For years, we've been hearing about and participating in the boom of e-commerce. To the extent that few people still go from store to store in a shopping mall to buy the various things they need. Shopping online has provided unmatched convenience to purchasing anything from groceries and clothing to appliances. And, in the wake of COVID-19, e-commerce has only grown. Now, however, there seems to be a new(ish) kid on the block that we must get used to. The retail tech trend known as m-commerce has absolutely taken off. If you want to know more about this convenient way of completing transactions, we've got a few insights that might help. First up, understanding the difference between e-commerce and m-commerce...
E-commerce vs m-commerce
What is m-commerce?
In unpacking the definition of m-commerce, you should first understand the basics of e-commerce. And it's a simple enough concept to explain. E-commerce is the action of purchasing products electronically over the Internet, or on online services. M-commerce - or mobile commerce - is a complementary action where this electronic transaction takes place via a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet. The term was originally coined back in 1997 by Kevin Duffey, who explained m-commerce as "a retail outlet in your best customer's pocket."
Of course, there will be similarities between e-commerce and m-commerce, as the one is essentially a subset of the other. Both refer to online transactions, with m-commerce functioning as a specific type of e-commerce with the transaction taking place on a mobile device. And both offer an effortless shopping experience. But, while people tend to think of m-commerce as 'buying stuff on mobile, it's become so much more than that. M-commerce has given rise to new industries such as ticket and boarding services, information services, mobile banking and in-app services. But it wouldn't be nearly as successful without the support of e-commerce.
When talking about e-commerce vs m-commerce, the differences provide a bit more to dig into. Most e-commerce transactions are completed on a computer or laptop, while m-commerce relies on handheld devices like smartphones. And, more specifically, the apps on those smartphones. While e-commerce has limited reachability - the user has to be seated in front of a laptop - m-commerce can reach a wide range of users even when they're on the go. Push notifications alert them to anything from flash sales to new updates. All you need is an Internet connection.
Mobile commerce offers users an even more convenient way to shop and complete transactions than traditional e-commerce. With mobile apps, user experience is a crucial element and can be optimized for as few taps-on-screen as possible. This kind of detail is harder to navigate on a website platform. You also have increased security when shopping on a mobile app, because you're protected by the web security as well as built-in mobile security features. And, while some desktop or e-commerce stores only provide credit card payment options, mobile apps can be built to include various payment gateways from mobile banking to PayPal and in-app credits.
Why the future is mobile
This industry doesn't seem to be slowing down. If anything, the mobile-first approach is set to transform the way we do things both personally and in business. Recent research predicts that m-commerce will account for over 70% of all e-commerce sales in the year 2021. With mobile payments becoming the second most popular payment method after debit cards.
It was only natural for m-commerce to emerge as a progression of e-commerce. And, while it may take a few years to develop - techwise - there's nothing stopping m-commerce from becoming the most popular and convenient way to shop and complete transactions. The future is mobile.
If you want to bring your business into the m-commerce game, we have some ideas that might help. Contact us to find out about our custom m-commerce app development services. Because whether you want a mobile app for your start-up or streamlined m-commerce app for a big business, we have a solution to suit you.