The way businesses sell their products or services has changed since the internet became more accessible to society, which has brought online shopping into existence. Online shopping is a form of electronic commerce that takes away the hassle of hours of going from one store to another with the hope of randomly finding what a consumer wants.
The evolution of shopping, however, does not end there. Nowadays, online shopping comes in two categories: e-commerce and m-commerce. Both methods are what business owners can choose if they want to expand their operation online and make sales.
Learn the difference between e-commerce and m-commerce today. Let us start first on what you need to know about e-commerce.
What Is E-Commerce?
The word e-commerce refers to electronic commerce. It usually involves buying and selling products or services with the use of a computer or laptop that accesses an e-commerce website through the help of a stable internet connection.
Here are the pros and con of e-commerce:
Pro #1: Easier And Affordable To Develop An E-Commerce Website
Setting up an online business with a website is easier since many e-commerce web design templates are available online. You only need to change the colour scheme of your design template of your choice, upload the right content, and link it with your social media platforms.
Even if you consider hiring a website developer in Singapore, they will be able to do it with ease since creating an e-commerce website is more of a common practice. The process of developing a website takes approximately around 2 months lead time which may vary depending on the complexity of clients’ requirements as well as clients’ approval process.
PRO TIP: If you are a business owner in Singapore, you can apply for the Productivity Solutions Grants (PSG) for E-Commerce solutions. This grant will allow you to claim up to 70% of funding support and 80% until 31 March 2023 if your business belongs to the retail sector.
Pro #2 Ease Of Management
Even if you do not know much about coding, you could manage your e-commerce website without any knowledge in programming. If you choose to set up an e-commerce website with WordPress, you can build a custom e-commerce website and design the layout yourself, even if you are not tech-savvy.
Con #1 Having Tough Competition To Implement Digital Marketing Strategies
The only problem is the complexity of different digital marketing strategies and optimisation. For a brand to stand out among your competitors, you need to implement effective digital marketing strategies that work specifically for its niche and e-commerce website.
The good news is that brands nowadays can engage with an agency that offers website creation and digital marketing services. Working with an agency that provides these services gives your brand the upper hand to raise your brand awareness and strengthen your online presence even more.
What Is M-Commerce?
M-commerce is mobile and commerce combined, which is also known as mobile e-commerce since the buying and selling of products or services are done with the use of wireless handheld devices like smartphones and tablets.
Here are the pro and cons of m-commerce:
Pro #1 Build Stronger Brand And Improve Customer Loyalty
Having a mobile application for your business can help build a stronger brand and improve customer loyalty. The app allows customisation according to your branding from the app logo to your customer’s purchase experience .
Even if it does not do anything in particular, your logo’s presence on a customer’s smartphone can give your brand continuous exposure. In-app notification can also constantly remind them to check out what you have on your online store, promotions and your users who have downloaded your app will see your logo on their smartphone which is already a free publicity of your online business.
Con #1 High Cost
While having a mobile application can help build a stronger brand and improve customer loyalty, developing one can cause a lot since it involves many things, such as:
- Project Management
- App consultation
- UI/UX Design
- App Development
- Quality Analysis Effort
- Technical Support
- Mobile App Maintenance
- App Security
- App Marketing
- Running Costs
On top of that, if you want your potential customers to browse through your online store via your mobile application, you need to upload the app listing to Google Play Store and/orApple App Store so that users can download, install, and shop from your app.
Con #2 Harder To Manage
Even though all digital platforms need regular maintenance to guarantee they will function perfectly, mobile applications require more advanced and continuous maintenance and content updates to keep the users pleased browsing through the online shop app.
The mobile application requires more advanced skills in maintaining its structure since it is developed uniquely for a brand, so the technical aspects are more niche and harder to manage.
It needs the help of an experienced and well-seasoned mobile application developer who is available and can solve any errors to handle the maintenance of a mobile application.
Con #3 Highly Competitive Marketplace
If you have to run your online business using a mobile app, you should know that you will be competing against 3.48 million apps on the Google Play Store alone.
In addition to the ones on the App Store with 2.2 million mobile apps, there is a lesser chance that someone will stumble upon your mobile e-commerce store there and download it.
Con #4 Higher App Security Risk
When setting up an e-commerce website with the help of a hosting platform like WooCommerce or Shopify, you can rest assured that their team of cybersecurity experts will keep your online store safe from any security risk.
That is the problem with a mobile application. If you develop a mobile application yourself, you will have to manage and be responsible for its cybersecurity to keep your online store and customers safe from insecure data storage, loss of customer information, etc.
Mobile app security is a huge factor because customers share personal data about themselves, such as payment information. That is why it is highly essential to do routine maintenance to implement debugging and access app vulnerabilities. Constantly upgrading app security is also required to keep everything functionally and easy to use for users.
The Pros And Cons Of E-Commerce And M-Commerce
Here is a summary of the pros and cons of e-commerce and m-commerce to help you determine which one is a better platform for your online business.
The Final Verdict
Businesses should build robust web assets first and establish branding with their pool of customers. Mobile application development is only recommended once a brand has already established a strong brand awareness, online presence, and tons of loyal customers. Once your potential customers have stumbled upon one of your web pages on search engine results pages, they can check through your products or services right away.