Difference Wiki

eCommerce vs. mCommerce: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 23, 2023
Ecommerce refers to buying/selling online, regardless of device; mcommerce is specifically via mobile devices.

Key Differences

Ecommerce is a broad term that encompasses all forms of electronic buying and selling of goods or services. Mcommerce, on the other hand, narrows this down to transactions specifically conducted via mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
When one thinks of ecommerce, it can include shopping on a desktop website, a mobile site, or even a mobile app. Mcommerce specifically zeroes in on the latter two, emphasizing the mobility aspect of online shopping.
From a business perspective, an ecommerce strategy may involve optimizing a website for desktop and mobile users. In contrast, an mcommerce strategy focuses on enhancing the user experience for mobile shoppers, considering factors like screen size and touch functionality.
In terms of growth, while ecommerce paved the way for digital shopping, mcommerce has seen rapid expansion due to the global increase in smartphone usage. The immediacy and convenience of shopping on-the-go differentiate mcommerce from traditional ecommerce.
Despite their differences, both ecommerce and mcommerce have the same ultimate goal: facilitating online sales. While ecommerce provides the foundation, mcommerce represents a significant segment adapting to modern consumer behaviors.

Comparison Chart


Desktop, mobile, others
Mobile devices only (smartphones, tablets)


General online transactions
Mobility-centered transactions

Device Optimization

Desktops and mobiles
Primarily mobile devices


Broader, all online transactions
Narrower, mobile-based transactions only

User Experience

Tailored for multiple devices
Optimized for touchscreens and smaller displays

eCommerce and mCommerce Definitions


Digital platforms facilitating trade transactions.
Many businesses are expanding their reach through ecommerce.


Mobile-centric online trading platforms.
Many brands have optimized their mcommerce platforms for quicker checkouts.


Electronic trade conducted over the internet.
Black Friday sales skyrocketed thanks to ecommerce.


Buying and selling via smartphone or tablet apps.
He purchased the headphones through an mcommerce app.


Online shops replacing or complementing physical stores.
She preferred the variety offered by ecommerce sites.


Commerce conducted through mobile devices.
Mcommerce has made shopping possible even in transit.


The act of buying and selling goods online.
The rise of ecommerce has transformed the retail landscape.


The intersection of mobile tech and commerce.
The rise in smartphone users has propelled mcommerce to new heights.


A virtual marketplace connecting buyers and sellers.
Independent artisans find success in the world of ecommerce.


Ecommerce tailored for on-the-go transactions.
She browsed the latest fashion collections through her favorite mcommerce site.


Alternative form of e-commerce


Are desktop shopping sites considered mcommerce?

No, they're part of ecommerce; mcommerce is mobile-focused.

Why is mcommerce becoming so popular?

The global rise in smartphone usage makes shopping on-the-go convenient.

Does ecommerce include services or just products?

Ecommerce includes both products and services sold online.

Is every ecommerce website optimized for mcommerce?

Not necessarily, though many prioritize mobile optimization due to its growing importance.

Are there mcommerce-exclusive sales?

Some brands offer mobile-only deals to promote their mcommerce platforms.

What challenges does mcommerce face?

Screen size limitations, varying device compatibilities, and ensuring secure mobile transactions.

What's driving the growth of mcommerce?

Increased smartphone penetration, mobile payment solutions, and consumer desire for convenience.

Can I integrate my ecommerce platform with my mcommerce app?

Absolutely, many businesses aim for seamless integration to enhance user experience across devices.

Are payment methods the same for both ecommerce and mcommerce?

Generally, yes, but some mcommerce platforms might emphasize mobile payment options.

Do ecommerce platforms automatically adapt to mobile?

Not always. It's essential to choose platforms that offer mobile optimization.

Is it harder to manage returns in mcommerce?

Not necessarily; return policies depend on the retailer, not the platform.

Which is expected to grow faster in the next decade, ecommerce or mcommerce?

While both will grow, mcommerce is projected to expand faster due to mobile tech adoption.

What does ecommerce stand for?

Ecommerce stands for electronic commerce, referring to online trading.

How does mcommerce differ from ecommerce?

Mcommerce is ecommerce specifically via mobile devices.

Can mcommerce apps be used on desktop?

Typically, no. Mcommerce apps are designed for mobile devices.

Is mcommerce safer than ecommerce?

Both have their security measures; the safety depends on the platform and user practices.

How has ecommerce impacted the retail industry?

Ecommerce has expanded global reach, reshaping traditional retail structures.

Do I need a separate strategy for ecommerce and mcommerce?

It's wise to consider both, especially emphasizing user experience for mcommerce.

How do I optimize my ecommerce site for mobile users?

Consider responsive design, faster load times, and touch-friendly interfaces.

Which has a larger market share, ecommerce or mcommerce?

As of now, ecommerce has a larger share, but mcommerce is rapidly growing.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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