ThriveCart Review Summary
ThriveCart is a great shopping cart platform that starts at a 1-time cost of $495. It's a powerful sales cart when compared to other platforms. It rivals SamCart and other carts that cost $99+/month!
Usual Price: $97/Month
Current Price: Starts At $495 (a Lifetime Deal – Keep Reading)
Josh Bartlett founded ThriveCart in early 2016.
Fast forward to 2020, and it’s one of the fastest-growing sales cart options for online course creators, consultants, and e-commerce businesses.
If you want the short version of this 3,000+ word review article, I’ll answer the question that may be on your mind right now – Would I recommend buying ThriveCart?
The answer is yes, it's one of the best shopping cart solutions in the industry, but it's dependent on the type of business you’re doing. We’ll cover this throughout the article.
What is ThriveCart?
ThriveCart is a sales cart solution that lets you create beautiful high-converting checkout pages for your online products and services.
Unlike other shopping cart services, ThriveCart currently offers a lifetime license (a one-time fee). This is an unheard-of payment option for the shopping cart tools marketplace.
It does have some drawbacks, which I’m going to cover later, but overall it’s an excellent tool for online entrepreneurs to establish monthly subscriptions, upsells, downsells, order bumps more efficiently without having to know code!
Prefer to sit back and watch the ThriveCart review? Watch our video below!
Who Is Thrivecart For?
Digital Courses and E-Books
This shopping cart software works seamlessly with online course platforms and you can easily start selling e-books from your blog.
You can customize your checkout page to collect as much information from your customers as you’d like (GDPR marketing consent checkbox option available).
Whether you’re using Teachable, Kajabi, Thinkific, or you have a membership site, ThriveCart integrates with just a few clicks.
Recurring Subscription Products
Do you have a product or service that requires monthly rebilling?
No problem. ThriveCart can handle one-time payments, monthly recurring payments, and free trials.
With a recurring subscription payment event, ThriveCart will start an automated workflow with your email platform and tag them with a label you choose.
If you have one-time payment products and you also have a monthly subscription, you’ll know your customers by segments in the customer management section of ThriveCart.
Physical Products Sellers
ThriveCart has everything you need to start selling your physical products online.
You can collect shipping information, names, and even phone numbers if you’d like.
Are you using Shopify?
If you are, you’ll be happy to know that ThriveCart can fully integrate with multiple Shopify accounts.
This integration will push all sales that come from ThriveCart to your Shopify store(s) so you can track your sales.
If you’re a self-published author and have book products on Lulu, you’ll be able to take advantage of ThriveCart’s latest integration: Fulfillment by Lulu.
Furthermore, ThriveCart has been used by many of its users to sell dog toys, t-shirts, books, CDs & DVDs.
These are just a few examples of physical products you can sell with ThriveCart.
Yup, even consultants use ThriveCart.
Although I’ve only worked with a handful of clients in the local digital marketing realm, something is dissatisfying about sending a PayPal invoice link.
Setting up your PayPal with a ThriveCart is simple.
Once you have it set up, you'll be able to create products for each of your services and send them to your client checkout pages (you can brand your invoices too).
Let's take a look at some example pages – keep reading.
What Are the Benefits of Using Thrive Cart?
High Converting Checkout Pages
As a course creator myself, I started out by putting courses on platforms such as JVZoo and Clickbank.
Such platforms are decent, but give you less control with your checkout pages.
(Clickbank allows you to customize your pages – but to a lesser extent than paid shopping cart platforms).
It’s simple (a little too simple).
Here’s a Clickbank product shopping cart:
Decent, but sort of looks like it’s stuck in the early 2,000s era.
Now, let’s take a look at ThriveCart’s shopping cart demo page.
Looks much better and more modern, right?
The above image is just one of the four cart templates ThriveCart provides to its customers.
Now, you might be thinking, “I’m not sure I need this, Teachable (or a similar shopping cart software), already offers checkout pages.”
You're right. Teachable, Thinkific, Kajabi all have nice checkout form pages, but where I hear most complaints is the lack of multivariate testing capabilities, these teaching course platforms have.
This is where ThriveCart can play a HUGE role with course creator’s conversion rates.
Some Shopping Cart Configurations When Using ThriveCart Are:
- One Step Or Two-Step Checkout Carts
- Accept Multiple Payment Methods (Stripe for Credit Card Details and PayPal for those who prefer it)
- Monthly Split Pay Customization Options
- Custom Domain Name for Checkout Page URL
- Sales Tax Option Along With Your Price Point
- Test Mode to Ensure Your Order Forms Work As Intended
In addition to the Thrive Cart design customization capabilities, you can also add the following cart elements to your order form page to convert more leads into customers:
- Offer Coupon Code Fields
- Countdown Timer
- Video Carts
- Bullet Points
- Buy Button
New Drag & Drop Cart Template Builder
In recent years, Thrive Cart introduced its drag and drop editor, which made it an even more stellar shopping cart solution in 2020.
This has unlocked full customization for all your landing pages throughout your business's shopping cart experience.
Thankfully, you don't need to know coding to customize your landing pages – even non-techies can use it with ease!
A/B Testing for Checkout Pages
“Test, test, test, and … don’t forget to test” is one of those phrases I heard early on in my digital marketing career.
You may be conducting split tests for your sales pages with different headlines or images.
However, the sales page is just one step in the sales process.
Most online marketers who sell products stop short and forget to split test their checkout pages!
Don't neglect to test what happens after the sales page! Testing your checkout pages with ThriveCart is easy!
I have a course where I’ve recently started testing two different sales carts against each other. It makes for a good example.
This shopping cart platform makes it easy to set up an A/B test like the one above.
A simple enough split test can make all the difference to your bottom line in the long-run.
I recommend everyone who is selling digital products to start split testing their checkout pages!
Bump Offers and 1-Click Upsells
“Do you want fries with that?”
Upsells are traditional business strategies used for hundreds of years.
With online marketing, you have two ways of accomplishing this: order bumps and one-click upsells.
First up, Bump Offers.
This is a quick and easy add-on you can have for any one of your products.
Traditionally they looked like this.
This is what ThriveCart’s order bump look like.
You can add these to any of your checkout carts easily.
Just a few years ago, you’d need to hire a web developer to have this added to your shopping cart (or you’d be forced to use Clickbank).
Secondly, the Upsells. An upsell page can add on on average 10-30% to marketing campaigns!
ThrivCart gives you two options here. Use their default cart upsell offer page or use your own custom pages.
I recommend using your own custom upsell pages on your website as you’ll have more control over the design aspects of your pages.
Whether you choose to use an order bump, upsells, or downsells, you’ll be able to test each step of the sales funnel without paying.
Embeddable & Popup Checkout Carts
Does this platform let me embed checkout pages on my website?
There are times when having your checkout on your WordPress site makes more sense.
ThriveCart provides two ways of setting up carts on your own site (doesn't have to be WordPress).
The Embeddable cart will give you a code to paste on your web page.
The Popup cart will let your potential customer click on a button on your site and have your cart instantly appear.
This checkout template has a few more steps to it, but easily doable.
This type of checkout system can potentially do wonders with bloggers and e-commerce entrepreneurs!
The following are integrations ThriveCart offers for email platforms and membership platforms.
Email Marketing Providers
- WishList Member
- Digital Access Pass
- Thrive Apprentice
Adding your paying customers to your email list and membership platform with ThriveCart's marketing automation is important to improve the customer's checkout experience.
Unfortunately, ThriveCart doesn't have native membership integrations for Kajabi and Thinkific users yet.
However, these users have used Zapier to integrate to ThriveCart. There are support articles in the knowledge base and people who've done this in the Facebook group.
When it comes to payment gateways, ThriveCart offers more than just Stripe and PayPal.
- Apple Pay
- Google Pay
- Google Sheets
ThriveCart is continuously adding more integrations with their checkout software.
So, expect these lists to grow!
Secure URLs & Checkout Process
With secure URL technology, most course sites, hosting platforms, and membership sites will work excellent with ThriveCart.
Affiliate Tracking Friendly Affiliate Center
Being an experienced affiliate marketer, I’ve naturally worked with vendors who use 3rd-party cart software to manage their affiliates.
ThriveCart separates itself from the competition here by offering affiliates tracking IDs they can append to their affiliate links.
For example, if you sell online courses on platforms such as Teachable or Kajabi, your affiliates only get one link.
Moreover, they can’t append an affiliate tracking ID to their links.
If your affiliates want to promote your product on their blog and YouTube, there’s no good way of measuring which traffic channel produces more affiliate sales because their affiliate marketing links are global URLs!
Okay… affiliate rant over 🙂
Anyway, ThriveCart wins by letting your affiliates create as many affiliate tracking ID’s as they want when selling your products!
So, I'm sure you're wondering how much does ThriveCart cost?
ThriveCart has claimed it'll be switching to monthly pricing at $97/month…
They also offer a Pro Account, which has more features, priced at a one-time fee of $690.
Both options are Lifetime Licenses, so there are no monthly recurring payments. Considering other online carts cost $99-$299+ per month, ThriveCart is a steal…
These are ThriveCart's new price points as of 2020.
Here's what Josh recently said about the two ThriveCart purchase options: “The Standard Account will be $495 one time initially, during phase 1 and then eventually increase in price.” He also said, “The Pro Account will have ALL functionality included and will be a $195 one time upgrade initially, with the price increasing/going to an annual fee in the next phases.”
If you're not sure which account type to choose, I suggest starting off with the Standard Account because you can always upgrade and pay the difference later if needed.
You can find the Standard Account checkout page with the special discount code applied here.
For more cost details between the two types of ThriveCart accounts, read our ThriveCart Pricing – Standard vs PRO article.
How Much Does Thrivecart Cost [Video Explanation]
Thrive Cart offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if you're not satisfied with it.
Josh has plans on changing ThriveCart to a monthly fee service.
Honestly, thinking about it, it should be monthly as it pretty much does everything you'd need to sell products, a membership program, you name it! Here’s what he said in the Thrive Cart FB group:
I can see this change coming down the pipeline soon.
I believe ThriveCart’s pricing change hasn’t occurred yet because they’re focusing on adding more marketing automation integrations (such as more webinar platforms) and updating the software before making the per month price transition.
A few of the newest integrations and updates are:
- GDPR compliant
Early 2019 Josh, the founder of TC, mentioned in this FB group post that Thrivecart's “pilot program” is almost over, and TC will no longer have a lifetime access account moving forward!
Here's what he said:
Josh Barlett // Founder at Thrivecart
There has also never been a better time to get a LIFETIME account for ThriveCart before they are gone if you don't have one already!
We're finally nearing the end of our pilot program now, and once we do, the current lifetime pricing is gone forever.
If you're thinking about getting Thrivecart, make sure to do it ASAP!
The Client Account Bump Offer
On the discounted checkout page, you’re going to see a discounted bump offer for the client upgrade.
Do you need it? It depends on your situation.
If you only have one website, and you plan to solely sell digital products or physical products through one site for the next few years, then you probably won’t need it.
You might want it if you fit one of the following criteria:
- You have more than one site you want to sell products on
- You want a different checkout subdomain URL
- You want to set up different invoices for different online businesses
- You want to use (or sell) checkout pages to clients
- You want to send emails from different email addresses and keep track of KPI through separate reporting
If any of these cases sound like your situation, I would get started with the client deal for $95 instead of $195!
Being competitive in the sales cart arena is not a walk in the park.
However, ThriveCart has managed to cement its authority in the market.
In this section, we’re going to compare ThriveCart to its main competitors.
ThriveCart vs Samcart Comparison
Samcart is arguably ThriveCart’s main competitor.
Both shopping carts have similar essential features such as checkout template pages, different payment plans, 1-click bump offers, upsells, and downsells.
Where things start to differentiate is the affiliate settings for vendors. That and … pricing.
Remember earlier; I was talking about ThriveCart’s affiliate platform was better because it offered affiliates tracking IDs?
Well, as a vendor using Samcart’s affiliate management center, your affiliates won’t be able to track which traffic sources are performing well.
On the other hand, Samcarts affiliate system is powerful for marketers who produce quality content on their blogs.
Let me explain…
If you have an article “SEO Keywords for Beginners Guide” article on your site with a call-to-action (CTA) for your digital course/software, you can create an affiliate link in Samcart’s affiliate program for that article.
Your approved affiliates will have access to these affiliate article links and will get credit if people buy through their links.
Naturally, these convert better for affiliates since they’re educating the customer first and letting the vendor’s content (you) convert the lead.
Editor's 2020 Update: Thrive Cart now allows you to “deep-link” just like SamCart does!
In my opinion, this is an edge Samcart has over ThriveCart.
However, this is where Samcart pricing comes in. Their affiliate system is only available with Samcart’s $199/month plan!
If you only want the shopping cart, it’s $99/month. For more SamCart details, read our in-depth SamCart review.
Here are more differences I’ve compiled between these two rivals.
Yes (4 Templates)
Yes (18 Templates)
Drag & Drop Template Builder
Embeddable Cart Pages
Popup Checkout Pages
1-Click Bump Offer
Physical Product Features
Different Payment Processor
Transaction Invoices & Emails
Email Marketing Integrations
Payment Processor Integrations
Sales Tax & VAT Calculation
Multiple User Management
Yes (Pro Only)
Yes (Pro Only)
Yes (Scale Plan Only)
$495 or $690 (One-Time Price)
$49+ per month
ThriveCart vs Clickfunnels Comparison
Clickfunnels has a cart solution built into its powerful software.
However, in Clickfunnels, all transactions take place in funnel steps.
So for each transaction you want to create, you’re going to have to create a funnel.
Which usually looks something like:
Clickfunnels Sales Letter Page -> Clickfunnels Checkout
If you’re going about your checkout process this way, it’ll cost you $99/month with Clickfunnels, where you have a limit of 20 funnels.
This is usually more than enough to have a mixture of email opt-in funnels along with sales funnels.
Where ThriveCart pulls ahead, in this comparison, is their built-in affiliate program (once again).
In Clickfunnels, you’d need to get the Etison Elite plan (now known as their Platinum plan) to unlock their affiliate systems called Backpack, which is $297/month.
Personally, I haven’t heard good things about Backpack.
These are two of ThriveCart’s main competitors. (If you'd like to see another comparison, drop a line in the comments).
One of the benefits that win ThriveCart customers over is the one-time payment.
Yet, that’s not to say that these other cart options aren’t good.
Any of these tools are great if you’re selling your own products online, actually.
I can afford to get these alternatives, but ThriveCart gets the job done and helps my business.
And that’s the question you have to ask yourself.
“Which one of these checkout page software will help me out in my situation?”
The Pros and Cons
- Conversion-Focused Templates
- New Landing Page Builder
- A/B Split Test Capabilities
- Robust Affiliate Program for Vendors
- Embeddable Checkout Carts (WordPress Friendly)
- Multiple Payment Processors
- Digital Sales Tax Support
- Upsells, Downsells, & Bump Offers
- Coupon Codes and Trials
- Customer Management Center
- Integrates with your Membership Program & Membership Plugin
- Integrates with Multiple Email Marketing Platforms
- Excellent FB Group Community
- Last of Native ThriveCart Integrations: Currently lacks Thinkific integration (however, Zapier solves this problem)
- No Free Trial
- More Templates Couldn't Hurt
What Users Have to Say
Below are ThriveCart testimonials that took advantage of ThriveCart's one-time fee pricing model.
ThriveCart works! It's an excellent shopping cart platform, and thousands of people are using it for their business. For a lifetime price of $495 ($690 for a Pro account), you get what other shopping carts with the same features charge hundreds of dollars every month.
So, do you need this shopping cart software?
Well, if you're reading this ThriveCart review, chances are you're looking for a shopping cart to fit into your current workflow or you're looking to start an online business and need an easy to use shopping cart.
Now that you know the features ThriveCart offers, the payment gateways and integrations that fit into pretty much any tech stack, it's a no brainer offer; I recommend getting it. It won't cost you thousands of dollars in the long run!
Get ThriveCart lifetime license here!
Personally, I would never recommend software I didn’t feel could benefit my readers, online marketers, and that I wouldn’t purchase myself.
I have my own ThriveCart account that I use to sell digital products with, and I believe in this software, which is why I don't hesitate to recommend it.
Plus, you can’t beat the one-time payment for a checkout cart (seriously – what other shopping platform does that?).
If you’re on the fence about ThriveCart, feel free to ask questions in the comments below.
I’ll be happy to answer any questions and share experiences I’ve had with the software.
Buying any digital marketing software is a personal business owner's decision; however, I feel ThriveCart hits the mark for a shopping cart software.