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03Jul, 2015

Differences between eCommerce and mCommerce

Author Chris Wilson Category

The days of customers queuing up to purchase products have almost diminished. In the 21st century, consumers have embraced convenient and easier ways to shop. The transition to online shopping from traditional in-store shopping has been quick. However, the transition within online shopping i.e. from regular eCommerce to mCommerce (mobile commerce) is taking place at an accelerated pace. In this blog, we discuss the possible strategies that a business should take into consideration for mCommerce.

Before we get there, here are a few reasons why you should consider mCommerce:

  • Intimate relationship with mobile devices: Many individuals care dearly for their mobile devices and rarely part away from it.
  • Dynamic nature: Mobile devices are everywhere. Their usage is not limited to certain timeframes or locations.
  • Your go to partner during your free time: People often tend to pull out their mobile devices when they have free time.
  • Numbers don’t lie
    • Mobile web adoption is growing 8 times faster than web adoption did in the 1990s and early 2000s. (Nielsen)
    • In the last 12 months customers around the world ordered more than $1 billion worth of products from Amazon using a mobile device. (Compuware 2009)
    • 63% of people expect to be doing more shopping on their mobile devices over the next couple of years. (Latitude)
    • Roughly 58% of consumers who own a smartphone have used it for store-related shopping. (Deloitte)
    • PayPal mobile handled almost $14 billion in payment volume in 2012. (eBay)

Related: Mobile Commerce – The Future that it holds

Mobile shoppers are difficult to convert and there are many reasons attributed to this statement. Here are few differences eCommerce and mCommerce that you must consider for improved customer experience and conversion on mobile devices:

  • The Mindset – According to IBM, consumers expect transactions to be easier on mobile than they are offline (51%) or on a desktop computer (50%). But most businesses today design and develop their store with the traditional laptop or personal computer in mind and struggle to provide the same experience on a mobile device. This is because of multiple reasons including the screen size, processing capability, etc. Hence it is important to consider the advantages and limitations of all the important platforms for your business before designing and developing your eCommerce store.  Moreover according to Google, 41% have turned to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience.

Also ReadBoost Mobile Commerce by Optimizing your eCommerce Store

  • Customer Expectations – According to Compuware, 71% of global mobile web users expect websites to load as quickly, almost as quickly, or faster on their mobile device compared to the computer they use at home.  In reality, because customers often use their mobile devices seeking urgent information, customers expect the websites to load much faster on their mobile devices. This might not be related to an actual urgent need but then consumers start associating their mobile devices as a source of instant information retrieval or gratification. According to Amazon, every 100ms increase in load time decreases sales by 1%.

Also ReadWhat Mobile Shoppers Expect from the eCommerce Store?

  • Context Awareness – While true for both eCommerce and mCommerce, the user context (location, activity, etc.) plays a greater role in mCommerce. With this information made easily available on mobile devices businesses can leverage them to provide more relevant information to consumers.  According to Latitude, 88% of people agree that having a mobile device with real time information makes them more spontaneous with shopping and, in general, more open to discovering new things.
  • The Intentions – Mobile devices are used everywhere and anytime but the same is not true for laptops and desktop computers. So when a customer visits your store on a mobile device he/she might be doing for very different reasons than a customer who does the same from a laptop or desktop computer.
  • Security – Security is a major concern when it comes to mobile commerce. Customers tend to window shop via mCommerce and usually complete the transaction on their laptops or personal computers. The primary reason for this is the lack of trust on the security of information on a mobile device. Hence businesses must take all possible steps to educate their customers about the measures they have taken to ensure safety of customer information.
  • Asking consumers to key in a lot of Information – Because of the device limitations you cannot ask customers to key in a lot of information from their mobile device. This is also true for eCommerce (shopping from laptop or desktop computers), but the tolerance to this drops drastically from desktop computers to mobile devices. With added pressure to provide a consistent experience across channels, the omni-channel experience, businesses must ensure that they only ask for the most critical information across devices.

What are your thoughts on eCommerce and mCommerce? Share your views by commenting below.

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Differences between eCommerce and mCommerce