Fundamental Differences between E-Commerce and M-Commerce


The segment of commerce and modern business has come a long way with a myriad of major advancements and commendable benefits in store. Talking of advancements, the domains of M-Commerce and E-commerce certainly gets a special mention. M-commerce refers to the commercial transactions that are conducted electronically via mobile phone devices. On the other hand, E-Commerce involves transactions that are done electronically on the internet.

According to Mike Statham, Digital Marketing Executive associated with the digital brand is of the opinion, “Both E-commerce and M-commerce have contributed to our domain by facilitating seamless mobile-based payments for customers and web-based customer experience fostering the growth of our online services all over the internet.”

While both E-Commerce and M-Commerce are both effective in their individual fields of operation, there are a few divergences that set each other apart. Now that you are eager to know about the fundamental differences between electronic commerce and mobile commerce, here’s everything you should know about them.

History of E-Commerce and M-Commerce

The history of E-Commerce dates back to the year 1991, when the internet was finally open to online selling. Since that date, millions of businesses have made the internet their favourite place to sell goods online and earn the targeted return on investment.

On the other hand, M-Commerce is a phenomenon that came into prominence with the phrase “Mobile Commerce” coined in the year 1997 by Kevin Duffey. 

Applications of E-Commerce and M-Commerce

The applications of E-Commerce are spread across a wide platform of functionalities. Let’s take a look at the most notable ones.

  • Manufacturing: Electronic commerce is included and used in the chain operation of different companies. There are companies that form electronics exchange, which means traders do not physically meet in order to buy and sell securities. This means all tradings take place over a computer system. This is exactly where the application of electronic commerce comes into play.
  • Finance and Marketing: Finance and marketing are two of the most significant domains that have experienced the impact of electronic commerce over the past many years. To name a few of the topmost ecommerce marketing and finance companies operating these days, Blue Stout, Guidance, Brand Labs and Border7 get a special mention.
  • Retail and Wholesale: Retail and wholesale E-Commerce refers to B2B online ordering software that allows buyers such as retailers to place orders for products to resell from their suppliers. The application of E-Commerce in this matter proves to be beneficial as it replaces the manual methods of emailing, calling, or faxing associated with the process of dispatching orders successfully.

This clearly highlights the fact that the emergence of electronic commerce in today’s world has led to smarter transactions and hassle-free commercial activities across all territories.

On the other hand, the application of M-Commerce tells us a different story altogether. Its reach and potential are said to be broader as compared to that of electronic commerce. Here’s what the broader picture tells us.

  • Healthcare and Medicine: Wireless services are apparently in the medicine and healthcare industry for the purpose of billing, lab ordering, clinical decisions and the likes. In fact, healthcare professionals in the United States are able to access patient information from any location by getting connected to the hospital’s database wirelessly.
  • M-Commerce for Gaming: Do you know in the year 2019, the mobile gaming market worldwide was $152 billion? In 2020, the worldwide market is expected to reach the mark of $165 billion. These stats pretty much sum up the fact that M-Commerce in the gaming industry is making its presence felt with a significant rise in market share between 2019 and 2020.
  • Mobile advertising and shopping: As compared to E-Commerce, the application of M-Commerce in mobile advertising and shopping is apparently broader from all aspects. The payment gateways in M-Commerce include wider options such as caller’s rate, user’s credit card and mobile banking. This is the reason why online shoppers find it easier and more effective to embrace mobile shopping these days.
    Likewise, advertising through M-Commerce makes the process of advertising any product or service more seamless. From mobile app-based content marketing to retargeting customers via SMS notifications on the go; M-Commerce brings you a lot of opportunities.

Thus, it seems that the application of mobile commerce seems to be slightly broader as compared to electronic commerce.

Other Key Differences

Here are a few more metrics we would review in order to determine the key differences between E-Commerce and M-Commerce.

Devices InvolvedLaptops and computersWirelessly handled devices such as iPads, tablets and cell phones
Utilisation of InternetNecessaryNot necessary, supports offline modes as well
PlatformsWeb storesMobile version apps, hybrid apps, native apps
PricingLess costly due to the inclusion of the internetMore costly as it involves the creation of different mobile apps
ReachOnly in areas where there are seamless internet connectionsBroader reach since M-Commerce fosters wider portability

Table 1: Key Differences between E-Commerce and M-Commerce 

Final Words

Even though both E-Commerce and M-Commerce have their individual advantages and disadvantages, one must embrace strategies according to their industry niche. Not all products and services would support mobile commerce strategies and vice versa. Hence, you need to play your cards right. I hope this informative blog will guide you through thick and thin.


Eliza Clara
Eliza Clara is an experienced digital marketer associated with a leading E-commerce agency in Glasgow, United Kingdom. In addition to it, Eliza is a dedicated marketing assignment writer, associated with During her time leisure, you may find her cuddling her pets, and composing songs and poems.

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