The term commerce, as per the Merriam-Webster dictionary, means the activity of buying and selling of commodities on a large scale involving transportation from one place to other. Traditional commerce is simply an exchange of commodities without any electronic and digital mediums. On the other hand, electronic commerce has 2 forms. We know them as eCommerce and mCommerce.
eCommerce: takes place through websites or web-stores on the internet
mCommerce: takes place through mobile apps, mobile responsive web apps, USSD catalogs, IMs etc.
While eCommerce facilitates easy transactions through the online medium, mCommerce or business on phone provides easy accessibility. In fact, the growing user-base of mobile users which has surpassed the number of desktop users also contributes to the importance of mobile as a medium for commerce.
Everything is a tap away. Be it through mobile apps, mobile responsive websites, SMS services, USSD services, IVR services etc, a mobile device presents a plethora of communication channels to reach consumers and vice versa.
Engage consumers on the go. If not the mobile app/mobile web app, consumers are still accessible through many channels ranging from SMS to IM Apps. Track their usage behaviors and build customized offers.
Easy to use
Unlike eCommerce, a consumer doesn’t need to be technically skilled to operate a website. Mobile apps/web-Apps are intuitive, clean and simple in terms of usability. Unlike a web page, the user is not overwhelmed with a large volume of information.
M-Commerce opens the gates of electronic commerce even in the rural areas. As a result, this provides entrepreneurs an opportunity to sell their products/services in previously untapped marked segments. In other words, the widespread reach of mobile and its appeal as a communication and computing device is the game-changer here.
Scope of M-Commerce
Retail mCommerce is beyond just mobile-based retail stores. In fact, It can be applied to offline scenarios as well, such as indoor maps of a mall, GPS advertising featuring nearby stores, QR code/USSD catalog based selling (works great in areas where mobile data is expensive/scarce) etc.
Besides physical products, digital products can be sold via mCommerce. Furthermore, if your business can compose/create meaningful digital products/services or adapt existing ones for the small screens, you can easily reach international audiences without much hassle.
In any case, mCommerce is here to stay and make things easy for the business environment. Also, the most important reason for adapting your business for mobile is the massive size of potential sales. Above all, the chances of your customers owning a Smartphone is very high, so you can be assured of getting more positive responses.
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