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Creating An Online Shopping Cart

Bhauvik Tripathi 29/10/2009 12:00:00 AM

The shopping cart is the engine that will drive your online business. It is imperative when creating your online shopping cart that it is both fast and efficient. In effect this is where the rubber meets the road as it will drive the funds into your online business.

The shopping cart is the very piece of software that can make or break a business website or ecommerce site. There are a few choices at your disposal when it comes to creating an online shopping cart.

The first is to purchase shopping cart software. This is known as a turnkey platform where you basically install the pre-programmed software into your pre-existing ecommerce site. This of course is the easiest solution as there is very little left to do except to install it into your site. With a paid solution you will have technical support from the software vendor. This can be comforting. In fact this is why many people choose a paid version that is pre-programmed.

Since it's a mission critical element of your business website it's of benefit to know that you have round the clock support for your online shopping cart in the event something goes wrong.

The next choice available when it comes to creating an online shopping cart is to develop it from the ground up. In this case you would hire web design company who would custom build your online shopping cart solution. This of course can be costly depending on the level of sophistication.

The more features you add the more the cost. This is due to the fact that it will require additional development time. It is also important to consider who you are going to use for payment processing when building a custom online shopping cart.

Many payment processors work with various kinds of shopping cart software applications and as a consequence there is a simple integration that can quickly get you up and running.

Some ecommerce website building software also comes with a shopping cart solution that can work with various payment processors.

When custom building your shopping cart you will need to inform the web design company about who you intend to use to process your payments so that he can follow the integration guidelines to ensure smooth installation when completing the project.

There are also free online shopping cart software solutions that use open source code. In this case you can get a programmer to just customise the software to your needs. In some cases no customisation may be necessary.

When creating your online shopping cart software you will need to put security in place so that purchases can be secured on your website. In order to do this you will need what is known as an SSL certificate. This is also referred to as an SSL server certificate.

This enables secured encryption when your online shopping cart communicates the order to the payment processor. This will protect your customers from hackers trying to mine their information when making a purchase. In actual fact this is what most customers are afraid of so make sure that you inform them that you have secured purchasing in place.

This step is very important and it is imperative when creating your online shopping cart that you can easily implement it on your site and most importantly that it works seamlessly when it goes to process payments.

When creating an online shopping cart make sure to check rigorously for bugs in the software, such as incorrect calculations or quantity totals. Customers will quickly lose confidence if they see problems at this point in the purchasing cycle.Also ensure that the shopping cart is intuitive and not over complicated. If the customer meets resistance they will drop out of the shopping cart.

In addition when the customer has inputted their order the shopping cart totals should include any additional charges before they click the checkout button.

The order should be clearly defined as this will inform the customer of the exact totals. Online shoppers like to make sure that they are getting what they pay for and that they know exactly how much they will end up paying before they click the submit button.

If you follow the above guidelines you will create online shopping cart software that will enhance the customers shopping experience.