What is an Online Shopping Cart?
Shopping cart software allows people to make purchases over the Internet. Often shortened to ‘basket’, it is actually a virtual shopping cart which is no different from an actual one, as both perform the same function.
Customers who shop online can place their selected items in the shopping cart, which displays all the items in the form of a list. This is emblematic of putting items in a traditional shopping cart while shopping in a mall/store. The software automatically calculates all the costs (product’s price, taxes, shipping cost etc.) as well as the total of all the items. Upon confirmation of the order, customers are directed to another page, where they are required to submit their credit card/payment details.
Types of Shopping Cart Software
Shopping cart software is broadly categorized into two types, i.e. Licensed Software and Hosted Software, which are briefly described below:
It is a type of software that is downloaded, installed and hosted by the merchant himself. Merchants normally have to pay a license fee – although there are free versions available as well – along with paying a yearly fee for continued support and updates. An advantage of licensed shopping cart software is that the control lies with the merchants/vendors themselves, and they can also access and change the source code if necessary.
A hosted shopping cart is provided by a third-party, which means that there is no need to download it directly on the web server. Payment is usually made on a monthly or yearly basis, while at other times the hosting company may also charge a sales commission. Contrary to Licensed software, users cannot access and modify the shopping carts source code, if the need arises.
Benefits of Using Online Shopping Cart Software
With a large proportion of customers adopting the web as their mode of shopping, online shopping cart software provides a convenient way to make and process purchases for the customer and the seller, respectively. Some of the benefits of using online shopping cart software include:
Using online shopping cart software, customers can select the items they want to purchase and save their order for later. Customers can also remove selected items from the cart, if they wish to do so, without deleting the entire order, and similarly add new ones in it. The software also proves to be hassle-free for the seller, as he can easily keep track of all the orders and view the items purchased.
Online shopping cart offers a secure mode of making payments for orders, and keeps customer information safe with the company. All the information including the customer’s name, shipping address, contact number and credit card information is safely stored with the help of this software.