How to Use Shopping Cart Software for Your Online Business - dummies

How to Use Shopping Cart Software for Your Online Business

By Greg Holden

When you go to the supermarket or another store, you pick goodies off the shelves and put them in a shopping cart. Your online business shopping cart software works on a similar principle. When you go to the cash register to pay for what you’ve selected, you empty the cart and present your goods to the cashier.

Shopping cart software performs the same functions on an e-commerce site. Such software sets up a system that allows online shoppers to select items displayed for sale. The selections are held in a virtual shopping cart that “remembers” what the shopper has selected before checking out.

Shopping cart programs are pretty technical for nonprogrammers to set up, but if you’re ambitious and want to try it, you can download and install a free program — Perlshop. Signing up with a web host that provides you with shopping cart software as part of its services, however, is far easier than tackling this task yourself.

A shopping cart is often described as an essential part of many e-commerce websites, and web hosts usually boast about including a cart along with their other businesses services. You don’t have to use a shopping cart on your site, though.

Some shoppers are put off by them; they’re just as likely to abandon a purchase than follow through by submitting payment. Plenty of other e-businesses allow users to phone or fax in an order or fill out an online form instead.