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Online Shopping Cart
Are you looking for an online shopping cart for your e-commerce business? This article explains how online shopping carts work and how they compare to regular shopping carts. Learn how a online shopping cart can assist you with your online business.
The online shopping cart is a metaphor that provides customers with a means to visualize and understand the highly technical operation of ecommerce without having to learn a lot of new terms. It helps shopping online to be very similar to shopping at a storefront in some respects and shopping through a mail-order catalog in others, easing the transition for customers who are using ecommerce for the first time. Especially because in order to make purchases online, customers often share their very valuable credit card information, the familiarity that the shopping cart metaphor offers is important in helping them feel safe with online transactions.
The familiarity with the physical shopping cart process, not just the item, is key, because online shopping carts bear no tangible relationship to the metal object with swivel wheels in front, straight wheels in back, a seat for children, and a large basket for merchandise.
The first part of the process, setting up an account at an ecommerce establishment, is similar to filling in a form in a mail order catalog. The customer supplies his or her name, address, card type, card number, expiration date, phone number, email address, and ship to address. Just as a mail order company that you establish an account with will provide you with a pre-printed order form for future purchases, so an ecommerce business will recognize returning customers who make subsequent purchases.
The rest of the process is more similar to storefront shopping than mail-order, whence the shopping cart metaphor.
One key difference between the storefront shopping cart and the online shopping cart is the extent their relationship to the store as a whole. The physical shopping cart is a tool for a shopper. If they all went missing one day, the store owner could substitute baskets, paper bags, or little red wagons, and go order more that were identical or different, and only a small disruption in shopping would occur. For the online store, the shopping cart is a more critical asset. What is called the shopping cart software may actually provide not only the mechanism for customers to select and pay for merchandise but also the entire set-up for the online establishment. The failure of the shopping cart for the ecommerce business person is catastrophic, rendering the store unreachable to customers.
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