Think of trade, and the vision of adventurous caravans come in front of your eyes. Of loaded ships, the Silk Route and the rich Marco Polo. Loaded carts full of merchandise in Oriental bazaars. Bales of cotton downloaded at Manchester. As trade prospered and more products came into the market, the choices of consumers also increased. Whole markets came to be devoted to specialized fields where patrons could come, stroll and buy what they wanted. At a later time the supermarket concept emerged which took it to another direction – comprehensiveness. The shopping-cart came to symbolize that new dimension of trade – that the consumer is the king.
Today, the shopping cart is as much a physical convenience as a virtual one. Ever since the arrival of online commerce, a new modus operandi for trade has been devised. Normal metaphors of trade have had to be imported to the virtual domain. The shopping cart is one such device that lets the online consumer pick and choose offered products for purchase. Like in a real supermarket, the consumer can select his or her chosen wares, and keep it aside for actual purchase or further consideration. Technological development, mainly having to do with securing networks and payment details, have made the online shopping cart as fulfilling an experience as the offline one.