What is M-commerce?
Mobile commerce or M-commerce refers to the business platform where you can buy and sell products and services with the help of your smartphones (wireless handheld devices). With the advances in technology, smartphones and tablets are equipped with various new features, and shopping software applications are among the most popular features of them all. In this article, you will read about the core concepts of M-commerce, its advantages, and the limitations that you might face when trying to build your own M-commerce platform.
You might be surprised, but different M-commerce categories serve different purposes. You have mobile shopping, mobile banking, and mobile payments. The M-commerce applications that use mobile shopping functionality allow customers to view and purchase products from their mobile devices. On the other hand, mobile banking allows you to make financial transactions using handheld devices, such as smartphones. This type of M-commerce transaction is carried out over a secure network, and the banks provide dedicated apps for these transfers.
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(A man purchasing a product using mobile commerce platform on his phone)
Lastly, we have mobile payments, such as Google Pay, Paypal, and other digital wallets that allow customers to purchase a product without asking them to swipe the card. Samsung has integrated Samsung Pay in its mobile phones where you once scan your credit or debit card, and then you only need to put your phone on the payment terminal, and the transaction will be done successfully.
Advantages of M-commerce
One of the most significant advantages of mobile commerce is retaining the customer with increased accessibility. According to one survey done in 2017, M-commerce is accountable for 34.5% of sales in all E-commerce. You can open an M-commerce app on your mobile phone whenever you want and browse through different products.
It is easier to compare the different prices of products on the same platform. Customer reviews have never been accessible before. At the same time, you can purchase products straight from your mobile phone while you are on a commute or in your bed.
Other benefits of m-commerce include a wide variety of product options and services for the customers. Also, the whole process becomes automated when you are trying to sell products on an M-commerce platform.
Likewise, mobile commerce gives a sense of safety to newcomers. As a result, customers are likely to come back again after making their first purchase. M-commerce has made online purchases more accessible to people living in rural areas where laptops and desktops are not common in sight.
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(Women purchasing stocks using M-commerce platform)
In addition to this, some companies are bringing in cutting edge technology like augmented reality with M-commerce platforms to give better user experience to their customers. One of the great examples of this technique is IKEA, which is using AR to showcase its product’s real-time dimension and looks, to a potential customer in their own space without leaving their homes.
If you have purchased products via an M-commerce store, you know they provide several payment options to make purchases easier for you. You can go with EMI, credit, debit, E-wallets, and cash on delivery payment methods.
M-commerce gives sellers a better way to measure their stats, finding out the best and worst products. Not only this, but you can also find out the products which interest the particular customers, and you can start remarketing campaigns and send them notification for special offers to increase your sales.
Lastly, M-commerce is a whole new platform for marketing products. Many big companies like Samsung, Sony, and Motorola are launching their new products on specific M-commerce platforms to give customers certain advantages.
Disadvantages of M-commerce
M-commerce has both advantages and disadvantages. We have discussed the advantages earlier. Now it's time to highlight some of its issues.
When it comes to making an M-commerce platform from scratch, you end up investing a lot of money in the development process. The app development is not something you can do overnight. It takes both time, money, and research.
Besides, one needs to have a smartphone if they want to purchase products using an M-commerce platform. If you don’t have a smartphone, you can’t download the applications in the first place.
Keeping data safe and preventing data leaks is one of the main concerns of the M-commerce platforms. Even multi-billionaire companies like Amazon are putting lots of effort into making their M-commerce platform safe for transactions.
FAQs on M-Commerce
Q1. What is the main difference between M-commerce and E-commerce?
A1. M-commerce stands for mobile commerce, which is a modern way of selling products on mobile platforms. M-commerce is a subset of E-commerce, a vast online market where commercial transactions occur electronically or over the internet using multiple methods such as credit card payments, UPI payments, and online wallets such as Paypal. There are several mobile commerce applications available on both IOS and Android devices. Some of them are Amazon, Flipkart, eBay, etc.
Moreover, E-commerce is a marketplace where shopping is done over the internet. You don’t need to have a specific app installed on your computer and laptop to access it. Also, generally speaking, most users who purchase products from E-commerce platforms are desktop or laptop users.
Q2. What does the Online Marketplace mean?
A2. An online marketplace is a website or an app which facilitates products from various sources. The owner of the marketplace doesn’t have its inventory. It uses an inventory of other businesses and gives them a platform to showcase their products. With a new trend in the e-commerce world, people prefer to download apps and visit websites that offer various range of product categories at the same time.
The online marketplace has all mobile commerce attributes and benefits if it is a mobile application. The hard part of managing the marketplace is drawing multiple suppliers all at the same time and making the delivery of products seamless for consumers.