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Most e-commerce web sites have adopted the metaphor of the shopping cart, which is a place to save and list the items a customer wants to buy. Just like a shopping cart in a grocery store, the e-commerce shopper has the ability to change the number and kinds of items the cart contains. They might add new items to a cart, increase or decrease the quantity of an item that is already in the cart, even empty the cart of all items. Instead of physically adding and removing items from a real cart, Product Advertising API operations provide similar functionality on a virtual shopping cart, called the Product Advertising API remote shopping cart.
Once the customer has found something they want to buy, they typically click an HTML button or link called, for example, Add To Cart . This action adds the item(s) to their existing shopping cart. If this is the first item they have chosen to place in a shopping cart, the shopping cart itself is created.
In Product Advertising API, the shopping cart is called remote because the cart is hosted by Amazon servers. In that sense, the shopping cart is remote to the seller's or Associate's servers where the customer is shopping.
The opposite of a remote shopping cart is a local shopping cart, which is the shopping cart customers use while shopping on www.amazon.com. It is considered local because Amazon hosts the shopping web pages as well as the shopping cart. Product Advertising API operations work solely with remote shopping carts.
The following sections describe remote shopping carts and how to work with them.