E-commerce vs m-commerce : why choose?


By Margot Bonhomme, Marketing Manager @Botfuel - February 17, 2021

M-commerce is attracting more and more consumers. They are now 3 in 10 Internet users to buy from a mobile. Among them, young people (25-34 years) and women constituted the majority. Brands are opening wide their doors to mobile. Many have made it a priority in their marketing strategy. And for good reason. For many, it is a purchasing facilitator. They are 16.3 million to have responded to the siren calls of mobile commerce. A figure far from competing with e-commerce. The latter attracts 40 million people, in France, alone. This is why it’s important not to forget classic e-commerce. Let's zoom together on their complementarity.

The differences between e-commerce and m-commerce

E-commerce and m-commerce have different meanings, although both aim to make life easier for customers. Despite their similar goals of buying and selling using the Internet, there are many differences:


In e-commerce, purchases are made on the Internet. Usually using a computer or tablets, so users are looking for a place to perform them. It is uncomfortable to use a laptop anywhere, especially if the connection is bad. M-commerce, on the other hand, involves the use of mobile devices. Thus, users can do their shopping wherever they are, as long as they have access to the Internet (which is the case for all smartphones). They then make their purchases, in a few clicks, on their screens.


E-commerce location tracking capabilities are limited due to the non-portability of devices. The user must accept the site's cookies and give the brand access to its location. The difficulty for brands has hardened with the GDPR law. Conversely, mobile applications can track and identify the locations of users using GPS, Wi-Fi ... Thanks to this, m-commerce applications can deliver specific content to the location and personalized recommendations. For example, notifications can allow local businesses to offer discounts targeting particular customers in a particular location.


Security is an essential element of any transaction carried out on the Internet. For e-commerce, credit cards are the most common form of payment. However, consumers are still afraid of sending their credit card numbers over the Internet. The means of payment remains one of the main obstacles in e-commerce. The security capabilities of mobile commerce are a bit more extensive. In addition to regular security measures such as two-factor authentication and multi-level authentication, present in both e-commerce and m-commerce, the latter can also offer biometric authentication (via an identifier face or fingerprints). In m-commerce, some choose to use mobile wallets, such as Apple Pay or Android Pay, instead of using their card.

Infographic : differences between ecommerce and mcommerce

What are the advantages of m-commerce?

Mobile commerce offers a range of benefits for businesses. Let's take a look at some of them to understand why m-commerce is the right approach for an e-commerce business.

Get more information about your customers

Mobile helps merchants connect with their customers in a more personalized way. Using the apps, you can create a personalized shopping experience, where customer preferences, previous searches, and purchases are already recorded. Besides, thanks to geolocation you can better target your promotions.

Add your personal touch

When used correctly, push notifications are a great way to get people to engage with an app more regularly. They make it possible to fill the void that exists between an e-commerce company and its potential customers. They are quick to set up, make it possible to offer instant offers and better reach the right audiences. On average, 62% of users will return to an app the following month if they are engaged with push notifications.

Improve the customer experience

Everybody always has their phone with them, or near them. This makes it easier to capture their attention. Amazon Go is a good example. Via this app, consumers no longer need to check out. In the United States, Amazon has developed supermarkets where everything is automated. Upon arrival, the person opens their application and passes, in front of the scanner posted at the entrance, a QR code embedded in the application. Then she just has to do her shopping. Connected technologies take care of capturing the chosen products.

Another possibility is offered to companies thanks to chatbots and messaging applications. They can thus interact with their customers on applications that they already use daily. AI integrations can also be used to deliver better-personalized shopping experiences. Many companies like Alibaba, Rakuten, or eBay are making their way on this topic. For example, the popular Amazon Echo allows shoppers to shop comfortably through AI.

Offer a variety of payment options

With the emergence of new mobile payment solutions, it is now possible to offer customers a truly diverse range of payment options. This does not mean that we have gone beyond the “money or card” issue, but that m-commerce is giving rise to mobile wallets that allow one-click payments to be made in multiple stores. Popular mobile payment solutions include Apple Pay, PayPal One-Touch, Amazon Pay, and Payfit.

Why choose between m-commerce and e-commerce?

Conversational marketing allows you to do all the points listed both on mobile but also on the desktop!

Do you want more information about your customers? With NLP technology and conversational campaigns, you engage every visitor and start a personalized conversation with them. You will thus learn more about them, their tastes, what they are looking for but also where they come from.

Do you want to improve your online customer experience? Thanks to the shopping assistants, you will be able to support your visitors at each stage of their journey. Engage them on their arrival, advise them during their research and reassure them at the time of payment.

Do you want to add your personal touch? Nothing could be easier with conversational marketing and AI. You create personalized scenarios for each interaction and each journey you have on your e-commerce site. You can also customize your interactions according to the audience you are targeting.

Do you want to offer a variety of payment options? This reassures the visitor. You can offer different payment options depending on their path but also the amount or the capacity of the basket.

E-commerce and m-commerce are complementary and must therefore be part of your omnichannel strategy. Mobile is both a product/service sales channel and a web-to-store facilitator. The desktop, still the majority, allows you to keep your current customers and reassure them.

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