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. This post gives you 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. Here, you get to see what makes these websites different, why they are created, and the target audience they serve.
What Are Informational Websites?
Informational websites, as their name suggests, work in providing information. These types of websites vary and may range from providing tips about taking care of your automobile to offering medical information.
Informational sites are used by people or businesses to display their work and describe their services, whereas actual transactions and service delivery takes 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 your target audience the ability to learn more about you before they make that all important call.
What’s an Ecommerce Website?
An ecommerce website is specifically designed to facilitate commercial or business transactions, and it involves online transfer of information. Ecommerce websites include, but not limit to, auction sites, retail stores, business-to-business services, financial management sites, and music sites.
Some popular ecommerce web sites include eBay, Amazon, Zappos, Overstock, and iTunes. While the purpose of having a website is to promote services and products on the internet, an ecommerce website takes everything a step further.
Ecommerce websites give your target audience the ability to buy products and services directly from your business. This saves you a lot of expenses and 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, given that each tends to serve a unique purpose. While ecommerce and information websites are distinct in their own ways, some of the other types include:
- Free personal websites provided to consumers by internet service providers
- Photo sharing websites
- Video sharing websites
- Social networking websites
- Catalog websites
Whether you need an ecommerce website or any other kind essentially depends on the purpose you want it to serve, and its design and development requires that you address different aspects.
Different Types of Ecommerce Websites
Ecommerce websites are essentially segregated based on two important parameters. These include the type of offerings on sale as well as 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 sold through 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 participants, which include businesses, consumers, and administration, have a bearing on types of ecommerce websites. 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 tend 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 though physical stores.
How Ecommerce is Different From E-Business
Although there are similarities between the two, the differences between ecommerce and e-business are highlighted in different ways.
- 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) systems.
- E-commerce requires access to the internet, while an e-business might also need access to intranet and extranet.
What is the Difference Between Webpage and 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. A website, on the other hand, is a collection of web pages, and it comes with a unified Uniform Resource Locator (URL). Other difference between web pages and websites include:
- A website has a unique URL, whereas multiple web pages with distinct URLs may be grouped under a single URL.
- Websites are used to display varied content that comes in the form of different web pages.
- The URL of a web page may come with extensions such as htm, html, and php, whereas website URLs have no such extensions.
- The domain name is an integral part of a webpage 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.
What’s the Difference Between a Blog and a Website?
Blogs are essentially a type of website. While all blogs are websites, the reverse is not true. The main difference between the two is the format in which content is presented. A blog is a website where you will find content that comes in a reverse chronological order – you get to see the latest content first. Entries in blogs are often referred to as blog posts.
Several blogs are operated by individuals or small groups of people with the aim of presenting information in a conversational style. On the other hand, you can also find corporate blogs that aim to deliver thought-leadership style informational content.
Websites are typically static in nature. They are not updated very often and the content is usually organized in sections. A blog is dynamic, and is generally updated periodically. 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 over 35% 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 a good user experience (UX) include:
- Following brand identity. The design stage of an ecommerce website should pay due attention to branding, which should be visible and consistent throughout the website. The colors and styles should 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, the brand experience should remain 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 work in confusing consumers, so it is best that you stick to easily identifiable iconography. Providing labels for icons gives web designers as easy way to avoid any kind of confusion on this front.
- Steer clear of pop-ups. Pop-up windows are 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.
- 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 to provide shoppers with as close to a real-world experience as possible. The use of white background typically works 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. When text is stylized to look like graphics, consumers may mistake the content for advertisements. To bring clarity to the content that you provide, consider using contrasting colors for the text and the background.
No matter whether you run an information site or an ecommerce one, it is important that you provide your users 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 your 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 all important aspect.
- Simplified search. The search functionality that 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 spent by consumers in finding what they are looking for by letting them get a “quick view”, as it avoids unnecessary loading of new pages. This is usually done by providing basic details about a product in a modal window that appears over the page being viewed. You may also benefit by including “Add to Cart” and “Save to Wishlist” buttons here.
Ecommerce and Mobile
Data suggests that the possibility of someone making an online purchase reduces by around 60% if the shopper has a poor experience on a mobile device. 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.
- A responsive website makes for a good user experience
- Google likes it
- It improves loading time
- Use of content is more effective
- Good for social media
- Cost-effective and easy to maintain
- Improves online sales
The main difference between informational and ecommerce websites stems from the core purpose they are designed to 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.