In online marketing, a shopping cart is a piece of e-commerce software on a web server that allows visitors to an Internet site to select items for eventual purchase, analogous to the American English term “shopping cart”. In British English, it is generally known as a shopping basket, almost exclusively shortened on websites to basket.
Shopping cart software allows online shopping customers to accumulate a list of items for purchase, described metaphorically as placing items in the shopping cart or add to cart. Upon checkout, the software typically calculates a total for the order, including shipping and handling (i.e., postage and packing) charges and the associated taxes, as applicable.
Typically, a shopping cart is the interface between a company’s Web site and its deeper infrastructure, allowing consumers to select merchandise; review what they have selected; make necessary modifications or additions; and purchase the merchandise.
Shopping carts can be sold as independent pieces of software so companies can integrate them into their own unique online solution, or they can be offered as a feature from a service that will create and host a company’s e-commerce site.