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What is PayPal Shopping Cart?

PayPal Shopping Carts are eCommerce applications that support customer purchases using the popular PayPal online payment service. Small business owners looking to add PayPal-friendly e-commerce functionality to their site, replace their existing cart, or create a new online storefront from scratch can choose from among PayPal's listed partners to find a solution that fits their needs.

E-commerce and m-commerce are on the rise, while old fashioned ‘brick and mortar’ merchants are doing their best to compete and adopt the so-called ‘click and mortar’ business model.

What makes PayPal so relevant

Whether you are just starting out as an online merchant, or if you are a veteran, adding support for PayPal to your online storefront is a smart move.

The online payment giant is popular with a wide range of demographics, and the service's tight encryption, lack of transaction fees (for purchasers) and built-in Purchase Protection make it an attractive choice for anyone looking to safeguard both their purchases and their personal financial information.

In 2012, the top 2.6 million of PayPal's 110 million customers spent over $4,000 a year online and made an average of 98 purchases in that time—and these numbers are expected to rise significantly as online retail sales continue to climb.

Between early 2012 and the end of 2014, PayPal’s total payment volume nearly doubled to more than $56 billion in the third quarter of 2014. At the same time the number of registered PayPal accounts went up by nearly 50 percent – the service currently has more than 156 million users.

Straightforward PayPal integration

Adding a PayPal-friendly e-commerce solution to your site is a relatively straightforward process.

Many hosts offer a selection of shopping cart applications featuring support for the service built-in with their e-commerce hosting plans. Even those that don't generally include the option to add PayPal support either with a plan upgrade or at a small additional fee.

You can also add a PayPal compatible shopping cart to your site through PayPal's own site, using the PayPal application programming interface (API). The site lets you choose a cart based on whether you're just starting out, adding e-commerce functionality to an existing site, or simply looking to replace your existing e-commerce platform with one that supports PayPal.

These applications not only allow customers to purchase your goods and services with their PayPal accounts, but also include PayPal's reporting tools, giving you deep insight into who is purchasing at your site, when they are most active and – perhaps most importantly - which products and services are your top performers.

In any case, PayPal offers numerous guides and tutorials for integration, so you should not have a hard time integrating its shopping cart regardless of your platform.

Adding PayPal support to Wordpress, Drupal and Joomla

WordPress, the world’s most popular content management system and publishing platform, offers a number of PayPal plugins to choose from. The majority of these plugins are easily installed and you can find all the necessary resources on wordpress.org.

The WordPress Simple PayPal Shopping Cart is currently the most popular platform, with more than half a million downloads.

In case you are running Drupal, you might want to try out the Drupal Commerce Kickstart distribution, which could prove to be the easiest way to go.

Joomla also a number of PayPal extensions that should allow you to build an e-commerce site with relative ease. Virtuemart is one of these free extensions and it is specifically designed for small online stores.

You can easily find tutorials for PayPal integration on other popular platforms, including step by step guides and even YouTube videos. The whole process usually does not require a lot of skill or effort on your part.

Be mindful of additional expenses

While support for PayPal greatly increases your potential revenue, remember that adding a PayPal shopping cart to your site can add to your hosting budget every month, depending on the plan you choose.

In addition, choosing standalone or add-on cart software via PayPal's Shopping Cart service can also add some expense via either one-time or recurring fees.

Also, keep in mind that while PayPal does not charge purchasers any fees, it does charge merchant fees (as well as additional fees for its “premium” payment processing plans) so be sure to factor that into your overall website budget when choosing an e-commerce solution.

PayPal Shopping Cart Frequently Asked Questions

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