On the website of an online retailer, a shopping cart is a piece of software that enables the purchase of a product or service.
When a customer places an item into their shopping cart, the server updates their shopping cart with details about the item, automatically calculates their total price, and includes any other relevant information (eg. shipping costs, tax). These informations will then be sent to relevant parties – the payment processor, the shipping couriers, the store owners, and more; before the product is received by the customer.
Each time a customer adds an item to their shopping cart, the server will send a new page to their browser which will show them all of their items in one place. Once they have finished shopping, they can then proceed to a checkout page where they can choose to pay for their items electronically or print out billing and shipping forms so that they can mail in their order.
Because shopping carts bridge the gap between shopping and purchasing, having the greatest shopping cart application and integrations is critical for an online business.
Customers can choose to use to make purchases on affiliated websites as long as they have an account with the main site and are registered with each affiliated website. This allows companies that sell products and/or services across multiple websites to leverage their customer base and support by having a single point of contact for customer service issues and overall marketing campaigns.