Thinking of having a website? Do you which type of website you should have? In today’s world, websites have a key role to play in the success of a business. Every business has a website and those who don’t have are lagging behind the competition.
There are plenty of different types of websites, having different functions. Whether your business falls into the industry of law, food, fashion, or medical, the website can be of any type. The most commonly used websites include informational and e-Commerce.
Are you wondering what is the difference between both the websites? Which website should you create? In this article, we have highlighted the difference between e-Commerce and informational websites.
What Is An Informational Website?
Informational websites are the sites that offer information to the general public about anything. Informational websites are known for their clear communication. They are designed to attract customers through entertaining or useful information. The website of a company will provide different content. Such websites offer information about the background, services, and history of a company. It encourages visitors to take action. In simple words, the informational website allows you to display what you can offer to your audience.
What is an e-Commerce Website?
An e-Commerce website has an online shopping cart through which you can buy products and services. All e-commerce websites have a shopping cart feature. These sites offer the ability to the customers to enter their mailing and billing address, and method of payment.
In recent times, this type of website is one of the hottest aspects of the internet. Over the past five years, e-Commerce has expanded rapidly. It is anticipated that it will continue to rise at the same pace.
Benefits of Informational Websites
There are numerous benefits of informational websites. Here are the most compelling ones.
Keeps Your Customers Updated
One of the benefits of having an informational website is that it keeps your target audience informed. Through your website, you can inform your customers what you do and who you are. You can even keep them updated on the upcoming promotions or events. It provides information related to a wide range of topics including law, fashion, education, medical, and more.
Another benefit of having an information website is that it is responsive. No matter which device you are using, you can have access to the information without sacrificing usability.
Creates Brand Awareness
A great website will be capable of promoting your business. By providing authentic and unique content, you can create yourself as a market leader. When you offer valuable content to your customers, they will share it with other people. Hence, they will be promoting your business on your behalf.
Builds Credibility and Trust
When users can access free content, it encourages them to engage with the website. By adding articles, blogs, e-books, and how-to videos, you can help solve the problems of your visitors or provide the information they are looking for. Offering great content will help in building initial trust in your website.
Drawbacks of Informational Websites
Following are the drawbacks on informational websites:
If you don’t update your content on a regular basis, your website might be an unreliable source of information. You will have to invest your time to make sure changes are made when necessary. Moreover, to stand out from the crowd, you need to come up with unique and creative content. This will even help you stay on the mind of your customers. If you don’t provide authentic content, your customers will not see you as a reliable source of information.
Benefits of e-Commerce Websites
Have a look at the benefits of e-Commerce websites.
Shopping Made Easy
There are thousands of people who prefer shopping from the comfort of their homes. This is because it is an easy and convenient way to find what you are looking for. The customers can almost anything at any time of the day. There is no restriction on the distance; people from all over the world can order products and services and get it delivered at their doorstep.
Increased Customer Reach
An e-Commerce website will enable you to reach a wide range of customers. In today’s advanced world, customers just take out their tablets or phones to buy products irrespective of your location. The online store is a great way to reach people all over the world. Whether you are a new startup or have been operational for quite some time, there are new customers for you to serve.
An e-Commerce website is easy and cost-effective to maintain than traditional brick and mortar store. When you work with experienced and qualified experts, you can set up a great website within a few weeks.
Operate Your Business from Anywhere
One of the best benefits of managing an e-Commerce website is that you can run it from any location in the world. All you need is an email address, phone service, and internet connection. You can operate your website from anywhere.
Get More Customers Through Search Engine Visibility
Unlike physical store, an online store is dependent on the traffic form the search engines and find it hard to increase website traffic. Many people search for the product they want in search engines and land on the e-Commerce sites they might have not heard of. So, you have to focus on search engine visibility to attract the attention of more customers to your website.
Offers Detailed Information
Customers need detailed information about the product they are going to buy. This is why you should provide comprehensive description of the product. It will help them make an informed decision. Since the customers cannot see or touch the product, they have to rely on the product details.
Makes Buying Process Easy
An e-Commerce website will speed up the buying process. the customers can order anything without leaving their house. They can even easily look for products they want to buy. For instance, customers will have to visit different retail stores to find the product they are looking for. Thanks to the e-Commerce website, you can use the search option to get what you want. This will speed up the process of buying. In addition, it will even save their time and costs.
Drawbacks of e-Commerce Websites
Here are some of the cons for having an e-Commerce website.
Risk of Quality
One of the most prominent drawbacks of e-Commerce website is the quality. People are hesitant to buy products because they are unsure of the quality. However, by providing authentic reviews from customers is a great way to guarantee the customers. You can even offer a good return policy to guarantee the customers about quality.
Another drawback of e-Commerce website is the security. You will have to invest in sophisticated security features to keep the information of your customers safe and protected. You might have to update the security certificates on regular basis. This is because e-Commerce websites are a lucrative target for cybercriminals.
Difference Between Informational and e-Commerce Websites
Both are websites but they have different purposes. Here are the differences between e-Commerce and informational websites.
1. Intended For
As the name suggests, informational websites give information to the visitor. The information provided by such websites varies, from medical information to taking care of your car. Mostly, the websites are used by businesses or people who want to display their work. In addition, they also use these websites to describe their services while the transactions take place offline.
An e-Commerce website is specially designed for business or commercial transactions. There are various types of e-Commerce sites like retail stores, financial management sites, auctions sites, and music sites.
The main purpose of the informational website is to inform people about your business. It enables them to learn more about you. Many people conduct research on their own before contacting any business. Through an informational website, you can deliver as much knowledge as possible. It gives the audience an opportunity to know more about you and your business before making the call.
On the other hand, the purpose of an e-commerce website is to promote products and services on the internet. It will enable you to buy services and products from the website. Such websites enable people to shop from the comfort of their house.
The e-Commerce websites will allow you to exchange goods electronically without any time or distance restriction. This means you can buy any type of service or product on the internet. While informational websites just provide information that might convince them to buy products or services.
4. Types of e-Commerce and Informational Sites
There are different types of e-Commerce sites, having a distinctive function.
- Business-to-Administration (B2A)- this type of website deals with the transactions of services and products between public administrations and companies.
- Business-to-Business (B2B)- it deals with transactions of goods between companies.
- Business-to-Consumer (B2C)- the transactions of products and services between consumers and companies.
- Consumer-to-Administration (C2A)- it has transactions of products and services between public administrations and individuals.
- Consumer-to-Business (C2B)- in this type of website, the goods and services are offered by individuals to the companies.
- Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C)- the transactions between consumers through the third party.
Informational websites are either one-page or multiple-page websites. The one-page website will have no additional pages. It offers the most important information in a few lines. It is perfect for informing the public about a new product or service. While multiple-page websites are owned by large companies with a wide range of products.
Another difference between both sites is their features. An informational website has accurate and authentic information and credible sources. Such websites are well-organized, follow copyright rules, and are easy to use.
On the other hand, e-Commerce websites have the following features:
- High-quality videos and images
- Wish lists
- Special offers
- Related items
- Guaranteed reviews
- Detailed shipping information
- Advance payment options
- Return policy
Mostly, e-Commerce sites have high-quality images and videos for users to navigate easily. It also helps them view the product before buying it. An informational website will focus is on the text. This is because the purpose is to provide knowledge.
The informational websites can vary from the website of a company to a personal blog. The content can be related to any topic like parenting advice, medical information, or DIY tips. While an e-Commerce site offers product information along with product pictures. Mostly, e-Commerce sites are clothing stores and music stores.
One of the differences between e-Commerce and informational website is the security feature. E-Commerce websites are a target for cybercriminals, this is why they must be well-protected. Whereas, the informational website is likely the target of cybercriminals. So, they don’t have sophisticated security features.
9. Make Money Online
With an e-Commerce website, you can earn money. This type of website will open up wonderful opportunities to make extra revenue. As far as informational websites are concerned, you cannot generate revenue as there are no sales.
10. Brand Awareness
Informational websites are for advertising your products and services. People will know about your brand through the information you provide. While in an e-Commerce site, people will spread information about your brand by sharing their experience.
11. Customer Information
Informational websites don’t require detailed information about the customers. All they need is the email address for newsletters and promotional content. However, an e-Commerce site requires billing and payment information along with personal information.
An informational website is completely customizable. You can create a unique website by adding the content of your choice. For instance, you can include photos of your products, portfolios of your work, videos, contact forms, and other content. In an e-Commerce site, you cannot customize the website.
A Final Word
When it comes to developing an engaging and intuitive website, you need the expertise of a skilled and qualified professional. Website Design Agency Martha’s Vineyard is an ideal choice if you want to have a great website. Capable of developing any type of website, they will make sure your customers have an exceptional user experience.