A shopping cart may be a mysterious thing for most online visitors but to those with technical knowledge the something mysterious is more than not is something that uses “cookies” that store the information that the buyer is inputting along the buying journey such as the particular item chosen to be purchased, the size, color and also the quantity.
You can think of a virtual shopping cart as an online ordering system that use HTML code for “order buttons” that when a customer clicks on the buttons a page pops up from the ordering system, usually hosted on a different Website where the actual financial transaction takes place OR you can think of it as a store-building system in which the shopping cart is actually the store front and the items purchased are placed in a virtual shopping cart that stays on the site and the financial transaction takes place right there on the same site. If you are selling 50 or more different products than you will be better off having a on-site shopping system that includes a online catalog, a managing system, a payment system and a shipping system. A modern shopping cart is more like storefront software because of all the features it does including storing and analyzing data concerning the customers buying transactions.
Not all shopping carts are the same. Some carts are pretty basic and others have all kinds of bells and whistles on them and are quite expensive.
Basic shopping carts will typically allow a customer to make a few choices such as size, color and quantity. The more sophisticated storefront type shopping carts may show how many items are in the cart and what the running dollar amount total is as items are being added to the cart. Shipping fees and tax calculations are done once the customer inputs a physical address to have the items shipped to. Shipping calculations are done using look-up tables that the merchant or administrator sets up or they are done by real-time calculations that major shippers and couriers input. A cart that is up-to-date on shipping requirements will offer shipping options such as USPS, UPS and FedEx. Shipping calculations usually include sales total, weight, number of items, the zone being shipped from and to or a fixed shipping price for all products. Some systems allow for a special surcharge to be selected if the item is especially large or bulky.
Does all of this make any better sense to you?
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