What is an eCommerce shopping cart?

09/10/2019 105
ecommerce shopping cart

In the modern days of online shopping, everybody’s familiar with using the shopping cart feature in various eCommerce websites on the Internet. Those sites use the shopping cart concept to not only improve the user’s experience, but also to increase their profits. So what is an eCommerce shopping cart ?

eCommerce shopping cart definition

By definition, the eCommerce shopping cart is a software package that a website can integrate to accept customers’ bill and shipping information through multiple payment services. For starters, the shopping cart is a virtual cart that you see in many online shopping websites that includes all of the products you have selected in their sites so that you can make your final purchase. Usually a shopping cart can hold from 1 to an unlimited number of items. After you’ve done shopping, you can proceed to checkout just like a physical retailer. The website will total all the products’ prices in your cart and request you the total payment amount – all in all a very simple and straightforward process.

ecommerce shopping cart

The eCommerce shopping cart allows an online customer to pick out items in an online shop to make their purchase online. The point and click system will allow shoppers to place their items in a virtual cart for their later checkout. When the process is this effortless, shoppers often want to spend a little bit more time browsing other products. All of those factors make it really simple for the customer, and also help the owner increasing their sales, which means more profits.

eCommerce shopping cart feature

Every eCommerce shopping cart has a totaling feature. When customers check out more than one item, they only have to click on the cart and see the subtotal price of all items that they have selected. Some carts even add in taxes and shipping costs to inform customers the actual price of their purchases. The cart also has a “remember” feature, because multiple times when a customer are browsing the list of products, they may not make a purchase immediately because they are not using their personal devices or their credit cards aren’t available. The remember feature allows the cart to keep their items saved so that the customer can make their purchase later. An ecommerce shopping cart usually can hold items for up to a month, some even more.

ecommerce shopping cart feature and type


To make online shopping possible, an ecommerce shopping cart must always come with a payment mechanism. The cart is connected with the database of the online shopping site, and depend on which system you have, it will also be connected to your cart inventory and shipping services. By doing this customers will know whether the items they have chosen are still available or have been sold out. And since most online transactions are carried out through multiple forms of online payment services etc. credit cards, the shopping cart will be usually linked to your credit account. In order to maintain the flexibility, accessibility and stability of an online shopping process, having a shopping cart and a payment confirmation system is a must. Read more about best ecommerce website builders for your business.

eCommerce shopping cart type

Normally there are two kinds of shopping cart :

  • Hosted : this is a pretty good choice for small businesses because of its simplicity and user-friendly interface where you can easily insert every details of your products like descriptions, prices, and delivery options. Hosted shopping cart packages are usually provided by a third party web host.
  • Licensed : those shopping cart packages can be purchased seperately if businesses want to host their own server. They are basically premium options, but you can also find some free and open-source options as well. Licensed shopping carts provide more flexibility, but integrating them into your website can be a bit complicated.