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    Difference Between Informational and eCommerce Websites

    By Derek

    The modern world is all about websites. Almost all businesses have websites and ones that do not are missing out on various benefits. When it comes to websites, there are different types. Here, you get to take a close look at the difference between informational and eCommerce websites, as well as other relevant factors.


    For starters, while both are websites, the fact that they serve different purposes is what draws a line between them. This post highlights what makes these websites different, the reasons behind creating them, and the target audiences they serve.


    Difference between informational and ecommerce website

    What Is an Informational Website?

    So, what are informational websites? As their name suggests, the purpose of these websites is to provide information. The size and scope of these websites vary and may range from providing tips about taking care of your automobile to offering medical information.


    Businesses, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and other entities use informational websites to display their work and describe their services, whereas actual transactions and service delivery take place offline. The main purpose of such a website is to allow your target audience to learn more about you and your business. In most cases, people like carrying out their own research before contacting you or your business.


    Informational websites give you the means to present as much knowledge as possible, while also giving you a way to establish your expertise. This gives consumers the ability to learn more about you before they make that all-important call.

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    What’s an eCommerce Website?

    A simple answer to “What is an eCommerce website?” is it is a website that facilitates commercial or business transactions and involves online transfer of information. Examples of eCommerce websites include online auction houses, retail stores, business-to-business services, financial management websites, and music websites.


    Some popular eCommerce websites include eBay, Amazon, Zappos, Overstock, and iTunes. While the purpose of having a website is to promote services and products over the internet, an eCommerce website takes things a step further.


    eCommerce websites give your target audience the ability to buy products and services directly from your business. This can save you a tidy sum of money and it gives your audience convenience. With a well-designed and developed eCommerce website, your customers can avail of your offerings from practically anywhere, and at any time.


    eCommerce Website vs. Regular Website

    There is no single type of website that classifies as a regular website or a business website, given that each tends to serve a unique purpose. While eCommerce and informational websites are distinct in their own ways, there are other types as well, and the common ones include:

    • Free personal websites provided by Internet service providers
    • Photo sharing websites
    • Video sharing websites
    • Social networking websites
    • Catalog websites
    • Personal websites
    • News websites


    Whether you need an eCommerce website or any other type depends on the purpose you want it to serve, and the web development process requires that you address different aspects.


    ecommerce website

    Different Types of eCommerce Websites

    Two important parameters segregate eCommerce websites. These include the type of offerings on sale and the nature of the participants. Classifying types of offerings plays an important role because it provides valuable insight into the business and financial model of a brand. For instance, while the logistics surrounding delivery might be a problem for businesses that deal with physical inventories, this is not a concern with businesses that provide digital offerings.


    The different types of offerings you may find on eCommerce websites include:

    • Digital products such as software, music, videos, eBooks, images, infographics, and textual content
    • Physical products such as clothing, footwear, electronic gadgets, electrical appliances, furniture, and books
    • Services such as mobile wallets, insurance, and tickets


    The nature of all stakeholders, which include businesses, consumers, and administration, have a bearing on types of eCommerce website development. The six basic types include:

    • Business to business (B2B)
    • Business to consumer (B2C)
    • Consumer to business (C2B)
    • Consumer to consumer (C2C)
    • Business to administration (B2A)
    • Consumer to administration (C2A)


    Difference Between eCommerce and E-Business

    To find out the difference between eCommerce and e-business, you need to understand how the latter works. An electronic business, or e-business, makes use of the internet, intranet, and extranet in its core operations. While it is similar to eCommerce, it involves more than just buying and selling of products and services.


    An e-business tends to have a wider scope of operations, often covering aspects such as order processing, customer relationship management, and supply chain management. Two basic types of e-businesses include:

    • Pure-play. A pure-play e-business tends to focus on a specific type of product or service, as opposed to providing multiple types of offerings at the same time.
    • Brick-and-mortar. An e-business of this type operates online and offline. It sells its offerings online, while also giving its customers the ability to make purchases through physical stores.

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    How eCommerce is Different From E-Business

    Although there are similarities between the two, the differences between eCommerce and e-business are plain to see.

    • An e-business relies on the internet to conduct all its business activities, whereas eCommerce restricts to trading of merchandise.
    • An e-business is a super set whereas eCommerce is a subset.
    • Unlike eCommerce, e-business does not limit to monetary transactions.
    • An e-business requires more than just a website; it also requires customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP)
    • eCommerce requires access to the internet, while an e-business might also need access to intranet and extranet.


    What is the Difference Between a Webpage and a Website?

    A webpage is a part of a website. It may or may not contain links to other pages that are part of the website. On the other hand, a website is a collection of web pages, and it comes with a unified Uniform Resource Locator (URL). Other differences between web pages and websites include:

    • A website has a unique URL, whereas it’s possible to group multiple web pages with distinct URLs under a single URL.
    • A single website can display varied content in the form of different web pages, but the opposite is not true.
    • The URL of a web page may come with extensions such as htm, html, and php, whereas website URLs don’t have such extensions.
    • The domain name is an integral part of a web page address, which essentially depends on the website in question.
    • Designing and developing a website takes considerably more time and effort when compared to designing and developing a single webpage.


    business website vs ecommerce website

    What’s the Difference Between a Blog and a Website?

    A blog is a type of website. While all blogs are websites, only a fraction of all websites are blogs. The main difference between the two is the format in which you present content. A blog is a website where you find content that comes in reverse chronological order, that is, you get to see the latest content first. It’s common to refer to entries in blogs as blog posts.


    Individuals and small groups of people operate several blogs to present information in a conversational style. On the other hand, you may also find corporate blogs that aim to deliver thought-leadership-style informational content.


    Websites are typically static. You usually find the content organized in sections, and updates don’t take place very often. A blog is dynamic and typically offers frequent updates. Some blogs, for instance, provide new content every day.


    It is not uncommon for businesses to incorporate blogs into their websites. This gives them easy means to educate their customers about their offerings from time to time.


    The Basics of eCommerce Website Design

    The overall look and feel of a website plays a crucial role in creating good first impressions. It is not without reason that scores of people leave websites because they find them poor in design or navigation. Some aspects that require attention when it comes to creating a great user interface (UI) and delivering a good user experience (UX) include:

    • Following brand identity. The design stage of an eCommerce website needs to pay due attention to branding, which should be visible and consistent throughout the website. The colors and styles must reflect the identity of the brand. The style should work in making clear the kind of offerings you sell and the target audience you wish to attract. In addition, you need to ensure that the brand experience remains consistent across all channels.
    • Using visual hierarchy. The most important content should find a place above the fold. There are instances when bringing items closer together by minimizing the use of white space works better than moving important information below the fold.
    • Use symbols suitably. Unfamiliar symbols and icons tend to confuse consumers, so it is best that you stick to easily identifiable iconography. Providing labels for icons gives web designers an easy way to avoid any kind of confusion on this front.
    • Avoid pop-ups. Pop-up windows are usually distracting, no matter what kind of information they provide. More often than not, shoppers tend to dismiss them as soon as they appear. However, the information in question might then be hard to find, even when shoppers are looking for it specifically. If you use pop-ups, you need to ensure this is not the case.
    • Product pages. Once consumers find the products they are after, make sure they get all the information that’s made available by manufacturers. Include multiple high-definition images and videos to provide as close to a real-world experience as possible. The use of white background tends to work well because it helps products stand out.
    • Don’t go overboard with the design. Try to keep the use of different colors, font faces, and sizes to a minimum. If you stylize text to look like graphics, consumers may mistake the content for advertisements. To bring clarity to the content you provide, consider using contrasting colors for the text and the background.

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    Seamless Navigation

    No matter whether you run an informational website or an eCommerce one, it is important that you provide your users with a frictionless browsing experience. eCommerce websites need to pay particular attention to this aspect because they do not want people leaving without completing their intended purchases. Fortunately, ensuring that people visiting your site have no problems when it comes to navigation is easy if you pay attention to a few aspects.

    • Define product categories well. The top navigational level should give users a clear indication of the categories on offer. Club similar products and services into relevant categories and sub-categories. Try to stick to using single words as category labels, as this gives consumers a quick and easy way to scan your offerings. User testing website navigation is a good idea as it may provide valuable insight into this important aspect.
    • Simplified search. The search functionality your website offers should make looking for products quick and easy. The search box should find a suitable place on each page, where it is easy to spot. It should support searches across various parameters such as product names, brand names, and categories. An auto-complete functionality simplifies the search process, as does allowing consumers to sort and filter results.
    • Quick view. You may reduce the time consumers spend in finding what they are looking for by letting them get a quick view, as it avoids unnecessary loading of new pages. You may do this by providing basic details about a product in a modal window that appears over the existing page. You may also benefit by including “Add to Cart” and “Save to Wishlist” buttons here.


    eCommerce and Mobile

    Data collated by Shopify indicates that around 76% of adults in the U.S. have made purchases using their mobile phones. However, the possibility of people making online purchases reduces significantly if they have poor experiences on mobile devices. Given that mobile phone usage continues to grow, it is crucial that you have a responsive website. Such a website provides a good user experience across different types of devices, be it laptops, tablets, or mobile phones.


    The benefits of having a responsive eCommerce website are multiple.

    • It delivers a good user experience.
    • Google likes responsive web design.
    • It improves loading time.
    • Use of content is more effective.
    • It’s good for social media.
    • It’s cost-effective and easy to maintain.
    • It improves online sales.



    The main difference between informational and eCommerce websites stems from the core purpose they serve. An informational website basically provides information about a business and its products and services. An eCommerce website, on the other hand, gives consumers the means to buy products and services directly from a business, regardless of their location. The need for internet connectivity exists in both cases, no doubt, and users might also need to follow specific terms and conditions.


    If you have questions after going through this business website vs. eCommerce website comparison, you may consider seeking answers from a professional web design company. Then, you may make an informed decision about which might work best for you.

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