Getting Started in Ecommerce: What Is a Shopping Cart ?

Shopping cart is an electronic commerce tool or software package that allows customers to shop online. It accepts customer payment and shipping information and facilitates the distribution of that information to merchants, payment processors, or others. There are two ways to describe shopping carts:

  • An ordering system – basically supplies an HTML code for the ordering button and is separate from your website. After browsing and picking out products, the customer selects the order button and is then transferred to a completely different website where the transaction is finished.
  • A building system – that’s the one that handles all the features and pages throughout your website, as well as managing the orders on the exact same platform.

Ecommerce shopping carts can also be described as licensed or hosted

  • In the licensed shopping cart model, a merchant pays a license fee (often a one-time fee), and then takes possession of the software. Within reason, the merchant may place the software on any web hosting solution and, in most cases, may modify or customize the shopping cart software. If a merchant wants to switch web hosting providers, the merchant can take the shopping cart.
  • The hosted shopping cart model is a form of software as a service (SaaS). In this scenario, the merchant pays a recurring monthly fee for access to the software. The merchant does not choose the web server’s configuration or location, and the merchant may in no way modify or customize the shopping cart software.

The common form of “shopping cart” describes a sort of specialized CMS that (1) stores product data; (2) provides an administration portal for catalog, order, and customer management; (3) renders product data, product categories, and website information for display to site visitors; (4) serves as the hub for on-site merchandising and cross-selling, and (5) passes transactional data to a payment gateway or begins order processing itself.

Generally, if your store is small and you sell just a few products, a simple ordering system will do you just fine. But if you offer many items and the numbers increase constantly, then you will need a store-building system to manage all aspects of your business online – a system that has all the methods and features you need – like keeping tracks of your customers, product databases, uploads, downloads, coupons, discounts, order management and accounting, graphics, statistics and catalog management.

By signing up for a hosting account with us, you will gain access to some of the most popular and trusted shopping cart systems – just a few clicks away, via Softaculous in your cPanel. 

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