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Ecommerce vs. Mcommerce: Is There A Difference?

by janeausten

Ecommerce vs. Mcommerce: Is There A Difference?

META DESCRIPTION: “Ecommerce” and “mcommerce” are terms you might’ve seen lately. If you’re confused about their differences, read this article to learn more about them.  

People now know the convenience and ease of use of ecommerce. Gone are the days when people’s only option was to drive to stores just to purchase a need. The rise of ecommerce also came with an increase in time efficiency. 

Thanks to ecommerce, pet owners can now order dog shampoo for their furry companion without visiting stores and realizing that their preferred brand is out of stock; a buyer can conveniently browse online stores and move on to another if they don’t find what they’re looking for without leaving their home. 

This scenario is just one example of the many advantages of ecommerce, and many product-based businesses have adapted to meet customer demands. 

But when we talk about ecommerce, the term ‘”mcommerce” sometimes pops up. Are these two terms the same? Read this article for an in-depth look at e-commerce and m-commerce.

What is Ecommerce?

Ecommerce or electronic commerce is almost synonymous with online shopping, which refers to how companies and individuals buy and sell products online. 

Nearly every product imaginable can be bought online because many industries have migrated to these e-commerce channels. Whether it be fashion, beauty, cooking supplies, car parts, medicines—you name it, there is undoubtedly a store for it. 

Another reason ecommerce is so popular is due mainly to the many variations of transactions available. There are business-to-business (B2B), business-to-customer (B2C), customer-to-customer (C2C), customer-to-business (C2B), and the lesser-known customer-to-government (C2G) transactions.

Although its seen a recent popularity boost in the past years, the history of ecommerce goes all the way back to 1994 when the first recorded transaction occurred on a platform called Netmarket. While that was almost two decades ago, ecommerce won’t be going away anytime soon. According to Statista’s figures, ecommerce sales averaged 4.9 Trillion USD in 2021 and are projected to increase to 7.4 Trillion in 2025. 

Ecommerce businesses are often standalone or additional channels to complement an existing brick-and-mortar store. In addition, these businesses can engage with their customers through different digital marketing strategies such as Facebook or Instagram marketing which helps reach markets beyond the physical shop’s spatial limitations. 

While an ecommerce business sounds helpful and great, buyers and sellers are still not fully protected from cyberattacks and frauds. In some cases, hackers may obtain customers’ credit card information and use it for ill-intentioned reasons. 

It’s a reason why customers flock to new channels to buy and sell products.

What is Mcommerce?

Mobile commerce, or mcommerce, differentiates itself through the mere use of mobile devices, and it is a considerable subset of ecommerce since transactions are typically performed via a smartphone. Hence, ecommerce and mcommerce usually cover the same industries, from retail clothing to insurance.

In the U.S. alone, mcommerce sales hit $359.32 billion in 2021 and are expected to reach a whopping $728.28 billion by 2025. These numbers are only increasing as the dependency on mobile devices ensues.

What are the Differences Between Ecommerce and Mcommerce?

By now, you know that all mcommerce transactions are ecommerce, but not all ecommerce transactions are mcommerce. Entrepreneurs must adequately differentiate the two to understand what will work best for business.

1.    Mobility

Ecommerce activities are typically accomplished through desktop computers or laptops, and it may take some time to set up and may not be the best option for on-the-go individuals.

On the other hand, mcommerce uses mobile devices for people to carry out their transactions anytime and anywhere they wish as long as they can connect through a local network or use mobile data.

2.    Security

Credit card payment is one of the most common methods in ecommerce. However, there is still mistrust among consumers in providing credit card details on shopping platforms; the prevalence of phishing scams and other cyberattacks makes credit cards somewhat an unreliable option to many.

Mcommerce security tends to be more thorough. Mcommerce platforms employ e-wallets where users can easily connect a preferred bank account or “top up” their wallets. Mobile commerce also uses two-factor and multi-level authentication, biometric authentication, and increasingly creative security measures.

3.    Location tracking

Since ecommerce thrives on desktops and laptops, security can only go as far as these devices can offer. An IP address is the only way to track a user’s location, but it alone can only provide a vague idea of the shopper’s whereabouts.

Mcommerce is more precise in identifying a user’s location because of GPS, Wi-Fi, phone number tracking, and more. Location tracking can be as specific as possible in mcommerce.

4.    Way to omnichannel

Online retail is transitioning from multichannel to omnichannel. Instead of deploying mixed messages to various groups, brands must offer a cohesive purchasing experience, and ecommerce constrains its mobility because it relies heavily on computers.

Mcommerce makes personalization possible and offers users a tailored buying experience. Additionally, retailers may quickly respond to customers’ wants and make suggestions, increasing conversion rates.

5.    Push notifications

Push notifications are less applicable to ecommerce because it only happens when platform owners ask permission from the visitors. 

Mcommerce platforms, on the other hand, immediately send them to a user’s mobile device, effectively using push notifications. This way, a user’s email can receive fewer spam emails from advertisers.

Merging Ecommerce and Mcommerce to Maximize Benefits.

Ecommerce and mcommerce are closely related but not synonymous with each other. Both provide alternatives to traditional transactions, but each has distinct features and highlights. As an entrepreneur, it is vital to understand their differences. 

Combining ecommerce and mcommerce channels is often employed to maximize sales and customer interactions for your business, especially when planning to expand globally. Besides, the world won’t veer away from the digital transactions that ecommerce kicked off in the foreseeable future. These two have created a booming ecosystem of convenience and efficiency; you wouldn’t want to miss out on it.

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