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What is Mobile Commerce? How is it Different From E-commerce?

Retailers and consumers continually converse. These discussions are covered in E & M-commerce. From bricks to clicks, retail keeps evolving. Social commerce and new payment instruments are creating new retail experiences that are frictionless. As the pace increases, it’s perfectly clear that tomorrow’s retail is already here. Cross-border, social, local, and omnichannel E and M-commerce and payment structures continue to grow and evolve. E-commerce implies electronic commerce, pertaining to online transactions particularly used for shopping, selling products. M-commerce is mobile commerce with the ability to shop online, manage your bank accounts, card details, virtual wallets, specifically on mobile devices. These are two different things but share a common goal, taking the economy towards cashless mode. M-commerce is the frontrunner in this race as e-commerce also offers cash transactions. But m-commerce has revolutionized the way we perceive money. It’s all a matter of seconds now to transfer any amount to another person’s bank account or any bank account, which used to require a day’s holiday to go to the bank and transfer the amount supposed to be carried in cash. Even after this much hassle, there was a possibility that you might not be able to withdraw or deposit your cash. Oops! What respite did we have from such a situation? All of this is now in the past, with m-commerce coming to our rescue. Who doesn’t like the freedom to manage all of their cash on their fingertips? Digital payment mode is witnessing a new trend and it is ticking off. The rapid take-off of smartphones in the country is one of the major factors behind this new trend. With a number of smartphone users to touch 351 million, an average 3g speed expected to double, and 4g accounting for 38% of total mobile traffic, we are definitely not behind anyone in this techno frenzy. This phenomenon led to the surge of mobile wallet companies like paytm, mobikwik, freecharge, etc.

E-commerce companies are now racing to embrace m-commerce with more consumers ditching web platforms to shop entirely on mobile devices. India’s m-commerce is expected to turn into a 19 billion dollar market by 2019, showing a growth of 850%. With a majority of countries connected through cheap mobile data plans, m-commerce helps residents discover new products at low prices. The bottom line is, Indians are shopping on the go. Even North Americans access the web through mobile devices more often than computers. They use their smartphones increasingly to buy items online. Mobile commerce is booming and if a company is selling products online, it’s a great opportunity that should not be missed. While e-commerce is growing fast, mobile commerce is gaining an increasing share of the whole pie. So, it’s up to the companies to make full use of this trend. Customers have adopted this purchase behavior but companies have to make sure to provide them an encouraging platform in order to ensure continuity. People will come back to sites offering compelling results. With so much competition out there, it is really necessary to prove yourself above the rest. So, merchants need to cater to this demand for effective mobile device communication to ensure longevity in the market. Smartphone apps are a great option to consider as they offer convenience, speed, and credibility to customers in today’s fast-paced world. Merchants also need to adapt themselves to cross-device behaviors. With the surge of new-age gadgets, people often look for a product on mobile devices, then find out more details on their desktop and finally purchase the product on their tablet. This needs to be understood and companies should invest more time and money to make this process easy and quick for their customers.

It is obvious that people like things nice and simple, like the convenience of being able to pay or being paid for goods and services provided over the internet. What if you don’t have a bank account? A majority of people won’t be able to access easier and safer transactions. But some 1.7 billion of these people do have access to a mobile phone. So, how can that help them avoid the risk, cost, and inconvenience of using cash? Well, that’s where m- commerce comes in. It enables people to conduct financial transactions using a mobile device like a cellphone or a tablet. The phone becomes a kind of a mobile wallet. But it’s not just about your pocket money, you can have access to bank accounts, credit and access cards, loyalty cards, coupons and it allow you to transfer money anytime, anywhere. This means a world of new services for just about everyone, those that don’t have a bank account and those that do but would like to have the freedom to make their finances truly mobile. For instance, the Ericsson wallet platform enables secure and convenient mobile financial services such as money transfers and making payments. The year 2012 meant a big step for m- commerce as Ericsson and Western Union formed a strategic alliance. Mobile network operators can now offer their subscribers the world’s largest money transfer network. Now we’re are talking about a lot of money, 350 billion dollars are transferred annually from person to person over mobile devices. The ecosystem to support m- commerce is growing rapidly. Ericsson m- commerce interconnect is a technology that will allow interoperability between operators and service providers such as banks, stores, and payment networks. So, it’s exciting times for the m-commerce industry which is expected to process a record-breaking amount by this year. With 50 billion connected devices expected by 2020, the implications and possibilities for how we manage and use our money are profound.

In essence, e-commerce was the push factor for e-commerce. When electronic commerce allowed people to shop online, it made them ask for more. When they could shop online, why not ask for something that manages other monetary aspects online too? Mobile commerce did just that. In other words, e-commerce led to the advent of mobile commerce, and in reply to this mobile commerce proved to be a pushover for increasing sales on e-commerce platforms.