The ecommerce cart is required to ‘hold’ the items purchased by the customer until the customer is done shopping. When the customer clicks on the shopping cart icon, ecommerce cart should display all items purchased with everything neatly totaled up. A good ecommerce cart will provide options to alter the quantity of items purchased or remove an item from the ecommerce cart or even add a new item to the ecommerce cart.
All other ecommerce carts rely on session variables and might require more complex coding. Although not always required, these ecommerce carts usually work well with a database attached. Sophisticated ecommerce carts require skill, knowledge and experience of the kind usually available with experienced web designers and web masters. Therefore, the more sophisticated ecommerce carts should always be installed by experts.
When an ecommerce cart is attached to a database, it becomes highly interactive, intuitive and can display much more information which in turn helps enhance your customer experience. An attached database also makes it possible to offer related item options. For example, if a customer has purchased leather shoes but no polish or spare shoe laces or socks then at a convenient location (usually below the ecommerce cart), you can display items that are related to the one purchased. The related item display next to your ecommerce cart takes on the role of the helpful store assistant.
A good interactive ecommerce cart is expected to automatically update order totals, calculate sales discount, sales tax and even shipping based on customer location. These days online databases are available that link the customer’s IP address to the customers exact geographic location. This information in turn helps the ecommerce cart to calculate shipping costs (which can be updated once the customer enters shipping information or logs in).
Once the customer location / shipping details are known, this information can be used to interact with (for example), the FedEx ‘plugin’ to pull and display the actual shipping cost in your ecommerce cart. The ‘plugin’ is a small code provided by a third party vendor. The code will usually access third party information and display the results on your ecommerce website / ecommerce cart.
Whichever ecommerce cart you choose, it would probably save you time and money to first talk to experts.