Thrivecart is one of the most unique pieces of software - and unique value propositions for online businesses - we've ever encountered. And we've been using Thrivecart with our sister online business (Day One Careers) since 2020. Having processed thousands of successful purchases and having served hundreds of satisfied customers, we're offering this in-depth Thrivecart review from the perspective of power users.
Please note that this is not an instruction manual for how to use Thrivecart. Instead, this is a buyer's guide whose fundamental objective is to discuss what Thrivecart is, what it does, who it is for, and its pros and cons.
- What is Thrivecart?
- Thrivecart Pricing
- What is Thrivecart great for?
- Our Favourite Features of Thrivecart
- High-Converting Checkout Pages
- Embeddable & Popup Checkout Carts
- Cart Abandonment Conversion
- Sales Funnels With Bump Offers and Upsells
- Built-In Online Course Platform (Thrivecart Learn)
- Integration With Common Payment Processors
- Multiple Product Pricing Options
- A/B Testing
- Built-in Affiliate Program
- Built-in Customer Hub
- Rich And Powerful API
- Incredible Support Team
- ThriveCart Versus Other Tools
- ThriveCart is NOT a Good Fit For You. If
- You Have Many Digital Products or Physical Products to Sell
- You Don't Want to Pay For CRM and a Website Separately
- You Need Integrations With Specific Payment Processors
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Will You Be Charged Other Fees After Buying The Lifetime Account?
- Is ThriveCart Legit?
- Is ThriveCart authentic?
- Where is Thrivecart Located?
- Who owns ThriveCart?
- How do I get paid from ThriveCart?
- What is the difference between SamCart and ThriveCart?
- Does ThriveCart offer a free trial?
- Does ThriveCart Pro include Learn Plus?
- Can I upgrade to ThriveCart Pro later?
- What is the conversion rate for ThriveCart?
- What is the pricing plan for ThriveCart?
- Can you create a course in ThriveCart?
- What type of payment processor does Thrivecart support?
- How secure is Thrivecart?
What is Thrivecart?
Thrivecart is an advanced checkout software offering advanced sales funnel capabilities, out-of-the-box integrations with membership platforms and autoresponders, an in-built online course platform (Thrivecart Learn), affiliate program integrations via Zapier or Make, infinite extensibility with webhook support via Zapier/Make or any other automation platforms as well as seamless API support making Thrivecart the go-to shopping cart solution on the market today! In addition, Thrivecart's intuitive design means it won't require software development skills nor knowledge from programming backgrounds to run effectively, making it one of the best shopping cart solutions today - indeed, it stands as one of today's premier shopping cart solutions!
Thrivecart stands apart with its wide variety of features designed to meet the needs of businesses of any size, offering sales funnel capabilities designed to increase your profits quickly. Integrations into membership platforms and autoresponders make managing customer data and automating marketing campaigns effortless; its built-in online course platform (Thrivecart Learn) makes creating and selling courses even simpler!
Thrivecart's affiliate program is another impressive aspect. Built directly into its platform, you can easily manage affiliates and track their performance - plus, thanks to integrations with Zapier, Make, and other automation platforms, you can take it one step further by automating the sales process altogether!
Regardless of your eCommerce journey, Thrivecart can be the shopping cart solution that fits you best. Easy and versatile in design, its powerful tools help take any business to new levels of growth.
If you seek an excellent value shopping cart solution, Thrivecart should be at the top. Its standard version currently costs $495, which is exceptional given that lifetime access can be obtained. Not to be outdone, Thrivecart also features an impressive Pro upgrade option at just a one-off fee of $195 that adds even greater value. In addition, Thrivecart stands apart from its peers by not charging monthly subscription fees - no surprise payments! Furthermore, platform owners have not increased prices over time - an integral element of Thrivecart's value proposition. Easy Automations and our sister business - Day One Careers - can vouch for the fantastic value of the Thrivecart Pro subscription; over its two-year runtime, it has already paid for itself several times. However, we would like to emphasize that while the Thrivecart lifetime deal has been available for some time now, its owners have always made clear it will eventually expire - please bear this in mind when reading further into this guide.
What is Thrivecart great for?
Thrivecart is an incredibly versatile eCommerce solution for more applications than one Buyer's Guide could cover. However, here is a list of the core use cases that Thrivecart covers with ease.
Sell Digital Products
Thrivecart's forte is selling digital products. Whether digital downloads, subscriptions to online software, online courses, or anything else that could be fulfilled via a webhook or an integration, Thrivecart makes it easy to sell digital products.
Sell Physical Products
Thrivecart can provide the ideal platform to sell digital and physical products; however, you should remember that, unlike its more well-known big brother, Shopify, Thrivecart only permits one product at a time to limit user confusion over product pricing and availability.
While Thrivecart may be suitable if your product doesn't come in too many variations, such as arts and crafts or fashion items. When this is the case for you, we advise finding another platform capable of supporting such complex shopping carts.
Thrivecart can be an ideal fit for sellers offering single products or limited product variants without needing an elaborate shopping cart platform.
Sell Access to a Membership Site
Thrivecart integrates with Memberpress, LearnDash, MemberMouse, and OptimizeMember out of the box. With a Make (Integromat) or a Zapier connection, Thrivecart integrates with Kajabi. As with other digital or physical products, you can fulfill any order on a Thrivecart shopping cart if your fulfillment services accept webhooks. This makes the number of possibilities of what you can sell with Thrivecart practically infinite.
Our Favourite Features of Thrivecart
Thrivecart is one of the most flexible shopping cart solutions adding new capabilities every year. While it is out of the scope of this guide to list every single feature of this software, we'll list our favorite features that we've been constantly using.
High-Converting Checkout Pages
Thrivecart's checkout pages are meticulously crafted to yield high conversion rates. The platform offers an array of elegant checkout page designs right out of the box, ensuring that your checkout process is visually appealing and streamlined for user experience. This emphasis on checkout page design and functionality helps create a more enjoyable shopping experience for your customers, ultimately resulting in higher conversions.
For those who want to take customization a step further, Thrivecart provides a user-friendly drag-and-drop builder for checkout pages. This tool allows you to tailor the checkout pages according to your needs and preferences, ensuring your brand's identity shines through. By offering this level of personalization, Thrivecart empowers you to create a unique checkout experience and representative of your business through its checkout pages.
However, if you're looking for something even more sophisticated or have a particular use case in mind, Thrivecart has a solution for that as well. The platform enables you to import checkout page templates designed by its active community of users. This gives you access to many professional, diverse checkout page designs that cater to different industries and use cases. By leveraging the expertise of the Thrivecart community, you can ensure your checkout pages are visually striking and highly effective in driving conversions.
Embeddable & Popup Checkout Carts
In addition to offering standard high-converting checkout pages, Thrivecart provides the flexibility to embed your high-converting checkout pages directly into your website. By integrating these checkout pages within your site's framework, you can achieve a seamless customer checkout experience. This unique feature helps maintain a consistent look and feel throughout the customer journey, promoting trust and boosting the effectiveness of your checkout page.
Customizing the embedded checkout pages is made easy with Thrivecart's drag-and-drop builder. This tool allows you to tailor the checkout page to match your website's design, ensuring your brand's identity is well-represented. In addition, this personalization level helps create a truly unique and cohesive checkout experience, further enhancing the appeal of your checkout pages.
Furthermore, Thrivecart offers an alternative to embedded checkout pages by allowing you to set them up as models or popups. These popup checkout pages can be triggered when a customer clicks a button or adds an item to their cart, creating a streamlined and efficient checkout process. In addition, popup checkout pages provide a focused and distraction-free environment, which can result in higher conversion rates.
The popup shopping cart feature not only benefits e-commerce websites but also has the potential to enhance the checkout experience for blogs and other online businesses. This versatility allows a wide range of online platforms to take advantage of the high-converting checkout pages offered by Thrivecart. In addition, Thrivecart ensures companies can adapt their checkout pages to suit their needs by providing easy-to-implement solutions.
Cart Abandonment Conversion
Thrivecart has a built-in engine to track and tag customers who abandon checkout and shopping cart pages. In addition, the platform gives you options for engaging these customers by using customer data, organizing them in your email marketing software, and triggering a shopping cart recovery email sequence.
Sales Funnels With Bump Offers and Upsells
Thrivecart gives you powerful options to increase the value of a transaction by adding bumps, upsells, and downsells.
Bumps are low-value additions to the main product that don't require much persuasion. However, if you have something you could offer with the base product that qualifies as an impulse buy, Thrivecart can merchandise it for you as a toggle on the checkout page.
Upsells and Downsells are, typically, higher-value additions or one-time offers you can merchandise along the customer buy flow. Upsells are a powerful way to entice customers to ascend the value ladder without leaving the checkout process and increase the Average Order Value of your transactions.
Built-In Online Course Platform (Thrivecart Learn)
Thrivecart comes with a robust membership site capability right out of the box. Thrivecart Learn allows you to sell online courses without integrating any other membership site. Your courses could be based on videos (Thrivecart will enable you to embed Vimeo, YouTube, Bunny, and many other streaming video solutions), rich text, or a combination of both. You can also embed audio content from platforms like Hello Audio or SoundCloud - all gated behind a paywall. We've been using Thrivecart Learn since it was launched and host all Day One Careers courses on this platform.
Integration With Common Payment Processors
Thrivecart doesn't process your payments (which is why it doesn't charge transaction fees). Instead, it integrates with Stripe and PayPal, allowing you to add Apple Pay to accept payments on your checkout page. With Thrivecart, your customers will have multiple payment options.
Multiple Product Pricing Options
Thrivecart allows you to price your products as one-time purchases, recurring subscriptions, or pay-what-you-want options. Thrivecart also will enable you to offer your customers payment plans with split-payment options. Finally, if you'd like to set up free trials, Thrivecart can do it. You can decide what to charge upfront, how long the test runs, and the remaining payments.
Thrivecart allows you to A/B test your checkout pages and funnels as part of the lifetime account. We've used Thrivecart's A/B testing facilities many times and extracted valuable insights leading to improved conversion for our business.
Built-in Affiliate Program
Unlike other shopping cart solutions, Thrivecart does not charge monthly fees for its affiliate center. Instead, it comes as part of the Thrivecart Pro package and gives you flexible options to manage your sales funnel and affiliates. For example, you can run a cookie-based affiliate program or create a JV contract to split a product's revenue with a partner regardless of where the traffic came from.
The affiliate management platform comes with all the standard features you'd expect - e.g., customizable affiliate links, management of collateral, flexible commissions, etc.
However, our favorite affiliate feature is automatic payouts. With Thrivecart, you don't need to manually manage multiple affiliate payouts. If your partners have a PayPal Business account, Thrivecart can trigger payouts automatically and at intervals you define.
Most importantly, we don't know any other shopping cart platforms that offer affiliate functionalities as lifetime access.
Built-in Customer Hub
With Thrivecart, you get an integrated customer hub that gives your customers control over their subscriptions. For example, in the customer hub, they can update their payment details or cancel their subsections if you enable this feature. In addition, your customers can view their purchase history.
Rich And Powerful API
Thrivecart offers budding developers or no-coders ways to integrate it into your software or automation with a rich API. You can manage the platform through this API from interfaces like Airtable or Retool, sell Thrivecart Learn courses through other payment solutions, etc.
Incredible Support Team
Thrivecart doesn't gate its support team for customers of any particular subscription tier. Instead, for the lifetime access deal, you get access to Thrivecart's dedicated support team, which usually responds to and helps with most queries within 24 hours.
ThriveCart Versus Other Tools
For the price of the lifetime access deal, ThriveCart has more features than most other shopping cart solutions and carts out there. And yet, it's challenging to compare Thrivecart with other shopping cart platforms and software options because, over time, Thrivecart has become so much more than just a tool to build checkout pages and collect payments.
Yet, we'll give you our best-effort comparison between Thrivecart, SamCart, and Kartra.
Thrivecart vs. SamCart
We believe that SamCart is the closest competitor to Thrivecart based on its features. Like Thrivecart, Samcart offers flexible checkout experiences, customizable checkout pages, affiliate management, bumps, upsells, and downsells, and a way to sell online courses without integrating with other platforms.
Yet, we've never been motivated to use or even try SamCart because Thrivecart offers most of what's in SamCart's feature list as part of its lifetime deal.
The biggest drawback of SamCart is that it's a subscription software with the Basic tier starting at $59/month and the most expensive tier being $299/month. However, considering that Thrivecart offers most of the features of SamCart's $299/month plan as part of their lifetime deal (e.g., shopping cart abandonment conversion, affiliate management, API access), we believe Thrivecart is, quite simply, a much better value proposition.
Thrivecart vs. Kartra
Kartra is not a shopping cart solution. Instead, it positions itself as an "all-in-one" software for running an online info business. It comes with a website builder, a CRM engine, a checkout page builder, advanced user management, an affiliate management suite, appointment management, and much more.
By definition, Kartra's feature set outstrips Thrivecart. However, it does come with a hefty price tag that starts at $99/month. Nevertheless, we believe Kartra is a closer competitor to Kajabi than Thrivecart. So if you're looking for a one-stop-shop solution for your online business now, it might be worth trying Kartra. But if you're looking for a flexible checkout and membership solution that's an outstanding value, we recommend Thrivecart.
ThriveCart is NOT a Good Fit For You. If
While our experience makes us Thrivecart evangelists, we don't believe this platform is for everyone. So, in this section, we'll share our thoughts on why Thrivecart might not be a good fit for you.
You Have Many Digital Products or Physical Products to Sell
Thrivecart is one of the best shopping cart solutions for selling a few high-value products with an escalating value ladder. For example, if you run an info business selling low-value trip-wire courses and high-ticket programs, Thrivecart will allow you to arrange this value ladder in a series of bumps, upsells, and downsells.
Yet, if you have tens or hundreds of stand-alone products, Thrivecart might not be the right solution for you. That's because Thrivecart does not have a storefront or add-to-cart facility.
Therefore, if you have a large inventory of courses, we'd recommend a solution like LearnWorlds or Shopify with a Course add-on.
You Don't Want to Pay For CRM and a Website Separately
While Thrivecart allows you to build elaborate checkout pages with its drag-and-drop builder, it doesn't offer a static website builder or a built-in CRM solution. If you use Thrivecart, you must host your website separately and pay for an autoresponder like Drip.
The downside of this approach is that all these extra tools will come with a monthly price tag. The upside is that you won't be locked into just one supplier and can change them as you see fit.
You Need Integrations With Specific Payment Processors
Thrivecart offers integrations with 3 payment processors - Stripe, PayPal, and Authorize.Net. Through their integration with Stripe, Thrivecart enables Apple Pay and Google Pay.
We believe that for the absolute majority of users, these integrations will be more than enough. However, in some locations, customers prefer paying with other methods that are popular locally. If you're in one of such locations, Thrivecart may not be the right shopping cart solution.
We believe Thrivecart is an excellent choice for most eCommerce applications across software sales, memberships, courses, and info products. In addition, its lifetime access deal makes Thrivecart incredible value and extremely hard to beat by other shopping cart software solutions.
At the moment, Thrivecart is the leading commercial engine of our sister business (Day One Careers), and we've had the best experience with this shopping cart platform ever. Therefore, we highly recommend Thrivecart over other shopping cart platform platforms and services.
That said, Thrivecart is not for everyone. Hence, check out the various features and plans available to make sure they suit your eCommerce business before committing. Good luck!
Frequently Asked Questions
In this section, we've gathered the most frequently asked questions about Thrivecart.
Will You Be Charged Other Fees After Buying The Lifetime Account?
No, Thrivecart offers lifetime access to the current platform as part of the lifetime deal. From our experience, Thrivecart founders monetize the lifetime deal further by developing more added-value features they sell on a lifetime access basis.
Is ThriveCart Legit?
We often hear this question and presume that it has something to do with the fact that Thrivecart's lifetime access deal appears too good to be true.
We've purchased our share of lifetime offers that ended up as duds. In other cases, we were forced to convert to monthly subscription plans when the seller of the lifetime deal decided to stop honoring the promise.
Oddly enough, Thrivecart earned our highest respect in that the team behind the platform never signaled to lifetime deal holders that there's even a prospect of us having to pay monthly fees.
Furthermore, the team keeps active development of the platform and adds new features every year. The best testament to this is the Thrivecart Academy, a Facebook group for Thrivecart owners and fans. In 99% of cases, Thrivecart collects glowing reviews from its owners most of the time.
Is ThriveCart authentic?
Yes, very much so. Until recently, Thrivecart was a bootstrapped project of Josh Bartlett, who has been personally and visibly involved in communicating with the community of owners. This includes announcing new features and dealing with cloud outages and other disruptions beyond the team's control. From our experience, folks behind the platform cannot be more authentic and involved than they are.
Where is Thrivecart Located?
Thrivecart's holding company's office is in New Zealand. While we don't have any information about the location of their other offices or development teams, we assume that it's a global operation.
Who owns ThriveCart?
From the 2021 New Zealand Companies Register filing of WebActix, the company that owns Thrievcart, we can see that Josh (Joshua) Bartlett owns 99 shares out of 100. However, it is unclear if this ownership structure reflects the recent VC investment that Thrivecart has attracted.
How do I get paid from ThriveCart?
Thrivecart has its own affiliate program (managed via Thrivecart as well, from what we can tell). However, this program is invite-only, and you'd need to be a customer of Thrivecart to participate in it.
What is the difference between SamCart and ThriveCart?
SanCart is the closest competitor to Thrivecart. The feature set of the two platforms considerably overlaps. The most significant difference is the value proposition. Thrivecart offers almost all features of SamCart as part of its lifetime account, while SamCart charges subscription fees.
Does ThriveCart offer a free trial?
No. Thrivecart offers a "Pays for Itself" guarantee. According to Thrivecart, "If after using ThriveCart and its features in your business, you find that it hasn't helped grow your results by more than what you spent buying it, our team will work with you to help until it does! If it doesn't work out, you can receive a full refund as long as you are within the first 30 days of purchase."
Does ThriveCart Pro include Learn Plus?
No. Learn Plus is an extra add-on on top of Thrivecart Pro. We've been using Learn+ since it was launched, and the investment has paid for itself many times over.
Can I upgrade to ThriveCart Pro later?
Yes. You can contact Thrivecart Support and ask for the upgrade link.
What is the conversion rate for ThriveCart?
Shopping cart conversion rate is an essential metric for online businesses, yet we frequently receive inquiries on this topic - which makes sense given its significance to business success. Unfortunately, providing answers can sometimes prove tricky due to multiple variables influencing conversion rate calculations. One of the key elements to having an efficient sales page and sales funnel that increases conversion is creating a compelling sales page and funnel that draws prospects in and converts them to buyers. To accurately track the conversion rate of online stores using a reliable tool such as ThriveCart. With the A/B testing engine's help, you can optimize your shopping cart to obtain the maximum conversion rate on an online store. Knowing this number saves you time and money spent on ineffective marketing strategies and enhances customers' shopping cart experiences.
What is the pricing plan for ThriveCart?
Thrivecart operates a lifetime access plan and does not charge subscription fees. Thrivecart Standard is $495. Thrivecart Pro is a $195 add-on. Thrivecart Learn Plus is another $195 add-on.
Can you create a course in ThriveCart?
Yes, you can. Thrivecart Learn comes free with your Thrivecart account. Learn Plus is an optional (but highly recommended) add-on.
What type of payment processor does Thrivecart support?
Thrivecart supports PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.Net.
How secure is Thrivecart?
Thrivecart is a highly secure platform with bank-level encryption to keep customer data safe. In addition, all transactions are stored securely in the cloud to ensure maximum security.