ThriveCart Review: Is It the Best Shopping Cart for 2021?
Selling digital products online used to be so much more complicated than it is today.
But even with so many products on the market to help you sell your digital products, not all of them are created equally.
For my business, ThriveCart is essential for selling my program, Blog Growth Engine. It is the backbone of the sales, checkout, and affiliate process.
In this ThriveCart review post, I am going to help you decide if it is the right shopping cart solution for you.
Let’s dive in.
Table of Contents
ThriveCart is a shopping cart solution that helps you launch and operate an ecommerce business. It contains all the essential features for building an ecommerce store and create membership sites.
It eliminates all the design, programming, and technical hassle that comes with creating an ecommerce business.
Their official website claims to have helped over 159,000 entrepreneurs make $1.3 billion+ in sales.
The platform owes its success to features like visually appealing checkout pages, the ability to create embeddable carts and popups, upsell funnels, affiliate campaigns, and more.
ThriveCart is ideal for businesses that are just starting out and want to get an ecommerce site up and running quickly. It’s also suitable for entrepreneurs who are bootstrapping their business and have a shoestring budget.
The target audience is currently small to medium ecommerce business owners.
ThriveCart helps you:
- Customize your online stores using a drag-and-drop builder.
- Reduce your cart abandonment rate.
- Create membership sites.
- Sell digital products through the recurring subscription model.
- Create high-converting checkout pages and cart pages.
- Run an affiliate program.
It’s also worthy to note that ThriveCart has features that specifically cater to entrepreneurs who sell digital products.
For example, their built-in email marketing toolkit enables the automated delivery of digital products.
Let’s review ThriveCart and its features in detail.
ThriveCart comes with a drag-and-drop “Sales Cart” builder that makes adding elements and building a cart from scratch easy.
You don’t have to worry much about designing — because it’s all done for you.
Here’s a quick glimpse of the cart page builder:
You can move around the elements from the leftmost and rightmost panels. Drop those elements wherever you want into the main checkout editor area.
You can change the setting for each element and even add sub-elements for some of the elements. For instance, some elements let you add text, a buy button, or images for further customization.
Another selling point is that you can choose from multi-step or single-step cart flow. This means that you can either split customer and billing information into different steps or display all fields in a single area.
That said, you don’t get a wide array of templates. ThriveCart provides four frameworks or templates to choose from.
The framework types include:
- Standard – This includes the checkout area split into two sections.
- Sales Cart – Single sales page type checkout.
- Embeddable – Embeddable checkout placed directly into any of your web pages.
- Popup – Checkout added to your website in the form of a popup window.
Note that the shopping cart templates largely depend on the type of checkout you want to add. It restricts your options even more, and you didn’t have much to choose from to begin with.
For instance, you have no option but to use the third template if you want to embed the checkout page into your web page.
You can also import another design or even copy the design from another product.
Overall, the builder is straightforward to use, but the template/framework options are nothing to write home about.
Your checkout page should be clean and straightforward, designed to capture customers who are in the flow of purchasing.
And Thrivecart’s checkout page gives you a pretty clean interface to work with. You can also tweak it the way you want and choose which elements and fields to add or remove.
For example, you can choose what customer details you want to collect at the checkout.
You can either choose from pre-defined information fields or even add custom fields to gather additional contact details.
The ease with which you can create this page is worth mentioning. You don’t need any outside help or programming skills to achieve a customized look that fits your brand.
ThriveCart even lets you tweak the order of the fields and elements on the checkout page. For instance, you can choose to collect contacts’ names before email addresses or vice versa. You control all these parts of your page.
In addition, you can tweak your page’s design, including spacing, padding, colors, font, and more.
You can also add a mandatory “Terms and Conditions” checkbox to your checkout page. Your customers would have to accept these terms before proceeding further.
With the Terms and Conditions features, you can either:
- Add your terms directly within the box on the checkout page.
- Or enter the URL to your terms and conditions page. Note that the URL will open the page in a new tab.
Another great thing about ThriveCart is that it lets you import checkout page designs from other vendors as well. For example, if you already have a checkout page that’s working well for your store, you can simply import it into the system.
The only thing missing is the variety in checkout page templates. Although, they are claiming to offer a gallery of high-converting designs soon.
In addition, ThriveCart also provides and lets you create up to six checkout pricing options. It enables your customers to choose what they want to purchase right at the checkout time.
Setting up multiple pricing options is simple, and you can do it with a few clicks from the “Product > Payment” tab.
Under the payment tab, you’ll have the option to set up four different options for your checkout page.
You can choose any of the supported payment types, including:
- One-time fee
- Recurring subscription model
- Split pay
- Pay your own price
You can even mix and match these payment types, offering various plans at the checkout. Along with different payment options, you can also choose from over 22 currency options and offer free trials and paid trials.
While they provide pre-named plans, you can also rename them however you see fit.
There’s even an option to limit the number of products. Plus, you can allow one purchase at a time or even multiple purchases at once.
Finally, the customer will land on the checkout page.
You’ll get to choose from six designs, with options like:
- Show pricing options in a 2-column grid
- Show pricing plans as individual rows
- Include images with the plans
- Choose to show or hide the pricing
- Pick from various color options
Here’s an example of the checkout page with pricing plans with images:
All of it is editable in the drag-and-drop editor, providing you complete control over your cart design.
Coming to the payment gateways, ThriveCart provides native integration with third-party payment tools like PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, Apple Pay, Google Pay.
Note that Stripe is suitable for (for debit/credit card processing + Apple/Google Pay).
While the options aren’t too varied, native integration with Stripe is still a bonus if you want to accept payments via cryptocurrency.
It’s also worth noting that ThriveCart allows multiple accounts per payment processor. This means you can add different products to your account and use different accounts to process payments.
You need to calculate taxes on your ecommerce site. It can seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be.
ThriveCart provides native integration with a third-party tax calculation and collection service – at no additional cost.
You just have to check the box that says, “Calculate digital sales tax automatically?”
However, the process of tax calculation and collection depends on your region.
ThriveCart supports sales tax within the following regions for now:
- The EU
- New Zealand
- Some non-EU countries like The UK, Switzerland, Norway, and Liechtenstein
The order success/thank you page will load automatically after a customer places an order.
ThriveCart lets you opt for the following options:
- You can show customers a complete breakdown of their purchase/invoice.
- Offer an URL that will redirect your customers to their downloads (primarily used when selling digital products) or using custom pages.
- Redirect your customers to a custom success page.
- Add your audience to your membership site.
This will be the second to last step in the funnel you design with ThriveCart. The final step is setting automated email blasts in case a customer abandons their cart. You can even send downloadable material via email.
ThriveCart offers three options for the fulfillment area: display invoices, send them to a specific URL or add customers to the membership site.
One significant part about the membership site integration is that it automatically adds your customers to your membership site at the time of checkout.
It doesn’t even matter if they don’t have an account. ThriveCart will automatically create their account and apply the membership level to their account.
However, note that ThriveCart doesn’t provide built-in membership site creation functionality. It does provide native integration with some of the best membership site platforms, though.
When your customers check out through ThriveCart, their details will get transferred to your membership site. ThriveCart even creates their account automatically based on the details acquired.
And if it’s an entirely new account, the membership software you’re using will send your customers an email with their access details.
What’s more, it enables you to add multiple payment options based on different member levels. For example, Standard plan, Advance plan, and more.
ThriveCart lets you create rules to trigger an action based on a specific condition automatically.
The behavior rules are simple to configure, and you can fulfill them via platforms like Demio, ActiveMember360, Memberium, or even email autoresponder.
First, you’ll get prompted to choose the rule to trigger and then select the service (Autoresponder, Demio, etc.) that will execute the task.
For example, use ActiveCampaign when your customer “purchases the main product” via any pricing option.
And since ActiveCampaign is an all-in-one email marketing platform, you can then add that specific customer to an email list, tag, sequence, send automated email campaigns, etc.
This is just one example of setting behavior rules. You can play around with more options based on your business and target audience.
Here are some of the rules you can choose from:
- Purchases the main product
- Refunds the main product
- Abandons the cart
- Payment is declined
- Purchases the bump
- Refunds the bump
- Makes recurring payments
- Refunds a recurring payment
- Recurring payment fails
- Subscription canceled
You can use these rules to deliver the best and most personalized customer experience possible.
You can even add an autoresponder that ThriveCart doesn't have native integration for using the Custom HTML option.
In addition, the shopping cart platform keeps track of your cart abandonment rate, overdue subscriptions, and more.
Every time a potential lead abandons your cart, ThriveCart sends a cart recovery email to follow up and retain the customer.
ThriveCart also has built-in dunning functionality to help you recover revenue automatically.
The dunning feature helps you:
- Send automatic notifications for due payments.
- Notifications when cards are about to expire.
- Chase overdue payments.
- Manage subscriptions.
- Send card expired reminder.
- Adjust affiliate commissions based on refund rate.
Upsells and downsells are usually associated with more expensive or cheaper products that complement or even replace the original product. Adding up and downsells helps you sell more, which in turn increases revenue for your business.
ThriveCart makes creating simple upsells and down sells very easy—so even an ecommerce newbie can add them to their store.
It all works sequentially. For example, ThriveCart redirects the customer either to the next upsell or the success page if the customer agrees to the upsell.
Or, if the customer refuses to buy the upsell, they’ll get redirected to the downsell or to any other step in the funnel.
After selecting the “Edit upsell page,” you can either edit ThriveCart’s upsell page using the in-built editor or import a design from your system.
ThriveCart has tons of advanced features in its arsenal to help you convert customers faster and avoid cart abandonment.
Here are some of the top features to boost sales and revenue.
ThriveCart automatically applies discount coupons to your customers’ invoices at the time of the checkout. Neither your or your customers have to add the coupon code manually, resulting in faster conversion.
You’ll see a bunch of coupons in your dashboard area. You just have to copy the URL and apply the coupon to a specific product.
The countdown timer is convenient for your business to invoke the feeling of scarcity and get more sales and attention from your prospective customers.
ThriveCart lets you choose from:
- Evergreen timers start only when the customer lands on the checkout page.
- Or fixed timers that are set to end after a fixed time.
ThriveCart comes with loads of features. And one of them is A/B testing to compare various combinations of your template variations to improve your online store conversion rates.
You can select the goal of the split test and choose when should the A/B test end, and decide which test is the winner.
At the end of the test, it will automatically display the best-performing cart.
Using Bump Offers in your cart is a great way to add more value to your customers and promote your monthly subscription.
Bump Offers is a feature that lets you offer special prices to regular customers. It's similar to Groupon and LivingSocial, where you get discounted prices for items.
These offers create another opportunity to grab leads – outside of the normal checkout process.
Deploying an affiliate program to reward your customers is a great way to grow your business, customer loyalty, and revenue.
ThriveCart provides a built-in affiliate program, eliminating the need to integrate a third-party system.
You’ll just have to complete two sections, including:
- Set up your affiliate commissions
- Set up affiliate target URL, cookie duration, and sign up process
The first step is to set up affiliate commissions.
ThriveCart allows you to configure different commissions for different pricing plans. This is a convenient feature for sellers with multiple pricing tiers.
You can also choose from fixed commissions or percentage-based commissions.
Finally, there are options to set up how affiliates should get paid and the delay period for the payout.
If you’re using PayPal as your payment gateway on the platform, they’ll process automated payouts for each affiliate.
You can also opt for manual payouts from the platform whenever you want.
The next step is configuring your affiliate options.
Affiliate options include:
- Choose how affiliates sign up for the program. You can either choose manual approval, automatic approval, or even disable new affiliates for some time.
- Choose how to track leads via affiliate link: using the first cookie or the last cookie?
- Select the cookie expiry time.
- Require affiliates to connect their PayPal account for payment, or would you pay via some other means?
- Finally, add the link where you want affiliates to redirect the traffic.
In addition, you can also enable upsells and downsells for affiliate commissions. And you don’t even need to approve affiliates for upsells or downsells manually. ThriveCart automatically takes the upsell into account while paying affiliates.
ThriveCart provides detailed business insights, reports, and an easy way to see your metrics and data without knowing any code.
It uncovers all of the vital business insights you need to make smart revenue, profit, and marketing decisions.
Your dashboard contains metrics like:
- Total transactions
- Net revenue
- Average order value
- Gross revenue and annual revenue
- Total customers
- Conversion rate
- Refund amount and refund rate
- Active subscriptions
You can also customize the details you see on your dashboard. Choose which metrics you want to display and drag and drop the metric cards into any order you like.
Other vital insights include projected revenue, forecasting, live traffic, auto lifetime value, etc. It also has the ability to manage subscriptions to reduce churn.
ThriveCart has a lot of cool features. But one of its most remarkable is the ability to integrate with third-party tools that enable your store to do things it couldn't do before.
ThriveCart integrates with all prominent third-party tools like:
- Email marketing providers and autoresponders (MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, Drip, MailerLite, HubSpot, Sendy, Moosend, ConvertKit, etc.)
- Membership platforms (MemberPress, OptimizeMember, Teachable, Thrive Apprentice, Kajabi, MemberMouse, WishList Member, etc.)
- Webinar platforms (Demio and AWeber).
- Fulfillment services (Kunaki, Lulu, Vervante, Pabbly, Printful, etc.)
- Payment processors (Stripe, PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Authorize.net).
Other major integrations include Slack, Zapier, Google Analytics, InfusionSoft, LeadPages, ClickFunnels, Instapage, WordPress, and more.
ThriveCart handles everything in regards to managing, selling, shipping, billing, etc.
Currently, ThriveCart comes with a one-time payment of $495 (no recurring fees).
The plan provides lifetime access to all core features, including:
- Customizable business insights dashboard.
- High-converting checkout pages, shopping carts, and sales funnels.
- Customer behavior rules.
- Unlimited checkout pages.
- Built-in affiliate program.
- Automatic sales tax support.
- Abandoned cart recovery.
- Advanced user management.
- And more…
While there’s no free trial or freemium plan, they do offer a 30-day “pays for itself” refund guarantee.
The lifetime license at $495 looks like an excellent deal compared to other shopping cart software like the SamCart – which starts from $49 per month.
Here’s a quick overview of ThriveCart’s pros and cons:
Built-in tax calculation and processing tool.
Not sufficient for selling physical products in bulk.
Drag-and-drop cart and checkout page editor and user-friendly interface.
Limited checkout templates and landing page options.
Extensive third-party integrations.
Limited customization capabilities.
The ability to add flexible payment options.
Features to increase conversion rate include bump offers, automated coupons, countdown timers, email follow-ups, automation, etc.
One-step upsells and downsells.
Built-in affiliate management.
Detailed business insights and reporting.
Reasonably priced lifetime deal.
Embeddable and popup checkout.
Enables a custom domain name for your checkout page.
Shopping cart platforms have evolved in the past couple of years. While most of them work on the same basic model, there are certain ones that are built with the customers in mind.
ThriveCart is one of those and is particularly suitable for small businesses, marketers, and ecommerce beginners. It’s a complete ecommerce platform that allows you to sell digital and physical products online.
The fact that it’s easy to set up, even for non-techie people, is a bonus.
That said, it still isn’t an alternative to more advanced ecommerce platforms like WooCommerce and Shopify. ThriveCart is only suitable for selling digital products and a handful of physical products.
It does have tons of advanced features to cater to small businesses and digital products sellers, though. For example, features like email follow-ups, sales funnels, one-click upsells and downsells, behavior-based triggers, etc., are all designed with these businesses in mind.
Get ThriveCart if:
- You’re a small online business owner.
- You want to sell digital products.
- You want to offer flexible payment plans.
- You want a free add-on for tax calculation and processing.
- You want a built-in affiliate center.
- You want to create high-converting checkout pages and shopping carts.
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