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If you have an existing website and want to add ecommerce functionality, you’ll need to add a shopping cart. This can be a daunting task, but we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to get started.

What is a shopping cart?

A shopping cart is a piece of software that allows customers to add items to their online order, and then calculates the total cost of the order including shipping and tax. Shopping carts are usually hosted by the company that provides the software, but some carts can be installed on your own server.

What are the benefits of adding a shopping cart to my website?

There are many benefits to add an online store to existing website, including:

  • Increased sales: Customers are more likely to purchase from a website that offers a shopping cart than one that doesn’t.
  • Convenience: Customers can add items to their cart and checkout without having to leave your website.
  • Automation: Once a shopping cart is set up, the majority of the order process is automated, from calculating shipping and tax to processing payments.

What do I need to get started?

There are a few things you’ll need before you can add a shopping cart to your website:

  • A domain name: This is the address people will type into their browser to visit your website (www.example.com).
  • Website hosting: This is where your website’s files and data will be stored.
  • A payment gateway: This is how you’ll accept payments on your website. You’ll need to sign up for a payment gateway account and then integrate it with your shopping cart software.
  • A merchant account: This is a bank account that allows you to accept credit and debit card payments. You’ll need to set up a merchant account with a bank or financial institution before you can start taking payments on your website.
  • Shopping cart software: This is the actual software that powers the shopping cart on your website. You’ll need to choose and set up shopping cart software before you can start taking orders.

What are the different types of shopping carts?

There are two main types of shopping carts:

  • Hosted: Hosted shopping carts are usually provided by a third-party company. The company will host your shopping cart on their servers and provide support and maintenance. This is the easiest option for most people, but it can be more expensive than self-hosted shopping carts.
  • Self-hosted: Self-hosted shopping carts are installed on your own server. This means you’ll need to handle hosting, support, and maintenance yourself. This option is usually more expensive up-front, but can be cheaper in the long run.

What features should I look for in a shopping cart?

When you’re looking for a shopping cart for existing website, there are a few key features you should look for:

  • Ease of use: The shopping cart should be easy for you to set up and use, and easy for your customers to use.
  • Payment gateway integration: The shopping cart should be able to integrate with your chosen payment gateway.
  • Shipping options: The shopping cart should offer a range of shipping options, including real-time shipping quotes.
  • Tax options: The shopping cart should be able to calculate tax for your products and services.
  • Product options: The shopping cart should allow you to add a range of product options, such as size, color, and style.

How do I choose a shopping cart?

There are a few things you should consider when choosing a shopping cart:

  • Your budget: Shopping carts can range in price from free to several thousand dollars. Make sure you choose a cart that fits your budget.
  • Your technical ability: If you’re not comfortable with technical tasks, you should choose a hosted shopping cart. If you’re comfortable with technical tasks, you can choose a self-hosted shopping cart.
  • Your website platform: If you’re using a content management system (CMS) like WordPress or Joomla, make sure you choose a shopping cart that integrates with your CMS.
  • Your product options: Make sure the shopping cart you choose can accommodate the product options you need, such as size, color, and style.
  • Your business size: If you’re a small business, you may not need all the features offered by enterprise-level shopping carts. Make sure you choose a cart that has the features you need and is scalable as your business grows.

Conclusion

Adding a shopping cart to your website can be a daunting task, but it’s worth it for the increased sales and convenience it offers your customers. Use this guide to choose a shopping cart for your website.

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