They Ask, You Answer Mastery

A coaching & training program that drives unmatched sales & marketing results.


Sales Performance Mastery

Improve the competencies and close rates of your sales organization.

Web design

Website Mastery

Web design, development & training for your team.


HubSpot Mastery

Everything you need to get the most from HubSpot.

AI Mastery

AI Enablement Mastery

Unlock the power of AI in all aspects of your revenue operations.

Discover how IMPACT’s services can help take your business to the next level. Book a free 30-minute coaching session Book a free 30-minute coaching session
Learning Center
Learning Center

Learning Center

Free resources to help you improve the way you market, sell and grow your business.

Discover how IMPACT’s services can help take your business to the next level. Book a free 30-minute coaching session Book a free 30-minute coaching session

Free Assessment: How does your sales & marketing measure up?

Get Started

Free Assessment:

How does your sales & marketing measure up?
Take this free, 5-minute assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales.
Get Started
Andy Scherer

By Andy Scherer

Aug 25, 2010



How Does an Online Shopping Cart Work?

Andy Scherer

By Andy Scherer

Aug 25, 2010

How Does an Online Shopping Cart Work?


So far, in our online store series published this week, you have learned about tools and tricks of an online store as well as the benefits of building an online store either in conjunction with or separate of a physical location. As you probably can imagine, though, when consumers place a product order that desired product doesn't just magically appear at the customer's doorstep, right?  Instead, there is a process that goes along with an online shopping cart purchase. Let's start from the beginning, and take a look at the steps involved:

    1. Creating the Customer -- First and foremost, once a visitor clicks onto your site, it is your job to ensure that they become a buyer. In order to accomplish this (as we discussed previously), you provide easy to find information and products, and user friendly shopping cart tools. Conversion is key so focus on cross promotion and content. This step is priority as you cannot move onto step 2 until you have visitor buy-in.

    1. Clicking on the Cart -- After you have converted the visitor into a buyer, they will transfer their desired products to their online shopping cart either through a click and drag feature, mini-cart feature, or full-page cart. Depending on the features of the cart the total amount due to the business will be tallied, the shipping will be calculated, and other information can potentially be displayed. In order to get people to step 3, you must be able to make the "checkout" button prominent within the cart or on the header of the site.

    1. Check Out with Their Check Book (or Credit Card or Electronic Money) -- When the client is done shopping on your site, they will click the "checkout" button (the one that is easy to find, right?) which will bring them to an order processing page or process. During this process, they will have the opportunity to choose a payment method of  a cash model, check model, or credit model of payment*. A cash model is done via creating electronic money or tokens through a bank (similar to PayPal). The check model is where the client submits a virtual/digital check for payment. The credit model is where the customer inputs credit card information. Step 4 comes very simply when the customer clicks the "submit order" button.

    1. Translating the Transaction -- When the client submits the order, the information gets sent to the business instantly. The sent information generates a customer invoice which the consumer must then approve and confirm the final order. If a credit card or check is used for payment,the following happens: (1) The business then generates an authorization request for your credit card and sends it to their' bank. (2) Their bank sends the authorization to the acquiring service (internet merchant account provider) who gets the authorization from the customer's bank which (in turn) gets sent back to the business' bank and payment is made. Let's take a quick show of hands of who knew there was that much involved?  Now, with PayPal (or similar service) there is a direct transaction to the business' bank.

    1. Direct or Indirect...That is the Question -- Now, if you, as the business, are a direct retailer once you get the payment you have the ability to organize the shipping and get the client the product. However, if you must order product through a vendor, you must place the order with the vendor who can either directly ship to the client or ship to you who then ships to the client. My suggestion, if you must go through a vendor is to have them directly ship to the client on behalf of your company.

Overall, it is not a difficult process from either the buyer's or seller's point of view, but the primary difference between an online store and a physical storefront is the process of shipping. Remember that conversion of your site visitors is key to increasing productivity, and capitalize on shopping cart features that ease the process of online shopping for your customers. And, as always, feel free to leave your comments and/or questions below!  We'd love to help you figure out your online store and increase your online productivity today.

*An Internet Merchant Account is needed for credit card and check transactions

Free Assessment:

How does your sales & marketing measure up?
Take this free, 5-minute assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales.

Related Articles

HubSpot Update September 2023: What’s New from INBOUND

September 13, 2023
Jessica Palmeri Jessica Palmeri

Can HubSpot Help My Retail Business Grow?

July 31, 2022
Joe Bachir Joe Bachir

Email and landing pages that convert, ft. Salena Knight (Inbound Success, Ep. 197)

May 31, 2021
Kathleen Booth Kathleen Booth

Google 'price drop' structured data for e-commerce can grab buyer eyes

March 9, 2021
Melissa Smith Melissa Smith

How Jordan West sold $250k in 24 hours using a gated launch strategy (Inbound Success, Ep. 180)

February 1, 2021
Kathleen Booth Kathleen Booth

Top design tips for e-commerce website success in 2021 [Infographic]

January 9, 2021
Chelsea Boice Chelsea Boice

4 questions to consider when building an e-commerce storefront for your small business

January 7, 2021
Steve Polito Steve Polito

IKEA ends 70-year catalog in response to evolving consumer behaviors

December 10, 2020
Magdalena Day Magdalena Day

What will retail and e-commerce spending look like this holiday season?

December 5, 2020
Kristen Harold Kristen Harold

Companies shift ad dollars by 18% due to increased e-commerce spending

October 6, 2020
Daniel Escardo Daniel Escardo

PayPal Instant Transfers expanded for businesses, in response to COVID-19

October 2, 2020
Tom DiScipio Tom DiScipio

3 costly Google ads mistakes brands make with Black Friday and Cyber Monday

September 28, 2020
Rachel Palmateer Rachel Palmateer

Facebook Shop to support online retailers, e-commerce during COVID-19

September 1, 2020
Dia Vavruska Dia Vavruska

Google releases Core Web Vitals built-in app for Shopify Merchants

August 21, 2020
Chelsea Boice Chelsea Boice

What online shoppers want (and how you can provide it) [Infographic]

August 15, 2020
Melanie Moore Melanie Moore

6 Shopify website examples every e-commerce brand needs to see

August 4, 2020
Daniel Escardo Daniel Escardo

Online giant Amazon delays Prime Day for US customers

July 29, 2020
Karisa Hamdi Karisa Hamdi

7 savvy tips to boost conversions in your retail e-commerce store

July 17, 2020
Pratik Dholakiya Pratik Dholakiya

Should you build your e-commerce website on HubSpot?

July 9, 2020
Melissa Smith Melissa Smith

Microsoft takes a 'new approach to retail' by closing all its physical stores

July 1, 2020
Eric Choma Eric Choma

Walmart partners with Shopify to expand third-party marketplace and compete with Amazon

June 18, 2020
Tom DiScipio Tom DiScipio

Marketing and selling on Amazon Ft. Carolyn Lowe of ROI Swift (Inbound Success, Ep. 147)

June 15, 2020
Kathleen Booth Kathleen Booth

Pinterest links visual search to Shop tab to ease purchasing

June 5, 2020
Stephanie Baiocchi Stephanie Baiocchi

Pandemic shopping habits become the new normal

June 2, 2020
Shandia Drummond-Butt Shandia Drummond-Butt

Shopify's surge tells complex story of doing business in coronavirus (COVID-19) era

May 8, 2020
Liz Murphy Liz Murphy