Shopping Carts

Shortly after the Internet became a mass medium, various web shop systems were developed by people who were quick to recognize the unlimited potential of the world wide web for trading and communications. The beginning of web shops can be traced back to the early nineties when two browsers were launched: Mosaic (1993) and Netscape (1994). This is when e-commerce essentially started and it summarized all business transactions that were completed with the help of a computer system.

The business-to-customer (B2C) transactional business model was one of several systems that had evolved by the beginning of this millennium. Other terms for this type of system include electronic shop, e-shop, web shop and online shop.

The software that is needed for online shopping has various names as well. The term shopping cart software has been established in the US. Other countries use different versions such as web shop software or online shop software.

Shopping Cart Software

A shopping cart is a software that is used in electronic commerce or e-commerce. It is an essential tool in online marketing that allows you as a visitor to a website to choose products or services and eventually pay for them online. An online shopper may accumulate a whole list of items, which in online terms is described as placing to or adding items in the shopping cart.

You may want to imagine a place or a folder that stores the information on the products you wish to have. Then the folder turns into a secure processor for your payment information such as your name, address, credit card number, expiration date and security code. It calculates the total amount of money for the order, including shipping and handling as a separate number. Purchase tax can also be added to the calculation. Finally, it submits your items for shipping or electronic delivery, depending on whether you purchased a physical or a digital product respectively.

A shopping cart is an application that requires a secure gateway provider and a secure payment gateway for safely capturing a client’s payment information and preventing online theft during and after the transaction.

The cart software needs to be installed on the server hosting the website, and setup via HTML code is completed in the administration of the website. Alternatively, the shopping cart software can be installed on the secure server that will accept the sensitive payment information.

HTTP cookies and query strings are normally used to implement electronic shopping carts. There is a session object in which relevant data is kept. The data is related to the content of the shopping cart. As the shopper chooses various items to put in the cart, the data is manipulated until the software finalizes the information against the selected items and creates an order. The shopping cart is cleared at this point.

As shopping cart software has developed dramatically over the last decade, most shopping carts today allows an online merchant to completely manage his or her online store. Information such as customers, products, services, discounts, coupons and orders is accessed in real time by the software from a large database where it has been stored.

Before you choose a shopping cart for your online business, we suggest that you read as many users’  reviews as you can on several different shopping carts offered on the market. Some of them will prove more appropriate for your type of business or customer than others. Most of them can be challenging to install as well as expensive if you are planning on hiring a fusion company to set up your shopping cart and assure that customer experience is at a top level. Therefore, it is worth taking the time to explore and talk with users about the pros and cons of these products before you make any final decisions.

Don’t be shy to talk with the vendors of carts that interest you. Ask them as many questions as you deem necessary and make sure you get complete answers. After all, it is your money that you are investing and you deserve the best solution you can find.

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