ThriveCart vs Shopify (2024): Key Differences Explained to Help Choose the Best for Your Businesses

Thrivecart vs Shopify Featured Image

Are you trying to sell your products or services online? If so, you’re probably wondering which platform to use – ThriveCart or Shopify?

Both are great e-commerce solutions, but which is right for your business?

This article will deeply dive into both platforms’ features, pricing, and ease of use.

We’ll compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of each so that you can make an informed decision.

Whether you’re a small business owner just starting out or a seasoned e-commerce entrepreneur, this showdown will help you determine which platform best fits your unique needs.

So, sit back, grab a coffee, and keep reading!

What Is ThriveCart?

thrivecart homepage

ThriveCart is an all-in-one e-commerce platform designed to solve the problem of cart abandonment.

If you’re an online business owner, you’re probably familiar with this issue. According to statistics, the average documented online shopping cart abandonment rate is as high as 70%!

This means most businesses lose a considerable amount of potential customers and sales.

To solve this issue, ThriveCart offers a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface, customizable templates, and built-in features like one-click upsells and order bumps.

These tools work together to simplify the process and make it more convenient for customers to complete their purchases.

And with the introduction of ThriveCart Learn in 2021, the platform now allows you to host and manage your online courses effortlessly.

This feature further expands its capabilities, making it an even more comprehensive solution for digital entrepreneurs.

What is Shopify?

shopify homepage

Shopify is a popular hosted shopping cart platform offering a comprehensive solution for businesses selling their products online.

With its user-friendly interface, powerful features, and reliable infrastructure, Shopify simplifies the challenge of building and managing an online store.

As of 2023, more than 4.4 million websites worldwide use Shopify, making it one of the most widely used e-commerce platforms globally.

It was founded in 2006 by Tobias Lütke and Scott Lake, who created the platform after attempting to start their own online store for snowboarding equipment.

Shopify store has grown significantly since then, offering innovative solutions for businesses of all sizes.

It’s designed to help small to large businesses build their scalable online store with hundreds of built-in features and various apps, making it accessible and versatile for anyone looking to sell their products online.

ThriveCart vs Shopify – Similarities Overview

Here are five of the best similarities between ThriveCart and Shopify.

  • User-friendly interface – ThriveCart and Shopify offer a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for users to create and manage their online store. They provide drag-and-drop editors, customizable templates, and a straightforward design process to help users create a professional-looking store quickly.
  • Robust feature set – ThriveCart and Shopify provide comprehensive features allowing users to customize their online store to meet their needs. We’ll discuss the tools in the next part, but they let you create a seamless and streamlined shopping experience for your customers.
  • Multiple integrations – Both platforms integrate with popular third-party apps and services, such as email marketing tools, social media platforms, and accounting software. This allows businesses to streamline their workflow and automate many daily tasks.
  • Mobile-friendly design – ThriveCart and Shopify are optimized for mobile devices, ensuring a seamless shopping experience for customers on the go. Their responsive design adapts to various screen sizes, including desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. This feature enables you to reach customers who prefer shopping on their mobile devices, ensuring they don’t miss out on potential sales.
  • Accepts multiple payment processors – ThriveCart and Shopify payments support various gateways, including popular ones like PayPal, Stripe, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and more.
  • Supports various local currencies – They also allow you to select from many available local currencies. Shopify supports over 100 local currencies, while ThriveCart supports 22.

ThriveCart vs Shopify – Differences Overview

thrivecart vs shopify

Now onto the key differences between these two platforms.

  • Pricing – ThriveCart offers a one-time fee for lifetime access, while Shopify has a subscription-based pricing model. ThriveCart’s pricing starts at $495, while Shopify’s pricing starts at $29 per month.
  • Purpose – ThriveCart focuses on optimizing the checkout process, while Shopify offers a full suite of e-commerce features, including product management, order fulfillment, and marketing tools.
  • Checkout Page Customization – ThriveCart offers a good level of customization for sales pages, while Shopify’s level of customization is limited to certain sections for lower plans.
  • App Marketplace – Shopify has its own vast library of third-party apps you can buy and add to your Shopify account, while ThriveCart doesn’t have one.
  • Payment Gateways – Shopify offers more payment gateway options than ThriveCart.
  • Branding – Shopify allows businesses to build a complete branded website, while ThriveCart is more focused on the checkout process and integrating with existing websites.
  • Scalability – Shopify is more scalable and better suited for businesses with high-volume sales and complex product offerings.
  • Customer Support – ThriveCart only offers support via ticket submission, while Shopify offers 24/7 customer support via live chat and email.

ThriveCart vs Shopify – Pricing

ThriveCart

thrivecart upgrade special price

ThriveCart offers a one-time fee for lifetime access, which is currently priced at $495.

This one-time payment unlocks all ThriveCart’s basic features, including unlimited carts, customizable checkout pages, order bumps, one-click upsells, A/B testing, and more.

This is a great deal, considering that the regular price for ThriveCart is $95 per month.

But the good news doesn’t stop there – ThriveCart also offers a Pro upgrade, which includes even more advanced features, such as a sales tax calculator, dunning domain, and affiliate management.

The Pro upgrade is available for an additional one-time fee of $195.

By taking advantage of ThriveCart’s one-time fee offer, you can save thousands of dollars over time, making it an excellent investment for any business looking to increase conversions and grow revenue.

The only drawback is that ThriveCart doesn’t have a free trial. But it offers a 30-day “pays for itself” refund guarantee.

If you’re unsatisfied with your purchase within the first 30 days, ThriveCart will issue a full refund, no questions asked.

Shopify

shopify pricing

There are four different plans to choose from, so you can find the perfect fit for your business needs.

  • Basic Shopify ($25/month) – This plan includes all the essentials to start your online store, including unlimited products, a website and blog, and discount codes. Basic Shopify is an excellent option for small businesses just starting out.
  • Shopify ($65/month) – This plan includes additional features such as gift cards, professional reports, and abandoned cart recovery, making it a good fit for businesses with higher sales volumes and more complex needs.
  • Advanced Shopify ($399/month) – This plan includes all the features of the previous two plans, plus advanced features like advanced report building and third-party calculated shipping rates. It’s ideal if you’re running a high-volume eCommerce store with complex shipping needs.
  • Shopify Plus (starts at $2,000/month) – This plan is designed for enterprise-level businesses and includes all the features of Advanced Shopify, plus additional support and customization options. It’s perfect for companies with high sales volumes and complex needs that require custom solutions.

And right now, Shopify is offering a unique trial extension of 90 days for only $1.

That means you can try out the platform for an extended period of time at a minimal cost.

If you want to save money in the long run, you can save 25% on the first three plans by choosing annual billing.

This is an excellent option for businesses looking to cut costs without sacrificing features.

Plus, no matter which plans you choose, you can try it out for free with Shopify’s 3-day trial.

This allows you to test the platform and its features before committing to a monthly or annual plan.

Winner – Pricing Plans

Tie. Both ThriveCart and Shopify offer pricing plans that can meet the needs of various types of businesses.

While ThriveCart offers a one-time fee, Shopify provides more pricing options.

ThriveCart vs Shopify – Core Features

ThriveCart Features

Checkout Page and Funnel Builder

shopify checkout page funnel builder

ThriveCart’s checkout page and funnel builder is a powerful tool that allows businesses to create custom checkout pages and optimized sales funnels for conversions.

With its drag-and-drop interface and ready-made templates, users can easily customize their checkout page by adding their own branding, text, and images, making it unique to their business.

The funnel builder is also a powerful feature that enables users to create a complete sales funnel that guides customers through buying.

It isn’t as advanced as some competitors, but it does the job nonetheless.

To use this feature, log in to your ThriveCart account, choose from various templates, or create a custom design from scratch. Learn more about custom-designed ThriveCart templates here.

ThriveCart Learn (LMS)

thrivecart learn

ThriveCart Learn is a simple course platform that comes free for ThriveCart users. 

It’s designed to make it easy for you to sell exclusive video content to your students through well-organized modules and lessons. 

Unlike Shopify, you don’t have to pay for a third-party platform nor install a freemium add-on just to offer your online course. 

One of the best things about ThriveCart Learn is its wide range of drip-feeding options. 

This means you can customize when and how to deliver your content.

But that’s not all. There’s also no cap on the number of lessons, courses, and students you can have. 

To top it off, the developers designed ThriveCart Learn with beginners in mind. 

You don’t need technical skills or experience creating online courses – it’s all straightforward.

Learn more about ThriveCart’s course platform in our ThriveCart Learn review.

A/B Testing

thrivecart ab testing

A/B testing is a powerful feature allowing you to test different versions of your checkout pages and funnels to see which performs better.

With ThriveCart, you can easily create and test multiple checkout page variations with just a few clicks. You can select the goal of the split test and set the length of the A/B testing.

Once the test is done, ThriveCart provides a simple dashboard to find your test results.

A/B testing is crucial for businesses looking to improve their conversion rates. By testing different versions of your checkout page, you can identify the design elements and copy that resonate best with your audience and drive more sales.

For example, you could test different headlines, button colors, or even the placement of certain elements on the page.

The platform will automatically split traffic between the variations and track the results. After the test, you can review the results and choose the best-performing page to use.

2-Factor Authentication

thrivecart authentication

Thrivecart’s 2-factor authentication is a security feature that adds an extra layer of protection to your own eCommerce store.

With 2-factor authentication, users must enter a unique code in addition to their password to access their account. This helps prevent unauthorized access and protects your business from potential security threats.

2-factor authentication is a critical feature for businesses that want to ensure the safety and security of their eCommerce store.

Requiring an additional verification step makes it much more difficult for hackers to gain access to your account and steal sensitive information.

This is particularly important for businesses that handle customer data such as credit card information or personal details.

Solid Dunning System

thrivecart dunning system

ThriveCart’s dunning system is a feature that helps reduce lost revenue from failed payment attempts.

It automatically follows up with customers whose payments have failed or whose cards are about to expire, reminding them to update their payment information.

This ensures you retain subscribers and reduces the chances of losing revenue due to payment failures.

Dunning is a critical feature for businesses that rely on subscription models or recurring payments.

Without this feature, failed payment attempts could lead to losing subscribers or revenue.

Multiple Payment Models

thrivecart payment models

With ThriveCart, you can offer your customers various payment models, including one-time payments, subscriptions, payment plans, split payments, and paid trials.

This feature is incredibly useful as it allows you to offer your customers a range of flexible payment options to meet their needs and preferences.

By providing multiple payment models, you can increase conversions and reduce the likelihood of abandoned carts.

In addition to these core features, ThriveCart also offers other useful tools, such as.

  • Affiliate campaigns center
  • Upsells and downsells
  • Built-in analytics
  • Built-in sales tax
  • Revenue forecast

Related:

Shopify Features

Multi-Channel Sales

shopify multi channel sales

Whether you want to sell in person or online, Shopify has you covered.

With multi-channel sales, you can increase your sales and reach a wider audience, all while managing everything from one central location.

Shopify’s multi-channel sales feature allows you to sell your products on different platforms and reach a wider audience.

You can sell on your Shopify-hosted online store, in person with Shopify POS (now available on iPhone and iPad), or turn any website into an online store with Buy Buttons.

Built-In Theme Editor

Shopify’s theme editor is a powerful tool that allows you to customize the look and feel of your online store to match your brand.

With the theme editor, you can easily make changes to your website’s design and preview them in real-time, ensuring that your website looks just the way you want it to.

The theme editor benefits businesses that want to create a unique brand image and stand out from their competitors.

One of the best things about the theme editor is that you don’t need any coding experience to use it.

With its intuitive drag-and-drop interface and user-friendly tools, anyone can create a professional-looking website representing their brand.

Detailed Reports

One of the most valuable features of Shopify is its detailed reporting system.

This shopping cart platform provides several analytics that are useful for your business, whether you plan to sell digital products or physical ones.

These include financial analytics, product performance, customer behavior, and marketing.

For example, you can identify the proper store layout with behavior reports to get more sales.

This feature is helpful for you because it allows you to gain insights into your store’s performance, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions to grow your business.

Shopify Mobile App

shopify mobile app

Shopify’s mobile app is a powerful tool for managing your business on the go. You can quickly sell your products, connect with customers, and manage your store from your mobile device.

With the app, you can share products on social media, create email marketing campaigns, and even accept payments in person.

This feature is handy for businesses who want to stay on top of their business no matter where they are.

SEO Optimization

shopify seo optimization

Shopify online stores are built with SEO in mind and come equipped with features that make optimizing your content for search engines a breeze.

Some aspects of SEO are taken care of automatically, like adding canonical tags to pages to prevent duplicate content from appearing in search results and generating sitemap.xml and robots.txt files.

But you can also control and optimize your content further using Shopify’s built-in features. You can edit the title tags, meta descriptions, and URLs for blog posts, webpages, products, and collections.

You can also edit the alt text for images, which is important for both SEO and accessibility purposes.

In addition to the core features mentioned above, Shopify offers other valuable features such as abandoned cart recovery, gift cards, inventory management, and more.

Winner (Features)

Tie. Based on the features alone, Shopify and ThriveCart have their strengths. While Shopify offers more features to use, ThriveCart is the better choice for checkout optimization.

ThriveCart vs Shopify – Integrations

ThriveCart

ThriveCart integrates with many third-party platforms and tools, making it a versatile solution for any business.

Key integrations include payment processors like PayPal, Stripe, and Apple Pay and email marketing platforms like ActiveCampaign, Mailchimp, and ConvertKit.

You can connect ThriveCart with Slack to notify you of purchase updates and membership platforms like LifterLMS, Wishlist, and Teachable.

It also integrates with Zapier, connecting you with over 1,500 apps.

Shopify

Shopify also offers various integrations with third-party apps and services, including the following.

  • Payment gateways – PayPal, Stripe, and Amazon Pay
  • Email marketing tools – Mailchimp and Constant Contact
  • Accounting software – Xero and QuickBooks.

In addition to these third-party integrations, Shopify has its own marketplace called the Shopify App Store, where you can find thousands of apps and add-ons to extend the functionality of your store.

Winner (Integrations)

Shopify. Both ThriveCart and Shopify offer a wide range of integrations with third-party platforms and services, allowing you to customize your ecommerce experience and streamline your workflow.

However, Shopify’s App Store provides more options and a wider variety of apps to choose from, making it a more comprehensive solution for businesses with more complex needs.

ThriveCart vs Shopify – Ease of Use

ThriveCart

thrivecart interface

ThriveCart has a user-friendly interface that is basic, simple, and intuitive, making it easy for beginners to navigate.

The platform is designed to ensure that everything you need is in the right place and you can access it easily.

For instance, when you log in to ThriveCart, you’ll find a clear and concise dashboard that displays all your essential information in one place. You can view your sales, analytics, products, and orders, all in a few clicks.

One of the best examples of how ThriveCart is user-friendly is its drag-and-drop editor, which allows you to create professional-looking checkout pages, upsell pages, and order bumps without any coding skills.

You can easily add elements such as text, images, videos, and buttons by dragging and dropping them onto the editor and then customizing them to match your brand.

Shopify

shopify dashboard

Shopify’s dashboard is sleek and well-organized, with a more polished look compared to ThriveCart.

However, some users might find the page editor a bit confusing, particularly newbies or those who aren’t tech-savvy.

The drag-and-drop page builder in Shopify is accessible through the ‘customize theme’ option, located in the Shopify dashboard’s home section.

This might not be immediately obvious to users who are not yet familiar with the platform, so it can take a bit of getting used to.

Additionally, unlike ThriveCart, where you can directly edit the content of your pages using the drag-and-drop editor, in Shopify, you use it to edit page templates instead.

You’ll still have to change your page content using a basic WYSIWYG editor and then apply the relevant template you’ve designed. This process can take a bit longer and may seem tedious.

Despite these challenges, Shopify’s theme editor is top-notch.

Winner (Ease of Use)

ThriveCartIn terms of intuitiveness, ThriveCart is a better option, personally. You won’t have to watch any tutorials just to learn how to run a business with it.

ThriveCart vs Shopify – Design and Customization

ThriveCart

ThriveCart provides a range of customization options across various parts of your online store.

From customizing your dashboard to creating effective landing pages with countdown timers, testimonials, videos, and more, ThriveCart makes it easy for startups and beginners to personalize their account and pages.

Additionally, ThriveCart provides options for personalization on your student’s dashboard.

It’s an excellent choice for digital marketing entrepreneurs who want to sell online courses and create personalized learning experiences.

However, one downside is that the pre-made designs and templates provided by ThriveCart are limited.

While the drag-and-drop editor makes it easy to create custom pages, using CSS or HTML code for more advanced customization isn’t permitted.

Shopify

On the other hand, Shopify offers a broader range of free and paid themes that you can choose from.

This provides more flexibility in customizing your site and making it stand out in the crowded digital marketing landscape.

Moreover, Shopify allows you to add custom CSS, giving you more advanced options for customization.

Winner (Design and Customization)

Tie. While Shopify offers more flexibility, ThriveCart provides adequate customization options for creating effective online stores or course platforms.

ThriveCart vs Shopify – Customer Support

Both platforms offer comprehensive tutorials and help centers to guide you through managing and running your online store.

However, there are significant differences in customer support options in emergency situations.

ThriveCart provides customer support via email only, so you must send a ticket first and wait for them to reply and resolve the issue.

While their support team is generally responsive, it can still take some time to get a resolution for your problem.

In contrast, Shopify offers more robust customer support options, including email and 24/7 live chat support.

You can contact their support team anytime, and they’ll respond promptly to help you with your issue.

In addition, Shopify has an official community where you can engage and ask questions to more than 900,000 Shopify users and partners.

Winner (Customer Support)

Shopify. While ThriveCart’s customer agents are great, Shopify’s 24/7 live chat support is a significant advantage, especially for emergency situations where you need quick assistance.

ThriveCart Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Has a user-friendly interface that is perfect for beginners
  • Offers basic and advanced course creation feature through ThriveCart Learn
  • The drag-and-drop editor makes it easy to customize pages without any coding skills
  • Offers a range of customization options for checkout pages, online courses, and dashboard
  • Integrates with a wide range of third-party apps and tools
  • Provides detailed analytics to help you track your sales and optimize your marketing efforts

Cons

  • Has limited functionality compared to more advanced e-commerce platforms
  • The upfront cost can be expensive for startups
  • Limited designs and templates compared to other platforms
  • Customer service is limited to email support only

Shopify Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Offers a wide range of free and paid customizable themes
  • User interface is well-designed and responsive
  • Has a range of built-in SEO features, including customizable meta descriptions, alt tags, and URLs
  • Offers a wide range of highly compatible tools and add-ons
  • 24/7 customer support through live chat and email
  • Active community with over 900,000 members

Cons

  • Charges transaction fees on top of payment processing fees if you use a third-party payment provider
  • Has a steeper learning curve compared to simpler e-commerce platforms like ThriveCart
  • The built-in blogging feature is not as robust as other blogging platforms

Conclusion

Which platform do you think won this fierce battle? If you still can’t decide between the two, here are our two cents.

We recommend ThriveCart for those seeking a user-friendly shopping cart solution that offers customization options for checkout pages and online courses.

However, for those who want a more flexible and advanced platform, Shopify is the better choice.

Ultimately, the choice between ThriveCart and Shopify depends on your specific needs and goals for your online business.

We recommend assessing your priorities regarding pricing, ease of use, design, and customer support before choosing what software to use.

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