Are you in a dilemma about which shopping cart platform to choose between ThriveCart and SamCart?
If so, I am here to help you make a better choice between the two.
Today in this post I am going to review ThriveCart vs SamCart in-depth and compare the features with its competitors.
Let’s get started.
ThriveCart is a cart and funnel-building platform specifically built for small creators and businesses who want to increase conversions. It was founded in 2016 by Josh Bartlett. In 2023, ThriveCart secured a $35 million investment from LTV SaaS Growth Fund.
On the other hand, Samcart is an ecommerce company that was founded in 2014 and is more focused on the creator economy. They have a relatively large team.
In April 2022, Samcart raised $82 million.
I have copied both of these platforms on Google Trends. The graph is interesting.
You can see ThriveCart is having a consistent growth. Whereas Samcart’s popularity is quite declining, especially in the last two years.
I attribute ThriveCart’s growth mainly to its lifetime deal model and its focus on rolling out new features and integrations with other popular platforms.
👍 Where ThriveCart excels over SamCart?
- Affordable lifetime deal: ThriveCart’s lifetime deal is affordable, while SamCart’s higher plans are costlier and less easily affordable. SamCart’s lower plan (even at$79/month) lacks useful features (like upsells and order bumps), making it not worth your money.
- ThriveCart Learn: Along with their lifetime deal, you get access to ThriveCart Learn, a lightweight alternative to LMS platforms like Teachable. ThriveCart’s course feature seamlessly integrates with their marketing features, allowing for more marketing flexibility
- Useful features: ThriveCart includes digital sales tax calculation, link tracking, predicted sales, and mobile payment options, which are lacking in SamCart.
- Powerful Affiliate Management System: ThriveCart offers a more advanced affiliate management system with sophisticated tracking options.
- Two-step cart option: ThriveCart offers a two-step cart option (may be helpful depending upon your usecases)
- Support for Apply Pay and Google Pay: ThriveCart supports Apply Pay and Google Pay payment options, while SamCart does not offer support for these.
👍 Where SamCart excel over ThriveCart?
- Improved user interface: SamCart’s user interface is more refined and user-friendly compared to ThriveCart’s interface.
- More automation triggers: When it comes to behavioral automation, there are many triggers, particularly related to subscription cancellation, delinquency, recovery, and subscription restarting.
- Membership site platform: SamCart offers a membership site platform, giving you the ability to create and sell memberships along with products and services.
- More templates: SamCart provides a greater variety of checkout templates across various niches to choose from compared to ThriveCart.
- Free trial: SamCart offers a free trial, allowing you to try out the platform before making a commitment.
Both ThriveCart and SamCart allow you to create funnels but this is not as powerful as ClickFunnels.
You can just create the basic funnels with some customization options.
Bottom line: Thrivecart and Samcart are both great tools, but I prefer Thrivecart because of its strong focus on conversion optimization. Thrivecart has been adding many features, particularly in checkout page design and LMS functionalities. It offers good long-term value as a one-time purchase. In contrast, to access all features of Samcart, you need their most popular Growth plan, which costs $159 per month.
ThriveCart vs Samcart: In-depth comparison
Both of these tools are well thought out.
In case of Thrivecart, it takes a while for you to get used to the platform.
For example, in the image above, you can see that just to navigate to the checkout page builder, it takes around 4 to 5 clicks, which often forces me to bookmark the URL for quick access.
The organization of features are quite different. But once you get used to it, it will be pretty quick.
On the other hand, Samcart’s interface is very intuitive.
Compared to ThriveCart, SamCart’s interface is good.
The features are neatly categorized and are arranged logically. And it takes fewer clicks to navigate the platform around.
Also, if you are a beginner, SamCart provides you with live and recorded demos to assist you.
This is not the case with ThriveCart.
With ThriveCart you can create and sell both digital and physical products. Just click on to create a new product and select the type of the product you are creating.
Then you need to set the product URL, pricing options, integrate the payment gateway, and invite the affiliates to promote your products.
You can also add either the physical or the digital product as the bump offer.
Adding a bump offer helps you market more products thus achieving higher conversions.
Creating products with SamCart is the same as ThriveCart. Just click on a new product and fill in all the essential details like name, price, description, etc.
Here you can select the payment type as recurring weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc.
In the next step, you can select the product type, upload the image, and set the coupons. Compared to ThriveCart, SamCart features are very well arranged.
Both ThriveCart and SamCart allow you to provide coupons for your customers.
In ThriveCart, head over to coupons and create a new coupon there.
Then you need to set up the coupon code, and the discount.
With ThriveCart, you can set three types of discounts like fixed price, percentage, and free shipping.
You can apply the coupon for all the products, or on specific products, also you have the option to enable or disable them at any point in time.
The coupon options available in SamCart are similar to ThriveCart.
With SamCart, you can provide a one-time coupon or a recurring coupon.
Checkout templates and design
ThriveCart used to provide only four types of checkout templates like standard, sales cart, embeddable, and pop out.
However, more recently, they introduced over 20 different templates that are conversion optimized.
Additionally, they also rolled out many changes to their shopping cart editor. Their new checkout page editor is almost as good as any page builder out there.
It consists of various blocks like progress bars, hero areas, callouts, testimonies, and more. This is a significant facelift compared to their old classic editor.
On the other hand, SamCart comes with plenty of templates.
These templates look highly professional and you can even preview them before choosing the one.
You can customize these templates with its editor and integrate them with payment gateways.
Winner: ThriveCart. The new checkout page templates and the enhanced editor are of higher quality. The new checkout page templates of Thrivecart are highly converting and also their enhanced checkout editing functionalites are more flexible.
You can enable a funnel for any product that you create on Thrivecart.
The funnel builder allows you to configure the post-purchase workflow.
You can either add upsells or downsells for people who purchase the product.
You can add them to a membership site or trigger a custom script. This would be helpful in product fulfillment without the need for Zapier integrations.
With both SamCart and ThriveCart, you can add up to 5 upsells and 5 downsells.
ThriveCart allows you to use the same upsell for multiple funnels and also copy the same page setup and the content from other funnels. This is a huge time saver.
On the other hand with SamCart, things are different.
You need to independently create funnels and for each funnel you can set offers, upsells and downsells.
Once you create funnels, you can attach these funnels to any existing products as upsell funnels.
This way, upon the purchase of the product, users will go through the funnel that you have attached to it.
You can split test the various page designs with both of these platforms.
With ThriveCart, you can split test:
- Different prices
- Pricing options like the recurring fee, one-time fee, or pay as you wish.
- Payment options (PayPal & Stripe vs. just Stripe)
- Payment button color
- Countdown timer vs. no countdown
- Logo vs. no logo on top
- Test which testimonials work best
- Checkout overall design (2-step vs. 1-step, etc.)
- Test which bullet points work best on the checkout page
- Test two bump offers against each other
- Two boxes shot images testing against each other
- Which fields you should collect on the checkout
- Custom fields on checkout vs. none
Unlike other platforms, ThriveCart allows you to split test almost every aspect so that you can know which one works best for you.
SamCart offers this feature only with its higher plans (that costs $159/mo). In it, you can only split test the pages and also the upsell funnels.
Both these platforms come with the built-in affiliate program.
ThriveCart allows you to enable or disable the affiliates for individual products.
Select the product for which you need to invite the affiliates, then set up the commissions and other affiliate options.
ThriveCart offers more comprehensive affiliate options, allowing you to set different cookie attributions and cookie expedited. One great feature of ThriveCart is the ability to create affiliate-specific coupons, automatically associating all purchases made with that coupon to the affiliate.
Setting up the affiliate center with SamCart is similar to ThriveCart.
In SamCart, you can make the affiliate links private if you want only certain affiliates to promote the products.
The sad thing here is SamCart’s affiliate feature is not available in their lowest plan. To access this feature you need to go with higher plans .
Email marketing and automation
Both SamCart and ThriveCart don’t have an in-built autoresponder and automation tool to send the emails and follow up sequences.
You need to make use of external integrations in order to achieve this. You can set up the behavior-based triggers based on the activity of the customers.
The trigger options available in ThriveCart are more compared to SamCart.
You can trigger actions in the integrations when:
- the main product is purchased
- the main product is refunded
- the cart is abandoned
- a payment is declined
To set up these triggers you need to have activated the 3rd party integrations.
As of me writing this blog post, Thrivecart integrates with 13+ autoresponder softwares like ActiveCampaign, Aweber, ConvertKit, Drip, Encharge, GetResponse, HubSpot, Infusionsoft, MailChimp, MailerLite, Moosend, Ontraport, and even Sendy.
Compare that to SamCart which only integrates with 9 most popular email marketing platforms.
In SamCart as well, you can set various triggers and actions.
In this example, when a product is purchased, I can pass on the lead details to my Mailchimp integration.
- Product Purchased
- Product Refunded
- Product Partially Refunded
- Prospect Created (i.e. Cart Abandonment)
- Subscription Canceled
- Subscription Charged
- Subscription Delinquent (4 failed payment attempts)
- Subscription Recovered
- Subscription Restarted
Winner: When it comes to behavioral automation, SamCart comes with more triggers than that of ThriveCart. Especially it has more features when it comes to subscriptions.
ThriveCart has excellent integration with various webinar platforms, email marketing softwares, membership site platforms, payment gateways, CRMs, and automation softwares.
ThriveCart has more integrations than that of SamCart. It even integrates with seemingly new tools in the market and is one of their strongest marketing strategies out there.
Now about SamCart.
It also integrates with various automation softwares, membership site platforms, payment processors, and page builders.
You can make use of Zapier and webhooks integration to connect with any of your favorite apps. But remember webhooks integration is available only in higher plans of SamCart.
Reporting and analytics
ThriveCart gives you detailed reports with various analytics like:
This would be the very first page that will be displayed. That is the dashboard.
Along with that, you can also customize the report that will be displayed in the dashboard to only include KPIs that you want to track and whatnot.
You can disable the stats that you don’t need to analyze and enable it at any time you want.
With SamCart, you can analyze the sales reports by date, products, subscriptions, traffic, and much more.
You can also get the affiliate sales report with both these platforms.
ThriveCart is running a lifetime deal at $495 which is the best deal you can avail.
On the other hand, SamCart is a premium platform with pricing that starts at $79/mo.
Even some really important features like upsells, order bumps, and cart abandonment are only present in their Grow plan, which costs $159 per month.
Additionally, if you want to access additional features like A/B split testing and CRM integrations, you need to upgrade to their scale plan at $319 per month.
Once again, they withhold a lot of important features in their beginner plans, which is not good. They would have been better if they had a pricing structure based on the number of products you can create.
SamCart costs more, than many of its alternatives.
FAQs on ThriveCart vs SamCart
What is ThriveCart?
ThriveCart is an online shopping cart platform you can use to sell your products and services.
What is SamCart?
SamCart is a web-based platform to sell your products, services, and membership sites.
Can I try out these platforms free?
SamCart offers a 14 days free trial whereas ThriveCart doesn’t.
Can I get the money refund if I don’t like the platform?
Yes. Both platforms offer a money-back guarantee. ThriveCart has 30 days money back.
Do these offer built-in templates?
Yes, with both ThriveCart and SamCart, you get professional built-in page templates that you can customize as per your needs.
In contrast, the most popular plan of SamCart costs $159 per month (doesn’t offer all features, and is not a good value for money.
Additionally, the speed of implementation of features in ThriveCart is superior to that of SamCart.
They recently introduced dedicated LMS features, which were provided for free to all existing Thrivecart owners. They also introduced a lot of conversion-friendly templates and enhanced their checkout page building editor with powerful new features.
Personally, I use and endorse ThriveCart for hosting my training courses and digital products.