Shopping Carts, or rather virtual shopping carts are a eCommerce software module used to track purchases as buyers browse and search their way through an online store.
Most Shopping Carts use a cookie on the client side with an ID number that references a list of items stored on the server.
A big database maintenance point to realize here is that 65% of shopping carts are NOT checked out. So how often does/should the Shopping Carts and it's list of items expire and get purged from the system? Depending on the genre of products and customers, the life span of the cart's list could make your online store either more or less convenient to use.
Key issue with choosing a virtual shopping cart is will it work with my other eCommerce modules? (namely Store Front Software and Payment Processors)
Many Shopping Carts come bundled with in a Turn Key Commerce Package which eliminates compatibility concerns.
Stand alone shopping cart modules are typically sold as a plug-in for either:
A Specific Store Front Software module (proprietary/vendor specific)
Specific software platforms modules with commonly found flavors being Front Page Plug-ins, Active Server Pages plug-ins, and CGI Perl plug-ins.
None-of-the-above... there are a few common Java Script variants out there that can be appealing for a roll-your-own-store type project.
There are even quite a few free Shopping Carts around for the truly daring.
For a long list of commercially available Shopping Carts see http://www.onlineorders.net/links/Commercial_Programs/
For a list of Free Shopping Carts and other eCommerce software modules see: http://www.onlineorders.net/links/Free/
The online shopping model was adapted at Duke for student course registration. They called the Shopping Carts "Bookbags!"
I've seen it called "bookbags" too somewhere. Plus I got a kick out of the time my husband had me search out some special tool for classic car restoration on the web, when I finally found it I put it my "toolbox" and then did the checkout process.
Contributors: Roxanne Seibert
( Topic last updated: 2000.08.06 01:25:32 PM )