Shopping cart software is relatively simple software that runs on your website. As people browse through your site they will look at products or services they might want to buy. The job of shopping cart software is fairly simple. It just keeps track of the products your customers want to purchase as they surf through your website. It powers the “Add to Cart” buttons that you have probably seen on many e-commerce websites.
When someone presses the “Add to Cart” button the shopping cart software adds the product to the list of things they want to purchase. When the customer is done browsing and wants to complete the order they will press a button that says something along the lines of “Checkout Now”. When that happens the shopping cart has a few jobs to do. It adds the cost of all products the user has selected to arrive at a subtotal for the order. Think of a checkout at a grocery store. The shopping cart is performing the same job as the cashier scanning your items to figure out how much you owe for your groceries. When the shopping cart has figured out the order subtotal it still has a few other calculations to make. The shopping cart has tax and shipping logic.
At that point the shopping cart software has figured out the subtotal, taxes and shipping for the order. It now has enough information to finalize the sale and the job of the shopping cart software is done. It has figured out how much money is owing, and simply needs to send the order somewhere to be processed. This is where the second component of an e-commerce transaction comes in: the payment gateway.
Some businesses have web developers build custom shopping cart software for their website. Others may choose to use pre-made shopping cart software that can be installed on any website. There are hundreds of existing shopping cart programs to choose from. Some are extremely easy to use, while others are targeted towards advanced webmasters. Picking a good shopping cart can be a daunting process if you are new to e-commerce and have just started your research. We maintain a list of compatible shopping carts that work with our credit card processing service. If you would like some help selecting a good shopping cart for your business do not hesitate to contact us.