We can all agree that our mobile phones are one of the greatest innovations of mankind. The rapid technological advancements have led to the growth of several online businesses which are carried on easily with just a single mobile phone. This recent development in the e-commerce industry which makes intensive use of mobile phones is called mobile-commerce, which is abbreviated as m-commerce. In this article, we shall talk about  M-commerce (mobile commerce), its popularity and its future. Read on to find out! 

What is Mobile Commerce? 

To put it in simple terms, M-Commerce is known as mobile commerce. M-commerce refers to the act of buying and selling goods through wireless devices such as smartphones, i-pads and tablets. It is a new form of e-commerce that allows users, both buyers and sellers to access online shopping platforms without the help of a desktop computer or even a laptop. M-Commerce makes use of WAP (wireless technology) to carry on sales of goods, offer services, make and receive payments and conduct all types of business transactions with ease. A recent report by Mordor Intelligence shows that mobile transactions are expected to increase by over 24.5% annually and the rates are expected to double by 2026. In India alone, over 70 to 85%  of online transactions are carried out solely by mobile phones. It is also estimated that the m-commerce market is going to grow into a $700 billion industry. 

How did M-Commerce Originate? 

There is no particular phase that can be pointed to trace back the origin of m-commerce. M-commerce originated  essentially as a subset of e-commerce. The term ‘ was coined by Kevin Duffy in the year 1997. 

What are the types of M-Commerce? 

Let’s take a look at the different types of m-commerce. 

  1. Mobile Shopping – This is a type of m-commerce that refers to shopping products online through specific websites or any dedicated mobile applications. These include different types of products such as groceries, daily essentials to even electronic goods. In most cases, you can even shop for these products through their social media channels. 
  2. Mobile Delivery – This is a type of m-commerce that deals with the concept of delivery. It can include pickup and cab delivery, food delivery and other related e-commerce applications.  
  3. Mobile Banking – Mobile Banking is another type of m-commerce, which involves the use of all the features of your bank through online methods. This is a new found type of m-commerce that has become very popular amongst the masses. Mobile banking makes use of mobile applications that help to carry out financial transactions with the help of their mobile phone. 
  4. Mobile Payment Applications – It is a type of m-commerce that refers to carrying out financial transactions through mobile applications. It is also called digital wallets or e-wallets, where one can link their bank account to a particular mobile wallet and carry out transactions with the help of their smartphones on the go.
  5.  Mobile P2P Payments – It is a type of m-commerce that refers to the different types of payment applications that involve sending money from one person to another directly through their mobile phone. Mobile applications such as Venmo, Xoom have made it possible for individuals to transfer money from one person to another through their bank accounts directly. 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of M-Commerce? 

It’s time for us to take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of m-Commerce. 

The Advantages of M-Commerce are as follows; 

  1. M-commerce increases the rate of customer retention since they are easily accessible to them. 
  2. The M-commerce market is huge and it offers a wide variety of commodities and services, offering more options to select products of their choice. 
  3. M-commerce is highly convenient for the customer as it allows them to compare and contrast the prices, skim through product reviews and make a purchase decision with their mobile phones. 
  4. M-Commerce offers a wide range of payment options such as debit card, credit cards, net banking, e-wallets and so much more. 
  5. Since M-Commerce is a subset of e-commerce that automates sales from the customer’s point of view, it is being highly preferred by customers. 

The disadvantages of M-Commerce are as follows; 

  1. The technological infrastructure required to set up an e-commerce business is highly expensive and has higher initial costs. 
  2. Since M-Commerce is highly dependent on the usage of the internet and mobile devices it is often difficult for customers to access m-commerce platforms at the right time. Since several developing countries are incapable of providing uninterrupted internet services and with constant network disruptions, M-commerce is still not the most preferred method of shopping. 
  3. Since M-Commerce is based on making transactions through wireless technology and mobile devices, the problem of safety and security always exists. 
  4. Since M-Commerce requires individuals to make transactions through digital wallets and QR Codes, customers are often scammed or hoaxed. 
  5. M-commerce is also not preferred amongst the masses solely because the concept of mobile payments has not yet reached across the country and people often lack the knowledge and awareness to make use of mobile payment platforms. 
  6. Lastly, since m-commerce makes use of mobile applications intensively, a poorly designed application can lead to dissatisfying the customer and thereby reducing the purchase rate. 

So, what’s the future of M-Commerce?

In today’s digital world, M-Commerce is rapidly growing and expanding. The increasing pandemic and global lockdowns have made it much easier for customers to purchase products online instead of physically visiting the markets. Even customers prefer to order goods and services online instead of visiting a retail store near them. With the numbers all set to grow, the M-Commerce sector looks highly promising and we are sure that it will change the shopping game in the country in the years to come. 

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