An online shopping cart is a virtual method of keeping track of one's planned purchases on a website. Multiple items may be added to a shopping cart on a website; then, when one is ready to check out, it is simple to purchase the items in one easy step. Nearly all online shopping websites offer the option of an online shopping cart to customers, because of course, it is beneficial to the business to allow the customer to purchase more than one item at a time. To access the shopping cart on a website, usually one only needs to click on a small "shopping cart" icon near the top of the page.
Usually, an online shopping cart works in a very simple manner. When a customer is browsing on a shopping website and sees something that he or she likes, he can generally just click a button that says "add to shopping cart." The item will then be saved for later access in the online shopping cart; when the customer checks out, her or she may adjust the number of a certain item in the order, add or remove more items from the shopping cart, choose different shipping options, and then complete the order by paying with a credit card.
An online shopping cart is often saved even if one leaves the website, at least for the day. In other cases, it may be necessary to create a username and password for the site in order to log in and save the shopping cart. Some stores also allow users to create more than one shopping cart and save them for later. For instance, one might create a shopping cart containing gifts that will eventually be purchased for the holiday shopping season, as well as another shopping cart with items that will be purchased immediately.
An online shopping cart can be edited right up until one is ready to check out and pay for the purchases. It is important to remember to enter any coupon codes, discounts, or gift certificates during this time as well, because it can be difficult or impossible to edit an online order once it has been submitted. Usually, online shopping carts are used on websites where only one merchant is selling items; however, some larger auction or community websites now offer a shopping cart option as well, allowing users to save items from multiple sellers. Each item typically needs to be paid for individually, though, even if everything is saved in one online shopping cart.