Definition: M-Commerce also called as Mobile Commerce involves the online transactions through the wireless handheld devices such as mobile phone, laptop, palmtop, tablet, or any other personal digital assistant.
It does not require the user to sit at the computer that is plugged in and perform the commercial transactions. Through M-Commerce, people can perform several functions such as pay bills, buy and sell goods and services, access emails, book movie tickets, make railway reservations, order books, read and watch the news, etc.
Advantages of M-Commerce
- Through M-commerce, the companies can be in regular touch with the users through the Push Notifications. Any discount, scheme, pay back benefits can be communicated to the customers through a message to their mobile phones.
E.g. ShoppersStop always sends a message to its members about the Season Sale.
- M-Commerce enables local business to grow by tracking the location of the potential customer and sharing the information on their mobile phones.
E.g. The educational institutes track down the local students and give information about the courses offered by them.
- With the help of M-commerce, the users can pay their mobile bills, electricity bills, without standing in the long queues.
E.g. Mobile applications such as Paytm, Freerecharge are the online payment platforms.
- M-commerce enables the customers to book movie tickets, railway tickets, air tickets, event tickets thereby saving a lot of time.
E.g. Book My Show, IRCTC mobile applications offers the online reservation services.
- Through M-Commerce, customers can easily access the complete information about the product or service provider before availing its services.
E.g. Any new restaurant is opened in the city; one can access about it in detail through mobile.
- M-Commerce helps the marketer to have a wider reach of potential customers than he can have by visiting all personally.
E.g. Text can be sent to the mobile phones of many potential customers residing in different parts of the country Make My trip is the best example.
Disadvantages of M-Commerce
- The Screen of mobile phones is generally small as compared to the computer screen and, therefore, the display of cellular gadgets may not influence the user to make the purchase.
E.g. Through Flipkart Mobile Application a customer can see several products, but the user may not decide on the purchase because of the smaller image of the product and rather rely on E-commerce i.e. computers for the better view to make a purchase decision.
- M-Commerce software is costly as compared to the E-commerce, many retailers may not go for it, and hence the mobile users may have fewer options.
- Poor connectivity also hampers the M-commerce to flourish. Sometimes the data is too slow to access the websites through mobile applications.
- M-commerce, being the latest technology is struggling with its applications in terms of its graphics and the content that results in more reliance on the E-commerce applications.
- Information shared through the wireless medium have higher chances of getting hacked. Therefore, people use more of E-commerce applications to perform the money transactions.
The technology behind the M-commerce is WAP i.e. Wireless Application Protocol that enabled users to make use of the internet anytime and anywhere.