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Creating an online store is a complex process. You need to come up with a plan and consider several things, such as budget, your goals, and many more. One important part of that complex process is choosing the right shopping cart integration.

You might have met this term while you are learning about opening an online store. This term can be quite confusing for some because they often mistake it as the shopping cart that one can find in a physical or retail store.

To help you understand the world of online stores better, thus helping you to create one for yourself, let us take a dive into the definition and some examples of online shopping carts and find out how you can set up an online store easily and quickly with one.

What is a Shopping Cart Integration?

When you visit a physical store, a shopping cart is merely an element. It is something that you take to put things that you want to buy from a store. You bring it in front of the cashier, take all of your shopping, proceed to payment, and business is done. This illustrates that a shopping cart is a small part of the larger system that is the store.

A shopping cart integration, on other hand, is the system. What does it mean? A shopping cart in an online store is where almost everything happens. Shopping cart is where all the shopping and the transaction happen in an ecommerce platform. Shopping cart is where people put their product, just like the real one, and pay for the product using currencies and payment methods that are supported by the shopping cart platform.

Now, to help you differentiate between the two, an ecommerce shopping cart is often called a shopping cart software. It is a software that allows an online store owner to manage their store, from managing their inventory, sales, to shipping their products.

Types of Online Shopping Cart

1. Full Shopping Cart Platform

As the name suggests, this is the one-stop shopping cart integration that you need as a solution for your online store.

This type of shopping cart platform provides not only the necessary features to run an online store but also to create it. You can get features to process sales, which is what shopping cart does, and also website building features such as a wide collection of templates, blogs, and even analytics to help you analyze your online store.

2. Add-on Shopping Cart Integration

This type is a shopping cart feature that you add to an already existing website. For example, WooCommerce is one of the most famous add-on shopping cart platforms for WordPress.

3. Simple Shopping Cart Platform

If you sell something simple, that is you do not sell a lot of products or too many variants, and you want something simple so you can set up your online store quickly, this might be the type of shopping cart integration that you are looking for.

This type allows your customers to simply add things to the cart and proceed to the payment. In a business’ owners perspective, this platform also does not provide many inventory management functionality, such as product pages, inventory control, etc.

4. Hosted Shopping Cart Integration

This type allows you to add and utilize shopping cart features on your website without bothering yourself with all the technical stuff.

You can leave all that technical stuff to the company that runs this type of shopping cart platform. They will manage the server management, backups, security, and even features of the shopping cart.

While this type provides many conveniences, it can also be limited when it comes to flexibility. Why? Because you can’t do anything from your end. You will always have to wait for the company that runs the shopping cart platform to act if you want to solve any problems that come or want new features.

5. Licensed Shopping Cart Platform

This type is the direct contrast of the hosted shopping cart integration. If the hosted type is where you can just leave all the technicalities to the other parties outside of your company, a licensed shopping cart platform is where you have to cater to your needs by yourself.

This, of course, means that you have to know all the technical side of running and maintaining a shopping cart platform. If you are capable of doing that, you will have all the freedom that you need to make a shopping cart platform that suits your online store’s needs

Some Examples of Shopping Cart Integration

• Constant Contact

Constant Contact, a full shopping cart platform
Image taken from Constant Contact’s website

Constant Contact is suitable for businesses that are just starting. It is also suitable for anyone who has never come into contact with another shopping cart platform, meaning that it has an intuitive, user-friendly interface.

With Constant Contact, you can get website building features for around $10/month. You can also get more advanced features, such as email marketing, for around $20 to $45/month.

Constant Contact also has a logo generator, which is, again, perfect for any new business. You can also integrate your social media directly into your website without having to deal with any third-party apps.

However, its convenience might also be the reason why Constant Contact is lacking. It might be suitable for new business, yes, but once your business is growing, and your customers demand more custom features from your shopping cart platform, things might be a little bit difficult for you, and you might need to rely on third-party apps.

• Shopify

Shopify, a full shopping cart platform
Image taken from Shopify’s homepage

Shopify is probably one of the most famous shopping carts that you will find on this list. Shopify is a web-based solution for any ecommerce. It has a simple and intuitive interface for anyone who wants to organize their online store easily.

Shopify comes with $29/month as its basic price tag. If you want more of Shopify, you can add features for $79 to $299.

Those price tags come with a collection of features that can help you to build and run an online store. You can find many templates to choose from and, as has been said before, this shopping cart platform is really easy to use.

However, this easy-to-use nature might cause Shopify to be lacking in the functionality department. Similar to Constant Contact, you might often find yourself relying on third-party apps to add features to your online store.

• BigCommerce

BigCommerce, a full shopping cart platform
Image taken from BigCommerce’s website

BigCommerce is the next intuitive, and user-friendly shopping cart platform on this list. It is suitable for both new and growing businesses.

BigCommerce standard package comes with a $29.95/month price tag. You can always opt to get more of this shopping cart platform for $79 to $299.

This platform comes with several great features. BigCommerce provides a one page checkout feature that will simplify your customers' experience in shopping and, hopefully, encourage them to shop more on your online store. You also do not have to worry about transaction’s fees that are part of a hosted shopping cart integration. You will receive all the money your customer’s pay for your product.

Similar to all the previous items in this list, BigCommerce also suffers when your online store has grown big. It lacks advanced features that can cater to your and your customers’ custom needs which often makes you have to rely on third party apps.

• Magento

Magento, a licensed or open source shopping cart platform
Image taken from Magento’s website

Different from the other items on this list, Magento is an open-source shopping cart platform. With Magento, you can customize the already existing shopping cart to suit your online store’s needs.

Since Magento is an open-source software, you don’t need to spend a penny to use it. However, if you want a package to quickly set up your online store, you can always opt for the eCommerce Starter Package.

The good thing about open source is that you don’t have to wait for anyone to make anything. If you feel that you need new features, you can always browse Magento Marketplace to find the features you need. You can’t find them? Well, just create them on your own.

Standing up for oneself, however, also means that you need to know all the technicalities to build, run, and maintain a shopping cart integration. If you have little or no knowledge about programming or technology, you might need to steer away from this shopping cart platform.

Build Your Online Store with Strikingly

Strikingly homepage
Image taken from Strikingly website

Strikingly is your one-stop shopping cart integration. With Strikingly, you do not need to worry about choosing which shopping cart platform to use. You will get all the things you need from a shopping cart integration to process your sales..

You will also receive all the features that you need for your online store without having to pay for additional or extra money. Once you choose a plan, such as a Pro Plan, you will immediately get all the benefits and the features that the plan offers.

So, what are the features that you will get?

For starters, you can have an integrated order management system (OMS) that you can directly access from your website editor on Strikingly. With OMS from Strikingly, you can easily manage orders and your inventory. You can easily keep track of orders you receive and the numbers of products that you have in your warehouse.

Strikingly Order Management System
Image taken from Strikingly product

Not only that, you can also arrange shipment of your product easily with Strikingly. You can set up shipment policy, such as taxes and cost of shipping, directly from your website editor. You can also have several options for your shipping, such as free shipping for a certain amount of purchase.

Shipment Management on Strikingly
Image taken from Strikingly product

Also, do you know that you can receive payment in many currencies and from using various payment methods with Strikingly? You can receive up to a hundred kinds of currencies on your online store on Strikingly. You can also apply several payment methods to your online store, such as PayPal, Alipay, offline payment, and many more.

List of accepted currencies on Strikingly
Image taken from Strikingly product

Strikingly also understands that having an online store is not only a matter of conducting business but also about branding. With Strikingly, you can have several features that can help you launch your own branding strategy and to stand out from the competitors.

newsletter feature from Strikingly
Image taken from Strikingly product

You can use the newsletter feature to help you reach and inform your audience. With a Pro Plan, you can send up to 2.000 newsletters from your custom domain. Yes! You will also receive a custom email domain to help you appear more professional and trustworthy.

So, how deep do you need to dig your pocket for all of those shopping cart integration features, you might ask.

Surprisingly, not much compared to all the items on the list mentioned above. You only need $192/year--that’s $16/month--to get all of those features from the Pro Plan.

Strikingly price list
Image taken from Strikingly website

So, are you ready to open an online store? Build a website and start your branding today with Strikingly!