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
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 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