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Jan 2011

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E-commerce Shopping Cart: Licensed or Hosted?

Products or services that are sold over the internet and other computer systems are known as electronic commerce or simply E-commerce. It also facilitates data exchange during any online transactions over the website, which makes the exchange of data over the Internet a sensitive process.With the ubiquitous presence of the Internet in our homes and other public facilities, e-commerce is also spreading.

In order to assure clients that their personal data is secure when purchasing from their websites, merchants use various types of an E-commerce shopping cart software. An e-commerce shopping cart is similar to a shopping cart or shopping basket, only it is a software that interfaces between the merchant’s website and its infrastructure that allows clients to select, review, and ultimately purchase merchandise.

E-commerce websites prefer to have an integrated e-commerce shopping cart software for data security and for increased profitability. Experts have observed that clients who feel threatened over the security of their data when purchasing online usually discontinue the process. Thus, e-commerce sites take their e-commerce shopping cart software seriously. Merchants can opt to use a licensed shopping cart software or the hosted version.

A licensed e-commerce shopping cart software usually requires a one-time fee upon download and installation. Because the business owners own a license, they can use any web server with the correct requirements to host the shopping cart. At the same time, they can edit and customize the application. On the other hand, a hosted version may require a monthly or annual payment or even an additional percentage charge based on the sales to the service provider that hosts website. This version has limited customization because it already has templates that users can choose from. However, they are assured that the providers keep updating the software for security purposes as well as for new features.

Whether licensed or hosted, merchants using any type of e-commerce shopping carts must comply with the VISA regulations that govern the Payment Card Industry (PCI). These regulations are monitored and developed by the major providers in the payment industry such as Visa Inc.

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