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Overview

In the evolution of e-commerce systems, shopping carts and order management are at the heart of many problems, challenges, and implementation approaches. On the surface, they seem simple, but many subtle (and not-so-subtle) problems arise in trying to make truly excellent shopping carts for online systems. Like other aspects of e-commerce systems, the best shopping carts are the ones that do not call attention to themselves. They work quickly and flawlessly, they don't lose data, and the customer barely notices the time spent interacting with them.

In this chapter, we look at how shopping carts can and should work, as well as some different approaches to implementing them. In addition, we go beyond shopping carts to the problem of managing orders for a customer—that is, what happens when the customer clicks the Checkout button.


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