Why M-Commerce Is The New E-Commerce

by Anand Jain, Co-founder, CleverTap    Feb 24, 2017

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India is the second largest mobile market in the world after China, with a massive subscriber base. Unlike other passive markets the Indian market is an aggressive battleground for all the e-commerce businesses trying to outdo each other, in one or another way. The multiplying number of smart device users are offering a tremendous opportunity to e-commerce companies across all segments to reach out to a wider audience through mobile apps.

M-commerce is the modern term for mobile e-commerce that enables us to purchase everything over the Internet without the using a PC through their internet enabled smart phones. Easy internet access, efficient mobile sites and user friendly apps are the prime factors promoting m-commerce to customers. M-commerce is new age version of e-commerce with handheld, wireless smart devices and a new generation of internet enabled smart phones. Cost effective smart devices teamed with low cost data packages is creating the perfect ambiance for m-commerce boom. Thus mobile communications and Internet are the two of the biggest things in telecommunications responsible for the exponential boom of M-commerce.

Broadband and digital services are no longer considered as a luxury item or a rare commodity available to a select few. Indian internet user are the second largest in the world next to China. This makes way for plenty of e-commerce and m-commerce opportunities, not only for Indian as well as international players. When smartphones were launched, owning one was an expensive affair, but not anymore. The smartphone market has phones of all types depending upon the budget. Easy availability of pocket friendly smartphones are a boon for the buyers and sellers who previously had no internet access. 

M-commerce can be termed as an extension of e-commerce but there are fundamental differences between m-commerce and e-commerce in terms of their origins, technologies and the nature of the services they can offer. E-commerce giants have now plunged into the mobile market. They have launched some great apps to reach out to the mobile audience. A variety of good and services are now available to users through their internet enabled smartphones conveniently at the click of a few buttons. 

If we closely study, smartphones are now outperforming tablets by huge numbers. Consumers prefer purchasing good and services over the phone as it gives them the liberty to buy from the huge mobile market from the comfort of their homes, offices or even when they are out on the go.

Apps from different sectors like travel, food, banking, shopping, education, transportation, health-care, home services and payments are competing with each other. They are offering discounts, adding credits, giving away free gifts or services against app installs and first purchases only to attract users towards m-commerce.

The boom in the mobile sales is indicative that retailers need to be present on the home screen of every smartphone user in form of apps. Internet banking, payments through plastic money, mobile wallets and COD has opened more avenues for buyers to explore and buy easily through their smart phones. Retailers now need to ensure that they have all systems in place to provide users with a flawless experience, easy and secure mobile payments and quicker checkouts.

Apps that have a user friendly and clutter free UX and are of value to the users, are successfully driving engagement and leading to a higher conversion rate, through effective mobile marketing using push notifications, reminders and updates about discounts and offers.

Businesses like Myntra, Grofers, Ola, TinyOwl and Faasos are taking the app-only approach. Using app-only route has a number of benefits attached for both the company as well as the user.  App usage offers a personalized approach, better customer experience, easy accessibility and accurate user data, it has a better reach because the number the smart devices clearly exceeds the reach of personal computers. When apps offer such superior personalized experience coupled with convenience smart device owners are sure to get hooked to it.

Businesses targeting m-commerce need to focus on keeping their apps crisp and simple, because users like to be treated to a quick simple and to-the-point buying experience, a positive consumer experience that drives habitual usage, thus aiding user retention.

[Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Trivone Media Network's or that of CXOToday's.]