As the number of people who have access to the internet and use digital technology grows, we can’t ignore the fact that selling and buying goods and services online has become an essential part of our daily lives and the global retail landscape. Because of this, the number of people who buy digitally is also growing quickly from year to year. Statista says that by 2020, more than 2 billion people will have bought something online, and online retailers will have made more than $4.2 trillion USD.
As the share of mCommerce goes up, so does the use of mobile devices. This is because mobile devices tend to be cheaper than computers. So much so that by the end of 2021, mCommerce is expected to make up 72.9% of all eCommerce sales. Because of this, it is important for online business owners to know what eCommerce and mCommerce are and how they are different. They should also know how to use both approaches to get the most out of their business.
What eCommerce and mCommerce are and how they work
Both eCommerce and mCommerce are meant to make life easier for customers and help businesses reach a larger market than their location would normally allow. One easy way to explain the difference between these two types of business is to think of eCommerce as an umbrella term for all online purchases. On the other hand, mCommerce, which stands for “mobile commerce,” refers only to purchases made through a mobile phone or tablet and is only a small part of eCommerce sales as a whole. Even though they both serve the same purpose, we will talk about how they are different in the next section.
What makes eCommerce and mCommerce different?
Even though shopping on a computer and shopping on a mobile phone or tablet have the same basic idea, there are important differences that business owners need to talk about and think about.
Places where you can buy things
The platforms that customers use to buy things is the first and most obvious difference between eCommerce and mCommerce. When we talk about eCommerce, we mean buying things from a company’s website through a desktop browser window. With mCommerce, purchases can be made on a mobile phone or tablet through a company’s website, as well as through apps made by the retailer or by online marketplaces like Amazon or eBay.
The ability to reach the customers
With eCommerce, you can reach customers when they are actively using the internet for things like browsing, social media, or looking for products and services online. On the other hand, since mCommerce includes shopping both online and from a mobile device, it also includes purchases made through applications. With the help of apps, you can send push notifications to more people, even when they are not actively using the internet and are out and about.
Getting around while shopping
Both eCommerce and mCommerce give shoppers more freedom than brick-and-mortar stores because they can make purchases anywhere besides the store and at any time of the day or night. But mCommerce gives customers even more freedom because they can buy something as long as their mobile device is connected to the internet. Also, mobile apps are made to make it easy to buy something with just a few taps. Also, they are likely to support payment methods like Apple Pay and Google Pay, where customers don’t even have to pull out their cards to make a purchase. On the other hand, eCommerce is done on a desktop computer or a laptop, and customers have to find a place and take the time to make a purchase.
Having the ability to track a location
When you look at eCommerce, it’s easy to see that this sales channel doesn’t have many ways to track a device’s location. For example, a laptop can only be used in one place or a small number of places. mCommerce apps, on the other hand, can use GPS and Wi-Fi networks to track and find the location of the device. With location tracking, mCommerce apps can keep track of where customers go and give them content and suggestions that are relevant to their location. Even though mCommerce gives you a great chance to keep track of your customers, you will always need their permission to do so. Some people just don’t like having their location tracked, so they don’t let the app do it after they’ve downloaded it. Because of this, mCommerce no longer has the advantage it could have with location tracking.
Simple and quick to use
Because mobile devices have small screens and are meant to be used in a certain way, businesses try to make their mobile websites and apps as easy to shop on as possible. When shopping through a mobile app, it usually only takes a couple of taps to choose the items and see what’s in the cart. At the same time, it’s usually harder to get around on a store’s website when you’re on the go. This lets the store show more information on the screen the customer is looking at, but it can also make the customer feel overwhelmed and cause them to leave their carts. On the other hand, if they go to the website from a desktop computer or a laptop, everything will be nicely organised.
We can all agree that security is important for both eCommerce and mCommerce purchases when it comes to online shopping. Consumers rely mostly on the security features of the website and their internet connection when they shop online. Even though there are multiple levels of authentication when paying with a credit card, some people are still afraid to enter their card information when making a purchase over the internet.
On the other hand, when it comes to making online purchases, mCommerce has better security. When you shop through a mobile app, not only are you protected by the operating system of your device and the security of your network, but you don’t always need your credit card information to make a payment. Most mCommerce apps accept Apple Pay or Google Pay, so you can use biometric authentication like face ID, fingerprints, and retina scans, which have been shown to be safer than entering your credit card number.
What’s good about mCommerce?
Setting up and growing your mCommerce strategy can help your business in many ways. Let’s look at some of the benefits you can get from mCommerce and see why it should be a part of your sales strategy.
Getting customers involved and making things unique
You can connect with your customers in a more personal way if you have a mobile-friendly version of your store, a mobile app, or make your Facebook or Instagram feed shoppable.
When it comes to mobile apps, you can talk to your customers directly while they are in your store if you use beacon technology or near-field communication. These sensors are put on shelves and displays and can find mobile devices that are close by. You can give your customers a personalised shopping experience based on where they are in the store. This can be done through tailored promotional activities, but customers can also let you know if their size is missing from a certain product and get a push notification through the app when it is restocked.
Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram have an algorithm that lets users see the content they are most likely to be interested in. If you focus on building your audience and interacting with them through the Facebook and Instagram mobile apps, you can reach potential customers with fairly tailored content that encourages them to buy what they see on the images. This way, you not only make more sales, but you also give your customers useful information that makes them think your brand and products are even better.
Getting better at serving customers in stores
Most people who prefer to shop in a brick-and-mortar store still don’t like waiting in line to check out. In today’s fast-paced world, time is one of the most valuable things we have, so it makes sense that we want to do our daily tasks as quickly as possible. Amazon Go is a great example of how you can improve the shopping experience in a store that isn’t so traditional. With the help of AI and mobile apps, customers can just scan themselves when they walk into a store and then start shopping. Then, when they take something off or put something back on a shelf, their virtual basket will be updated automatically. When they are done shopping, their virtual cart will automatically check out and take the money from their online wallets as they leave the store.
A similar solution can not only cut down on the time customers spend shopping, but it can also save money on staffing costs. When there is an online checkout through a mobile version of the store or a mobile app, store owners won’t have to worry about setting up tills and hiring cashiers because the whole payment process will be automated. Also, these apps can be used to help customers. They can give customers a map of the store to make sure they can always find what they need. Also, they can suggest products that go well together and are often bought together. This not only improves the shopping experience but could also help the business get rid of any extra inventory.
Pros of online shopping
On the other hand, eCommerce has benefits that you should think about when you’re planning how to increase sales through an online presence.
First place to get in
If you run a traditional storefront business, eCommerce is likely to be your first step into the digital world of doing business. Online stores have been around for a while, so people are already used to them. This also holds true when you are making one. CMSs (Content Management Systems) make it possible for even people who don’t know how to code to make and update eCommerce sites quickly and without too much trouble.
You can also buy “turnkey” eCommerce stores that are already built and have products in them. All you have to do is make the store live and start getting orders. On the other hand, if you want to use mCommerce’s benefits and add a mobile app to the mix, it can end up being quite pricey. A professional can charge tens of thousands of dollars to make a complex shopping app that also helps the customer.
As the mCommerce market gets a bigger share of all eCommerce sales around the world, your business will definitely benefit from going further into mCommerce than just having a responsive website. If you have enough money to put money into a mobile app for your store, we strongly suggest that you do so. But if you’re not there yet, you might want to set up a seller’s account with one of the biggest online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, or Etsy in addition to selling your products on your website. This way, their apps will also be able to access your shop and products. Also, don’t forget that mCommerce refers to more than just apps. Some of the benefits can be used even if you only use social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.