What is M Commerce? Is it Different from eCommerce?
M-Commerce is the new buzzword in the eCommerce SEO world and has been making the rounds for quite some time. Its impact can´t be denied, and most digital marketing efforts are today focused on channels that leverage the power and reach of smart devices.
The difference between m-Commerce and eCommerce is more about the approach and focus, and less about the philosophy behind them.
Both terms are intrinsically connected as they both allow people to conduct business through the use of electronic devices instead of having to directly face their counterparts. However, eCommerce is now just a blanket term for everything related to online shopping and trading, while m-Commerce only deals with mobile technologies that allow people to perform all their transactions right from the palm of their hand no matter where they happen to be located.
Now, many online sources claim that there are conceptual differences between eCommerce and m-Commerce. That’s as absurd as saying that there is a difference between guitars in general and electric guitars. Electric guitars are a subset of the guitar category, the same way m-Commerce is a subset of eCommerce. What happens is that merchants are quickly moving towards m-Commerce due to its versatility, reach and ease of use.
In short, m-Commerce is eCommerce plugged into a million watts amplifier.
However, as it often happens with newer technologies, the transition from desktop eCommerce to mobile shopping has been quite slow. People were used to searching for products on their phones, and then making a call or visiting a store in person. This posed a problem for merchants who rely on impulse buying or those who had to close their physical stores due to the events of 2020.
Google My Business and Google Maps were a lot of help pointing people to the right provider or solution. The problem was that they still redirected people to a less than optimized eCommerce website or a phone number. To this day this still turns a lot of people off, and the last thing many want to happen is to click on a link and hear their phone ringing.
So, tech companies put their big brains to work and figured out ways of reducing the “customer journey” to a mere “customer prance” through the power of ever more intuitive mobile tools and platforms. And the results are astonishing. In 2021, m-Commerce will account for almost three-quarters of eCommerce sales in the U.S.
What makes m-Commerce Special?
For starters, it allows merchants to reach their customers no matter where they are. Local SEO strategies even allow businesses to only target ads to people within a certain radius around their physical location, making e-targeting a lot more efficient and accurate. However, that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Those who were aware of the m-Commerce trend realized that people still enjoy browsing through products, and even trying them on, but checkout is usually where the whole journey becomes an agonizing crawl.
ECommerce platforms have been working hard to figure out ways to eliminate every hurdle the customer faces when shopping online. Now the goal is to turn the whole process into a seamless experience from discovery to attainment.
For example, Instagram realized that people were utilizing their platform for much more than just showing off what they had for breakfast. Users promoted their products through their feeds and stories transforming Instagram into a gigantic sales platform. However, these merchants still had to make sure they included the annoying “link in bio” line in the description and hope people took the time to interrupt their scrolling to visit a merchant´s profile and then go to an external website that is not always easy to navigate. Once the customer is on a website, he will probably have to take many additional steps in order to finally place an order. It was quite an ordeal.
The solution was the creation of shoppable posts that are seamlessly integrated into a merchant´s catalog and the user’s preferred payment method. Now users scroll away and if they find something they like, they can just click on the product and buy it. This reduced a lot of friction between online stores and their customers and propelled online sales to new heights.
Is m-Commerce Safe?
One of the main hurdles m-Commerce enthusiasts had to face was dealing with payment options and security. People were not comfortable with sending personal information through their telephones. This was regardless of the fact that, historically, smartphones have always been more secure than desktop computers.
Moreover, merchants were forced to create store apps that would integrate layers upon layers of functionalities in order to process transactions. These would include catalog and shopping cart management, payment gateways and processors, security providers, and many more. Most of these were managed by individual 3rd party providers, and integrating them required skilled API developers to close all the gaps and loopholes between them.
Assuming that everything worked well, these systems still required the customer to enter a great amount of data at checkout. It was clumsy, to say the least. Many people simply preferred to get home and go the old-fashioned eCommerce way, using their desktops to shop online instead of trying to type their addresses and credit card information through their tiny phone keyboard. By that time, the probability that the impulse for buying your product has cooled off was very high, so you needed to draw their attention again with retargeting strategies.
Nowadays, there are plenty of companies that offer all-in-one payment solutions that easily integrate with your business and remove a lot of speed bumps associated with personal information, payment options, or even switching tabs for making simple transactions. In other words, these companies are keen on increasing the chances of impulse buying while offering higher levels of security.
M-Commerce is here to stay, and it is expected to keep evolving to capitalize on the use of newer technologies such as augmented reality and better AI functionalities. Nonetheless, it is only a part, however big, of a bigger world, called eCommerce.
If you want to learn more about how to optimize your business for m-Commerce, contact our digital marketing experts today at 888-982-8269.