eCommerce, mCommerce, sCommerce – Understanding the Basics

eCommerce, mCommerce, sCommerce – Understanding the Basics

Understanding the Basics - Web Design Singapore

Do you remember the days when you’d have to hop from store to store in hopes that they have the product that you want in stock? We do, and that certainly was a dark time for a lot of us. The advent of e-commerce has allowed us to buy the products that we want online instead of coin flipping and wasting hours looking for a specific item! 

Online shopping has become progressively larger because of its convenience. However, as time goes on, online shopping has become more and more complex.

With many different iterations, it can get confusing both for online shopping businesses and consumers. The three notable forms being e-commerce, m-commerce, and s-commerce. 

Here’s a quick guide on each unique form of online commerce, their differences, and their similarities!


E-commerce stands for “Electronic Commerce” and is the definitive act of purchasing or selling products or services through the internet. Online transactions that are through computers or laptops are what you can put under the e-commerce category.

These e-commerce purchases are through e-commerce sites that can be accessed through the browser. There are loads of different websites to choose from, and the options vary from country to country. 


M-commerce stands for mobile commerce. As the name implies, it’s any online transaction that is done through the use of a mobile device. Although m-commerce can be considered as e-commerce, e-commerce can’t be defined as m-commerce.

Over 80% of people in the U.S alone own some form of a smartphone, and because of that, the reach and accessibility that you can get through m-commerce are broader than in traditional e-commerce that focuses on PC websites. People can order something online from anywhere because of m-commerce, and they can purchase it through web browsers or progressive mobile shopping apps!

M-commerce is a more progressive form of e-commerce that allows users to buy from anywhere as long as they have a phone and cellular data or internet. Mobile shopping apps can also send applications to customers through push notifications, which increases the probability of them purchasing something from the store!


S-commerce stands for social commerce. As the name suggests, it’s the process of using social media or networking websites such as Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook to promote and sell products. S-commerce has the potential to be bigger than m-commerce because of the reach that you can get through social media sites.

However, the success of s-commerce businesses is based on how well they interact with their general audience. marketing through interactions, retweets, likes, and shares can be crucial to getting by, and you have to be fairly active with your audience to garner a loyal following.

S-commerce is one of the most beginner-friendly ways to start out an e-commerce business though, as all you really need is a business account, a marketing plan, and tons of dedication!

Key Differences Between The Three

The three forms of online shopping have differences in some aspects of how they work. Here are some crucial aspects of these businesses and how they differ from each other!

Reachability and Demographics

All three forms of online commerce have a broad reach and demographic because of how the internet works. However, s-commerce has the edge in reachability and demographics because social media is such a volatile platform to work with. Notifications exist for s-commerce, and the addition of live chat makes reachability easy for s-commerce businesses!

Traditional e-commerce falls short when it comes to reachability because of how limited websites can go. You could have available notifications for your website, but notifications on laptops and computers aren’t as impactful compared to push notifications on mobile devices.

M-commerce is stable when it comes to reachability, it isn’t as unpredictable as social media, and users can be reached no matter where they are.


Traditional e-commerce falls short when it comes to the availability of platforms that they can work with. E-commerce is limited to websites and a small selection of Microsoft apps that you can choose from based on the country you’re in.

S-commerce is limited to the social media service that they are utilizing. It doesn’t have the option of being on both mobile and computers because of the nature of some social media sites like Facebook. Therefore, users are forced to stay on the social media network that you’re working in.

M-commerce is on top when it comes to the platforms that it can work with! Since mobile devices can access websites through mobile web browsers, it can access any online store that a laptop can access. M-commerce also works with native apps that can be put in the app store or the play store! Mobile applications have come a long way, and almost all website-based e-commerce sites have a mobile app now.

Ease of Access

When it comes to ease of access, m-commerce is on top. Customer experience on mobile apps and devices is well-optimized. Most mobile apps are categorized cleanly, and you can go through the site with just a few taps!

S-commerce sites are also generally easy to navigate. Since everything is on the business page or account that you create, all your customers have to do is scroll down or swipe through your gallery.

Traditional e-commerce websites are a lot more confusing to navigate than mobile apps. Though not all of them are cluttered, some website needs some getting used to and can be overwhelming at times.

Which One Is Better?

Online commerce isn’t a competition. Each form of online shopping has its perks and can perform well based on the management and marketing that it gets!

Though some are easier to work with than others, online shopping has come a long way and is adapting to the many changes in technology. E-commerce websites now have mobile optimization for their sites, and s-commerce businesses now have dedicated websites where you can buy their products.

Take advantage of progression and make changes based on the trend of the year! No matter which form of online commerce you choose, there will be an opportunity for you to succeed!

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