Mobile commerce, popularly known as m-commerce, refers to the practice of conducting transactions with the help of mobile devices such as mobile phone, personal digital assistant (PDA), etc
Mobile commerce extends the benefits of e-commerce to both businesses and consumers. Through mobile commerce, businesses, in their constant effort to increase their reach, are able to reach to a larger number of consumers in comparison to that offered by the internet. For consumers m-commerce makes e-commerce easily available at any place at any time.
The thrust of m-commerce lies in the fact that it makes e-commerce truly ‘Anytime Anywhere’. Through m-commerce, an organization becomes always available to a consumer through his/her mobile device which is usually kept on and within reach.
Main advantages of e-commerce for businesses are:
- It extends the reach of their business operations to a greater section of society.
- It successfully converts the buying impulse of consumers into business transactions.
- It offers new services that are location-based, where customized services are provided based on the location of the end user.
Main advantages of m-commerce for consumers are:
- They can access a business truly anytime anywhere with greater convenience and ease.
- They can stay connected with businesses at all times.
- They can easily access multimedia-based services, location-based services and many more.
While mobile commerce offers many benefits, it also has limitations that may prove to be a deterrent in its use in many situations. Smaller device size makes the display size smaller. A user does not find it convenient to navigate through information on a smaller device in comparison to doing the same on a computer screen. Limited processing power makes mobile devices unsuitable to execute programs faster. Limited processing memory makes mobile devices unsuitable to execute programs that need more memory. Mobile devices are subject to the limited bandwidth available to them and have issues associated with their battery capacity.