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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."
The 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.
The development of web shop systems took place right after the Internet became a mass medium. This was a result of the launch of the browser Mosaic in 1993 and Netscape in 1994. It created an environment in which web shops were possible. The Internet therefore acted as the key infrastructure developments that contributed to the rapid diffusion of the e-commerce, a subset of e-business that describes all computer-aided business transactions. In 1998 a total of 11 e-business models were observed, one of which was the e-shop business model for a B2C (business-to-consumer) business--also called the "online shop" The two terms "online shop" and "electronic" or "e-shop" are used interchangeably. The term "online shopping" was invented much earlier in 1984; for example TV shopping often used the term before the popularity of the online method. Today the term primarily refers to the B2C transactional business model. In order to enable "online shopping" a software system is needed. Since "online shopping", in the context of the B2C business model, became broadly available to the end consumer, internet-based "online shops" evolved.
These applications typically provide a means of capturing a client's payment information, but in the case of a credit card they rely on the software module of the secure gateway provider, in conjunction with the secure payment gateway, in order to conduct secure credit card transactions online.
Some setup must be done in the HTML code of the website, and the shopping cart software must be installed on the server which hosts the site, or on the secure server which accepts sensitive ordering information. E-shopping carts are usually implemented using HTTP cookies or query strings. In most server based implementations however, data related to the shopping cart is kept in the session object and is accessed and manipulated on the fly, as the user selects different items from the cart. Later at the process of finalizing the transaction, the information is accessed and an order is generated against the selected item thus clearing the shopping cart.
Although the most simple shopping carts strictly allow for an item to be added to a basket to start a checkout process (e.g., the free PayPal shopping cart), most shopping cart software provides additional features that an Internet merchant uses to fully manage an online store. Data (products, categories, discounts, orders, customers, etc.) is normally stored in a database and accessed in real time by the software.
Shopping Cart Software is also known as e-commerce software, e-store software, online store software or storefront software and online shop.
The PCI security standards are a blanket of regulations set in place to safeguard payment account data security. The council that develops and monitors these regulations is composed of the leading providers in the payment industry: American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB International, MasterCard Worldwide, and Visa Inc. Essentially, they define the best practices for storing, transmitting, and handling of sensitive information over the internet.[unreliable source?]
Visa Inc.can hold shopping cart software providers responsible for liability that may occur as a result of non-compliance to Visa's regulations. For this reason, Visa Inc. may require that online merchants use shopping cart software providers from their list of PCI DSS-validated service providers.
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