We can do more and more daily tasks using our phones and the Internet. Due to the rapid development of technology and its influence on consumers’ lives, their buying behavior is changing. Businesses need to adapt quickly to stay in the market and boost sales statistics. E-commerce is here to stay with us for good, and m-commerce is also playing an increasingly important role. What is this and what are the differences between m-commerce and e-commerce? Read on to find out.

M-commerce – table of contents:

  1. What is m-commerce?
  2. M-commerce vs e-commerce – differences
  3. Types of m-commerce
  4. Benefits of m-commerce
  5. Challenges of m-commerce
  6. M-commerce examples
  7. Summary

What is m-commerce?

M-commerce (also referred to as mobile commerce) is one of the branches of e-commerce. It relies on online payment transactions (when shopping, selling products and services, paying bills, etc.) Using mobile devices continues to grow, so it is a noteworthy area of business.

M-commerce vs e-commerce – differences

What are the key differences between mobile commerce and e-commerce?

  • M-commerce is a part of e-commerce,
  • E-commerce is managed using laptops, desktops, phones, and tablets. M-commerce refers to activities exclusively from mobile devices,
  • In e-commerce, it is only possible to make payments through the website of a bank or credit cards. In m-commerce, contactless payments or mobile wallets are also used.

Types of m-commerce

M-commerce can be divided into three areas:

  • Mobile shopping – any purchase made through any mobile device, such as ordering books from an online bookstore,
  • Mobile payments – these are payments made through mobile devices, such as paying for groceries with Google Pay,
  • Mobile banking – a service that allows you to access your bank account through a dedicated application, for example, making a transfer to another account.

Benefits of m-commerce

The development of mobile commerce is driven by a number of advantages that make daily life easier for many consumers.

  • Great customer service
  • The covenience and speed associated with m-commerce makes the entire purchasing process a pleasure for customers. There is no problem with page loading speed. It is an important aspect as many users, even after a few seconds of waiting too long for the page to fully load, will decide to leave it.

  • Access to data
  • You have access to information about your customers like gender, age, location, preferences, purchase history. This lets you get to know your target audience better and tailor your communications or offers to them.

  • Brand personalization
  • Knowing your customers’ needs can help you choose the right communication channel. Personalized ads appearing on Facebook, Instagram, Google Ads, etc. can positively influence people’s interest and sales. In your campaigns, it is worthwhile to introduce customer loyalty programs that encourage customers to buy, collect points and apply for discounts (you can think of this as an element of gamification).

  • Automation
  • In m-commerce, automated transactions are pretty common. Issues related to order processing, sending email marketing content, data analysis can be handled using automation tools. This allows the company to optimize costs and increase process efficiency.

Challenges of m-commerce

Mobile commerce is not only about benefits, but also about difficulties to be faced.

  • Privacy protection
  • Applications require you to give permission to access a lot of your sensitive information. As a company, you need to ensure your customers the sufficient level of protection to avoid fraud, and theft of personal information, etc.

  • Mobile experience
  • Some people may still feel uneasy about this way of shopping. They are cautious about mobile payments, and they prefer to only view products on a mobile device. They finalize the purchase using a desktop or a laptop computer. Problems may appear when placing an order. In such a situation, not to waste time, customers quickly resign from shopping and are likely to use the competitor’s offer. Therefore, it’s so important to take care of the user experience and invest in continuous process improvement.

  • Customer service
  • Encountering problems, customers are less willing to call a helpline, write e-mails or fill out contact forms. They want fast and efficient communication, so virtual assistants are becoming more and more common.

  • The risk of failure
  • Technology can be unreliable, so you need to keep in mind possible website or application failures. As a result, being unable to make a purchase can negatively affect your company’s profits.

M-commerce examples

How do companies enjoy the benefits of mobile commerce? Let’s take a closer look at some examples!

  1. Sephora
  2. The beauty industry has been making huge profits for years, and the demand for such services continues to grow. This also means fierce competition and the need to find new ways to engage current customers and attract new ones. For this reason, Sephora has created a mobile application (Virtual Artist), which helps match the right shades of cosmetics to the user’s beauty. Apart from this, the app allows quick and convenient shopping, access to the loyalty program, news, promotional offers, and beauty tips, etc.

  3. Starbucks
  4. Starbucks has also made good use of m-commerce. In 2015, the company introduced mobile payments, which made it the leading provider of such payments in the US at some point. Additionally, customers receive personalized offers based on their past purchases. What is more, their engagement increases thanks to a loyalty program. They collect stars that can be later exchanged for money to be used at a store.

  5. Online ticket reservation system
  6. M-commerce can be applied in several sectors. In the tourism industry, we can mention apps that allow you to book hotel rooms or a table at a restaurant. Buying city tickets via mobile devices is already common in many cities, and for cultural events like concerts, you can easily purchase an e-ticket.



Technological progress is constantly changing consumers’ shopping habits and preferences. They particularly care about time, convenience, and connection with the outside world. Companies must continuously evolve to create services that meet the needs of their audience. If you haven’t implemented m-commerce into your management strategy yet, it’s high time to do so and take advantage of its possibilities!

Read also: E-commerce trends 2023: What can we expect?

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What is m-commerce? Learn the differences between m-commerce and e-commerce martin sparks avatar 1background

Author: Martin Sparks

E-commerce enthusiasts which constantly digs around the internet in order to make sure he hasn’t missed any important information on the topic of starting and scaling profitable online stores.