What is a mobile commerce function

From e-commerce to m-commerce: what you need to consider!

E-commerce generally stands for electronic trade and business transactions. M-Commerce stands for electronic trade and business transactions with mobile devices.

The main differences between physical commerce and e-commerce

The business transaction, with a physical dealer in a physical trading company, usually still takes place hand in hand. In most cases, the customer chooses the goods on site at the dealer. Depending on the case, contracts are also concluded in writing and signed by hand. In many cases, the goods are paid for in cash.

The shopping process, business processing and contract conclusion with a virtual dealer in a virtual online shop, on the other hand, are based entirely on the electronic level. The search for the right dealer already begins on the Internet. When a suitable dealer has been found, the customer is first registered via an electronic input mask. There the customer has to enter and save all data about his identity that are relevant for the business process. The view of the product range, the selection of the product, the information about the payment process and the payment process itself take place on the electronic level by means of remote data transmission. Further business transactions, such as information about the maturity of the picking and shipping process, are also processed electronically via e-mails.

In the general terms and conditions of the retailer, you can usually find out from which step of the purchasing process a contract is concluded. This is often regulated by ticking the box. In other cases, an active button labeled "Confirm" or a comparable wording must be activated.
It is worth mentioning that, for example, a text purchased from a content provider on the Internet often does not leave the virtual world. When the buyer needs the text for a website, the goods never take a physical form. This also applies to online games, e-books and many other goods that are based on data.

The main advantages and disadvantages of e-commerce from the customer's point of view

E-commerce offers many advantages to potential customers. Two great advantages are the saving of time and money. The right dealer with the desired product can be found very quickly. Price comparisons are very extensive. The shopping processes are processed quickly. The customer does not have to leave the house, possibly saves money, is independent of the weather and so on. Pure comfort with many advantages are clearly evident here.
The main disadvantage is that direct physical dealer contact is lost. Customers who prefer a personal consultation will find out deficits via the Internet. Another disadvantage is that the goods can only be viewed in pictures and can no longer be viewed as originals before buying.

The main advantages and disadvantages of e-commerce from the retailer's point of view

The advantages are obvious. The retailer benefits from the fact that the customer likes to use the convenience offered. The customer can very quickly get an overview of the entire range of a retailer and make his selection quickly and conveniently. Almost all psychological marketing strategies, such as effective cross-selling (the offer of product supplements or additional items that expand the actual core range), can also be used effectively by a retailer in an online shop. In addition, in the virtual world there are extensive and very inexpensive advertising opportunities for retailers on websites, some of which are regularly visited by tens of millions of potential customers. These include, for example, the home pages of search engines and social networks.

The main disadvantages for retailers who do not offer the best goods at the best prices are that a customer can look at the products of the market competitors much faster than in the physical world and compare them without much effort. Other psychological effects, such as an oversized shopping cart, sprinkling music in the corresponding sales areas and fragrance effects in the areas of the grocery departments, are no longer applicable.

The extension of e-commerce to m-commerce

M-Commerce stands for electronic trade and business transactions with mobile devices. Internet-enabled cell phones, smartphones and a wide variety of tablet computers enable this mobile use in connection with electronic communication technologies such as cellular communications with many different networks, W-LAN or Bluetooth. Thanks to the advanced satellite technology and the widespread use of radio towers, a very good connection has been effectively made possible for users. Product information can be called up and purchases can be made via mobile devices. The huge advantage for the customer is that he can do both options anywhere and does not have to wait until he has access to a stationary PC. This means that almost any kind of internet business can be carried out when and where the customer wants it.

Books, tickets, plane tickets, travel, online games add-ons, music purchases, event tickets, software, computer hardware, video films and DVDs, games and cameras are particularly popular with m-commerce. Research has shown that the screen size of the end devices is very important for the frequency of certain product purchases. It found that bigger screens resulted in more purchases overall. In addition to the purchase of goods, the social networks are also increasingly being visited via the end devices. In general, users want to get to their destination with just a few clicks (key functions).

The business value of certain mobile applications

Today there are various applications for mobile devices (called app and apps for short). Employees of a company can directly access data sets released by the company via appropriate mobile applications. However, this applies not only to the retrieval of information, but also to its direct input. Thus, an external employee can actively access the customer base, contacts, calendar, folders, mailboxes and much more via his mobile device and actively add, change data and so on. Thus, the mobile device with the corresponding application becomes a mobile office.

This is an optimal solution in many practical cases, especially for field staff and freelancers who work externally with a company. This means enormous time savings for both sides. The external employees do not have to collect data separately, such as writing it down and then transferring it later, but can feed it directly into the company's databases. The company's internal employees can use and process this data promptly. This is a great advantage for incoming orders, for example, as dispatch can be prepared quickly and customers can also be satisfied more quickly.

The security concerns of mobile devices in connection with m-commerce

Fours, worms and Trojans are not just limited to the PC. Mobile devices are also susceptible to this. According to various surveys, the greatest risk comes from applications that are installed by users on their mobile devices. Such apps often hide hidden costs, which then lead to unpleasant surprises. But there are other dangerous aspects of mobile devices that have to be considered when making a purchase. The payment systems via mobile devices are one of the main factors why many users are not yet making purchases related to m-commerce.

With the relatively new mobile devices, many consumers do not yet know how to use passwords, PINs or automatic locks. Virus protection is also completely alien to many when it comes to new end devices. This gives hackers an easy game time and again. On a completely different point of security is that the new devices are usually very small and can be lost quickly. If private pictures and important data are lost with such a loss and the finder uses them for misuse, personal disaster can very quickly arise.

Further obstacles for users of mobile devices to use m-commerce

The high cost of mobile surfing discourages many from making mobile purchases. In connection with this, many users generally complain that there are too few W-LAN networks that are inexpensive or free. Many also criticize the often inadequate transparency in the sales contracts of dealers and / or service providers. Another disruptive factor for users of e-commerce is the incomprehensible and visually inadequate presentation of the websites by the providers. More information will follow.

This is what distinguishes an optimal website for use in m-commerce

The general rule is that the customer should not be confronted with any situation in which he cannot get any further immediately. Helplessness immediately triggers enormous dissatisfaction among customers and leads to people leaving the shop. The entry into the actual product selection via the start page must be very easy. Clear menu items must explain the action by themselves. If the page should or can be moved up, down, left and / or right, then this must be indicated.

If images are displayed small but can be zoomed in larger, it must be pointed out that it is possible and how it is possible. Many users are not yet familiar with these functions in the new devices. The eye also buys! The customer wants to see the goods that interest him and not many other goods next to it. A zoom function must therefore not be dispensed with.

A change from one menu item to another should be immediately recognizable in terms of its functionality. Another important aspect is the way the goods are placed in the shopping cart. It is often not clear how a product can be selected.
The payment system must be customer-friendly and secure. Many customers still want the good, tried-and-tested payment by invoice, especially with m-commerce. The reason for this are the many negative headlines in relation to insecure online banking via mobile devices.