot search anything even I can’t open items which I have added to my cart. – Review by user handle Shariqueshark on App Store (emphasis ours)

Search feature will never give you intended results and you will have navigate manually via categories. – Review by user handle RamHNY on App Store (emphasis ours)

A big challenge ahead

As the title sponsor of the Indian Premier League (IPL) this year, Tata has been aggressively promoting the Tata Neu app during the matches. But promoting the app in its current state is more likely to turn users away for good rather than attract them.

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Tata is going to have its hands full the next few weeks fixing the user experience and user interface of the Tata Neu app; and this is going to be a Herculean task because, for a seamless user experience, Tata will have to unify the tech stacks of its various group companies such as Croma, 1MG, Air Asia, TataCLiQ, etc.

Tata Digital has hired some of the top e-commerce executives, hope they figure out a way to make the app actually usable.

This post is released under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 license. Please feel free to republish on your site, with attribution and a link. Adaptation and rewriting, though allowed, should be true to the original.

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