What’s an E-Commerce Shopping Cart

If you’ve done any amount of shopping on the internet, you are familiar with the idea of the Ecommerce Shopping Cart. E-commerce websites use the shopping cart to not only make a customer’s shopping experience easier but also to increase sales.

For the uninitiated, the shopping cart is a virtual cart that “holds” items you wish to purchase until you check out. An unlimited number of items can go into the cart. Just as in a physical store, when you are finished shopping you checkout. The online shopping retailer will total all items in the cart and you will pay the amount requested. This is an easy and intuitive process.

The e-commerce cart, or an online shopping cart, allows a shopper to pick out items to buy online. A shopper only has to point and click on an item and it can place in a virtual cart for later checkout. This makes it easy on the buyer, and also helps the seller.

When a shopper can effortlessly pick items to buy, they tend to spend a long time browsing other items. This can increase sales for the vendor, and ultimately increase profits.

The cart has a save feature. Many times shoppers are not ready to purchase an item when they are surfing the web. Perhaps they are using a work computer or do not have their credit card handy. The cart’s save feature allows the customer to keep items in their cart and come back at another time to purchase them. Many carts will hold an item for up to a month or more.

The online shopping cart also has a totaling feature. When consumers purchase several items, they only have to click on the cart and a subtotal of all items will be available to them. This allows a consumer to stay on budget and potentially get more sales again. Some carts even charge all applicable sales taxes and shipping costs and let the customer make an informed decision about the actual cost of the purchased items.

The introduction of the cart feature to internet shopping has contributed to its great success. The cart is easy to use. It has memory capability and a helpful totaling feature. It is very good for consumers and Online retailers like it too. This is mostly because it increases the number of sales for the retailer, which results in greater profits.

How a Shopping Cart Integrates into Your E-Commerce System

A shopping cart is just one of the components that makes shopping online possible. it comes with a payment mechanism. The cart links up to the product database and depending on what system you have, it could also be linked up to your inventory and delivery system. When products are added to the cart, your product database is updated.

This can show other customers if you have the item in stock or if it is sold out. An online shopping cart is the number one step in the payment processing. Since most online transactions are paid by credit card, the shopping cart is usually linked to your merchant account, or could be using a different payment method.

In order to facilitate the payment process, it is important that the entire payment process runs smoothly, quickly and efficiently. Using a system that starts with the shopping cart and ends with the payment confirmation is one of the best ways to ensure this.

Basic Types of E-Commerce Shopping Cart

Hosted shopping cart
This choice is ideal for those who operate a small business because of it’s easy to use interface where you can enter the details of the product easily. These details are the price, description and shipping options. This kind of online shopping cart is usually provided by a third party web host. They function through HTML code and make ready for you the purchase options. Therefore, the shopping cart page appears only at the final step of the transaction.

Licensed shopping cart
Here you purchase the shopping cart that you want to host on your own server. It is available as a premium solution but you can also get the free and open source option. With this option, you have more flexibility, but you need more technical know-how.

Why an E-Commerce Shopping Cart is important

Imagine, you want to buy different items, but you could not collect them. After finding each item, you had to go to checkout and pay each item separately. Then you could go back to the store and get the next item.

No one would shop like that in a real supermarket, so it’s not a good business practice for customers to do so on an e-commerce website. Although there is no physical effort in this process, it is still time-consuming and can be frustrating for customers. In a shopping cart, customers can collect items and then pay for everything conveniently.

Another benefit of a E-Commerce shopping cart is that it can help you increase your sales. When customers find a product on your site, they may be interested in other similar or complementary products that you offer. If you have a feature that makes suggestions to your customers, they may buy multiple products from you instead of just one.

From a customer’s point of view, an E-Commerce shopping cart makes shopping much more convenient. If you see a product you like, you can earmark it by adding it to your cart. Doing so does not mean that you are obligated to purchase it. It just means that you are interested in buying it and want to put the item aside. You can then continue to search the site for other products that may be of interest to you.

Some of the benefits of E-Commerce Shopping Carts are listed below:

Open for Business 24/7
Your customers will have access to your online store 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Credit Card Processing
This will allow you to provide your customers with the option of making credit card purchases with your credit card processor or your merchant account (for ex. PayPal), or a chosen payment method.

Manage Products
Give online shoppers discounts, coupons, create special offers, and perform shipping and sales tax calculations. You can customize your shopper’s buying experience by including the product name, invoice number, and ID number. This also allows your customer to add to their cart or remove things without losing the whole transaction and starting over.

Ad Trackers
Keep track of your online marketing results and measure how many products you have sold. View how many subscription sign-ups you had from the previous month and keep track of unique clicks.

Secured Shopping
Will provide your online shoppers with a safe and secure way of shopping on your website.

All of these things are great added benefits to have by adding a online shopping cart to your website.

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