M Commerce can be defined as any electronic commerce activity conducted over a wireless network through mobile devices. It includes activities such as buying and selling of goods, provision of services and information, online transactions etc.
Wireless networks like GSM, CDMA, TDMA, GPRS and UMTS enables a user of a mobile device to access a variety of information stored on databases of connectivity providers, information providers, service providers and web servers.
Mobile devices refer to devices that connect to a wireless network and are capable of accessing, interacting and displaying information on screen eg. –
- Cellular phones or Smart phones
- Pager devices
- Handheld computers, palmtops, tablets
- Personal digital Assistants (PDA)
The main idea behind M commerce is to enable various applications and services available on the internet to portable devices (mobile phones, tablets, laptops etc.) to overcome the constraints of a desktop computer. M commerce aims to serve all information and material needs of the people in a convenient and easy way.
Applications of M commerce
- Mobile connect time communications
- Mobile equipment and device providers
- Value added services
- Mobile application developers
- Mobile commerce application providers
- Mobile Shopping
- Mobile advertising
- Mobile auctions
- Mobile entertainment
- Mobile financial services
- Location and search service
Advantages of M commerce
- It provides a convenient, secure and easy to use communication and distribution network
- It provides a wider reach as most people use cell phones
- It enables a business to target customers effectively e.g. on the basis of location, service provider, devices etc.
- It reduces transaction and order processing cost
- It encourages competitive pricing
- It streamlines all business processes
Disadvantages of M commerce
- Low acceptance rate of new devices, applications and technology among people
- Lack of supporting infrastructure, professionals and technology in developing countries
- Security and privacy issues
- Expensive 2G, 3G plans
- Customer retention rate is very low