What is mCommerce?
mCommerce, or mobile commerce, is the buying and selling of goods and services through wireless handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets. As a form of e-commerce, m-commerce enables users to access online shopping platforms without using a desktop computer. Examples of mCommerce include in-app purchasing, mobile banking, virtual marketplace apps like the Amazon mobile app, or a digital wallet such as Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay.
What is the difference between eCommerce and mCommerce?
eCommerce and mCommerce have different meanings, though both aim at making customers’ lives easier. Simply put, eCommerce is an umbrella term for selling and buying online, while mobile commerce, or mCommerce, is a subcategory of eCommerce that focuses on purchasing via mobile devices.
Although the world of the web and mobile devices are based on the same fundamental principles and aim to make people’s lives easier, there are a few differences between eCommerce and mCommerce.
What are the advantages of mCommerce?
With mCommerce, you’re making your products, goods, and services more accessible to your consumers. By optimizing your content for mobile viewing and getting a responsive design, you’re going to them. Mobile e-commerce allows you to get in front of your target audience on the platform of their choosing. By being available on a mobile commerce platform, you’re increasing brand awareness and showing your users that you understand where they’re spending their time.
2. Intentional audiences
One of the fantastic things about the internet is that it gives you a global audience.
Smartphone users worldwide are expected to grow to nearly 2.9 billion by next year, meaning that those 2.9 billion people could reach your site. Adults from the Netherlands or teenagers in Asia can view and purchase your products and services from their mobile devices.
This is a beneficial feature, especially for small businesses located in rural areas that need to be found by as many people as possible. With mobile commerce, you can even cultivate a community of followers in a region of the world you would never even expect.
That’s just part of the beauty of a mobile commerce app and platform.
3. Business development and expansion
You can use your newly found audiences for business development and expansion. For example, with mobile e-commerce tools, you can run different A/B tests similar to your standard digital marketing strategy and see what kinds of content or products and services genuinely pique your customers’ interests on mobile. With that information, you can choose to expand or test different areas of your brand.
4. Perfect timing
Whether for mobile search or social media, numerous mobile commerce platforms allow brands to time their advertisements. You can reach consumers on their morning commute, at the gym, during their lunch break, and even during their downtime. Optimizing your content for mobile means you can reach your consumers at all times, even while on the go.
5. Invaluable data
Reaching customers and audiences you never thought possible is a significant plus for mobile commerce. An added bonus comes from the information about the target audience you gain in the process.
For example, by running A/B tests on mobile consumers, every transaction means your brand learns more and more about their online mobile purchase buying habits. You can compare that information with the background knowledge you already have about their purchase history and create more specific and personalized marketing campaigns.
What industries is mCommerce disrupting?
The industries affected most by m-commerce include:
- Financial services, which include mobile banking (when customers use their handheld devices to access their accounts and pay their bills) and brokerage services, stock quotes can be displayed and trading conducted from the same handheld device.
- Telecommunications, in which service changes, bill payment, and account reviews can all be performed from the same handheld device.
- Service and retail, as consumers are given the ability to place and pay for orders on the fly.
- Information services, which include the delivery of financial news, sports figures, and traffic updates to a single mobile device.
What are the different types of mCommerce?
Mobile commerce products come in many shapes and sizes, but here are the three most common mCommerce models currently being developed by businesses today.
Mobile banking applications are similar to online banking applications. However, some of the transaction types may be limited or restricted on mobile devices. Most of the time, mobile banking takes on a dedicated application that brings customers an excellent experience and high security. Some financial services institutions are now experimenting with innovations like chatbots and messaging apps.
This variant of mCommerce works like a mobile counterpart of e-commerce. It refers to online stores accessible through mobile devices. Businesses that want to enter the mobile scene develop mobile-optimized websites, invest in dedicated apps, or take their sales to social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram. Here's a good article on why you should be building apps with Flutter.
This type of mCommerce implementation focuses on the wide range of mobile payment options like Google Pay, Apple Pay and many digital wallets that are available to consumers.
Purchasing or renting digital content on mobile devices
This type of mCommerce is about purchasing or renting digital content like your music streaming services and video streaming services. Your Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Spotify Premium subscriptions would all fall under this category.
What are the most common mCommerce applications?
This form of eCommerce has become a part of several areas of our lives now. It is becoming even more pervasive because of the convenience, ease of functioning, and accessibility that it offers. Here are some of the most common applications of mCommerce:
- Retail and after sale services
- Mobile ticketing
- Mobile marketing
- Mobile entertainment
- Hotel reservations
- Healthcare & medicine
- Intra-office communication