Online Shopping Cart

A custom shopping cart solution

Simplicity - Why you should consider a custom online shopping cart

Choosing a Shopping Cart


Solutions like Shopify can be good for some online stores - Shopify Online pricing starts at $29 USD per month up to $299 USD per month. They have a starting transaction fee of 1.75% + 30¢ AUD to 1.4% + 30¢ AUD for online Australian credit cards.

Calculating Shipping Rates with Shopify

  • Flat shipping rates
  • General rates
  • Priced-based rates
  • Weight-based rates
  • Calculated rates

Various payment options

There are various payment options like PayPal, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay and at least 40 Payment Gateways supported in Australia eg eWAY Rapid 3.1, SecurePay (Australia) and

Themes and Product Media with Shopify

You can purchase themes with Shopify, and within those themes there will be various media options like Images, 3D models (selected themes) and Videos.

Creating videos is a time consuming task - we analyse this in our article Web Video Marketing.

Shopify vs Stripe

Shopify is an ecommerce platform. Stripe is a Payment Gateway that can be connected to various applications. You could setup Stripe and use if for various aspects of your business, not just your online shopping cart.


WooCommerce is built on top of WordPress - a recipe for a slow site since WordPress has issues. In some cases you could wait an extra 5 seconds for a page to load. Just check the number of searches on "Fix a Slow WooCommerce Store". A good strategy before engaging any platform is to search on existing problems and check issues existing users have.

Shopping Cart Less Is More

An alternative
- a fast custom shopping cart

If the primary source of sales is going to be via a search engine like Google, having your site designed for SEE from the outset is important. There is a difference between a site with tacked on SEE and one designed with SEE in mind.

W3C validation Errors and Site Speed

We analysed one page from an example in Shopify put it into a W3C validator which revealed error after error in the code. Refer to our SEE Page - Website Migration Guide on validation techniques and other structural issues sites need to overcome.

Site Performance
Nobody likes a slow site as shown above

It is safe to say many Shopify sites would be full of errors. For that matter it is hard to find a WordPress site that validates properly. These may not stop the site from functioning or selling, however it will not function or sell as well as a site with cleaner optimised code and few errors.

Making a shopping cart simpler - less is more

With a custom online shopping cart that uses one payment solution like, your online shopping system can be so much simpler. The site structure is designed around your products not the other way around where your products must fit a set structure. It is less complicated and can really look good because the theme is customised to suit the shopping experience. A shopping experience needs to inspire confidence, removing any obstacles to a person purchasing. Choice paralysis is a well known phenomena, where more choices leads to being less likely to take action. Psychologist Barry Schwartz, calls this choice paralysis. He argues that more choices make us less likely to take action, and to be less satisfied with our eventual decision

When things go wrong - one of the difficulties of developing a shopping cart is tracing the process and being able to make updates when the system is live. When a system is live any change must be tested via a live order. A fraudulent attempt may be made, or a person may abandon the shopping cart screen and return a day later - you need to be able to recover from this gracefully and securely. You can pick up the phone and discuss any issue with the developer of the system - us. We can trace every step of a transaction, with the latest Stripe Payment Intents API you create a traceable path from the outset.

Custom Security we can add custom security on top of the considerable security provided by SSL and Stripe. Denial of service attacks can be annoying, custom code can dramatically reduce these. Stripe is constantly evolving security procedures, and recommends best practise techniques for reducing fraud.

Updates Reduced...

A major benefit of limiting the options on your online shopping cart is that the need for constant updates due to changes in APIs is dramatically reduced.

A major benefit of limiting the options on your online shopping cart is that the need for constant updates due to changes in APIs is dramatically reduced. Stripe is still supporting much of its original legacy code, meaning if you created a shopping experience 5 years ago - the code still works today. Other providers send an email like "Payment System no longer Supported" - you have to rebuild the system.

Updating your site design

Some of our sites have had 4 complete redesigns but still maintain the core structure created over a decade ago. We can update your entire look and feel without wiping out original pages or structures.

Shopping Cart Features

Features of a custom shopping cart

Many of the features listed below occur in off the shelf shopping carts like Shopify. However to avoid being overwhelmed with detail, we modify the features to suit your products.
We would create the image uploads at the ideal size for the presentation of your product. Not every product is sold via a shopping cart, take for example the purchase and download of an eBook. In most cases this is a once off purchase for one product only.

Some shopping carts do not automatically refresh total calculations, they require the purchaser to understand the page is not sophist acted enough to make that calculation on the spot and there is an update cart button for that, so that the totals can be calculated correctly.

  • Varying prices styles and sizes
  • Ability to indicate out of stock items
  • Vary how payment is received (e.g. login or straight to payment)
  • Secure system more difficult for hackers to guess logins
  • Varying delivery calculations depending on location and product
  • Can build the design to best match how a shopper prefers to browse
  • Group products how it suits your shoppers
  • Manage Photo uploads to suit your business
  • Instant shipping cost calculations and updates to totals
  • Coupons discounts and special time limited offers
  • Up to date security and SSL setup

Some examples of sites with a custom shopping cart-:

Planned upgrades to our shopping cart


Add or remove items, adjust quantities and update pricing without needing a refresh button. Have an image of the item for sale. Allow amalgamation of products and stock control.


Differentiate between items with shipping and those that do not ship. Allow options for calculation of shipping and different providers. Allow address updates and confirmation at any stage of the process. Provide updates and tracking.

Coupons and Discounts

Provide coupons and discounts that can be applied with immediate results shown to the purchaser. Differentiate between products that have a discount and those that do not.

Payment Options

Provide secure payment options tailored for the location or preferred option of the customer. Produce an invoice and update if necessary. The ability to trace a transaction in its entirety and allocate an order id to the payment system.


Design the site to be enhanced for SEO. The shopping cart is not an add-on it is integrated into the entire structure of the site from an SEO point of view. Products provide infinite SEO possibilities. The site accounts for suppliers and categories or styles.

About the author

Philip Hoile has lectured at Griffith University in e-business, advanced e-business, e-commerce and User Interface Design. A web developer since 1996 specialising in programming website Content Management Systems.
My interest in web marketing stems from a desire to improve client outcomes.

Phone 07 55320651

Mobile 0423 926 852


Disclaimer Information is presented here that may go out of date or expresses an opinion. This does contain information from sources I have an association with (i.e. I use their services)

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Currently Stripe is my go to payment gateway

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