What is the difference between brochure and eCommerce websites?

In the dawn of the internet virtually every live website was a basic, primitive looking and templated affair. The content basically described the offerings of what a company did and this was usually backed up with very poor, grainy graphics, an address and a telephone number.

In the mid-1990s things changed. The meaning of a website changed. It was no longer just an online flag for the owner to wave, hoping to gather in more custom. Now they could sell their products online too. These early pioneers are the likes of Amazon and eBay and shortly after that, many more.

Why have different styles of website?

If a company has services to offer, for instance, solicitors, dentists, plumbers and many others, they don’t have physical products to sell online. Their products are described and visually displayed, either by written content and or graphics including gallery pages and services pages. For those companies or individuals who have a physical product to sell, then they need a different kind of website.

Brochure style websites

Brochure style websites have come a very long way since those early, simple and not very exciting 4 page attempts. Brochure websites do not directly sell anything. The idea of these websites is to have an online presence to show what services are being offered. Well-constructed glossy websites with a good mix of content and decent graphics can really show off the services of a company and any company worth their salt will go to great lengths to make sure they stand out against their competitors. This quality can vary very much across the board as I will explain shortly.

eCommerce websites

E-commerce websites speak for themselves. They are online shops selling a massive range of physical products. Anything from computers, cars, window blinds, mobile phones, software etc. To better describe an e-commerce website or at least an engaging one, would be a brochure website with a shop bolted on. These websites have a physical way to add priced products to a basket followed by a checkout. There is usually a range of ways to pay. Pay pal, credit cards, debit cards and World Pay for instance. Large multinational companies use very technical agencies to code their e-commerce sites. Medium-sized companies may opt to have their site built in Magento. But more and more, the way to go seems to be Wordpress and WooCommerce because of the ease of control by the consumer.

Where quality counts

How and where you get your website built can make a difference. You do not have to go far online to see a whole range of companies offering to build all singing, all dancing websites.

In 2019, whether it be a brochure or an e-commerce website, quality really does matter. There are well-known companies who offer what they say are complete packages online. But there is a major reason why their websites are 1/3 of the price of those sites built by good quality web agencies. These sites are very often very templated in design. They lack the structure required by Google to cleanly index the site and the level of security is usually minimal at best. Lastly, the main issue with these sites is that because you have used their templates, you usually do not even own the website.

Whether it be either type of website, I would always try and get what I pay for and use a full digital agency to build, host and support me.

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