An online shopping cart is arguably the most important aspect of your business. It can have a major impact on the success of your business, and it’s crucial to choose the right one.
In this comparison review, we take a look at the two biggest players in the industry: ThriveCart and SamCart.
ThriveCart vs SamCart: Overview
ThriveCart was founded by Josh Barlett as a way to reduce their workload and work in a flawless and hassle-free way while saving thousands of dollars in shopping cart software fees.
Today, the company has grown to become one of the most popular all-in-one platforms for selling physical and digital products online. You can also use it to market your services, such as online coaching, consulting, etc.
ThriveCart’s biggest selling point is its ability to help businesses boost revenue with high-converting shopping cart and checkout pages.
Some of the key features of ThriveCart are:
- Drag-And-Drop Page Builder: ThriveCart offers an easy-to-use page builder for creating customized product and sales funnel pages.
- Ready-Made Templates: ThriveCart offers a variety of templates for you to choose from so you can enhance your page creation efforts.
- Bump Offers and Coupons: ThriveCart has a robust feature for including bump offers, coupons, and discounts with your products.
SamCart is a shopping cart platform that is very similar to ThriveCart but with a few distinct differences.
It was built by Brian Moran, founder of TrainBaseball.com and “Get 10,000 Fans” as a way to provide his own businesses with the perfect shopping cart software (with all the features that he found lacking in other solutions).
Right now, SamCart is one of the largest companies in the world serving thousands of customers, many of whom are big names in their respective industries.
Some of the key features of SamCart are:
- Membership Sites: Unlike ThriveCart, SamCart allows you to create and sell membership sites, in addition to products and services.
- Sales Funnels: With SamCart, you can create a sales funnel and then customize it to match your brand.
- Great Interface: SamCart’s platform has an intuitive, easy-to-use interface that is great for beginners and expert users alike.
Listed below are some of the main differences between the two platforms. By looking at the way the two solutions differ, you will be better able to understand which one is a perfect fit for your business depending on your specific needs.
- ThriveCart: Offers a one-time fee of $495.
- SamCart: Costs a monthly fee that ranges between $49-$399/month.
Shopping Cart Design
- ThriveCart: This platform’s shopping cart designs are a little dated compared to other cart software on the market right now.
- SamCart: SamCart has a more refined, modern, and user-friendly shopping cart design.
- ThriveCart: This platform offers support for Google Pay and Apple Pay payment options.
- SamCart: SamCart does not offer support for these or any other mobile payments.
- ThriveCart: The lack of a robust membership feature is one of the main differences between the two platforms.
- SamCart: SamCart has a stronger focus on membership sites, which makes it ideal for anyone looking to offer memberships on their website.
There are a few other subtle differences between the two platforms, such as the user interface, templates, and customizability.
However, ThriveCart offers a better experience in a number of areas, such as the platform’s one-time signup fee and two-step cart option. It also has a useful sales tax calculation feature, as well as link tracking and predicted sales features.
The way you list products or services in your shopping cart software can be the difference between an optimized campaign that brings in tons of revenue and one that brings mediocre results.
Below, we take a look at the types of products you can list on each platform and how the product listing process works.
ThriveCart allows you to sell digital products, physical products, and even services. To list the product, all you need to do is choose the type of product from the “Products” tab.
You can then click on “Create a new product” and then proceed to set the following information:
- Product URL
- Product pricing options
- Payment gateway integration
- Affiliate invitations to promote your product
- Add bump offers, coupons, or discount
Everything in this process is designed to help you market your products more effectively so you can get higher conversions and increase the value of each sale.
The process of listing your product is pretty much the same on SamCart as it is on ThriveCart. Simply click on “New products”, fill in the essential details, such as:
- Product name
- Product price
- Product description
… and so on.
When that’s done, you can select the relevant payment type (once-off, recurring weekly, monthly, etc.) You can also choose the product type, upload the image, and set the discounts/coupons.
Overall, the features on SamCart are simple, well-arranged, and easy to use. When compared to ThriveCart, SamCart comes out as the clear winner for listing products.
Another big difference between the two software cart platforms is the design and customization feature.
Below, we take a look at how each platform handles the customization of checkout pages, as well as the process of the checkout and product pages (among other features).
When it comes to design and customization, ThriveCart certainly gets the job done, although the platform could use a bit of improvement in terms of updating the page-building tool.
The page builder doesn’t look as modern as the one on SamCart’s platform, although it does offer all the basic elements required for building high-converting sales funnels and checkout pages. ThriveCart also has various guarantee seal templates that you can choose from, which is a plus when looking to boost your credibility as a marketer.
SamCart has an intuitive drag-and-drop page builder that you can use to customize your memberships, sales funnels, and product pages. It comes with a variety of widgets and basic elements, including:
- Countdown timer
- Progress bar
With SamCart, you also get template collections for elements such as calls to action, header areas, guarantees, and so on. These are unique types of blocks that you won’t find on ThriveCart’s page builder.
Yet another great feature from SamCart is that it gives you the ability to optimize the pages you build for mobile devices. Seeing as how mobile users continue to grow, it’s more crucial than ever to make sure your shopping cart software is optimized for mobile in order to increase your conversions.
The winner here is clearly SamCart because of its modern design customization features, as well as the ability to optimize your shopping cart pages for mobile devices. Having said that, it’s important to note that ThriveCart is hard at work on updates for its software, so watch this space!
Both SamCart and ThriveCart allow you to create effective sales funnels to promote and sell your products and services.
Below, we take a closer look at the differences in customizing the sales funnel process for each platform.
With ThriveCart, you can create a sales funnel by clicking on “New funnel”. You can then enable the sales funnel for any of your products.
You can add upsells and downsells, as well as discounts and bump offers to make your product or service more enticing.
You can use the same upsell for different funnels, or copy/paste the same page content and set it up on different funnels. If you are someone who deals with a lot of different products, this can be a massive timesaver.
SamCart’s funnels are located under the “Upsells” tab. All you have to do is click on it, give your funnel a name and create a description.
You can then start filling in the details of your sales funnel, including upsells, downsells, and order bumps.
SamCart also allows you to split test your funnel pages, as well as the individual elements on each page – a feature that currently isn’t available in ThriveCart.
Although SamCart offers a more comprehensive A/B testing feature for sales funnel pages, ThriveCart takes the cup thanks to its robust features that allow you to have granular control on your upsells, down sales, and bump offers.
Additional Marketing Capabilities
Neither ThriveCart nor SamCart has marketing automation with autoresponders, dynamic OTOs (one-time-offers), behavioral adaptive marketing tools, or any of the marketing capabilities that are trending right now.
But, each of these two platforms has its own unique set of features, some of which are lacking in other shopping cart solutions. And, at the rate that they roll out updates, it’s possible these features will soon be available on both platforms.
Below, we take a look at the additional features, including marketing automation optimization, and various other crucial marketing capabilities that each platform has.
ThriveCart offers one-click transactions, as well as upsells, down sales, and bump offers to help you maximize your income from each sale you make.
The platform allows you to offer customers either a fixed-fee discount or a percentage-based discount. You can also activate or deactivate coupons for certain periods of time, which is helpful when you’re promoting seasonal products.
ThriveCart also has a great feature that allows you to send behavior-based emails according to the different triggers (set by you), such as when the shopping cart is abandoned, payment is declined, or when a credit card has expired.
Like ThriveCart, SamCart does not have a built-in autoresponder or email automation tool that allows marketers to send emails and follow-up sequences to their customers.
This means you have to integrate an external email marketing solution to do this. You can then set up behavior-based triggers according to your customer’s activity. Even then, SamCart’s trigger options are not as robust as those on ThriveCart.
When it comes to additional marketing capabilities, ThriveCart is clearly the winner thanks to the platform’s wealth of marketing features and tools, all of which are designed to help you boost conversions and increase your customer lifetime value (CLV).
Affiliate Program Management
The affiliate program management feature is crucial to anyone who receives a huge part of their revenue from affiliates, and the good news is that both of these platforms have robust affiliate platform centers that allow you to easily create and manage affiliates for your products and services.
Below we take a look at each in detail.
ThriveCart shopping cart software has an entire built-in suite dedicated to affiliate management. One of the main selling points of ThriveCart’s affiliate feature is its intuitive, beginner-friendly reporting dashboard.
It offers tons of data that you can mine and it makes it easy for users of all skill levels to navigate and read the data provided so you can make better marketing decisions.
In the affiliate center, you have control over everything from your affiliates overview, payout settings, product options, and rules. By clicking each of these tabs, you can go even deeper for more detailed control over your affiliates.
SamCart has a powerful affiliate program platform that will put most other shopping carts to shame. It’s designed to not only help you sell your products, but also to allow you to enlist and manage as many affiliates as you need so you can make more sales and boost your revenue.
The software boasts a clean dashboard and easy-to-read reporting with tons of data for you to analyze. It provides you with everything you need to find helpful insights and inform your decisions so you can propel your business toward affiliate success.
ThriveCart wins the affiliate management center battle because it allows for custom commissions for your affiliates. This means you can have different settings even for individuals on the same team. You can also set second-tier affiliate payments for any sales that are made by the affiliates of your affiliates.
In this section, we’re going to look at the different integrations each platform has. Over time, this list will be updated as the software features are updated. Also, you will find links to the different integration pages for each platform so you can always find out more details if necessary.
ThriveCart has an intensive list of integrations that make it a great solution to add to your marketing stack.
- Payment Providers: PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, and Apple Pay
- Membership Platforms: WishList Member, MemberMouse, Teachable, and Thinkific
- Email Marketing Providers: Drip, MailChimp, Aweber, ActiveCampaign, and Sendy
- Webinar Platforms: Demio and various other integrations through Zapier
- Fulfillment Services: Google Sheets, Disk.com, Kunaki, ShipStation, and many others.
SamCart’s shopping cart software holds its own in this area. Its depth of integrations is just as impressive as ThriveCart, and includes the following:
- Payment Providers: Stripe, PayPal (okay, maybe this part falls a bit short)
- Membership Platforms: MemberMouse, OptimizeMember, Thinkific, Kajabi
- Email Marketing Providers: Drip, iContact, Hubspot, Ontraport, MaroPost, MailChimp
- Webinar Platforms: Kajabi and dozens of other integrations through Zapier
- Fulfillment Services: ShipStation and various other integrations via Zapier
The winner, in this case, is ThriveCart because it offers all the integrations you need to run a successful online business in one convenient place. Although SamCart has many of the same integrations, it is lacking in native integration, particularly when it comes to payment providers and fulfillment services (although you can still get these through third-party integrations).
For many business owners, pricing is a major determining factor when deciding which shopping cart software to go with.
Below are the pricing structures for each of these two platforms, so you can decide which one is best for you.
Right now, ThriveCart offers a lifetime offer for $495 (ThriveCart Standard) and $690 (ThriveCart Pro).
This is a great deal because it includes the following features:
- An affiliate management system
- Rebilling or “dunning” feature
- Custom domain name
- Automatic sales tax calculation
This makes ThriveCart a great option for marketers who want an all-in-one solution for selling their products and services online.
Considering that you only have to pay a one-time fee of just $495, ThriveCart is a pretty compelling offer for any marketer – regardless of the business that you’re in.
SamCart’s pricing is very different from ThriveCart. The platform has four distinct plans:
- Launch: $49/month
- Grow: $99/month
- Scale: $199/month
- Enterprise: $399/month
Each of the plans comes with a 14-day free trial so you can take the software for a test drive before you commit.
There are additional discounts for annual payments, and you also get a 30-day money back guarantee if you decide that SamCart isn’t the best fit for your business.
To be fair, ThriveCart only wins if the pricing is your main determining factor. Otherwise, SamCart has some features that may benefit your business more in the long run.
So rather than simply looking at the price, you should consider what your business actually needs because both of these software platforms are designed to optimize your sales and help you make more money from each of your customers.
Ultimately, this means the software has a provable ROI and it will be able to pay for itself in no time at all, regardless of which one you choose.
The most successful marketers are those who understand the importance of reporting and analytics when choosing shopping cart software.
Below, we take a look at what ThriveCart offers compared to SamCart, in terms of reporting features.
ThriveCart offers detailed, easy-to-read analytics reports that provide you with deep insights on various metrics, including the following:
- Checkout Views
- Conversion Rates
- Total Refunds (refunded customers, refund amounts, refund rate, etc.)
- Net Revenue
- Affiliate Orders
- Affiliate Commissions
- Automatic Sales Tax
- Average Order Value
… and so much more.
ThriveCart allows you to compare the reports of two products across a specific look-back period. You will see all the stats outlined on the clean reporting dashboard in the form of easy-to-view graphs. Any stats that you don’t require can be easily disabled to make viewing easier.
SamCart works in much the same way, except that it also allows you to analyze your sales reports by product, date, subscription, and traffic. You can filter your reports according to upsell funnels, as well. This is something that is not possible on ThriveCart’s platform.
You can export reports quickly and easily as a CSV file, and you can also get an in-depth affiliate sales report.
Overall, SamCart’s reports are a lot easier to understand than ThriveCart, which makes this feature more appealing to beginners and tech-challenged users.
Although ThriveCart offers a more in-depth reporting platform, SamCart’s reporting dashboard is much cleaner and easier to understand. So, it isn’t that one is necessarily better than the other, but rather each has different features that may appeal to different marketers.
I hope this article has helped you understand how these two shopping cart solutions work so you can make a well-informed choice for your business.
The bottom line is, both platforms are high-quality shopping cart software solutions, and you won’t go wrong with either one depending on your needs.
ThriveCart is best for you if you are a marketer or small business owner who wants an all-in-one shopping cart software with all the features you need (and that you can use forever) for an affordable one-off payment.
SamCart is best for you if you are an online entrepreneur who is launching your first digital or physical product and wants a shopping cart software with modern, optimized templates and a robust affiliate center.
If you want to see even more options, consider reading my full Samcart alternatives post.