Custom Shopping Cart Development: How to Implement It Profitably

Let's discuss common problems related to shopping carts and useful tips for customizing one.

August 17, 2020
9 mins read
Last Updated September 25, 2023
Custom Shopping Cart

Custom Shopping Cart Development: How to Implement It Profitably

According to statistics, the average shopping cart abandon rate of an eCommerce website is close to 67.91%. Hundreds and thousands of people visit your online store and abandon their shopping carts before making a purchase.

It is very important to realize when you are thinking about building an eCommerce website. There could be many reasons but fortunately, there are many ways to reduce your shopping cart abandonment rate and increase sales. It is not about your brand’s trust or the fact that visitors didn’t like your product. Despite adding products to the cart and not making a purchase shows that there’s something wrong with the shopping cart.

So, if you are looking to reduce shopping cart abandonment, then you need to know:

1) What options you have for shopping cart development and

2) Why most companies choose to build a custom shopping cart.

This write-up will give you an in-depth understanding of types of shopping carts and top considerations for developing a custom shopping cart for your online store.

Let’s get started.

Types of Shopping Carts

To better understand the problem and its solution, you need to know under which category your shopping cart falls. If you’re someone who intends to get an eCommerce mobile app or website developed, this is crucial. And if you already have one, look at the two types and use this as a starting point towards eCommerce shopping cart optimization.

Hosted Shopping Carts

They are shopping cart applications and perhaps the most basic shopping cart available online. If you have no technical background or you’re a solopreneur managing things on your own, the chances are that you would have preferred this basic shopping cart.

In this, a 3rd party provider offers you shopping cart services on your platform. They are responsible for three fundamental aspects –

  • Maintenance of your shopping cart
  • Server backups
  • Tech and security upgrades

These shopping carts are free and that’s their selling point. However, when customers are required to check out and make the payment, they are taken to an entirely new domain where they have to enter their details and make a purchase.

Licensed/Custom Shopping Carts

Licensed or custom shopping carts offer you complete liberty and flexibility in building your own shopping cart. You could consider your business’s specific requirements and have your shopping cart customized to meet those requirements.

Since you are completely in charge, you can add new features, remove obsolete ones, include 3rd party shopping cart integrations, and do more.

However, these will be a little more expensive options than the hosted shopping cart because of liberty and functionalities. With custom/licensed shopping cart software, you can modify or customize it as per your business requirements. Regardless of the niche, size and age of your site, what is crucial is sales. And that cannot happen unless your shopping cart is optimized for it. Thus, we recommend you to opt for a custom shopping cart.

However, here’s a key difference for better understanding.

Hosted vs. Custom Shopping Cart

A hosted and custom shopping cart are two different approaches to setting up an online store. Here are the key differences between them:

Points of difference

Hosted Shopping Cart

Custom Shopping Cart


A shopping cart solution is provided by a third-party service provider, where the provider manages the technology and software on their servers

A shopping cart solution developed specifically for a business, with all software and technology managed by the business itself


Limited control over software and functionality

Full control over software and functionality


Limited customization options

Highly customizable according to business needs


Monthly or yearly subscription fee

One-time development cost with ongoing maintenance costs


Limited scalability based on the provider's infrastructure

Highly scalable according to the business needs


The provider manages the security

Businesses are responsible for managing and maintaining security


The provider offers updates and upgrades

Businesses have to manage upgrades and updates by themselves


Limited integration with other business systems

Highly integrable with other business systems

Time to launch

Quick and easy to launch

Longer time to develop and launch


Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce

Magento, OpenCart, PrestaShop

Now that you know the options for shopping cart development, let’s take a look at the most common challenges companies face.

ebook ecommerce checklist

Common Shopping Cart Problems

Generic or hosted shopping carts come with their own shortcomings, which translates into poor customer experiences. And because checkout experience plays a significant role in customer retention, losing one visitor at one point is losing them forever.

If you have a generic shopping cart deployed on your eCommerce site, these are the problems you (and your visitors are most likely to face).

  • These carts offer a generic solution. They don’t consider your business niche, market segment and others and offer one basic shopping cart solution. So, the eCommerce website that sells apparel and the one that sells travel packages has the same checkout platform despite its different requirements.
  • You cannot add custom features and functionalities to these generic shopping carts.
  • Customers find them confusing which translates into the poor customer experience.
  • Because customers are redirected to a different domain, they are also skeptical about security and entering their card details. This is crucial if your startup is new and is still gaining credibility.
  • Additional hidden changes like shipping charges.
  • The need to create a new user account to make a purchase.
  • Customers can’t find their preferred mode of payment on the shopping cart (because you can’t integrate new features into them).

5 Reasons to Opt for Custom Shopping Cart Development

Now that you know the shortcomings of a generic shopping cart, let’s understand why a custom shopping cart makes more business sense and why you should prefer it.

Built For Scalability

It means the shopping cart can be consistently upscaled and downscaled depending on the growth of your business. As your business grows, you require newer features and optimized functionalities and these can be achieved when you have a custom shopping cart in place.

Tailored For Versatility 

Not all businesses come with the same business needs. Your business is very different in terms of your niche, market segment, business model, messaging, brand values and more. When you have a custom shopping cart, it reflects these values as well. Moreover, a custom shopping cart can be designed to address your business’s unique requirements and inventory concerns.

Perfect For Omnichannel Commerce

eCommerce sales is not a one-step solution. It involves marketing on social media channels, search engines, offline, retargeting, videos and being present on storefronts, retail stores apps and other avenues. It is only a custom shopping cart that can help your business deliver an omnichannel experience.

Stand Out From Clutter

What makes your business different from the rest is the way you project it in the market. Claiming to be different but having a generic checkout process doesn’t make sense. The quality you promised when you lure your customers should be sustained until they check out, and only a custom shopping cart can help you achieve this.

Apart from these, custom shopping carts are ideal choices if you –

  • Sell custom or bespoke products
  • And Have unique distribution needs

Advanced Marketing Features

With generic carts, you get very limited marketing features whereas a custom shopping cart provides you with advanced features to promote products on your website. The advanced marketing features will include custom SEO tags for each and every product, SEO friendly URL, highlighting relevant products, reward points, gift cards and discounts, and much more.

Ways To Optimize Checkout Page and Reduce Cart Abandonment

Key Considerations for Custom Shopping Cart Development

So far, we’ve been seeing that customers deserve a better shopping experience and that your generic cart is depriving them of it. Now you’re convinced of the significant changes the custom shopping cart can bring. However, for that, here are the factors you need to consider:


Security is paramount for any shopping cart system handling sensitive customer information and financial transactions. Therefore, it’s advisable to implement strong encryption and security measures to protect user data and prevent unauthorized access. Further, compliance with industry standards, such as Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), is crucial for the secure handling of credit card information.


Determine the integration requirements of your shopping cart with other systems. For example, integration with payment gateways, shipping carriers, inventory management systems, customer relationship management (CRM) software, and other third-party services may be necessary. Also, you need to ensure that the shopping cart platform supports such integrations or has APIs available for customization.

Abandoned Cart Recovery

Implement mechanisms to recover abandoned shopping carts. This could include sending automated emails to remind users about their unfinished purchases or offering incentives, such as discounts or free shipping. With the help of these mechanisms, you can encourage users to complete the checkout process.


Automation is crucial in custom shopping cart development, benefiting businesses and customers. This may include automating checkout process, providing self-service support, or more.

Performance Optimization

To ensure your shopping cart loads quickly and provides a smooth experience, optimize images, minimize HTTP requests, cache data, and utilize other performance-enhancing techniques to reduce load times.

ebook ecommerce checklist

Unlocking E-Commerce Success: Decoding Custom Shopping Cart Features

When it comes to checking out and completing that purchase on your eCommerce site, there are several features you can add to improve the customer experience. To get started, consider these:

1. Pay the way you like

The custom shopping cart app should have multiple payment features that offer customers to choose from different methods to suit their preferences and availability.

This feature empowers customers to select from various payment options, including credit/debit cards, digital wallets (like PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay), bank transfers, electronic checks, escrow pay, buy now pay later, etc.

2. Revolutionize checkouts with captivating visual clarity

When you design your shopping cart, you need to show your customers the complete picture. Show customers all the details they’d want to see to convince them to purchase.

The details include –

  • The images of the items in their cart along with their specifications like color, size, specs in terms of tech gadgets and more (psychologically, they sustain purchase interests)
  • Quantity and price per quantity
  • A very clear call to action
  • The full amount a customer has to pay including taxes, shipping charges and whatever applicable (no hidden charges game here)
  • Seller details (if applied)
  • Option to enter coupon code

These eventually become your single-page shopping cart providing ample information to customers and improving the user experience.

3. Discover the convenience with a dynamic shopping cart

The mind of a customer is always wavering. Sometimes people visit an online store to explore the products and they are not sure if they want to buy something. A well-designed website with a detailed product description and recommendations facilitated by the custom shopping cart will help your visitors make a purchase decision.

That’s why we suggest adding cart modification features at the checkout page. This option should let them –

  • Add new products
  • Delete existing products
  • Modify quantity and size and other specific business-based needs

When your shopping cart isn’t flexible, they have to begin the shopping process all over again. And no customer would go through the same process twice. They will simply abandon the shopping cart.

To retain them at all points, your shopping cart needs to be flexible.

4. Harness the power of wishlist

At the other end of the cart, there is a wish list – which is a feature that offers a customer the opportunity to come back to make a purchase. This list is a compilation of items your customer wants to buy and could make the purchase at any time.

The chances are that some customers are waiting for prices to drop or waiting for the right time. Regardless, they would buy. Your shopping cart should have this feature in the checkout page as they can change their decision at any time.

With this option, they don’t have to delete an item from their list necessarily but simply move it to their wish list. With the help of data science and analytics, you can now market them by sending personalized deals and emails about their preferred items.

Notify Me is another inevitable option your shopping cart needs to have to retain customers.

5. Schedule your delivery on the go

The scheduled delivery feature of a shopping cart app lets you get to decide which day of the week you want your packages to arrive. Isn’t that convenient?

As an app developer, you need to add a couple of features to improve convenience and provide a seamless shopping experience, here’s how to do it right:

  • User Interface: Develop a user-friendly interface that allows customers to select and schedule their preferred delivery time and date easily. This interface will ensure a smooth and efficient experience for the users.
  • Delivery Options: Offer flexible delivery options to meet the diverse needs of users. These options include same-day delivery, next-day delivery, or specific time slots.
  • Availability Calendar: Integrate an availability calendar into the app, displaying open delivery dates and time slots. This calendar will help users make informed choices based on the availability of delivery slots.
  • Order Tracking: Enable real-time order tracking, providing users with up-to-date information on the status of their orders. This feature will include details such as the estimated arrival time and any changes to the delivery schedule.
  • Customization and Flexibility: Incorporate features that allow users to modify their scheduled deliveries. Users should be able to reschedule deliveries, update delivery addresses, and provide specific delivery instructions.

6. Boost your shopping experience with your phone’s camera

Picture this: you’re craving potato chips, but you’ve run out. No problem! Open the app, take a photo of the empty bag, and choose from the options. Once selected, you get a fresh bag of chips straight to your doorstep.

This feature uses image recognition and machine learning to identify products and ensure they are correct. Plus, this ensures your users get the best price by letting them compare the product with the market price. It’s like having a superpower to get the best deal!

Similarly, you can use a scanning feature with augmented reality to try-on clothing and accessories. Your users can see how items fit before buying. This enhances shopping with instant identification, barcode scanning, translation, and virtual try-on.

Apart from the above mentioned features, you can also add some more features to your shopping cart,

  • Advanced Search
  • Voice-Enabled Checkout
  • Voice-Activated Customer Support
  • Multi-currency Support
  • Personalized Merchandising

Examples of eCommerce Carts

We understand that it is easier to understand something when you have a visual associated with it. Whatever we have mentioned so far are not new. They have been tried and tested by brands across the globe. And they have been spot on with their visions and executions of an ideal shopping cart.

In that list, the first website on our list to make checkout seamless is B&H Photo. Their checkout page is as clear as it gets.

Callaway Pre-owned – A dedicated eCommerce site for pre-owned products, they have done an excellent job in making sure their customers are treated right in terms of shopping experience. Their cart is extensive.

Tilly’s – An apparel brand, you might want to get inspiration and ideas about your business’s checkout page from here.

Disney Store – Neat and fun just like the brand.

Wrapping up

The ultimate aim for any business owner is to make their customer complete a transaction. But unfortunately, there have been many technical and design hindrances in the way of this vision.

With custom shopping cart development, all these can be put to rest and you can make way for increased sales, decreased cart abandonment and satisfied customers.

Want to add custom shopping cart to your ecommerce web app to increase revenue?

If you need assistance in developing a custom shopping cart for your business and know the factors that influence the cost, we recommend getting in touch with us. Our developers and project managers know the requirements of customers. They would offer you more insights on how you can go about developing your shopping cart based on your business and market.

Get in touch today.

ecommerce website launch checklist

Jignesh is Director of Sales at Simform leading through a consultative approach and aligning the right team for tech initiatives, and helping organizations achieve advanced digital engineering goals.

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