What type of website to choose?
It is essential for a business to have an online presence, but the type of site you choose will depend on your needs. Whether you are looking for an e-commerce, showcase or institutional site, it is important that your site reflects your business and its services.
The business website
The main purpose of a showcase site is to promote your business online and attract new customers. As it is a simpler type of site to set up (some have only one page), it is ideal to start developing your presence on the web.
You can later develop it according to your needs, as an e-commerce site or blog. The site gathers all the useful information your potential customers are looking for: a presentation of your company, your skills, the services offered, your geographical location, etc. It can also be interesting to include some positive comments left by former customers. Finally, the site should of course include a contact form, or even an online quote request service.
In short, a showcase website has a commercial objective, that of highlighting your company and attracting new prospects, but does not allow you to sell products or services directly online. It is rather adapted to companies offering offline services.
The e-commerce site
An e-commerce site is a site allowing your customers to make their purchases directly online. Also called “online shop”, this type of site has several specific features on both the customer and merchant sides. The customer can consult the catalogue of the various products and services, choose his items by placing them in a virtual basket, then place his order and pay online. He will then be able to access the follow-up of his order.
As for you, you can consult all orders, manage your stock and modify your catalogue as soon as necessary. Online commerce has several advantages. First of all, you develop your customer base, reaching people who are geographically distant or simply prefer the comfort and simplicity of online shopping. In addition, you have at your disposal several marketing tools to optimize your sales, such as traffic analysis, e-mail campaigns, chatbot creation, etc. Finally, operating costs are reduced compared to those of a physical store. This type of site is designed for any company or freelancer wishing to sell products or services online, whether or not it is a complement to a physical shop.
The institutional site
The function of an institutional site is to present your company and work on your brand image. Unlike a showcase website, the goal is not to sell but to inform and establish an exchange with Internet users. It contains general information about your company (history, key figures, partners, etc.) but also your vision and your values.
An institutional website can also deal with related topics such as current events in your field or advice for your customers. To be effective, the content must be relevant, of high quality and regularly updated. The site is aimed at prospects, who often appreciate having information about a brand before making their purchases, but also at the press and potential business partners.
Finally, this type of site can also help in the recruitment of new employees, for example by offering employee interviews or by publishing internship and job offers. The institutional website is ideal for large companies, but also for non-profit organisations and associations wishing to promote their image and develop their online network.
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