A few decades ago there was no alternative to visiting a physical store, yet since the invention of the Internet, a lot of businesses established their online presence and offered their customers a convenient way to purchase a wide variety of products. Now we call it eCommerce (as in ‘electronic commerce’).
The sky is not the limit, as the saying goes, so eCommerce expands and now has a stand-alone extension in mobile commerce or mCommerce which is growing even faster now that most people got accustomed to smartphones. While both eCommerce and mCommerce revolve around online purchasing, there are considerable differences between them, of which not every online merchant is even aware.
In this article, you will find out what is mCommerce, its relation to eCommerce, what the benefits of mobile commerce for business are, and why it is growing so fast.
Key Differences: mCommerce vs eCommerce
The term ‘eCommerce’ refers to a way of selling and purchasing products using the internet (including all transactions). With the growing popularity of mobile devices and mobile purchases, eCommerce extended its reach and now we face the era of mobile commerce or mCommerce. What is mCommerce? It is a progression of eCommerce where all the transactions happen via mobile devices.
Mobile commerce is not limited to online shopping. It also includes mobile banking, electronic tickets, electronic boarding passes, contactless payments, location-based services, mobile marketing, etc.
Some time ago, eCommerce became a more convenient way of shopping instead of physical stores, and mCommerce now is a more convenient way of shopping within eCommerce. Understanding the differences between them can help businesses to decide and develop the right strategy since it will be different for eCommerce and mCommerce. So, what are the differences between those two confusing terms?
Mobility is an obvious difference, but how does it help? Well, for starters, customers are no longer tied to not-so-mobile computers or laptops and they can visit a store or make other transactions anywhere they go as long as they can access the Internet. That means mobile devices have better reachability.
Another advantage of mobility is speed. Using faster frameworks and better integration with device hardware makes mobile apps almost twice as fast as any regular website. Besides, mobile apps store data locally, which also helps them work faster. Thus, mobile commerce becomes catchy and engaging for impulsive shoppers.
Technically, eCommerce has location tracking, yet it is not as useful because of the limited mobility of computers and laptops and limited data that the IP address can share. Thus, mCommerce can use GPS, Wi-Fi, and so on to offer location-specific content or personalized recommendations.
Location tracking in mCommerce as well as in eCommerce helps businesses to target specific customers and tailor marketing campaigns or offers to particular places or regions. Yet, eCommerce allows to pick up the only location where a device is plugged in. Whereas, mCommerce utilizes ‘real-life’ location data and customers’ movement patterns to tailor extremely precise ads and campaigns.
Two-factor authentication, fingerprint and retina scanning, face ID, and so on make mobile commerce more secure than its eCommerce counterpart. Most mCommerce products are using end-to-end encryption to protect sensitive data, while eCommerce is typically protected only by logins and passwords.
The variety of payment options today is mind-boggling — from credit cards to bitcoin — and customers want to use those that are relevant and convenient to them. This allows mCommerce to add to a customized shopping experience and enable personalization.
Besides, customers can do it literally on the move with just a few taps on the screen (and some fingertip scanning).
While eCommerce is mostly limited to email and SMS, mCommerce can reap the benefits of push notifications regarding restocked items, forgotten carts, news, or discounts. Emails can end up in a spam folder, customers may simply forget SMS since they will need to reach their computers to check the proposition, while push notifications allow them to check offers on the move.
According to Accengage, emojis (20%), rich formats (25%), tailored push notifications send times (40%), advanced targeting (threefold), and personalization (fourfold) can all improve reaction rates. Thus, mCommerce empowered by push notifications can be more engaging than traditional eCommerce marketing channels.
It makes perfect sense for businesses to take advantage of mobile commerce to reach out to more customers and increase marketing effectiveness.
The Benefits of Mobile Commerce for Businesses
Businesses that already worked their way around eCommerce won’t have that much trouble switching to mCommerce. Here are some proven benefits of mobile commerce:
- Gaining customer insights. As we know, mobile apps are collecting data. This data includes conversion rates, customer behavior, browsing and buying patterns, abandonment rates, session rates, etc. — all are very useful for thorough customer analysis. Thus, marketing strategies can become better targeted, engaging, and help boost customer loyalty.
- Increasing revenue. According to StatCounter, the mobile market has already outraced the desktop market worldwide, which looks like a clear incentive to invest in mCommerce. The popularity of mobile devices and their convenience would naturally lead to more sales and revenue increases.
- Reducing marketing costs. Mobile apps empower businesses to reach their customers through targeted offerings within apps or via push notifications — both ways reduce advertising costs. It leads to lower customer acquisition (CAC) and retention costs as well.
The world is experiencing a growing popularity and usage of mobile devices since it has become the most convenient and fast way to access the Internet, including mCommerce apps. According to OuterBox, 77% of Americans own a smartphone, and 79% of these users have made a purchase online using it in the last 6 months, which shows that mCommerce gets stronger and grows. So that’s where businesses should be — embracing mobile commerce to catch up with their customers.
If you want to get on the mCommerce bandwagon on time but you are unsure how to make the switch painless, share your idea or request a free consultation from Onix. Let’s build your next product together!