Shopping Carts For Websites: Finding the Best eCommerce Cart

Shopping Carts For Websites: Finding the Best eCommerce Cart

Shopping Carts For Websites banner

Attractive product displays and compelling ad copy might attract a lot of potential customers to your eCommerce store, but without a user-friendly cart, you might not make a conversion.

That’s why shopping carts for websites are so important to enhancing your customers’ shopping experience and igniting your online sales.

In this article, we’ll look into how you can create the perfect shopping cart for your eCommerce store and some of the best shopping carts available.

Takeaways
  • An eCommerce shopping cart is an important online store component that handles the purchase process
  • Having a shopping cart is essential as it affects the customer experience, conversion rates, and the likelihood of returning customers
  • Shopping carts come in two main types, each with unique benefits and downsides that make them more suited to certain kinds of businesses
  • To choose the best shopping cart solution for your store, you’ll need to define your needs, select the right software, and make sure you have all the features required

What Is a Shopping Cart on a Website?

A shopping cart on an eCommerce website is a plugin or type of software that lets customers purchase goods or services online. It’s much like a real-life shopping cart you’d find in a brick-and-mortar store, but one with extra digital capabilities.

Once a customer lands on an eCommerce site, the shopping cart software allows for products and services to be placed into the cart. As customers navigate the site, they can ‘add’ the items they want into their virtual cart, giving them the freedom for customers to choose, remove, or substitute items until they’re ready to check out.

The interesting part about eCommerce shopping cart solutions is that they don’t just hold products like those at brick-and-mortar stores. They also integrate with the site’s inventory and data management systems to calculate taxes, process payments, and work with email marketing interfaces.

All of this serves to shape the customer shopping experience, making it simple for them to make a transaction.

Types of Shopping Carts in eCommerce

Because there are so many types of online stores out there, there are different types of shopping carts to help each of them function optimally. There are two main shopping cart options: hosted shopping carts and licensed shopping cart software.

Hosted/Self-Hosted Online Store Shopping Cart

Hosted shopping carts are a type of cart maintained by a third party, such as BigCommerce and Shopify. They offer a complete package that covers hosting, shopping cart software, and technical support.

With a hosted cart, you’re placing the server’s performance and maintenance in the hands of the provider so you can focus more on selling your products.

Licensed Online Shopping Cart Software

On the other end of the spectrum, we have licensed shopping cart software. This type of software is typically purchased upfront or on a subscription basis, and they’re housed on your own server.

Although these software packages are a lot more complex, you’ll also enjoy a lot more control in terms of customization.

Businesses can create a bespoke shopping environment tailored to their needs and branding, but they’ll need the technical knowledge to set up and maintain the software.

How Do I Create a Shopping Cart for My Website?

If you’re ready to add a shopping cart solution to your site, here are some steps to help you on your journey.

  1. Define your needs – Take the time to consider what you need for your website – do you need inventory capabilities or shipping management? Would you want to have a rating system in place?

Shopping Cart for My Website

Source: Adobe Experience League

  1. Choose between a licensed or hosted shopping cart – Opt for the type of shopping cart that would fit your needs and technical skill level best. A hosted shopping cart is typically the most accessible option, while a licensed shopping cart will provide greater customization.
  2. Select a shopping cart software – Depending on the type of cart you choose, you’ll need to choose your specific shopping cart software. Many eCommerce website builders like Shopify and Wix come with integrated shopping cart services, but if you’re leaning towards a licensed shopping cart, you can go for Magento or WooCommerce.
  3. Set up the shopping cart  For a hosted shopping cart, setting up is usually as simple as creating an account. You’ll get to choose all your preferences in a step-by-step fashion – choosing a theme, setting your prices, shipping, and payment options. For licensed shopping carts, you’ll need to download and install the software and perform a more manual setup.

Set up the shopping cart

Source: Cloudways

  1. Test your shopping cart – Before your site goes live, you’ll want to conduct several test purchases to make sure everything is running smoothly. Make sure the payment process is seamless, the order confirmation gets sent out, and the inventory updates properly.

Test your shopping cart

Source: Shein

  1. Go live and monitor your cart – Once you’re confident that everything is ready for your customers, it’s time for your site to go live. But that doesn’t mean you should leave it to its own devices – always monitor the cart so you can quickly fix any issues that come up.

How to Choose the Right Online Shopping Cart for Your Website

Choosing the right online shopping cart for your website is an important step in your eCommerce strategy. So, what factors do you need to consider?

Pricing

Shopping cart solutions come in a variety of pricing models based on features, the size of the online store, and more. Consider a solution that fits your budget and doesn’t come with hidden charges. While you want to cut down on costs, however, be sure to balance it with the benefits you need from a platform.

Accepted Payment Methods

Look for a cart that supports a wide range of payment methods (or ones that you know your customers typically use) to provide an accessible shopping experience for your customers. This could include credit and debit systems, online payment systems, Apple Pay, or even country-specific options.

Integrations

A good online shopping cart software should integrate with different third-party tools, plugins, marketing tools, and other systems you might already be using or plan to use in the future.

Customization

Your shopping cart, while functional, should also be customizable to match your branding and the needs of your products. You might want to be able to add design elements, adjust colors, and add your logo, for example.

Shipping Options

Your online shopping cart should also offer a range of shipping options to give your customers choices. This might mean different delivery methods (standard, express), international shipping, and partnerships with popular couriers.

Analytics

eCommerce is also about making data-driven decisions. An effective shopping cart software should come with built-in analytics tools that could track your sales and customer information, along with other important data.

User Experience

The best online shopping cart is one that will offer the most seamless shopping experience, with fast loading speeds, an easy checkout procedure, compatibility with all devices, and high-quality product images.

2 Best Shopping Carts for Websites

Let’s take a look at two leading options for online shopping carts you can employ for your website.

  1. Shopify eCommerce Shopping Cart

Shopify is one of the top hosted eCommerce solutions for its user-friendly interface and ease of use. Its intuitive eCommerce platform makes it simple for anyone, even those with limited technical knowledge, to create a professional online store.

Who Should Use Shopify

If you run a small to medium-sized business, Shopify has all the functionality you need. Its many features are even scalable for larger businesses, which means you’ll be able to find everything you’re looking for and more.

Shopify Key Features

  • Wide range of themes and customization options
  • Built-in SEO features
  • Shortcut buyers through checkout by providing known buyer preferences
  • Display personalized discounts, tax, and shipping estimates
  • Integrated payment solutions with over 100 payment providers around the world
  • Three monthly plans are available, Basic at at $39/month and Advanced Shopify for $399/month
  1. ShopWired eCommerce Shopping Cart

ShopWired is a comprehensive eCommerce shopping cart solution that is also suitable for all business sizes.

With countless integration capabilities and responsive templates, your customers can enjoy a comfortable shopping experience, and its intuitive interface can let you manage your store’s backend with ease.

You’ll find a series of advanced features like subscribe and save, product bundles, and SEO tags for every product, category, and brand page.

Who Should Use ShopWired

ShopWired can serve all sorts of eCommerce businesses. Like Shopify, it’s best for small to medium-sized businesses thanks to its easy setup and cost-effective pricing structure.

ShopWired Key Features

  • Integrated stock control system to track inventory
  • SEO features
  • A selection of customizable, responsive templates
  • Social media and email marketing integration
  • Wholesale and B2B features
  • Comes in four monthly pricing tiers – Pro at $29.95, Advanced at $59.95, Premium at $119.95, and ShopWired Enterprise at $249.95

Why Choosing the Best eCommerce Shopping Cart Is Important

  • Enhances the customer experience – With a quick and easy (and potentially personalized!) check-out process, customers are encouraged to make purchases and return in the future.
  • Boosts conversion rates – When customers are led smoothly to checkout, cart abandonment rates decrease, and overall sales and profit increase.
  • Optimizes inventory management – Shopping carts can help you organize your inventory by updating product quantities in real-time.
  • Integrates various payment gateways – Customers can enjoy an array of payment systems so they can use their preferred way to pay.
  • Improves business insight – Having a suite of analytics features means having a deeper insight into your eCommerce website, sales, and customers.
  • Enhances security – A shopping cart software will ensure you have top-notch site security, which plays a big role in maintaining customer trust.

Final Word: Invest in the Best eCommerce Shopping Cart for Success

Picking the ideal shopping cart for your eCommerce store is a big commitment for your online business. It’ll directly affect your customer experiences, the functionality of your site, and, ultimately, your profits.

So, take the time to consider your specific requirements and make the right investment for your long-term success!

Next Steps: What Now?

Learn More About eCommerce

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a shopping cart?

If you’re running an eCommerce business, a shopping cart will simplify the buying process for your customers. It lets them review what they’ve added, modify their selections, and check out when they’re ready.

Instead of making immediate one-off purchases, the shopping experience becomes more nuanced and improves your chances of making profits.

Why is a shopping cart important on a website?

A website’s shopping cart is a system that makes transactions possible. When customers land on your site, it provides them a way to add several products to their cart and make a purchase. It also offers extra features like payment gateways and helpful analytics.

How much does a shopping cart cost on a website?

The cost of a shopping cart can vary depending on the features and level of customization you’re looking for. If you’re a small business looking for a basic shop with basic features, the costs will be on the lower end, whereas larger businesses looking for higher capabilities may have to pay around a hundred to three hundred dollars a month. There may also be transaction fees tacked on to the final costs.

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