If you're looking to setup your own online shop there are many different kinds of systems on the market, and many different terms and names used to describe them such as ecommerce software, online shop software, shopping cart software and many more. Basically ecommerce software is software designed to allow you to offer ecommerce facilities on the internet and sell your products and services.
In a high street shop or supermarket; customers browse all the products in the store and simply put items they want into their shopping cart or basket. Once they have finished browsing the store they go to the checkout, get told the total value of goods in their shopping cart or basket and then are given the choice on how to pay for their goods.
Shopping cart software does exactly the same; users browse your online products and services adding ones they want into their virtual shopping cart and once finished they simply go to the check out where they enter their details such as delivery address and payment details.
The definition of shopping cart software however is a little vague as most ecommerce platforms claim to be shopping cart software however most are much more. In high street shops the shopping cart is just used to put items in and then take to the checkout. If we take ekmPowershop as an example shopping cart solution then we get much more, for example we are also getting the virtual shelves for our products to sit on, we are getting the virtual shop building itself and even the checkout staff and till to take the payments.
Of course there are several systems out there that are pure shopping carts which literally just manage the shopping cart and nothing else, you have to handle the technicality of uploading products, managing security to take payments and running a customer database.
With an ecommerce online shop solution like ekmPowershop you are getting much more than a simple shopping cart, if you wanted to you could just take advantage of the cart which is very powerful and functional in its own right and leave all the other features. However as soon as most users realise how easy it is to virtually stack your shops shelves with ekmPowershop (especially when compared with manually doing it through a HTML development system) they quickly switch to using ekmPowershop as the entire online shop.