What are the differences between a showcase site and an e-commerce site?
The importance of creating a professional website is no longer to be demonstrated. It is an effective way to make yourself known and a great complement to a company’s social networks. This time, we will help you choose between a showcase site and an e-commerce site.
What does a showcase site consist of?
As its name suggests, a showcase site acts as a "showcase" for the given activity of the company.
Definition of a showcase site
More precisely, a showcase site allows a company to make itself known and to present its activities. The Internet users can find there the global identity of this last one, its localization or the products and services which it proposes.
This type of site contains between 5 and 10 pages, including the following elements:
- a home page which acts as a graphic cover;
- a page presenting the company, with its history, the list of its employees or its turnover;
- one or a few pages presenting the products and services offered;
- a page containing the contact form for writing to the company;
- a page presenting the legal information, which is an obligation for any legal activity.
In short, a showcase site serves above all to highlight the identity of the company. All the information they need is present there.
This goes from the company's contacts to the prices, through the opening hours of the stores (if necessary). A showcase site should portray the image of the brand, that is why it is important to focus on the web-design.
Reasons to create a showcase site
Also known as a "virtual business card", this category of site is intended for companies wishing to take advantage of the benefits of a web presence. The objective is to present the company itself, but the dynamic exchange and sale of products is limited.
The creation of a website remains however an opportunity for all sectors of activity. In the hotel business for example, customers can make reservations on these sites by calling directly or sending an e-mail to make a reservation.
This site is also of great interest for structures that do not carry out direct transactions on the Web, such as communication agencies, photographers, and beauty centers.
These professionals can thus benefit from an online existence while working on their brand image with their clients.
Who is an e-commerce site for?
Such a site is rather intended to boost exchanges with customers.
Definition of an e-commerce site
This type of site is also called a merchant site or online store. In simple terms, this choice allows you to have a virtual store. Generally, the creation of an e-commerce website is more complex than that of a showcase site.
Apart from the presentation of a company's products, it has the possibility to directly engage in online sales.
In order to carry out transactions, the site must have :
- a catalog of products;
- a system of basket in order to group the purchases;
- a secure remote payment method;
- a product search tool;
- a page presenting the conditions of purchase and delivery, with a customer service department to help consumers.
This alternative can be adapted to each activity. In addition, the site is capable of completely replacing a physical store while facilitating sales, without the buyer having to travel.
The advantages of an e-commerce site
The creation of this website is aimed at companies wishing to exploit online sales. Nowadays, this trend is in full growth. It concerns in particular clothing and footwear stores, or household appliance stores.
The improvement of online payment methods thanks to the development of mobile applications is at the base of the infatuation of Internet users.
By creating an e-commerce site, companies are getting closer to their regular customers while attracting new customers. Indeed, the activity has the possibility to extend beyond its geographical area.
What are the differences between these two types of sites?
Whether it is a showcase site or an e-commerce site, the latter are powerful marketing tools. To make its choice, a company must base its choice on the following criteria:
- The showcase site just presents the activity, while the e-commerce site aims to open an online store;
- The first allows customers to contact the company, while the second is an interface for direct distance selling;
- One can be created easily and the other requires complex elements;
- The showcase site presents the offers and the merchant site promotes interaction with Internet users because they can give their opinion.
Finally, an e-commerce site and a showcase site are two distinct marketing tools, both in form and function. The choice depends on your needs.
How to create a showcase site and an e-commerce site?
Two options are available to you for the creation of your site.
Using a software
There is a multitude of software for creating a website. Indeed, depending on the type of site, different criteria are to be considered. It goes from the design to the different functionalities, through the cost.
Indeed, there are two main categories of software: paid and free. In the case of an e-commerce site, the most reputable are Magento, Prestashop and Shopify.
Using a web agency
Using the services of a web design agency is also a possible initiative. According to your specifications, the latter will be able to adapt its offer. Several points are to be studied before selecting the right provider.