Lesser-Known Shopping Cart Facts

Lesser-Known Shopping Cart Facts: Going Back In Time

VWB Blog 2 years ago 10

Have you ever wondered how shopping carts came to be? This utilitarian piece of necessity has become such a common need for all of us today that it seems bizarre to think of a time when these weren’t in every store! Would you believe us if we told you that shopping carts were once considered to be an effeminate sign? Sit tight, coz we’re going back in time coursing through the revolutionary existence and then popularization of the wonderful shopping cart, today which has become a compelling icon for the entire retail industry.

Rolling Through Time

It all began in the early 20th century when industrialization was spanning through American cities and grocery stores were quickly streamlining the supply-demand food channel. However, in those days supermarkets offered baskets to keep everything people had selected as they chose groceries from the aisles, but baskets were not only insufficient but also difficult to carry. Things from here became more of a lightbulb situation.

S. Goldman’s Patent designs for folding chair inspired shopping carts in the 1930s

Credits: 99percentvisible

One night in 1936, Sylvan Goldman, the original ideator of having baskets in the supermarkets took inspiration from a folding chair. What he came up with was that he placed one shopping basket on the seat of the folding chair and another under the chair, which was the first model of a folded-up cart. This led to the start of a folded, convenient cart design (about 5″ wide) that when unfolded can have two baskets at once. But irrespective of the cleverness of the invention, it proved to be a flop because no one except the elderly was interested in them- to women they seemed like baby strollers, and to men implied they were too weak to carry a basket. So much so, that even when Sylvan hired men and women to push these, and pretend like they’re shopping (similar to today’s ad shoots) – eventually, people began to see their use as normal.

Many companies like Springboard concierge today have integrated LCD touchscreens to the conventional shopping cart with maps to the store. These carts also show the items on sale/special discounts, as well as scan the item barcodes to complete the checkout process by a simple swipe of your card. What’s amazing is the way some beyond brilliant minds have actually leveraged technology to make shopping convenient for the blind. These high-tech shopping carts can tell you exactly the things you need to know, from knowing which aisle contains salsa, the price of certain items on braille at the cart’s handle as well as guiding them with voice instructions. In case you’re worried about watching out for wet floors or discourse, the cart also has laser range finders to auto-adjust its route as per the handler’s instruction.

Breaking Through The eCommerce Era

When S.Goldman got hit with the idea of making shopping carts convenient, he knew it was just the beginning. Today, even after half a century, we’re still building on the shopping cart that he designed. Since some things don’t change from country to country – including shopping cart design, they’ve now become a global icon for online shopping as well. The best part about today’s shopping carts have become real, all across the digital devices, and even in the real world with an AI-powered, smart shopping cart that helps shoppers to have a complete shopping experience without waiting in queues.


Credits: Shopify

Today we’re so surrounded by shopping carts that they easily blend into our landscape so well that we hardly even realize they’re there in the first place. While this historic piece of artifact consists of a considerable portion of our weekends when we shop online or stroll through the alleys of our nearby stores, it’s also an imperative source of employment to many! If you’re someone who’s been thinking about starting your own online business or eCommerce store or managing your order and billing, here are some of our suggestion platforms that have your back:


A prominent, intuitive, online store builder for business owners starting at 30 USD a month, they are perfect for business owners from all different domains. Their features include managing your online store as well as marketing your brand.

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They’re an easy eStore builder platform that can help you quickly build, take care of the checkout options, payroll, savings, etc. Powering brands big and small across all verticals can be a good way to get started.


A flagship storefront building platform – their technical team brings in a myriad of solutions and support for your digital storefront. They’re easy to sign up for and are completely free to use for anyone, just bring your own hosting.

In case you’re looking for something that goes 360° on eCommerce store management – starting from order, shipping, subscription to customer handling, marketing, and analysis – we’d recommend PYPA Commerce. Currently, under beta testing, they’re a full-scale eCommerce platform that takes care of all your business needs under one single unit. You can sign up for their early release today to learn more about their features.

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