Last Updated on 23rd April 2021 by Steve West
If you run an online business, then the chances are you’ll need some kind of shopping cart or landing page creator.
Having the right platform for your business can help you to grow your audience amd make a lot more sales.
Today’s comparison between ThriveCart vs SamCart will look at two platforms that promise to do exactly that.
ThriveCart vs SamCart TL;DR Overview
Here are the main differences between ThriveCart and SamCart:
- SamCart’s checkouts look a little more modern compared to ThriveCart
- SamCart has a better product delivery process
- SamCart offers a free trial, whereas ThriveCart doesn’t
- SamCart has more templates than ThriveCart
- SamCart has been around longer
- ThriveCart has two-lifetime deals, whereas, with SamCart, you’ll have to pay monthly
- ThriveCart lets you embed your checkouts anywhere, whereas SamCart doesn’t
- ThriveCart has a video cart feature, while SamCart doesn’t
- ThriveCart has a few more additional sales options, like digital sales tax calculations, mobile payment options, and two-step cart options
As you can see, they both have their differences, and choosing between them can be quite hard. That’s why I’ll explain both of their features in more detail so that you can choose between them.
I saw people mention in Facebook groups that SamCart doesn’t have Google and Apple Pay. However, this is NOT TRUE, as it does have them as payment options for your customers.
What Is ThriveCart?
ThriveCart is a SaaS tool that launched on 1st February 2016. The platform allows you to easily create shopping carts that you can use to sell your products. It promises to increase conversions and backs this with its own money-back guarantee.
Besides merely having the usual shopping cart features that you’d expect, ThriveCart also has some extra innovative features, too. One of these is the ability to embed your carts anywhere on other platforms, which I thought was pretty cool.
For example, if you have a WordPress blog then you can create a shopping cart using thriveCart and then embed it into a page on your blog. That’s pretty useful!
As the product is still in the early stages, it has some pretty sweet lifetime deals available. But I’ll run you through those a little later on.
- Affordable lifetime pricing
- Great set of features
- Good support
- Money-back Guarantee
- Templates aren’t the best, and there’s not a lot of them
- A little harder to use than SamCart
What Is SamCart
SamCart is a little more known than ThriveCart because it has been around longer. SamCart was co-founded by brothers, Brian and Scott Moran in 2014. Since then SamCart has become an industry leader in the shopping cart market, and for good reason.
It’s one of the most known shopping cart SaaS tools, and its users love it, especially for its ease of use. SamCart offers similar features to ThriveCart, but with a few key differences.
Since it’s been around longer and is fully established, SamCart does not offer a lifetime deal. Fortunately, the monthly pricing for SamCart is reasonable compared to its competitors.
If SamCart can significantly impact your conversions, then the price is still more than worth it. But, let’s look at SamCart’s features first before we get into the pricing. If you can’t wait then feel free to skip ahead to the pricing section, below.
- Easy to use
- A good set of features
- Has a 30-day free Trial
- Beautiful templates, and there is a lot of them
- Well established – it has been around for a long time
- Costly compared to ThriveCart
- Missing some features that ThriveCart has
Now you’ve got a good overview of the two platforms, let’s look at the features they have to offer and see how they compare.
The ThriveCart checkout builder has everything you need to create a high-converting offer. It’s straightforward to use, and you can create virtually any type of offer with it.
Some of the offers you can create include:
- Free & Paid
- Discounts & Coupons
- Pay what you want (PWYW) checkouts
- Split-payment plans
1-Click Order Bump
The first feature is a vital one for increasing conversions. The order bump will help you make more money from each visitor because it has the potential to increase your customer’s cart value.
In case you don’t know what it is, an order bump a last minute, impulse offer that you can put in front of your customers at the checkout. The order bump shows up as a little checkbox right on the checkout page that your customer can tick to add to their cart.
IMAGE OF ORDER BUMP
As you can imagine, this can be highly effective, especially when your order bump compliments the original purchase.
Funnel Builder With 1-Click Upsells & Downsells (Post-purchase)
ThriveCart comes with a basic funnel builder that will let you create a page for your checkouts, complete with an upsell, dowensell, and thank you page.
The upsell and downsell pages also help to increase the value of a customer. It does this by presenting the customer with a separate page with an additional offer that they can purchase with one click. This is possible because the customer’s payment information is already saved from the first purchase.
Pretty clever, right?!
The reason this is effective is that once they make the decision, they’ve instantly purchased the offer. This gives them less time to doubt their buying choice while entering their credit card information for a second time.
2 Step Carts
Another feature in ThriveCart that I really like is the 2-step carts. This is basically a checkout where the customer enters their information before the payment for some type of incentive, such as an exclusive deal.
The advantage of this feature is that you can still follow up with the customer, even if they don’t like the deal.
And ultimately, this will lead to more sales because you can recoup some abandoned carts. With the average abandoned cart rates ranging from 68.81% to 74.5%, it’s really important that you have features like this in place.
ThriveCart lets you split-test all of your carts and funnels. This, combined with the comprehensive analytics, which we’ll talk about in a moment, will give you everything you need to create the highest converting checkout experience possible.
Embed Your Carts Anywhere
This is a ThriveCart that I really like, as it allows you to embed your shopping pretty much anywhere (providing you can paste the code).
So, if you want to display your carts on another page builder or website platform like Wix or WordPress, then you can embed the checkouts over on those platforms.
That’s pretty cool as it means you won’t be locked into the platform, and you can combine the power of ThriveCart with other tools.
Related Article: Best Sales Funnel Software Tools
ThriveCart also has an affiliate center built-in, meaning you can recruit and manage affiliates from your ThriveCart dashboard. I was very impressed with this feature, as it’s more advanced than most other options on the market. Having said that, it’s not surprising that I have come across a lot of companies who are using ThriveCart for their affiliate program.
The ThriveCart affiliate center has all the basics such as, allowing you to create various affiliate programs, setting up custom commissions, hosting affiliate tools, running competitions, etc.
But what I was impressed by was the ability to set up custom bonus pages for your top affiliates, which will help them make more sales. And if they make more sales, you do too.
Intelligent Behavior & Automation Rules
Another area where ThriveCart sets itself apart from many other cart platforms is its intelligent automation features. For example, you can automatically follow up on abandoned carts, or you can chase subscribers that haven’t been paid.
Plus, you can also modify your affiliates’ commission rates based on their refunds or sales. For example, if some affiliates have high refund rates, you could decrease their commission rates. Or, if they made lots of sales, you could increase it.
Everyone knows how effective subscription-based business models are. The problem is that many platforms don’t allow you to set up monthly billing, or it’s very confusing, at least.
ThriveCart gives you everything you need to set up subscription billing, and it’s also straightforward to implement.
Plus, as already mentioned, you can set up free or paid trials and automatically chase customers for subscriptions that haven’t been paid, thanks to the dunning feature.
Intelligent Business Insights
Finally, ThriveCart comes with intelligent business insights such as analytics, projected sales, and more. Again, this is something that I was very impressed with, as the insights you get are detailed and advanced.
For example, it calculates lifetime value automatically, and you can also see your live traffic, conversions, or projected sales. Besides, you can also add 3rd party tracking codes like Google analytics.
What ThriveCart Has That SamCart Doesn’t Have
Despite ThriveCart being a lot more affordable than other options on the market, it does have some great features that SamCart doesn’t have. These are the features I mean:
SamCart doesn’t have this feature, and it would probably be quite hard to get it. If you think 2-step carts will be a key part of your strategy, it may be worth going for ThriveCart.
Again, SamCart does not let you embed your shopping carts. This means the ThriveCart checkouts you create won’t be locked inside the platform. But, with SamCart, if you ever wanted to use the cart anywhere else, you would be locked into it.
Bonuses for Affiliates
Of course, your affiliates can always manually offer bonuses, but it’s not quite the same as having dedicated pages and bonus delivery options that they can use.
ThriveCart has some pretty good features, so let’s take a look at how SamCart compares to ThriveCart.
Sales Page Design & Templates
SamCart has a feature they call the sales page design. This is basically their page builder, and will let you build funnels similar to ThriveCart.
Here’s what SamCarts sales page builder comes with:
- Unlimited products
- Drag & Drop builder
- Pre-designed templates
- Digital wallets
In terms of features, it’s very similar to ThriveCart’s checkout builder. However, SamCart doesn’t have the 2-step carts feature that ThriveCart offers. On the other hand, ThriveCart doesn’t have the localization feature offered by SamCart, so you’ll need to weigh up here which feature is more important to you.
In my opinion, SamCart is a little easier to use, and it also has a larger selection of templates to work with. I also found that the templates look more modern than those on the ThriveCart platform.
Templates aren’t necessarily a deal-breaker because you can always create them yourself. But using them does make your work a hell of a lot quicker, easier, and more enjoyable, in my opinion.
However, the difference between the templates on both platforms is quite significant. SamCart even offers industry-specific templates, which is super-helpful, while ThriveCart only has around 10 standard templates in total.
But apart from those few differences, this feature is very similar to ThriveCart’s builder.
Again, this next section of features is very similar to ThriveCart’s. Here’s what you get:
- One-click upsells
- Pre-purchase order bumps
- A/B testing
- Add to your order (post-purchase)
- Advanced Reporting
- Pay What You Want
As we saw earlier, ThriveCart has most of these features too. The only one which is unique to SamCart is the ability to add products post-purchase.
SamCart gives you everything you need to chase after abandoned carts. To do this, you can simply integrate with email marketing software to send a follow-up and try to make the sale. This, in combination with discounts and emails, is very effective.
SamCart also has everything you need to set up subscription billing. And again, you can be very flexible with it, as you can create a range of payment types, free trials, etc.
You can also automatically chase after unpaid subscriptions using the dunning feature, which will keep billing the customer until the payment goes through. Again, this is pretty much identical to what ThriveCart offers.
SamCart gives you a lot of payment options to create almost any type of offer.
Here are some of the things you can do with SamCart:
- Free & dollar Trials
- Several payment terms/options
Just like ThriveCart, SamCart also has a built-in affiliate center. The only difference between these two affiliate centers is that ThriveCart lets your affiliates have bonus pages, while SamCart doesn’t.
SamCart has pretty much everything you need for core commerce. It comes with basic support for GDPR, Taxes, and Vat; however, ThriveCarts sales tax collection is a little more automated.
Similar to ThriveCart, SamCart comes with:
- Coupons & Discounts
- Custom Fields
- Partial refunds
Additionally, they both come with a range of integrations, which we’ll take a more detailed look at soon in this article.
What SamCart Has That ThriveCart Does Not Have
SamCart has some great features that ThriveCart doesn’t have. Below, I explain them in more detail.
One of the main incentives to go for SamCart over ThriveCart is the templates offered. They look more modern, and there’s a lot more of them.
With ThriveCart, you can build your own sales page, but you don’t have the amount of flexibility other page builders give you. And the templates look a little outdated.
Add To Order (Post Purchase)
SamCart has a feature that lets users add to their order post-purchase. This is possible with ThriveCart too, but it’s not as smooth as it is with SamCart, so it’s worth mentioning here.
The interface inside of SamCart just looks better than ThriveCart’s, in my opinion. This, alongside the templates, is the only complaint I have heard about ThriveCart.
But SamCart is superior in this aspect, and it’s something that they have put a lot of effort into.
With ThriveCart, you won’t be able to test out the platform before purchasing it, which is a bit of a drag. That being said, ThriveCart does have a 30-day money-back guarantee so that you could purchase it, and if you don’t like it, you can get a refund.
SamCart, on the other hand, offers a generous 30-day free trial, which is nice. When you compare this to most other competitors on the market, you will find that the majority of them only offer a 14-day trial, some of which are not even free!
- Apple Pay
- Google Pay
Membership Site Integrations:
- Digital Access Pass
- Thrive Apprentice
- Optimize Member
- Wishlist member
- Google Sheets (allows you to integrate with your local fulfilments centers)
- Zapier (which lets you integrate to a lot more platforms)
- Google Pay
- Apple Pay
- Constant Contact
- Post Affiliate Pro
Membership Site Integrations:
- Digital AccessPass
ThriveCart vs SamCart Pricing
As I mentioned earlier, ThriveCart has 2 lifetime deal pricing plans. But keep in mind that you don’t get all features on every plan. This also goes for SamCart too.
Make sure to read the pricing tables below carefully to ensure you know what features you’re getting with each platform.
As already mentioned earlier, ThriveCart is still in the early stages, and is still in beta. Therefore, it still has some pretty crazy lifetime deals available, which work out to be very affordable compared to SamCart.
Below, I have explained the two current lifetime options. However, it is expected that these two lifetime deals will go away once it has “officially launched”, and will cost somewhere in the region of $99 to $299 per month going forward.
ThriveCarts two main pricing plans are:
- ThriveCart Lifetime membership $495 lifetime
- ThriveCart pro lifetime membership $690 lifetime
Features only included in Pro are:
- Affiliate Center
- Subscription Saver (Dunning)
- Automatic Sales Tax Calculation
- Intelligent Business Projections
- JV Contracts
- Advanced User Management
- Client usage rights (White-labelling)
- Custom domains
Once you click the button in the above image to sign up for ThriveCart you will be taken to a new page where you will be offered a chance to pay an additional one-time $195 to upgrade to ThriveCart Pro.
Here’s a screenshot of what that looks like:
So, what do you get for the extra $195 payment? Here’s a recap:
SamCart doesn’t have any lifetime deals available. However, it still has some very reasonable plans available, ranging from just $49 to $199 per month.
The only thing I was slightly disappointed about SamCarts pricing is that a lot of the best features like split-testing, affiliate management, etc., are only available in the highest $199 per month plan. Having said that, this is still considerably cheaper than most other competitors in the market.
If you calculate the costs compared to ThriveCart, after a couple of months, you are paying a lot more with SamCart. That’s something to keep in mind if you decide to go with this platform.
Launch $49 Per Month
The launch plan comes with:
- No Additional Processing Fees
- Unlimited Pages & Products
- Unlimited Templates
- Drag & Drop Template Builder
- Full Template Library
- Advanced Subscriptions
- Full Email Customizations
- Custom Domains
- Digital Product Delivery
- Coupons & Discounts
- Smart Pixel Tracking
- Pay What You Want
- Sales & VAT Tax Support
- Free SSL Certificate
- Apple & Google Pay
- Custom Thank You Pages
- SamCart Branding
- Free & paid trials
- 1 Admin User
- Dashboard & Sales Report
- Zapier Integration
- Email Integrations
- Membership Integrations:
- Email Support (2 Day SLA)
- Knowledge Base
- 99.98% Uptime
If you want to see what isn’t in this plan, just look at the two others.
Grow $99 Per Month
Everything in “Launch” plus:
- No SamCart branding on your pages
- Custom fields
- Customer Management
- Reminders for subscriptions
- Advanced Subscription Cancellations
- Email Support (1 Day SLA)
- One-click Upsells
- Several Payment Options
- Advanced Reporting
Scale $199 Per Month
Everything in “Grow” plus:
- Built-in split-testing
- Affiliate Center
- Your customers can cancel themselves
- Admin User Roles
- Cart Abandonment tools
- Keep billing failed transactions (Dunning)
- CRM Integrations
- Custom Integrations (Webhooks)
- Email Support (Priority)
Final Thoughts – ThriveCart vs SamCart – Which is Best?
Overall, this has been a very close battle between ThriveCart vs SamCart. I think from a value point of view, ThriveCart may be ahead because of its affordability.
If you’re on a tight budget and price is one of your main concerns, then go for ThriveCart.And it also has some great features that SamCart doesn’t have.
However, SamCart’s modern templates, post-payment feature, and easy-to-use dashboard may be worth the additional cost to you.
You can also take advantage of SamCart’s free 30-day trial here and see how you like it.
Steve West has been an online entrepreneur since 2013. He specializes in SEO and affiliate marketing. Besides running his online business, he likes hiking, keeping fit and eating cookies (which is why he needs to keep fit!)
Please be aware that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases, at no extra cost to you. However, this does not impact our comparisons and reviews. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.