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The disdvantages of an online shopping cart program vs. a locally hosted model are few, but include the following:
* Customization: You most likely have to use the software provided by the shopping cart host provider in the way they have intended it to be used. If you want to customize the shopping cart or overall ecommerce process, or substitute in a different shopping cart merchant account or payment gateway, you might be out of luck.
* Ongoing costs: With a locally hosted online shopping cart program, it costs more to set up, but there's no monthly fee. Go with a web-based shopping cart solution and you'll be paying the provider monthly for as long as you use the product.
* Integration with an existing site: Depending on which online or web-based shopping cart solution you choose, it can be difficult to integrate with an existing web site. The shopping cart must exist on the host server, which requires a user to click away from your site (even if the user doesn't realize it at the time).