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How to Build a Shopping Cart Website?

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Yuri Musienko
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It is better to sell goods on the Internet using an online shopping cart - it is much more convenient for buyers, as well as much easier and cheaper for sellers than placing orders via phone or email (as they did before). In this article, we will discuss various solutions that you can use to create such an online shopping cart and integrate it into your e-commerce platform.

Shopping cart software components

Like a cash register in a conventional store, the online shopping cart software of a website includes the side facing the customer and the side facing the business (its employees). The shopper side is commonly referred to as a user interface or showcase. Its functionality usually includes both the shopping cart itself and the entire store site.

The business-oriented side is usually referred to as the back-end or admin. It includes software for placing orders and an administrator control panel, through which employees of the online platform, among other things, manage the online shopping cart and orders.

Together, the user interface and the back-end of the software allow customers to place orders for the purchase of goods and services in the store, and you can process these orders. At the same time, depending on the complexity of such software, the shopping cart can be relatively simple: drawing up a list of orders and displaying it, for example, in the form of a table, for subsequent processing by employees. Or very complex, the functionality of which will include the following features:

  • "View Cart" page to view selected products.
  • Selecting multiple items before proceeding to the checkout process.
  • Separate pages (cards) for each product with images, ratings, reviews, discounts, promotional offers, etc.
  • Distribution of items added to the online shopping cart by category and subcategory, helping to organize products and make it easier to find them.
  • Additional information about the order value, such as tax and / or shipping information (shipping companies and their prices).
  • Additional features such as the ability to donate money to charity, place an order as a gift, add a product to favorites, make an order periodically, etc.
The back end of an extended e-commerce site cart may include the following:
  • Order management and sales reporting.
  • Inventory management with the ability to notify that stocks are running out (ended), about the arrival of new goods, etc.
  • Integration with delivery services or your logistics platform.
  • Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) for logging all customer interactions, reporting and analysis.
  • Integrations to connect your shopping cart to your preferred business software such as QuickBooks.
  • Marketing tools, such as functionality for creating and launching email and SMS campaigns, push notifications, etc.
  • Integration with other e-commerce sites, such as Amazon.
  • Integration with Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.
  • Integration and configuration of payment gateways.
  • Calculation of shipping costs and tax deductions.
As you can see, the advanced online shopping cart software of the store website goes far beyond the simple "Checkout" function and becomes more like a comprehensive center for online sales and increasing their efficiency. The difference between these two approaches is quite significant: advanced cart functionality can increase conversion rates by an impressive 35%! Below we will tell you how this can be done.

Five types of shopping cart software

There are several ways to create a shopping cart and integrate it into your website. The easiest is to install a WordPress plugin, the most difficult is to develop the required functionality from scratch. In this section, we'll describe these and other approaches, as well as provide examples of platforms you can use to create shopping carts. This list is not a recommendation, but just a list of solutions available on the market that are popular with e-commerce sites.

SaaS solutions. This is software that is delivered as a single service (shopping cart itself + hosting + website + support). You buy a subscription, do a little setup and you're ready to go. The best option for a quick start and for those who do not want to think about shopping cart development, hosting and maintenance. But you need to understand that in the medium and long term this is not the best solution, since it is cheaper to pay the developer once than to give the SaaS provider $ 30-500 every month.

The most popular SaaS to create a shopping cart:

  • # 1 platform in the US, used by over 31% of all e-commerce websites. The service includes a variety of templates and plugins for shopping cart integration, designed for both small and medium-sized and large businesses. Prices - from $ 30 to $ 300 per month.
  • A secure platform with no transaction fees and lower rates as your online store grows. The service boasts a sleek design, built-in SEO integration with PayPal One Touch, Amazon Pay, and Apple Pay. Price - from 30 to 300 dollars per month.
  • Magento Go. A relatively new product in the SaaS market, but arguably the most popular brand in the licensed e-commerce platform market. Magento Community, Professional and Enterprise serve over 110,000 stores worldwide. Magento Go is a kind of starter version of Magento designed for companies that are just getting started with e-commerce.
  • Other platforms: 1Shopping Cart, Squarespace, LemonStand, Ecwid, CoreCommerce, 3DCart, Moltin, Shopio, Supadupa, FoxyCart, UltraCart, Jumpseller, PrestaShop, PinnacleCart, Miva Merchant и Yahoo Store.
Open-source software. This is usually free software for launching e-commerce projects, including creating a website shopping cart. But, you will hardly be able to save on its use, since it is usually created and updated by the developer community, and therefore it can be quite difficult to understand such software, and this can only be done by an experienced programmer.

Here is a comparison of the most popular open source software solutions for building / integrating a website shopping cart:

How to Build a Shopping Cart Website?

AspDotNetStorefront, Cubecart, Joomla Ecommerce, Miva Merchant, nopCommerce, ProductCart, Satchmo eCommerce, TomatoCart, Drupal Commerce, Virtuemart, Softslate, SpreeCommerce, Jadasite, Sylius, ZenCart, SunShop, WordPress eCommerce and X-Cart are also popular. To create a shopping cart based on these solutions for your own site, you will need a development team.

Licensed software. These are e-commerce platforms that you host on your own servers or in a purchased hosting. Typically, you pay for it once and then use it as you see fit. Sometimes you also need to pay for updates, plugins, features - individually or for all at once. In this case, usually you buy not just software for creating / integrating a shopping cart of a website, but a complex platform for launching commercial projects.

Here are some examples:

  • A strong set of tools that not only provides multiple templates for creating shopping carts, but also gives access to the entire product code. Users can customize HTML and CSS.
  • The company has been operating since 2005 providing various e-commerce services, including selling B2C and B2B solutions for creating / integrating product carts. There are unique developments.
  • K-eCommerce. Complete solutions for online stores and digital payments that are easy to integrate into your website's ERP system. Works in both B2B and B2C markets. On the market since 1999.
  • Znode Storefront. Enterprise e-commerce platform for B2B. Sells both software for launching individual functions, including online shopping carts, and complex solutions for e-commerce and enterprises.
Enterprise-level software. Unlike traditional e-commerce software, enterprise-grade platforms must handle complex sales transactions at much larger volumes. One transaction can surpass small business earnings in a quarter. At the same time, they can be scaled in accordance with the needs of your business.

Here are some popular enterprise-grade shopping carts:

    • Magento Enterprise.
    • Netsuite SuiteCommerce.
    • SAP Customer Experience.
    • Kibo Commerce.
    • Kaliocommerce.
    • Demandware.
    • Elastic Path.
    • Intershop.
WordPress plugins. These are all sorts of big and not so software add-ons that bring advanced functionality to WordPress sites. Like themes for this CMS, on the technical side, a plugin is a set of .php files containing program code that is "embedded" into the code of your or any other website.

Here are some popular plugins:

  • PayPal Shopping Cart. A fairly simple plugin that allows you to place buttons "Add to cart" and "View cart" with the PayPal logo anywhere on the pages of the online store. Transactions (of course) are processed via PayPal or credit card.
  • Free add-on with paid add-ons that allows you to add a ton of e-commerce features, including cart integration with support for bank payments and PayPal.
  • Ecwid Ecommerce Shopping Cart. This free solution supports 40 payment methods and 45 languages. Ecwid also has free apps for Android and iOS that turn a smartphone into a point of sale (POS).
  • eCommerce Shopping Cart. A plugin with similar to WooCommerce functionality that allows you to sell physical and digital goods, as well as virtual gift cards. Cost - from $ 50.
  • A plugin designed to integrate shopping cart only. The service is integrated with 100 payment gateways and is PCI compliant. Cost - from $ 9.99 per month.
  • Other plugins: Ecommerce WD, Selz eCommerce Shopping Cart, Easy Digital Downloads, Jigoshop and WordPress Simple PayPal Shopping Cart.

Six practices to prevent abandonment of the shopping cart

How to Build a Shopping Cart Website?
Top reasons for shopping cart abandonment according to 44 studies

According to Statista, the average cart abandonment rate across all industries is 70%, mobile is 85%. The main reasons for abandonment are additional shipping / tax costs, registration requirements, and long and complicated ordering. If we remove these and a number of other problems, the number of failures can be reduced by 35%. Here's how to do it:

Don't automatically redirect buyers to the checkout page. When users add a product or service to their cart, don't send them straight to the checkout page, as most of these cases people want to choose something else, and the automatic redirection to the cart makes them make unnecessary movements, which is annoying. Let your users add as many items to their cart as they want. When they are ready, they will be taken to the checkout page themselves.

How to Build a Shopping Cart Website?

Bealls Florida shows what customers have added to the cart and allows you to return to the listing immediately

Make it easy for customers to return to your store. If your customers are checking their cart to see their products, clearly state how they can return to the main page of the site to continue their selection.

How to Build a Shopping Cart Website?

Advance auto immediately understands how to go from cart to store

Indicate estimated shipping costs and taxes. People want to know how much they will need to pay in order to get the product they like. If this information is not available or it is very different from reality, then they very often refuse the order and do not buy anything else on such a site.

How to Build a Shopping Cart Website?

Myro shopping cart has information on taxes and shipping costs

Use your shopping cart for up- and cross- sales. Buying a Venti latte instead of a Grande at Starbucks is an upsell, while buying a coffee cake for a Latte is already a cross-sale. It's the same on the Internet. For example, if a customer buys a camera, you can offer other cameras (upsell), or you can offer suitable lenses and tripods (cross-sell).

How to Build a Shopping Cart Website?

Bphotovideo.com uses a shopping cart for cross-selling

Provide the option to make a purchase as a guest. Due to the lack of such an opportunity, every third buyer refuses purchases. This is due to the fact that customers do not want to go through the long and often unnecessary process of creating an account, or even remembering their account only so that the store later bombarded their mail and phone number with spam. That is why 66% of the 100 largest online stores offer ordering to guests.

How to Build a Shopping Cart Website?

Offer options "Save for later" and "Add to favorites". Another practice that aims to keep hesitant users. Its essence is that instead of refusing here and now, postpone the decision to buy until later, when customers are ready to buy or they have money.

How to Build a Shopping Cart Website?

Home Depot encourages customers to save products and create lists to come back to later

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