The Difference Between M-Commerce And E-Commerce

Shopping online has become a trend today and it has also proven to be beneficial for both the buyer and the seller. Customers use both web and mobile platforms to make their purchases. There are pros and cons of both these platforms, which helps customers make the final buying decision. 

According to Statista, mobile commerce revenue has reached $669 billion in 2018 and continues to rise every year. Here is an outline of how mobile commerce reached greater heights within five years spanning from 2013 to 2018.

  • 2013: $98 billion
  • 2014: $184 billion
  • 2015: $315 billion
  • 2016: $429 billion
  • 2017: $549 billion
  • 2018: $669 billion

Businesses are constantly looking for new ways to retain customers and attract new customers. Therefore, m-commerce and e-commerce play a vital role within the online shopping platform. Here’s a look at the differences between e-commerce and m-commerce, the role of each in online business, and the benefits of m-commerce. 


What is E-commerce?

E-commerce, in short for electronic commerce, is buying and selling of products electronically via the internet. There are different forms of e-commerce transactions and applications in place in the online world. It may be a company selling products via a website or various vendors selling different items on an online platform. There are virtual companies that run completely on the internet without any physical location.

The e-commerce revolution is not solely for business giants. In fact, it has proven to be highly effective and beneficial for small and medium businesses too. E-commerce is also a fundamental part of globalization as it is widely spanning across many countries worldwide.


What is M-commerce?

Mobile commerce, or m-commerce, is the buying and selling of products using mobile and handheld devices like smartphones and tablets. M-commerce takes place via an app that customers are supposed to download to their phones. They can even access it via the mobile version of the particular website. Amazon Shopping App and Google Play Store are some examples of such m-commerce apps.

M-commerce is actually a subset of e-commerce that refers to transactions made via mobile platforms and devices. It includes everything from online purchasing to mobile banking, payments, and various other transactions. 


The role of m-commerce and e-commerce

People would have never heard of online transactions if it was not for e-commerce and its subset, m-commerce. E-commerce and m-commerce serve a range of functions and have various connotations for different people. 

E-commerce hit a high mark in the global marketplace during the COVID-19 pandemic. Statistics show supremacy of m-commerce over e-commerce due to extensive use of handheld devices like mobile phones and tablets. Below are some related statistics to get an ideal of the supremacy of m-commerce in the online shopping arena.

  • Online sales surged by 27.6%, passing $4 trillion between 2020 and 2021
  • Year 2020 statistics show that m-commerce rules about 73% of all internet purchases, which is 14% more than the previous year
  • 75% of customers opt for mobile shopping due to convenience and time saving factors
  • 80% of customers use smart devices such as their mobile phones to read reviews, compare prices, or look for other physical store locations
  • More than 48% of the world’s population, which is 3.8 billion, owned at least one mobile phone, according to 2021 statistics
  • M-commerce brought an income of $339 billion for the US in 2020


Examples of e-commerce and m-commerce

E-commerce includes online marketplaces, stores, crowdfunding platforms, auctions, and similar platforms. Examples of e-commerce websites include the following:

  • Amazon
  • Flipkart
  • Quikr
  • Olx 

Examples of m-commerce apps include the following:

  • In-app purchasing Amazon mobile app
  • Starbucks app
  • Uber
  • Mobile banking apps like paytm


E-commerce trends

E-commerce has proven its ability to adapt to any ecological, political, or technical obstacles that come up annually. It doesn’t seem to show signs of slowing down or backing off from its growth within the online shopping industry and marketplace dominance. The most advantageous point for e-commerce and m-commerce came during the pandemic when access to physical stores was restricted. It shows a huge growth in online marketplaces and this growth continues up to date. This has led more and more businesses to switch to selling their products online.

Here is an outlook of the e-commerce trends in the business world today.



Customers have now got used to making all their purchases from a single location. It proves to be convenient and time-saving on their part. You can buy everything you want from one place and pay for a single delivery service rather than for multiple delivery services. In addition, most marketplaces do provide discounts, offers, and various other perks, which are cost-saving for customers.


Augmented reality

Apps are now able to assist in delivering a sensory experience similar to what you would experience when shopping in a physical store. You can take a closer look at a piece of clothing and even try it on virtually. You can even see how a piece of furniture fits in your living room. One of the most frustrating parts of online shopping for customers is the inability to inspect it before buying. Augmented reality solves this at least partially by letting you inspect it virtually.


Rapid customer search

When shops must move quickly, the practical thing is to do a short study rather than completely relying on guesswork. E-commerce eliminates this almost entirely. With e-commerce, this can be completed in days rather than weeks or months.



Sustainable manufacturing and commerce require developing and marketing products made of environmentally friendly materials and packaging that are long-lasting. Organic, biodegradable, plastic-free, ethical, durable, compostable, recycled, reusable, eco-friendly, and so on are some of the examples of such things.


Omnichannel selling

Omnichannel selling is a marketing strategy that helps your clients have a more personalized experience and, as a result, reach them more effectively. Simply using a few marketing and selling outlets won’t get very far. Utilizing the potential of omnichannel selling requires leveraging marketplaces, social media, yourwebsite, mobile applications, and, whenever practical, physical retail.

Another common trend to pursue is changing a site to a mobile app, or m-commerce as it is known. 


Key differences between m-commerce and e-commerce

Although the world of web and mobile devices are based on the same principles and aim to make people’s life simpler, there are quite a few differences between m-commerce and e-commerce.


Location tracking

One of the primary drawbacks of e-commerce is the inability to track locations due to the  non-portability of devices. M-commerce apps are a winner on this part because they can track and locate users with the help of Wi-Fi, GPS technology, and so on. M-commerce apps are excellent as they provide location-based and personalized recommendations and content.  For example, notifications can let local businesses offer personalized discounts and offers targeting specific customers in a particular area.



E-commerce is where shopping is done via the internet. E-commerce activities are mostly done using desktop or laptop computers. It means you have to have a desktop or carry your laptop to perform e-commerce activities wherever you go. This may not be the best option as users have to find a place to do their transactions. 

M-commerce is based on mobile apps where you can do transactions anywhere you go as long as you have a handheld device like a mobile phone or tablet. Users can perform transactions by connecting to the internet via their mobile device with just a few taps on the screen. There are several methods of payment such as mobile wallets like Android Pay and Apple Pay where you can pay via smartphones, smartwatches, and tablets.



Security is one of the most vital factors to check when conducting online transactions or any transitions over the internet. In e-commerce, customers make payments using their credit cards. However, they are quite reluctant and afraid to reveal credit card details over the internet. This concern about online security and privacy is a significant challenge for e-commerce.

On the other hand, m-commerce apps have more extensive security capabilities. Apart from regular security measures like two-factor authentication and multi-level authentication, present in e-commerce, m-commerce can also offer security measures like biometric authentication. Biometric authentication offers security via retina scans, fingerprints, or face ID.


Other differences

Here are some of the other differences between e-commerce and m-commerce.

  • M-commerce is a new concept when compared with e-commerce.
  • E-commerce is a broader concept of making purchases via desktops and laptops while m-commerce is a subset of e-commerce.
  • The use of the internet is mandatory in e-commerce while it is not necessary for mobile apps in m-commerce.
  • The reachability of e-commerce is relatively low compared to the reachability of m-commerce.
  • E-commerce fails in push notifications while in m-commerce push notifications can be received.


Benefits of m-commerce

M-commerce offers many benefits to customers and businesses. Here is a look at the advantages of using m-commerce.


Gain more insights on customers and personal touch

M-commerce apps can help make shopping a more personalized experience for the customer. These apps save information, favorites, and various other shopping patterns of the user to make the next shopping experience much better than the previous one. Push notifications feature lets the user know when a product he was expecting returns to the store. These features can increase customer loyalty and help retain customers.


Enhance customer experience

People keep mobile phones close to them most of the time, so mobile apps are the perfect way to grab their attention. Chatbots and different messenger apps makes it simpler for businesses to interact with customers using apps that customers already love to use. AI integration can also help provide a better experience to the customer and support image searches. It can also help in fraud protection while shopping via mobile apps. Companies like Alibaba and ebay are using chatbots to communicate with customers and provide them with a positive experience.


An extra marketing stream

M-commerce also serves as an excellent marketing channel where you can promote various features and aspects of your business. You can do this with things like offers, mobile-only discounts and promotions, free shipping, special prices for registered customers, and other features to increase user registration and attract new customers. 


Multiple payment options

With m-commerce there’s more to payment options than simply using cash or card, like in e-commerce. Mobile apps in m-commerce provide you with options like mobile wallets to make payments, making one-click checkouts a possibility. These methods also integrate extra security measures to ensure your transactions take place securely. Popular mobile payment solutions include Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, and PayPal One-Touch.



M-commerce is the future of online shopping and may soon take over physical shopping almost entirely. M-commerce comes with so many features and benefits that one cannot argue on the fact that it is rapidly rising in demand and use.

Cenango is an ecommerce mobile app development agency that is able to design and develop an e-commerce mobile app for any type of business. Our experience and skilled team of developers are able to design the most effective e-commerce mobile app solution for your business. Get in touch with us today to take your business to greater heights with the integration of an e-commerce mobile app and paving the way for m-commerce.

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