E-Commerce + M-Commerce, The Marriage is Inevitable

Originally posted September 26, 2016 LinkedIn

Mobile E-Commerce Spending in the First Quarter of 2015 Reached $11.1 Billion in Sales in the U.S.

The rise of M-commerce is due to its portability and ease of use completing transactions through the internet. M-commerce , best known as mobile commerce, completes the same transactions as e-commerce, however, these transactions are completed using cell phones and handheld mobile devices or any device that is considered wireless.  E-commerce, best known as electronic commerce, is the buying and selling of goods, products and services online where the transactions are completed using an electronic system such as the internet using a laptop and/or desktop computer.

As far as familiarity is concerned, anything purchased on a desktop falls under E-commerce while anything purchased on a mobile device falls under M-commerce. With both needing some form of electronic means to function it is understandable that M-commerce is also a form of E-commerce. So why do we use different terminologies? This is due to the difference in user behavior between a mobile transaction and a transaction completed using a website. Mobile apps interact with users quite differently from web apps.

With the growing number of people using E-commerce platforms through their mobile devices, the value of M-commerce is also growing. In Q2 2015, M-commerce spending was more than $11 billion and is now about 30% of all US E-commerce sales.

  • The Goldman forecast predicts that in 2018 M-commerce will reach the value of E-commerce from 2013, which was $23 billion
  • Among users referred to as digital spenders, cross-device shopping became a part of their regular buying experience.
  • According to Criteo's Report Q3 2015, 47% of users used tablets, 43% used smartphones, and 39% used laptops in their path to purchase.           

With that being stated, M-commerce may soon take over E-commerce in the way people make purchases online. It is changing consumer behavior on a deeper and more complex level, with the introduction of multi-channel / omni-channel retail, where stores have both online and offline outlets. The combined monthly mobile visits of all 378 U.S. Mobile 500 merchants grew 68.3% to 3.03 billion in 2015, while mobile monthly unique visitors grew collectively 44% to 964.7 million. The increase in mobile shopping is leading more U.S. retailers to invest in mobile apps, which can provide features not available on a mobile web site. However, through optimization, both your website and mobile presence can work harmoniously without having to invest in additional apps. 

In reality, they are one of the same and the definitions simply pertain to how a website is displayed and the type of shopping convenience that you are offering your customers. In today's world, both are necessary to keep you competitive. Offering both options will give your customers the opportunity to make purchases wherever they may be. And in today's competitive market having your products available to purchase at 3:00am on a Saturday or noon on a Tuesday can mean the difference between losing an old customer or making a new one.