If you have been on the market for a way to sell digital products, take payment for your services, or receive payment for anything else online, you’ve likely come across ThriveCart mentioned at least once.
ThriveCart is a great online cart to help you not only make sales and receive payments but create bump offers and sales funnels.
That being said, there are some good and not so good things about ThriveCart which we will get into later.
What Is ThriveCart?
The big difference between those and ThriveCart is that ThriveCart is NOT a shop. You would first have your sales page then the user will merely use this cart to make a purchase or submit payment.
That being said, the cart comes preloaded with what they term a “bump offer” which is an automatic upsell of your choosing to add-on another product or service right there during checkout (usually at a discount).
Once a purchase is complete through the cart, you can also choose to set up entire sales funnels with upsells and downsells based on the decisions made by the purchaser. And you create all those sales pages directly in ThriveCart – that means the user only has to enter their payment details once and can add-on additional items easily.
ThriveCart also comes with a built in Affiliate Program! You can choose which of your cart items can be promoted by affiliates and at what rate.
I could not think of a better way to phrase that heading…oh well.
Below is a list of things you can do with ThriveCart:
- One page or two page checkout
- Different cart types: embedded, pop up, or landing page
- A/B Testing
- Videos in your cart
- Unlimited Carts
- Customer Hub (so your purchasers can view their past purchases)
- Secure URLs (https)
- One-time payment or subscription payments
- Reporting (on everything)
This isn’t a complete list.
What Is ThriveCart Pro?
For many years I merely used the regular ThriveCart but have upgraded to Pro merely for the advanced Affiliate program it offers.
There are other benefits like JV Partners (where you can split the income with others on sales), predicted revenue (I haven’t even looked at this yet), dunning, and sales tax calculations.
Keep in mind that you an always start with the basic ThriveCart and upgrade down the road (like I did).
If you have existing tools and services you want to use in combination with a cart like this, make sure to check out all the native integrations ThriveCart offers.
Here are just some of the integrations they offer:
- WishList Member
- Google Sheets
- Click Funnels
- Lead Pages
However, I rarely actually use the MailerLite integration since the trigger to add to the mailing list (Group) is merely a purchase and doesn’t pull from whether or not the person has agreed to receive emails (a GDPR and CCPA compliance issue).
Currently the MailerLite integration is only used to add Affiliates to specific groups so I can email them about any upcoming promotions.
Yes, you can get more complex integrations using Zapier (which is also an option with TONS to choose from), but I avoid Zapier like the plague. I hear way too many issues coming from it and I don’t want yet another tool to use and pay for monthly (I always go over free limits).
TIP: Make sure to also check with the service or tool you want to integrate to see if the creator has an API integration they have created themselves.
What’s The Annual Cost?
One of the best and most appealing reasons to get ThriveCart is that you get it with one-time payment. That’s lifetime access to a tool you can use across your sites!
If you follow me you know I love me some lifetime deals (namely through AppSumo – see why here).
When I bought this cart 5 years ago I didn’t fully appreciate not having monthly or annual fees since I wasn’t paying for much at the time. But, now I know how rare it is to find a tool that is truly useful and not have to pay an arm and a leg…over….and over…and over.
Pros And Cons
From my own experience here are the good and not so good aspects of ThriveCart to consider (keep in mind that I have not used this cart for physical products other than drop shipping for a brief time):
Here’s what I love about ThriveCart:
- Use a subdomain from your own URL for your cart landing pages (white label – like payment. yoursite .com).
- You can set up your products or services and link directly to the cart page (if a landing page), embed it anywhere (if an embed form), or just embed a button to open the cart (if a pop up form) without the need for a plugin or any sort of integration with your website.
- Built in bump offers on the main sales page (which you can turn on or off)
- Built in sales funnels after purchase (upsells and downsell options)
- Integrates with a lot of tools and services natively (worst case with Zapier)
- You can easily brand the cart to match your site as closely as possible
- You don’t have to create your funnel pages on your site (less pages to host)
- Any issues I’ve had have been resolved with customer service via email within a day or two
No matter how much you enjoy something there are going to be things you wish could be better:
- This is not a cart that you can add multiple items to (unless it’s multiples of the same item). So it may or may not work if your audience is likely to purchase multiple items in one visit.
- Bump offers within the checkout page are manually created for each and every checkout. Annoying! I wish you could create templates and use them over and over (yes, you can copy entire checkout pages (clone) but then you need to 1) remember which has the right bump offer, and 2) modify the cart for the new product).
- The funnel pages must also be created individually (but can be reused across multiple funnels). What I mean is that you can’t take an existing product and place it in a funnel at a discount – it would just be so much simpler than having to update the product cart and the funnel pages when something needs to be updated.
- More complex integrations (like what I talked about with MailerLite) can only be completed through Zapier.
Most of my other gripes are merely integration issues specific to my own plugin.
For example, my membership plugin (WishList Member) integration would be so much better if I could somehow allow them to create an account and then pay (which is possible but then they have to enter their info in 2 forms) OR somehow automatically log them into my website following checkout.
Currently you have to go to your email to get login credentials after checkout, head back to my site, and then login. It’s just too many clicks for UX.
While I have never worked with any of these carts, here are a couple others to research:
You can also place a PayPal payment button on your site for free, but it lacks a lot of functionality and targeting.
Is ThriveCart The Right Tool For You?
That is going to depend (I know I know I hate that, too).
I highly recommend this cart to many people, but it won’t be a great fit for everyone.
While it may seem like a big investment (and for many it is), I processed my payments for courses through Teachable for years and paid $348 a YEAR and still didn’t have reporting on my students (so I can see how to improve my courses).
All I’m saying is things are expensive. Locking in a tool you can use for years without future payments is golden in the blogging world.
So do your research and know that even if you get ThriveCart they have a 30-day money back guarantee!
Either way thanks for making it to the end and make sure to leave a comment with any questions I didn’t cover.
ThriveCart Tutorial Videos
Want to take a peak into ThriveCart before you buy? Check out these tutorial videos:
Creating Products In ThriveCart
Please note this video is being re-recorded with better quality (sorry!). There’s an hour wasted because I didn’t click the right button – oooooh technology.
More videos coming soon!
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About Kristine Beaves
Hi, I’m Kristine, a blogger, organization nerd, and mom of 2. You’ll find all my tips, tricks, and know-how on cutting through the crap-load of info out there about blogging with WordPress right here.