Custom Shopping Cart 101: How to Implement It in the Most Profitable Way

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

August 17, 2020
7 mins read
Last Updated November 11, 2022
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Custom Shopping Cart 101: How to Implement It in the Most Profitable Way

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.

Editors note: Jignesh shares his expertise in product engineering and explains vital aspects that can improve the abandon cart ratio. If you want to build a custom shopping cart that reduces cart abandonment, feel free to reach out to our eCommerce experts.

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.

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

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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 Why Your Business Needs a Custom Shopping Cart Today

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 your customers deserve a better shopping experience and that your generic cart is depriving them of it. Now you’re convinced the significant changes the custom shopping cart can bring. At this point, you must be having some questions like-

But what exactly is it?

How can it deliver a seamless experience? 

How to build a custom shopping cart? 

And what are the factors you need to consider?

Let’s find out!

Key Considerations

Like we mentioned, building your own shopping cart is having ultimate liberty. With custom shopping cart development, you can pay attention to even the minutest of details in your customer’s journey and optimize the cart for a better experience. A single page shopping cart can make the checkout process simpler and faster, which improves the customer experience.

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

Extensive Checkout Picture

One of the shortcomings generic shopping carts threw was the hidden charges that may pop up and inadequate checkout details.

When you build your own shopping cart, you can fix that. 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 and more

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

ebook ecommerce checklist


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 car needs to be flexible.

Wish List

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.

Remember Your Visitor

When a customer adds items to their cart and leaves (or accidentally closes the tab or app), your shopping cart should be smart enough to remember their additions. 

Products that visitors added before logging in to their account should remain in the cart once they log in. It is upsetting for a customer to add items again one by one and there are high chances that you might lose a customer. When building your shopping cart, ensure visitors’ shopping carts always remember their items.

The Inevitable Elements

Your custom shopping cart has to feature the following elements throughout the checkout process –

  • Your business details and contact information
  • Product guarantees
  • Estimated date of delivery
  • Links to return policies
  • Links to terms and conditions
  • Links to frequently asked questions
  • Trust badges
  • Clear CTAs
  • And accepted methods of payment

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.

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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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