Without dedicated shopping cart software, you can’t start selling physical and digital products online. It’s a necessity for any e-commerce store. This is also true for people starting membership sites.
The good news is that there’s no shortage of software you could use to process transactions — with two of the top solutions in this space being ThriveCart and WooCommerce. But which one should you use for your product checkout pages?
That’s what this post is all about. We’re pitting ThriveCart vs WooCommerce to see which is better for your business. You’ll get an overview of their main features, benefits, and pricing.
With that said, let’s go ahead and dive right into it.
Table of Contents
- What Is ThriveCart?
- What Is WooCommerce?
- Why Choose ThriveCart?
- Why Choose WooCommerce?
- Which Is Better: ThriveCart or WooCommerce?
What Is ThriveCart?
ThriveCart is software that allows users to create shopping cart pages. Basically, it helps you process transactions — especially those that are new to online selling.
Back in the day, an online store could get away with using a payment processor like PayPal to handle all sales. But today’s online environment demands vendors to provide more options like Apple Pay and Google Pay. You also need solutions that provide advanced security features so people can shop confidently.
This is why anyone selling digital products needs ThriveCart.
However, this tool has more tricks up its sleeve, making it a better choice than other shopping cart software.
As far as features go, ThriveCart has more to offer than you might think. You see, this product does more than process online payments. It has features that’ll help you convert more users and increase sales.
Let’s start with the checkout page templates. You can customize part of the ThriveCart templates to produce checkout pages to show the information that you want. The company claims that it tested all templates to make sure that they’re more than capable of meeting your business objectives.
If you want your e-commerce store to have a single-step checkout process, you can do that. However, users can go with a double-step checkout process. You can choose which checkout process will work best for your brand.
Speaking of testing, ThriveCart allows users to do A/B testing. For the unfamiliar, this is the process of launching two variations of the same page simultaneously. The goal of A/B testing is to see which version will perform better. From there, the user can make the winning variation the default checkout page or continue testing.
Having the opportunity to test pages makes it possible to see what works for your audience. If you have a checkout page that isn’t converting users, you might want to test new versions to see if that will fix the issue.
As mentioned earlier, ThriveCart has tools that help business owners squeeze more sales out of customers. Take the bump offer feature, for example. This will let you add another offer on the checkout page. Customers can then click on it to add it to their cart just before paying for their purchases.
If you don’t want to use the bump offer feature, stick to the more traditional one-click upsell. Just like bump offers, it allows you to make last-minute product recommendations to customers that would pair well with the items they’re about to buy. The main difference is that the bump offers would appear on the checkout page, while upsells show up just after the customer checks out.
It’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs like course developers to use affiliate marketing to boost their sales. The ThriveCart affiliate management system will let you recruit affiliates to sell products on your behalf, which will lead to more people discovering your business.
What other features are there?
ThriveCart has an embedded cart feature, making it possible to have an add to cart button on just about any page on your site. You can place discounts on products or share coupons with your followers too.
If you’re worried about digital sales tax, ThriveCart has tools that can help with that. And more importantly, it has monitoring and tracking features. That means you’ll be able to see at a glance how well your business is doing at any given time.
And lastly, ThriveCart has a learning course platform built into their SaaS called ThriveCart Learn. It’s a good addition to the overall product and gives course creators the opportunity to save a monthly bill on traditional online course platforms.
Most payment processors work with third-party tools to give them additional functionality. To that end, ThriveCart integrates with many tools, including payment gateways, email management systems, and productivity apps.
Here’s a list of some tools that work with ThriveCart.
- Apple Pay
- Google Pay
- Google Analytics
ThriveCart vs WooCommerce: What Makes ThriveCart a Good Choice?
For starters, ThriveCart accepts major payment options thanks to the available integrations. That means your customers are spoiled for choice as far as payment options go. And so long as these third-party tools continue innovating, you can expect new payment methods to be added soon.
It also allows you to select a payment method suitable for the type of products you’re selling. You can offer free trials, split payments, subscriptions, and recurring sales. If you want a pay-what-you-want pricing model, you can do so. Having this much flexibility in payment methods means you can launch a membership site with ease.
You can also do single-price or multiple-price setups. With ThriveCart, you can accept payments in multiple currencies, including USD and EUR.
Typically, setting up checkout pages with too many options can overwhelm a user. But ThriveCart took that into consideration when it designed its interface. A couple of minutes in, and you should have a good grasp of how the tool works. It’s even better that your purchase comes with documentation to help guide you through the whole process.
The A/B testing feature is a good reason to give ThriveCart a shot. While it’s not a unique feature, it’s surprising that A/B testing is included, given how reasonably priced this product is. You’ll be able to perform all the tests you need to figure out which design, copy, and call-to-action will translate to more sales.
WooCommerce does have similar features. But if you don’t want to pay monthly subscriptions or you’re not a WordPress user (more on that later), ThriveCart could be the shopping cart platform for you.
ThriveCart Pros and Cons
While there are plenty of nice things to say about ThriveCart, it’s far from perfect. Let’s take a look at its advantages and disadvantages.
- One-Time Fee — You get ThriveCart by paying a one-time fee. This is a great option for those that don’t like paying monthly subscriptions for software.
- Great User Interface — Its clean interface is one of the best things about ThriveCart. Even those who are new to building e-commerce sites should find it pleasant and easy to work with.
- Code-Free Page Builder — Solopreneurs will appreciate the fact that ThriveCart doesn’t require its users to learn how to code to create checkout pages. You can use it even if you have no previous design experience.
- Limited Templates — There’s no question that ThriveCart templates have fantastic potential for converting users. But not having enough templates to choose from might put some people off from trying it.
- Customer Support — While the product is simple to use and documentation is included with your purchase, there’s no way to contact customer support directly. If something urgent comes up, all you can do is submit a ticket and wait for a response.
- Template Customization — Yes, templates are customizable. However, unlike other page builders, where you can drag and drop elements where you need them to. There’s a limitation on how many changes you can make to a template.
ThriveCart has only one price with an option to upgrade to a Pro version if you want.
It’s $495 for the base lifetime access to the account. But for $195 more, you can upgrade your account to the Pro version. If you do upgrade, you’ll pay $690.
But what’s so special about the Pro version?
The Pro version comes with more features, including the affiliate center, subscription saver, simple sales tax functionality, advanced user management, and custom domain name functionality.
What Is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is possibly one of the biggest and most trusted names when it comes to building e-commerce websites. It is a WordPress plugin, though. That means you need a WordPress website to run it.
It’s a fantastic tool for selling physical products, but sellers of digital products as also welcome.
Because it’s open source, you can install and use the WooCommerce plugin for free. However, you can end up spending money on themes, web hosting, and extensions. It should be noted, however, that it is possible to launch an e-commerce site with WooCommerce and not spend anything.
To better understand what extensions are available, visit Woo Marketplace.
WooCommerce will work on just about every modern WordPress theme you use.
Let’s look at some of the features that make this truly a wonderful platform to build an online business around.
You can do a lot of things with WooCommerce. It has everything you’ll need to create an e-commerce site that can rival any of your competitors. Some might even say that it’s the complete package — it offers everything an entrepreneur might need to get his business off the ground.
Let’s first talk about themes. WooCommerce has plenty of themes to choose from. All of them look sleek and modern. You’ll have no trouble finding a theme that’ll fit your industry. And even if you don’t, you can repurpose one of the templates to fit your needs.
All themes are optimized for mobile devices. So no matter what device your followers use to go to your site, you can be sure that all pages will load correctly.
Of course, you can make conversion-optimized checkout pages. You can even take it further and start making different sales funnels to improve your conversion rate.
You can create landing pages in any country because you can set the currency as well as the language used on your site.
Use WooCommerce’s built-in blogging feature if you want to promote your products and rank higher on search engines.
With WooCommerce, you can sell just about anything. Aside from physical and digital products, you can sell subscriptions, bookings, accommodations, appointments, bookings, and more. Even better, you can connect WooCommerce to other systems you use to run your business, like your POS (point of sale). This is made possible through all of the extensions available in the WooCommerce marketplace.
If you opt for the WooCommerce Enterprise solutions, the company will even work with you to grow your business. This is ideal for brands that are outgrowing what the basic (free) WooCommerce package has to offer.
Access WooCommerce from anywhere using its mobile app. You’ll be able to manage your whole store and handle incoming orders through your phone. This is quite a handy feature to have, especially for those that are always on the move.
And perhaps the best thing about WooCommerce is the sheer number of people that are already using the platform. Because there are so many users, it’s so easy to find resources that can help you master the platform. There are communities dedicated to teaching new members and sharing their collective knowledge.
But if that’s not enough, you can hire a WooCommerce expert to help you out.
At the time of this writing, there are over 700 extensions available on the Woo Marketplace. There are 84 extensions for payments alone.
Some of these extensions have been developed by WooCommerce, while others come from third-party sources. Some are free, and others are paid.
Here are some of the extensions available on WooCommerce.
- WooCommerce Payments
- Amazon Pay
- Google Analytics
- WooCommerce Tax
- Facebook for WooCommerce
- Google Listings and Ads
- WooCommerce Shipment Tracking
- UPS Shipping Method
- Trustpilot Reviews
- Coinbase Commerce
ThriveCart vs WooCommerce: What Makes WooCommerce a Good Choice?
WooCommerce is a great choice because it has everything you want from a shopping cart software and then some. However, this solution will only work for people with WordPress sites.
One of the best arguments for using WooCommerce is the hundreds of extensions available on the platform. With so many integrations to choose from, you can pick and determine which of them you need to boost sales. You can get away with only using free extensions, but getting your hands on some of the paid ones isn’t a bad idea.
Not only can they handle payments (there are even extensions for cryptocurrency transactions), but there are also integrations that monitor product shipment.
The themes on offer are also good. You can even build site designs from scratch if you’re feeling creative. There’s no need to learn how to code either, which is ideal for anyone who’s never had to before.
The fact that there’s support for other languages and currencies is a bonus. Businesses that plan on shipping globally might want to take this into consideration.
Having the ability to post blogs also helps. It lets you create pages that are optimized for search engines which will improve your ranking. This is not a feature that ThriveCart offers at this time.
And if all this feels a bit too much, keep in mind that WooCommerce comes with documentation. These should point you in the right direction.
WooCommerce Pros and Cons
WooCommerce might seem like the best option for anyone wanting to start an online business. But before you sign up, take a look at this list of pros and cons, so you have a better understanding of what you’re about to jump into.
- It’s Free — For the most part, WooCommerce is free to use. Just install the WordPress plugin, and you should be good to go.
- Great Customization — You can customize the themes to make them look how you want. There is a drag-and-drop feature you can use to make adjustments. Adding images and other assets is also possible.
- No Product Limit — You are free to add as many products as you need. That means you’re able to sell as much as you want.
- Hidden Costs — To the average user, it’s not immediately clear how much they could end up spending on WooCommerce to get the most out of its features. It is free to use, but adding functionality might require users to pay for some add-ons.
- WordPress Plugin — Because WooCommerce is a plugin, it will only work on a WordPress site. You’ll have to find another payment processor tool if you’re using another content management system (CMS).
- Learning Curve — Unfortunately, there is a learning curve that first-time users have to deal with. While WordPress and WooCommerce are beginner-friendly for the most part, it’ll take a while before someone gets the hang of it.
As mentioned, WooCommerce is a free plugin that you can install anytime. However, some WooCommerce services and extensions are not.
It is possible to create an e-commerce store without paying for anything. But if you need to add specific functionality, there’s a chance that you’ll have to pay for it.
The cheapest extensions are somewhere around $49, while the expensive ones are between $200 and $299. As for WooCommerce services, users have to get in touch with the team to get a quote.
Why Choose ThriveCart?
ThriveCart is relatively new to the checkout page tool market. If that doesn’t bother you and you like all the features it has to offer, then you should go for it.
It’s one of your best options if you’re not using WordPress.
And because ThriveCart is focused on producing checkout pages, this product is better for people who only need this feature. WooCommerce has the tendency to drown users with its many features and integrations.
If all you need is a way to process payments, ThriveCart is more than enough.
There’s no need to mess with functionality that you don’t need.
ThriveCart isn’t free, though, which puts it at a disadvantage when compared to WooCommerce. But it is a one-time fee of $495 if you don’t go for the Pro version. All things considered, that is a good deal.
And remember: ThriveCart gives you tools you can use to increase sales. One-click upsells, order bumps, and cross-sells are just some of the things you can implement to encourage customers to add more items to their shopping carts. You also get built-in analytics tools to help you monitor your progress.
The platform’s advanced features will be more than enough for most users. The ThriveCart setup process is way easier than WooCommerce. For that reason, it’s easier to recommend ThriveCart to people who are trying to create an online business for the first time.
Why Choose WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is the best platform for anyone who’s building an e-commerce site using WordPress. The two work together really well. Anyone who wants complete control over how their website looks will also appreciate how customizable WooCommerce is.
Note that ThriveCart isn’t as customizable as WooCommerce. If the design of your site is important to you, then the latter is the better option for you.
You want to pick WooCommerce if you need integrations that are not available anywhere else. To be honest, if you can’t find what you’re looking for here, then there’s a chance that you won’t find it anywhere else. That’s just how many extensions there are at WooCommerce.
There are a few things you have to keep in mind, though, when using WooCommerce. Since you’re using WordPress, you’ll have to pay for web hosting and other things associated with running a site. Also, those not used to WordPress might find it difficult to work with at first.
The good news is that there are plenty of resources available if you’re willing to put in the time to learn WooCommerce. There’s also an active community you can tap into if you need advice on what to do.
Here’s one more reason why you should choose WooCommerce: It works. There are plenty of big-name e-commerce sites that already use it. It’s been around for a long time too. If you’re looking for a tool that’s already been tried and tested, WooCommerce is exactly what you want.
Which Is Better: ThriveCart or WooCommerce?
So, after all, that, which platform should you go with? Do you go with ThriveCart or WooCommerce?
It’s hard to compare both tools directly since one is designed to be an all-in-one solution while the other is designed specifically for processing payments. But it’s safe to say that WooCommerce has a ton of advantages over ThriveCart.
Being an open-source ecommerce platform, WooCommerce has several themes and extensions that are free to use. You can use it straight away after installing the plugin. That means you’re able to test it and see if it feels right to you. On the other hand, you have to commit to ThriveCart right away since there is no free trial.
Both ThriveCart and WooCommerce will let you sell physical and digital products. You can do subscription management with both as well. So it will all fall on what CMS you’re using to manage your website.
WooCommerce takes the cake with its impressive set of features and integrations. If you’re using WordPress to power your e-commerce store, it’s hard to suggest any other option. You should use WooCommerce.
If you’re not using WordPress, however, then ThriveCart is your best bet.
To determine if you should go with either ThriveCart or WooCommerce, you’ll have to figure out a couple of things.
What CMS are you using? Those that plan on building their site using WordPress should use WooCommerce. Otherwise, you should consider using ThriveCart.
What integrations are you looking for? WooCommerce has more to offer. However, ThriveCart covers most integrations a new online business will need.
What’s your budget? While ThriveCart’s lifetime account might seem expensive at $495, keep in mind that WooCommerce isn’t free. You might end up paying for extensions, themes, and services.
How much experience do you have working with websites? ThriveCart is better for users that have little to no experience designing websites or working with payment processors before. WooCommerce and WordPress can be intimidating.