M-commerce is electronic commerce which occurs on a mobile device. It is a term that was initially introduced in 1998 by Kevin Duffey during the launch of the Global Mobile Commerce Forum. Although it was an original reference to using personal digital assistants and mobile phones to purchase goods or services online, it has evolved into a term that involves buying or selling goods and services with any wireless handheld device.
If you purchase something with your tablet or smartphone, you are participating in m-commerce.
Here are some of the key advantages to consider when looking at the subject of m-commerce.
List of the Advantages of M Commerce
1. It creates a global customer base.
As long as an individual owns a mobile device and a cellular or internet connection, they are a potential customer for any e-commerce platform. People are able to shop from wherever they happen to be with m-commerce in place. That makes it convenient for businesses because they are providing information to the consumer wherever they happen to be. It is convenient for the customer because they can purchase items on a schedule which works for them. For buyers and sellers, it is easier to reach one other with this platform.
2. It opens up rural markets.
M-commerce eliminates the need to stand in a long line at a physical store location. For rural markets, m-commerce also removes the need to travel to a physical location to purchase something. These consumers can quickly purchase what they need, then have the items delivered directly to their home or business. Not only does this open up new rural markets, it is an opportunity to examine your current business model and seek out new opportunities.
3. It creates more access to user data.
Apps have revolutionized how the mobile commerce world contacts future customers. Flurry, which is an app analytics provider, discovered that 86% of all mobile activity usage comes from apps. Over 2 hours of time spent per day on a mobile device is spent on an app. By introducing an app to the m-commerce market, a business is able to gain access to more user data. That makes it easier to market future goods or services to each person, creating more opportunities for repetitive sales.
4. It provides easier inventory management.
When you have a m-commerce presence, then you can still maintain lower inventory levels for the goods you are selling. You still won’t face backorder situations because you can always know what is available when a product database is present. You can also source specific items only when purchased from a mobile device, which further reduces the need to carry certain types of inventory.
5. It allows you to scale a business very quickly.
When you have an m-commerce presence, then you can quickly scale your business to meet current needs. You can add money to your advertising budget when you see a campaign is performing well. You don’t need to worry about adding new space or inventory for shoppers because everything is available online. If you use drop-shipping, then you don’t even need to produce new products or services for your store, which allows you to quickly grow.
6. It provides a platform for large order processing.
M-commerce allows you to accept multiple orders at once throughout the day. You’re not forced to funnel customers through a checkout line for a physical transaction that takes time. A customer can log onto your platform, find what they want, and then checkout at a time which is convenient for them. If the platform is operating as it should, then the wait time is measured in fractions of seconds.
7. It is easier to remarket to customers with m-commerce.
If a customer is shopping at a physical store and they change their mind about something, they’ll put the product down and walk away. You know they were interested in that item. A marketing or advertising push might convince them to purchase it. There just isn’t a way to contact that customer again. On m-commerce platforms, you do have that ability. You can remarket items abandoned in a cart or discovered during product searches to bring people back to your business.
8. It offers a platform which encourages impulse purchases.
M-commerce provides an experience that is similar to that of standing in a checkout line. Consumers look at pictures, information, and even the emotions around them as they wait, which creates the urge to make an impulsive purchase. That is why drinks and candy snacks are placed near the counter. That is also why you’ll find an emphasis on product photography, content which stirs emotions, and vibrant colors being used to present items to consumers. As an added advantage, m-commerce platforms can add a countdown timer or show a limited quantity of items to encourage a sale through scarcity too.
List of the Disadvantages of M Commerce
1. It requires technology access.
If a customer doesn’t have a mobile device, then they aren’t going to be part of the m-commerce experience a business provides. Even if a mobile device is owned, it must be capable of retrieving company information, providing product or service information, and transmitting a sales order for it to be a successful experience. If an app is used, these must be downloaded and upgraded to provide information access.
2. It offers a lack of personal touch.
Despite inviting graphics, in-depth product descriptions, and consumer discounts, brands must be careful when using mobile commerce. The first impression of a mobile website or app tends to become the foundation of customer reviews that are left. These reviews last forever, which means companies need to get that first impression right as often as possible. Because there is a lack of personal touch, there are fewer opportunities to reverse an initially poor experience.
3. It requires the app or website to be working.
If you’re trying to sell something through m-commerce, then your uptime percentage is going to be a key metric. If your platform crashes or cannot be accessed for some reason, then you’re not going to be generating any sales. Even something as simple as a temporary surge in traffic can be enough to take some platforms down. You must plan for the worst-case scenario here, then be ready to implement your measures immediately should something happen.
4. It requires faith in the product.
Even with augmented reality technologies hitting the m-commerce sphere, consumers are not able to try most products before purchasing them on this platform. Consumers might receive the product, discover it is not right for them, and then not have a way to return it for a meaningful refund or replacement item. Unless there is a clear, concise, and valuable return option (or a try before you buy option) available to consumers, some products and services will see potentially lower returns than they do with in-person sales.
5. It is a highly competitive marketplace.
Because m-commerce creates a global marketplace, the amount of competition you have for your products or services is enormous. There’s a good chance that you’ll be competing with several businesses around the world who do the exact same thing you do. Although you might be the only provider in your community, the build-up of sales from mobile commerce can require a lot of time. Consumers must find your quality through the white noise of everyone else saying they can do the same thing.
6. It must have fast services available at all times.
The amount of time that a consumer is willing to wait on a purchase from an m-commerce perspective is very small. Some consumers will stop using an app or website if it fails to load the information they need in 2 seconds. At best, you have an 8-second window to close a sale for most customers on this platform. If that doesn’t happen, then your competition is going to get the revenues that were initially yours. You must be vigilant as a business to maintain your mobile platform to avoid issues that could cost some business.
7. It requires you to ship products to consumers.
You’re forced to put your faith into third-party shipping companies when you sell products over an m-commerce platform. If the shipping company fails to deliver as they should, then the consumer is going to blame your business, not the shipper. Even digital products, delivered by email, are at the mercy of others to ensure a consistent delivery experience. Your solutions must be fully transparent to customers, so they can choose which options are right for their specific needs.
The advantages and disadvantages of m-commerce are important to consider because more internet traffic than ever before is coming from mobile devices. Over half of all website visits now come from smartphones and tablets. If you are not evaluating these key points from a business perspective, then you’re losing money.