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Articles & Tutorials

Shopping Carts 101

by Bruce Whitehead

Summary : There is probably no more useful tool for webmasters doing business on the web than the humble Shopping Cart.

The first step is to ask yourself what sort of Shopping Cart you really need. Are you planning on offering a lot of products? Will you be offering categories of products?

If you plan on offering many products or categorized products, then you need to make sure that the Shopping Cart system you choose will allow you to add and update many items quickly and easily. Make sure you can quickly and easily move items between categories, update and edit categories and so on.

The last thing you want to wind up doing is spending all your time entering and editing data in your Shopping Cart system!

A good Shopping Cart system will allow customers to select an item, and then continue shopping, then finally go to a Check Out page when they are finished selecting multiple items. However, not all Cart systems available on the web have this feature built-in. You may have to double check that this feature is included with your system.

Do your homework early on. Different Shopping Cart providers will offer different features and benefits with their packages. Make up a list of features you think you will need and search for providers who can offer you the package that best covers your list.

If you only have a few items, then your Shopping Cart needs will be markedly different.

A system a simple as a PayPal Buy Now button, specifically coded to your product may be the only thing you need. You can also find a multitude of pre-written payment gateway scripts at various script sourcing sites on the Web, and programmers websites.

A careful search of Google will reveal thousands of possible solutions to your Shopping Cart needs. If you have pre-defined your needs, and know what you are looking for, you will have a much easier time finding the best e-commerce solution for your business.