People who shop online are familiar with this type of website. A transactional website may be an electronic storefront or a catalog business, (e.g. Amazon, Flipcart),
or a showroom for manufacturers that wish to sell directly to the public (e.g., Godaddy). Transactional sites can be either hosted or on-premise and can
(a) conduct full end-to-end transactions via the website;
(b) enable customers to search for, order, and pay for products online; and
(c) allow customers to contact the company for after-sales service.
The majority of transactional sites create efficiencies by seamlessly integrating the transaction process with back-office systems such as accounting, inventory, order management, logistics and fulfillment, marketing, customer relationship management (CRM), web analytics, and others.
Such a site generates sales by promoting corporate awareness rather than by facilitating online transactions. Its function is similar to that of a brochure; it provides information about the product or service and contact information about how to proceed with a purchase. Because the site is often static and doesn’t require the software systems necessary for online transactions, it is less expensive to design and maintain than is the transactional site. An information delivery site is ideal for companies that market products and services that cannot be provided online (e.g., Ford, Caterpillar). A modified version of the site permits the buyer to shop online for the best price from competing vendors that offer the identical product, such as authorized dealers of Honda America. Information about options available for a particular model enables the buyer to visualize the configuration and to obtain an estimated price for the vehicle.
These sites are hosted platforms that bring buyers and sellers together to facilitate transactions. Participation on one of the sites often provides an efficient way of finding a customer without the expense of building a proprietary transactional website. Types of sites include auctions (www.eBay.com), sites for local artisans (www.flipkart.com), and sites for retailers and wholesalers (www.Amazon.com and www.Alibaba.com).
Online marketplaces and auction sites are a good venue to get started in ecommerce. However, the Department of Commerce recommends that a business explore its options regarding online stores before it relies solely on such marketplace and auction sites for its long-term ecommerce strategy.