Shopping cart software is an attempt to duplicate the ease and control over the purchase process in the real world to the electronic world of online shopping. In order to buy things from a site on the Web today, a customer must generally put items in the web shopping cart, select gift options and shipping method, enter shipping and billing addresses, review the order, provide payment information, confirm the sale, and, perhaps, save his/her information for future convenience when shopping at that site in the future.
Sounds terrible especially for a person that has no idea how to buy a thing through the Internet, or do it at first.
From the beginning, let's find out what a web shopping cart is.
A web shopping cart is a piece of software that acts as an online store's catalogue and ordering process. Typically, a shopping cart allows consumers to select merchandise, review what they have selected, make necessary modifications or additions, and purchase the ware.
Shopping carts are available as standalone software or as part of hosted storefronts. Companies with special needs may prefer standalone software that can be integrated into their own unique online solution. Companies with simple needs may prefer one-size-fits-all hosted by a company's e-commerce site.
Who needs such kind of software as a web shopping cart? Who is this software made for?
Retail sales companies.
Distributors / wholesalers.
Export / Import companies.
ISP and web hostings who want to offer an e-commerce solution.
The shopping cart design depends on the necessities and requirements of this web cart owner.
Traditional Retailers looking for a way of expansion into multiple marketing channels via a web shopping cart system.
Existing Online Retailers need a more secure, a more flexible, and/or a more powerful e-commerce system.
Stay Home Parents, Single Moms, Retirees, and other people looking for ways of improving and expanding their incomes through online sales.
Hobby programmers looking for a shopping cart with power, modularity, and hidden code bytes.
Novice Webmasters require a turn-key e-commerce solution with the power and features for future scalability.
Web Designers requiring a shopping cart flexible design abilities ranging from basic templates to final results total look and feel of the shopping experience.
There are several different types of e-commerce online shopping cart. Each of them has their own advantages and disadvantages:
ASP (active server pages) Shopping Cart Software, written by Microsoft, provides a robust and stable e-commerce platform. ASP Shopping Carts are easy to build, edit, and manage.
CGI Shopping Cart
The major advantage is that they are supported by all of the major browsers. The disadvantage is they can be hard to set-up and maintain, can be slow, and waste bandwidth and system resources.
Cookie Shopping Carts are easy to setup and maintain. They are faster than the traditional CGI shopping cart and use less bandwidth and system resources. But, on the other hand, they are not supported by browsers that do not support cookies, and, as a result, become ineffective in cases where the user chooses to turn off cookies in their browsers.
Java Shopping Carts can have a content with a rich and visually pleasing interface. The shortcoming of these e-commerce carts is that, since you have to build your store inside the applet, they are hard to customize and can be slow.