When I decided I wanted to start selling digital products, choosing the right shopping cart app was an important decision I had to make. I considered and trialed several options including Woocommerce, Shopify Lite and Samcart, but none of these options really compared to the flexibility and long-term affordability that I found with Thrivecart. So, what is Thrivecart and what is so great about it?
What is Thrivecart?
Thrivecart is a shopping cart app designed to help easily integrate e-commerce functionality into any website. It’s best use is for products that can be sold individually, without additional purchases and are sold as a one-off transaction. Examples of products that Thrivecart works best with selling are:
- digital info-products like ebooks
- subscription memberships
- physical products you can ship like books
On the flip side, you probably wouldn’t use Thrivecart if you are looking to create a marketplace with hundreds or thousands of items or where intended visitors are likely to want to purchase multiple items together. While you could use it that way, the user experience wouldn’t be great because visitors would have to purchase each item individually.
Thrivecart comes with tons of amazing features, but depending on if you spring for the Pro version, or you stick with Thrivecart Standard, you will be given access to different capabilities.
Thrivecart Standard Features
Thrivecart Standard is packed with the features that most people will want or need out of a shopping cart app. I sold thousands of dollars worth of products on the Basic version alone and I only upgraded once I was ready to start my affiliate program. Besides the fact that Thrivecart is compatible with virtually any and every website platform, here are some of the other features I think you’ll love:
- Flexible pricing options – Set up payment options like free trials, split payments, tripwires, subscriptions, discounts, and “pay what you want” pricing
- Email Integrations – Connects with popular email autoresponders like Mailchimp, ConvertKit, Mailerlite, Aweber & more. Even if your email service or course app isn’t natively supported, you can use Zapier to create a workaround.
- Course Integrations – Connects with popular course platforms like Teachable, Memberpress, Learndash and more. For course platforms not natively supported such as Kajabi or Podia, you can use Zapier to create a workaround or hire a developer to create a custom integration using the Thrivecart API.
- Marketing options – Offer “bumps” on your main product, upsells, and downsells
- Customizable Sales & Checkout Pages – Choose from multi-step checkout or single step. Personalize the sales experience with embeds, timers, videos, pop-ups, FAQs, testimonials and more.
- Learn – Thrivecart’s own new learning platform is a total game-changer for Thrivecart users and is included in any Standard or Pro plan purchase! Create multi-module courses with rich-media content that is dripped out over time or instantly accessible.
Honestly, what really sold me on Thrivecart in the end was the flexibility of the checkout pages and the ability to build out funnels. I can create pop-up checkout experiences that don’t navigate users away from my site OR create stand-alone landing pages and completely customize the checkout experience individually by product. All of the designs can easily be branded to match my site and I can create dynamic multi-step offers.
With all of the amazing features that come baked in with the Thrivecart Standard plan, it’s no wonder why it has becomes such a popular shopping cart app.
Thrivecart Pro Features
- Affiliate center – Gives you the ability to setup affiliates for your products, automatically pay commissions, distribute promotional materials and bonus offers
- JV contract & revenue sharing – Gives you the ability to set up co-products with other individuals. Each time a customer purchases a co-product, each party receives a percentage of sales, depending on your agreement.
- Powerful business projections – See how your product sales stack up over time and customize your dashboard with revenue projections
- Multi-user & client use permission – Manage a shopping cart for yourself and up to 5 clients. You can set up each client to have their own individual permissions and access rights.
- Built-in sale tax calculation & reporting – This is pretty self-explanatory. If you need to collect sales-tax for your products, this is a must.
- Built-in dunning & subscription saver – Will send late payment invoices on your behalf, before cards expire, help you collect on overdue payments, and manage subscriptions. If you are planning to sell items on subscription, this is critical.
- Custom domain name – Gives you the ability to use your custom domain with your Thrivecart checkout process to increase your credibility, create a seamless user experience and enhance your analytics tracking
Thrivecart offers an affiliate program if you are interested to earn 50% commissions on all successfully referred sales transactions. Here’s what you need to know about the Thrivecart affiliate program:
- You must have a Thrivecart account to become an affiliate
- Use the provided auto-generated affiliate links or create your own with tracking IDs
- Commissions are one-time payouts, not recurring, to a business Paypal account
- It can take as little as 2 weeks to see the money in your account
- Track your earnings through Thrivecart’s affiliate dashboard
Thrivecart is running a promotional period and has two pricing options currently, both of which are only one-time payments.
- Thrivecart Standard: $495
- Thrivecart Pro: $690, or an additional $195 on top of the standard price, if you upgrade after your initial purchase.
The one-time pricing model makes Thrivecart really competitive. Most comparable shopping cart apps cost upwards of $95 per month! So if you think you can sell at least $500 worth of product with Thrivecart, it’s worth it.
Thrivecart even offers a 30-day “pays for itself” guarantee, because the company is that confident that you will make your money back within a month of purchasing it. I know I did.
Thrivecart Pros & Cons
Thrivecart Cons – Let’s start with the bad news first.
- There is no view cart button/functionality – If you are looking for a way to allow your users to add multiple items to their cart and then be able to have one single transaction, you won’t find this functionality with Thrivecart, because that’s not how it was built or what it was intended to do.
- Be prepare for shady buyers who take advantage of subscription payments. This isn’t necessarily a Thrivecart-only issue. The problem is anytime you sell an item on subscription (ie. a payment plan), you are leaving up to chance that the buyer will follow-through on the remaining payments. However, when using payment processing apps like Paypal and Stripe with Thrivecart, buyers have found a way to easily cancel their subscription or update their credit card information to expired soon after receiving the product. Unless you’re selling a course or membership where you can revoke access when payments are not received, there’s no incentive for shady buyers to follow-through on remaining payments.
- Bulk editing can be somewhat cumbersome. If you want to make a change globally across all of your products or checkout pages, there is no easy way to do this is Thrivecart at this time. If you only have a handful of products this likely won’t be an issue for you, but if you’ve got more than 15-20 products, you might start to feel a little annoyed by the interface.
Thrivecart Pros – And now, the good news.
- Thrivecart pays for itself – just like they say it does. My first month of using Thrivecart, nearly 3 years ago, I was able to make double my initial investment back. Not too shabby. Ever since, I have been using the app virtually for free, because I don’t have to pay any ongoing fees. This is the best part about using Thrivecart and what made buying it a total no-brainer for me.
- Thrivecart works. It’s stupid simple to setup and I’ve never had a problem with it going down or not working as expected. The backend makes it relatively quick and easy to add a new product to your site and start getting paid for it. You can literally have it setup in minutes.
Thrivecart is the perfect solution for businesses that are ready to dip their toes into the world of e-commerce to sell one-off products. If you’re ready to start selling your products and need a shopping cart app that helps you get things up and running, you should definitely consider Thrivecart.
I help female entrepreneurs and business owners create brands that command the spotlight. I love working with women to help them create beautiful, one-of-a-kind brands that give them the confidence to take their business to the next level and get them seriously noticed. I’ve worked with coaches, authors, influencers… you name it, and I bet I can help you too.