eCommerce vs. mCommerce

Posted by Paul on July 15, 2011

What is eCommerce?

eCommerce refers to websites that sell products online. You choose your product, click to checkout, enter your credit card details, and a few days later, with any luck, some shiny new products arive at your door.

What is mCommerce?

mCommerce is the same, but where this is done on a mobile phone. The Apple App Store is a good example of this. While their products are generally downloaded, the principle is the same.

How do you make sure you're ready for mCommerce?

If you have an eCommerce shop, the chances are that it will be usable on smart phones like the iPhone, but it's also likely that the experience won't be that great and will involve zooming in and out to get through the process.

A better solution would be to have an optimized version of the website for mobile devices. You can still use your product database and images but it's a good idea to detect what platform your users are on and if it's a mobile device, offer the following usability enhancements:

  • A simplified and thinner version of the website to fit the smaller screen.
  • Bigger buttons to help with big fingers and small touch screens.
  • Pre-populated data where possible to mimimize typing.
  • Cut down graphics to increase speed (product images and website design elements).
  • More concise text to increase readability.

While eCommerce is comfortably growing with 7% of retail now happening online, currently only 0.14% of all retail sales happen on a mobile device. As mobile devices continue to increase dramatically in performance and usage, this figure is sure to rise.

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