Add a PayPal Shopping Cart to Your Website

PayPal is one of the most popular online payment methods available today.

paypal shopping cart

Customers find it very easy to use, and it offers a very low barrier to entry for merchants who want to start taking payments quickly. You can sell products, accept donations, and more by adding a PayPal shopping cart to your website. Plus, setup is straightforward and you can be ready to sell within minutes.

PayPal Shopping Cart

What Is a PayPal Shopping Cart and How Does it Work?

A PayPal shopping cart can be added to almost any existing website. It works by connecting your website to PayPal so your customers can quickly purchase products using the information saved within their PayPal accounts. You have multiple options for adding PayPal to your website, and you can also add it to Facebook, Tumblr, and other social media accounts so you can sell from multiple channels.

PayPal is an extremely convenient and versatile payment method that can expand your reach and increase your sales. Customers can pay with their PayPal account balance, or with any of the bank accounts or credit cards they've connected to their account — without needing to enter a card number onto your website. Customers without a PayPal account can enter their information through a secure form.

As a merchant, you'll receive funds into your PayPal Business Account which you can then transfer into your bank account. Whether from the customer side or the merchant side, the whole process only takes a few clicks.

Different Ways to Accept Payments with PayPal

PayPal offers its users several methods for making and receiving payments. These diverse options mean more choices available for you and your customers.

PayPal Standard

PayPal Standard

PayPal Standard is the most basic of PayPal payment options, and anyone who has done much online shopping has likely seen it in action. PayPal Standard allows you to create different types of PayPal buttons to place anywhere on your website. Each type of button works a little differently and they're all labeled to represent their function. PayPal buttons include:

  • Buy Now: For buying a single item.
  • Add to Cart: For buying multiple items together. Includes a View Cart button for the customer to review the products in their cart.
  • Donate: For collecting donations for a cause without any associated purchase.
Verified PayPal Business Account holders who sign up for Enhanced Recurring Payments can also create these buttons:
  • Subscribe: For setting up automatic payments for recurring purchases that don't vary in price (such as ordering the same product on a regular basis or subscribing to a members-only website).
  • Automatic Billing: Similar to Subscribe, but for recurring payments where the price may vary. Automatic Billing sends the customer an invoice instead of collecting payment directly.
  • Installment Plan: For setting up interest-free payment plans of up to 4 installments. Customers have the option to pay the first installment immediately, or to pay the entire amount up front as well. All installments must be collected within a year of the checkout date.

Online merchants can create any PayPal button permitted by their account and add it to a web page by pasting a code generated by PayPal. Buttons can be added to any website, blog, or social media platform that lets you add HTML. PayPal Standard users can accept payments from credit and debit cards, PayPal balances, and PayPal Credit.

Learn more about PayPal Standard

PayPal Checkout

PayPal Checkout

PayPal Checkout, formerly known as PayPal Express Checkout, is more advanced than PayPal Standard, as it creates a full checkout experience that can be added to a website to turn it into an online store. You can still create PayPal buttons like you can with Standard. PayPal Checkout requires a PayPal Business Account and is the better option for serious merchants who want to sell online with a full-fledged eCommerce website.

PayPal Checkout is more difficult to add to a website and usually requires you to hire a developer to integrate it, so the better option for getting PayPal Checkout on your website quickly is to use an eCommerce platform with an existing PayPal integration.

Learn more about PayPal Checkout

PayPal Smart Payments Button

PayPal Smart Payment Buttons

Smart Payment Buttons are a part of PayPal Checkout and help reduce checkout friction for your customers. Smart Payment Buttons display the most relevant online payment methods depending on the customer's location, device, and the cookies set in their browser. You can configure the size, color, and shape of the Smart Payment Buttons on your website. When the customer checks out, PayPal will dynamically display the appropriate buttons to that customer.

Learn more about PayPal Smart Payment Buttons

PayPal Credit

PayPal Credit

PayPal Credit, formerly Bill Me Later, offers customers 6 months interest-free financing on purchases of at least $99. Merchants are paid up front and all the financial risk is assumed by PayPal. PayPal also provides buttons, banners, and other resources to promote that your online store accepts PayPal Credit. Giving your customers a financing option is a proven way to raise your sales and increase your average order value.

Learn more about PayPal Credit

Pay with Venmo

Pay with Venmo

Venmo is a mobile payment app connected to a social feed. It allows users to send money to recipients via their email address, phone number, or Venmo username and make a comment that will appear on the buyer's Venmo social feed. Customers can opt in to make payments with Venmo during checkout on online stores that accept PayPal. As a merchant, you don't need to make any changes to your PayPal integration to accept Venmo.

Venmo is a great payment method because of its convenience and popularity among tech-savvy consumers who primarily shop from mobile devices, and the social aspect encourages them to spread the word about their purchases, potentially drawing more customers to your online store.

Learn more about accepting Venmo payments

PayPal OneTouch

PayPal One Touch

PayPal One Touch allows PayPal users to stay logged into PayPal on a single device and browser for up to 6 months, so they won't have to enter their information while shopping on any website that accepts PayPal. If you use PayPal Checkout on your website, your customers can already shop using PayPal One Touch.

Learn more about PayPal One Touch

reference icon

Reference Transactions

Reference transactions are initial PayPal transactions that PayPal can then use to set up forthcoming transactions for subscriptions. When the customer first checks out, a reference transaction ID is created for PayPal to refer to when charging later payments. Reference transaction IDs are tokenized, meaning the customer's actual credit card information is not stored in your database — instead, the token contains an encrypted form of the data. You can activate reference transactions in your PayPal Business Account to set up payment for subscription services.

Learn more about reference transactions and enabling them in PayPal

Benefits of a PayPal Shopping Cart

So, what makes PayPal such a great payment method for your website? There are several benefits for both you and your customers.

PayPal is easy to use

Adding PayPal buttons to your website takes a matter of minutes, and you only have to know where to paste the code PayPal generates. If you want to use PayPal Checkout, you can connect it to your site immediately by using a compatible eCommerce platform like 3dcart.

PayPal is well-recognized by customers

Millions of people trust PayPal and use it almost every day. Many customers prefer it over other payment methods. This brand recognition will encourage more shoppers to buy from your website.

PayPal is very convenient

Customers love the fast, frictionless checkout offered by PayPal. Many customers keep funds in their accounts and prefer to pay directly from their balance, while others prefer to let their account pull the required funds from a connected payment source. This means PayPal offers a shortcut to customers who hate entering their credit card details, and with PayPal One Touch, it becomes even more convenient. Even customers without a PayPal account can still pay through PayPal, and although they'll need to enter their card number, they won't be faced with the worry of entering sensitive information onto a website they may not know well yet.

PayPal offers seller protection

PayPal works with merchants to protect them from fraud, chargebacks, and other types of disputes. PayPal also uses high-level encryption to ensure transactions are protected and you and your customers' data is secured.

PayPal is global

Want to sell in more than one country? No problem. PayPal handles the processing and conversion of 25 currencies from 202 countries around the world.

PayPal is integrated with the world's best eCommerce software

Serious online entrepreneurs who want to build a full-featured online store often decide to build a complete website on an eCommerce platform like 3dcart. PayPal is natively integrated with 3dcart so you can make the most of the tools PayPal offers, like Buy Buttons and PayPal Checkout — without the hassle of hiring a developer to install PayPal Checkout on your website.

What You Need to Set Up a PayPal Shopping Cart

It's easy to get started on PayPal and set up a shopping cart for your online store. The requirements are few.


First, you need products. While many business owners have their product ideas first and develop from there, it's not uncommon for an entrepreneur to want to start a business and figure out the details later. If you can't wait to get into eCommerce but you haven't chosen a niche yet, consider the types of products that fit well with your interests and knowledge.


You also need to understand the pricing of your products, including shipping and taxes. Market research can help you understand how to price your products.


Next, you need a website, or at the very least a blog or social media account that provides you with an HTML editor. You'll need to paste HTML code into the site to place your PayPal buttons.


Finally, you need a PayPal Business Account, which provides you with all the features of a PayPal Personal Account along with the extra features needed by online merchants. If you already have a PayPal Personal Account, you're allowed to create a separate PayPal Business Account as long as you use a unique email address. It's best to use an email address at the domain name of your business's website.

setup paypal

How to Set Up a PayPal Shopping Cart

You can set up your PayPal shopping cart in a few different ways. You can opt for the simplest method of adding buttons to your website, or you can take it further and add PayPal Checkout.

Here are the 3 easiest ways to set up your shopping cart with PayPal.

PayPal Buy Buttons

How to Get PayPal Buy Buttons

Log into your PayPal account and you'll find a link for creating and configuring your PayPal buttons inside your PayPal dashboard. The Buy Now and Add to Cart buttons are the best for most online stores. Remember to use Buy Now when you want customers to be able to quickly purchase a single item, and to use Add to Cart when you want to give them a chance to shop around on your website before checkout.

To create your buttons, you'll need to choose the button type and add some information to connect it to the appropriate product. Add the name of the item and any identification number you've assigned to it, which could be a SKU, UPC, ISBN, or a number from your business's own inventory tracking system.

You'll also need to add the price, shipping cost, tax rate, and the currency you use, and the email address associated with your PayPal account. You can also customize each button's appearance and add inventory control to track your stock numbers.

When you've added all the information and customized the button to your liking, click Create Button. This will provide you with two snippets of generated code, one for websites and one for email. Copy the code in the website box and paste it into the HTML editor of the web page on which you want the button to appear. Find the location on the page where you want to place the button and add the code in that spot. If your website uses a visual or WYSIWYG editor, pasting the code inside it may not work — make sure you switch to HTML editing first. Remember to save your changes!

Add to Card Button

How to Get 3dcart Buy Buttons

If you're using 3dcart's all-in-one eCommerce website builder, you have the option to sell products through embeddable widgets that work similarly to PayPal buttons, except the orders will go through your 3dcart Online Store Manager for processing and tracking. Customers will also be able to pay with any of the payment methods you accept through 3dcart, which can include PayPal and your choice of over 160 other payment providers. To get 3dcart Buy Buttons, you'll create the buttons through 3dcart instead of your PayPal dashboard.

First, the product must be added to your 3dcart Online Store Manager. Once you've added the product, you can create the Buy Button directly from the product list in your dashboard. You need only decide which parts to display, like the product name, price, thumbnail image, and the message shown when the item is in stock or out of stock. You can also configure the colors and text of the button and choose whether it works as an Add to Cart or Buy Now button that goes straight to checkout.

When you're happy with the button you've created, click Generate Code Snippet. Copy the generated code and paste it in your site's HTML editor as you would do with a PayPal button code. You'll also need to add a short JavaScript reference to any web page where you intend to place 3dcart Buy Buttons. For more specifics, read how to embed products with Buy Buttons.

With the 3dcart Buy Button, you don't need to add any information while creating your buttons because the 3dcart Buy Button widget pulls information from your 3dcart store. If you plan to create a lot of buttons, 3dcart's Buy Button creation is faster and easier than making a PayPal button — you don't need to manually enter product names, ID numbers, tax information, or anything else.


How to Make a Complete Online Store Connected to PayPal

If you want to take full advantage of PayPal's enhanced features like PayPal Checkout, the easiest way is to use an online store builder that's already integrated with PayPal. This will save you from having to hire a developer to add PayPal Checkout to your store. Choosing an online store builder can be very difficult, especially with the growth of eCommerce. There are so many options available that a business owner can easily start to feel lost and discouraged. We'll make this easier for you by narrowing it down.

First, you'll want to eliminate all website builders that aren't dedicated to eCommerce. The platform you use needs to be built from the ground up to run an online store, not a basic website with a few small eCommerce plugins. Next, check for PayPal integration. Refine your choices by looking at the pricing and features offered by the different online store builders you're considering.

3dcart is a full-featured, all-in-one online store builder with all the tools to create a complete website with product pages, categories, and any other website pages you need. PayPal is fully integrated and you'll also have access to the powerful 3dcart Buy Buttons to place on other websites as needed.

Choosing the right Shopping Cart for your Business

How do you choose the right shopping cart for your business and where do you start? This depends on where you currently are in your business.

Launch a Website

You're just starting out and you need help to create a website.

If you can't wait to get your business started and launch your website, but you're feeling lost in the process, don't worry. There's nothing wrong with being new, and this also means you have a great opportunity to start your online store on the right foot by using a powerful eCommerce platform that provides everything you need to build and grow. 3dcart is fully integrated with PayPal, including PayPal Checkout, and includes hundreds of other features for creating and marketing a complete website with a fast, convenient shopping cart.

Add a Shopping Cart to Your Website

You have a website, but you want to add a shopping cart.

If you already have a website and you're ready to add a shopping cart and start selling, you have a few options. You can add PayPal Buy Buttons or take the more technical route and integrate PayPal Checkout, although you may need a developer's help. The fastest way to add a shopping cart to your existing website is to create a PayPal-integrated online store with a platform and connect it to a subdomain, like

Complete Online Store

You're already using PayPal Buy Buttons, but you want to replace them with a complete online store.

PayPal buttons do have their limitations, although no one can deny the benefits of being able to place a Buy Button on any website that lets you edit HTML. To scale up your business, however, you need a more permanent and robust solution. 3dcart is complete with everything you need to sell online, including advanced inventory control, a secure shopping cart with PayPal integration, customer management and marketing tools, and much more. Plus, with the versatile 3dcart Buy Button widgets, you can still add Buy Buttons across your various websites and social media accounts as long as you're able to add HTML and JavaScript. With a 3dcart website, you'll have a perfect online store to serve as your business's home base on the internet without having to give up Buy Now buttons.

PayPal and 3dcart:
An All-in-One eCommerce Website Solution

Best PayPal Shopping Cart

3dcart is the answer to any business owner who wants to build an online store that has the power to grow. Take payments with PayPal and your choice of over 160 other fully-integrated payment processors. Access a suite of built-in marketing tools to spread the word through email newsletters, social media, and a versatile promotion and coupon system. Connect your 3dcart store to Facebook and sell directly from your Facebook Shop tab and sell from Instagram, and connect with eBay and Amazon to further increase your reach. Plus, all your orders are processed in one central location, no matter which marketplace they come from — making it far simpler to sell across multiple channels.

With 3dcart, website building is fast and easy, with access to over 100 modern, mobile-friendly and customizable ecommerce themes fully responsive to every device. Your store is built for speed, utilizing the most cutting-edge web standards to bring your customers the ultimate in convenient shopping. And with the best built-in set of SEO features in the industry, you'll have what it takes to start dominating the search engines right out of the gate.

3dcart is truly the all-in-one solution
to help build your business.

Frequently asked questions

What are PayPal fees?
There are no PayPal fees for eCommerce buyers, but sellers within the United States pay a transaction fee of 2.9% + $0.30 per sale. The fee for international sales is 4.4% plus a fixed amount based on currency type. You can find a list of currency-based charges and any other fees by reading PayPal's fee breakdown.
Are PayPal accounts free?
PayPal does not charge users for creating a PayPal account and has no monthly fees. Sending money and making purchases is always free. However, receiving a payment from a customer carries a transaction fee as mentioned above.
What's Pay with Venmo?
Venmo is a mobile-only payment app with a social feed that allows users to post comments on their transactions. Users can send money to the Venmo username, phone number, or email address of the recipient. Venmo also has social features that allow users to automatically add all their Facebook friends who use Venmo.
Venmo is commonly used for instantly sending money between friends, such as while splitting the bill at a restaurant. But if you accept PayPal on your online store, customers with Venmo will see Venmo as an available option for paying for their purchases. You don't need to take any extra steps to let customers pay with Venmo, as long as you accept PayPal.
What's the difference between PayPal Standard and PayPal Express Checkout?
PayPal Checkout, formerly known as PayPal Express Checkout, has a major advantage over PayPal Standard in that PayPal Checkout transfers data more reliably between PayPal and your store and offers customers an improved checkout experience. Unlike PayPal Standard, PayPal Checkout brings customers back to your store to complete the transaction after they authorize the purchase with PayPal. With PayPal Standard, however, customers complete their transactions on PayPal's website instead of your online store, and you need to rely on PayPal to send an Instant Payment Notification to your website before you can process the order.
PayPal Checkout also lets customers log into PayPal ahead of time and access convenience features like PayPal One Touch.
What's PayPal One Touch?
PayPal One Touch is a way for customers to save their PayPal login data for up to 6 months so they never have to enter a password or credit card number on any PayPal-enabled website. Instead, they only need to click or tap a couple of buttons to complete their purchase. PayPal One Touch reduces security risks by requiring customers to log in again if they use a different device or browser or if they try to edit their information. If you accept PayPal Checkout, you already accept PayPal One Touch.