M-commerce vs E-commerce: What’s the Difference?


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Michael Aldrich set the base for the future of internet e-commerce by integrating a regular TV with a hardware technology that could handle incoming purchases and conversations via a phone line. Less than 20 years later, mobile commerce developed as a major subset of e-commerce and its rightful successor.

What Is E-commerce?

E-commerce is a wide phrase that refers to any corporation or business that sells its products or services through the Internet, whether they are physical commodities or services.

      Types of e-commerce:
  • Business-to-customer (B2C);
  • Business-to-business transactions (B2B);
  • Consumer-to-consumer purchases (C2C)
  • Companies-from-customers (C2B).

Let’s take a quick look at the history of e-commerce and how it all began with Boston Computer Exchange, the world’s first e-commerce company that specialized in used computer sales via a bulletin board system throughout the 1980s. The progress of e-commerce proceeded as the rise of internet use in the 1990s introduced large markets to make online purchasing even more user-friendly and efficient. Marketplaces such as eBay, Alibaba, Amazon were among the earliest developers of online payment systems and now today have significant control of the industry.

What Is M-commerce?

Mobile commerce has quickly overtaken e-commerce as the most popular and convenient method of purchasing goods and services online. The term was coined in 1997 during the Global Mobile Commerce Forum by Kevin Duffey.

M-commerce is significant progress over the previous methods of buying and selling through only computers. Because of the ease of accessibility m-commerce offers, a plethora of new market reaches come to life, regardless of their location, consumers are now easily reached on a global scale

      Additionally, thanks to Mobile commerce several new sectors have emerged:
  • Mobile banking
  • Wireless check-in system in travel and entertainment industries
  • Contactless in-store mobile payments

The choice of devices for shopping is the primary distinction between e-commerce and m-commerce. While e-commerce encompasses all Internet transactions, mobile commerce is limited to mobile devices. E-commerce operations required users to be more sedentary.

The second important distinction between e-commerce and m-commerce is the internet connection requirement. Mobile commerce relies primarily on cellular connections, thus using the Internet isn’t required, especially with Progressive Web Apps that may store data for offline use if necessary.

Role of E-commerce and M-commerce

There would be no online payment systems at all if it weren’t for e-commerce. and m-commerce serves a variety of functions and has varied connotations for different people.

In the past 2 years, the global e-commerce business started to boom at an extremely rapid pace largely as an effect of the Covid-19 pandemic. Statistics on m-commerce vs. e-commerce have also revealed mobile commerce’s supremacy.

  • Between 2020 and 2021 online sales surged by 27.6%, surpassing $4 trillion.
  • At the beginning of 2022 m-commerce now accounts for about 73% of all internet purchases, up 14% from last year.
  • 75% of customers prefer mobile shopping because it is more efficient and time-saving.
  • 80% of customers utilize their mobile devices to compare prices, read reviews, or look for other stores’ locations when shopping in physical stores.
  • In 2021, 3.8 billion individuals, or more than 48% of the world’s population, owned at least one mobile phone.
  • In 2020 mobile commerce brought in $339 billion in income for the United States alone.

Advantages and Disadvantages of E-commerce and M-commerce

  • For individuals who work the majority of the day, shopping online saves time.
  • An ecommerce website design and development has aided small companies in reaching out to their clients more effectively. Additionally, switching to online commerce helps them reach new markets and areas not served before.
  • Businesses save money on operational costs because they don’t have to manage physical storefronts, which equals reduced pricing for customers. The whole experience of shopping online has become more individualized.
  • The capacity to sell across a variety of channels;
  • Browser-based, in-app systems, mobile wallets, wireless payments.
  • Data navigation, adapting to different screen sizes, slow internet connections, and security issues with specific networks if you purchase from unknown sites using a smartphone instead of a PC for m-commerce.
  • Because all transactions are handled through a computer screen, often a personal touch, which is an important part of retail, is absent.

E-commerce and M-commerce Examples

E-commerce includes online stores, marketplaces, auctions, crowdfunding platforms, such as Amazon, eBay, Flipkart, and so on. M-commerce reference to Amazon’s mobile app, Starbucks’ app, Uber’s app, mobile banking apps, etc.

E-commerce Trends

E-commerce has demonstrated its ability to adapt to any socio-economic, political, ecological, or technical obstacles that come up each year and is developing with no signs of slowing down. The most recent difficulty for offline retailers continues to be the decline in sales due to Covid-19. Due to this, more and more businesses are switching to selling online.

  • Marketplaces

    Customers have recently grown accustomed to purchasing all of their products in one location. You don’t have to pay for many deliveries, and most marketplaces regularly provide a variety of perks and discounts.

  • Rapid customer research

    When shops must move quickly, the only option is to do a short user study rather than relying on guesswork. With e-commerce, this can be completed in days rather than weeks or months.

  • Augmented reality

    An application can assist in delivering a sensory experience similar to what we’re used to in physical shops. You may try on items, have a closer look at a product, or see how a piece of furniture will appear and fit in your living area. The inability to completely inspect a product before purchasing it is the most aggravating aspect of shopping online.

  • Sustainability

    Sustainable manufacturing and commerce entail developing and marketing products made of environmentally friendly materials and packaging that can last a long time. Biodegradable, organic, plastic-free, durable, ethical, compostable, recycled, eco-friendly, reusable, and so on are some of the examples of such things.

  • Omnichannel selling

    This marketing strategy can help you reach your clients more effectively and give a more personalized experience. You won’t get very far if you simply use one or a few marketing and selling outlets. Utilizing the potential of omnichannel selling entails leveraging social media, marketplaces, mobile applications, your website, and, whenever practical, physical retail.

Another common trend to pursue is changing a site to a mobile app. That’s where Magento Mobile App comes in best.

The Future of M-commerce

Over the years from completing a purchase by selecting a mobile payment option, the preference for mobile over desktop has developed.

According to research conducted by Accenture and Forrester in 2014, more than 56% of buyers use mobile phones at all times of the day, regardless of where individuals are. Over the next five years, the number of people who own a smartphone is predicted to increase by 25% per year.

Progressive Web Apps combine the capabilities of native apps with the compatibility of ordinary web apps and are a common mobile commerce movement. Companies may save money by avoiding designing mobile apps that are dependent on different types of operating systems and whether or not they are updated to the newest version.

By preserving their personal information in a mobile app with their agreement, it is feasible to save consumers’ time and allow one-click ordering. Social commerce, which refers to purchases and transactions conducted on social media as a consequence of advertisements placed on “shoppable” posts and sites, is still alive and well.


Each year, the process of opening an online business becomes easier, helping with the fast expansion of the industry. After learning about the aim, history, trends, and all of the benefits and drawbacks of e-commerce and m-commerce, it’s safe to say that this industry is continuously changing and provides new methods to reach consumers.


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