ThriveCart Review: Pros, Cons, Pricing, Competitors & More!
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!
Great checkout system with advanced sales funnel features like bump offers & upsells.
There's no beating lifetime pricing for a sales cart software (now has 2 payment options)!
Ease of Use
Easy to use checkout pages you can setup in minutes.
The support center and email support are excellent.
We Don't Like
Current Price: Starts at $495 (a Lifetime Deal - keep reading)
Josh Barlett 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, but it's dependent on the type of business you’re doing. We’ll cover this throughout the article.
What is ThriveCart?
ThriveCart, as I just mentioned, is a sales cart solution that lets you create beautiful high-converting checkout pages for your online products and services.
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, bump offers 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 you 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 marketing autoresponder 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 setting up checkout pages for your physical products.
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 setup, 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 checkout pages - keep reading.
What Are The Benefits of Using It?
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 customize checkout pages - but to a lesser extent than 3rd-party cart checkout pages).
It’s a simple checkout page.
Here’s a Clickbank product checkout page:
Decent, but sort of looks like it’s stuck in the early 2,000 era.
Now, let’s take a look at ThriveCart’s checkout page:
Looks much better and more modern right? You can bet that 3rd-party cart pages convert higher than default platform checkout pages!
This is just one of the four templates ThriveCart offers for checkout pages.
Now, you might be thinking “I’m not sure I need this, Teachable already has checkout pages.”
Teachable, Thinkific, Kajabi, all have nice checkout pages, but where I hear most complaints is with the lack of A/B testing the teaching course platform’s checkout pages.
This is where ThriveCart can play a HUGE role with course creator’s conversion rates.
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’re most likely already split testing 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 digital products stop short and forget to split test their checkout pages!
Don't neglect testing what happens after the sales page! A/B testing your checkout page with ThriveCart is easy!
I have a course that where I’ve recently started split 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 sells 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: bump offers and 1-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 bump offers 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 checkout pages (or you’d be forced to use Clickbank).
Secondly, the Upsells.
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 bump offers, 1-click upsells or downsells, you’ll be able to test each step of the sales funnel without paying.
More on this later...
Embeddable & Popup Checkout Carts
Does this platform let me embed checkout pages on my website?
There are times when having your checkout cart 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 checkout cart will give you a code to paste on your web page.
The Popup checkout 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 marketing and membership platforms.
Email Marketing Providers
Adding your paying customers to your email list and membership platform on auto-pilot is important. Unfortunately, ThriveCart doesn't have native membership integrations for Kajabi and Thinkific users.
However, these users have used Zapier to integrate to ThriveCart. There are support articles and people who've done this in the Facebook group.
When it comes to payment gateways, ThriveCart offers more than just Stripe and PayPal.
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 checkout 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 on YouTube, there’s no good way of measuring which traffic channel produces more affiliate sales because their affiliate 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's no monthly recurring payments. Considering other online carts cost $99-$299+ per month, ThriveCart is a steal… This is Thrivecart's new pricing options as of 2020.
Here's what Josh recently said about the two ThriveCart pricing 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 Standard Account checkout page with the special discount code applied here.
how much does thrivecart cost [Video Explanation]
Money Back Guarantee
ThriveCart offers a 30-day money back guarantee if you're not satisfied with it.
Updates on ThriveCart Lifetime Deal vs. Monthly Fee Cost
Josh has plans on changing ThriveCart to a monthly recurring service.
Honestly thinking about it, it should be monthly for the value it provides. Here’s what he said in the ThriveCart Facebook group:
I can see this change coming down the pipeline soon.
I believe the reason ThriveCart’s pricing change hasn’t occurred yet because they’re focusing on adding more integrations and updating the software before they make the price transition.
A few of the newest integrations and updates are:
- GDPR compliant
Early 2019 Josh, founder of TC, mentioned in this Facebook group post that Thrivecart's "pilot program" is almost over and TC will no longer have a lifetime account moving forward!
Here's what he said:
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.
Josh Barlett // Founder at Thrivecart
If you're thinking about getting Thrivecart, make sure to do it ASAP!
Using ThriveCart for Clients (Now Only for Pro Accounts)
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 setup 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 sounds like your situation, I would get the client account for $95 instead of $195!
Embeds & Popups
Being competitive in the 3rd-party 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, 1-click upsells.
Where things start to differentiate is the affiliate center 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 platform, your affiliates won’t be able to track which traffic sources are performing well.
On the other hand, Samcarts affiliate platform 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 that has a CTA for your digital course/software, you can create an affiliate link in Samcart’s affiliate platform 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.
In my opinion, this is an edge Samcart has over ThriveCart.
However, this is where Samcart pricing comes in. Their affiliate platform is only available with Samcart’s $199/month plan!
If you only want the checkout cart, it’s $99/month. For a more SamCart details read our in-depth SamCart review.
Here are more differences I’ve compiled between these two rivals.
Customizable Checkout Pages
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
PayPal/Stripe + 3 More
Sales Tax & VAT Calculation
Multiple User Management
$495 -$690(One-time Price)
ThriveCart vs Clickfunnels Comparison
Clickfunnels has a cart solution built into their 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 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 platform (once again).
In Clickfunnels, you’d need to get the Etison Elite package to unlock their affiliate platform called Backpack which is $297/month.
Personally, I haven’t heard good things about their affiliate platform.
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
What Users Have to Say
Below are ThriveCart testimonials since it first launched!
ThriveCart is 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 for every month.
So, do you need this shopping cart software?
Technically, you could use a default program payment processor like PayPal, Stripe, or online course platform checkout page.
However, if you now see the power that a checkout cart such as ThriveCart offers, I recommend getting it.
Personally, I would never recommend software I didn’t feel could benefit online marketers and that I wouldn’t purchase myself.
I have my own ThriveCart account, and I believe in this software which is why I don't hesitate in recommending 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 decision, however, for a shopping cart software, I feel ThriveCart hits the mark.