Selling your own products and courses is one of the most effective ways to monetize your audience with high-value products. Especially if you don't have the traffic you need to do display ads or effectively convert on affiliates.
In order to sell something online, you need a shopping cart. The shopping cart gives you a way for people to complete the purchasing transaction. They need to enter their credit card information and give you money in exchange for the product.
If you sell digital products, such as downloads or courses, then ThriveCart is a great online shopping cart that comes with all the bells and whistles for a one-time fee. You can create high-converting checkout pages, upsell readers, and even manage your own affiliate program.
What is ThriveCart
ThriveCart is a shopping cart software that helps you sell physical and digital products more effectively. With ThriveCart, you can easily create captivating checkout pages, upsell customers on additional offers, and work on growing your product sales revenue.
The company began in 2016, and since then, ThriveCart has grown into one of the most popular shopping cart software options for bloggers and e-commerce store owners.
ThriveCart helps bloggers and e-commerce store owners increase their conversion rates and average order value (AOV). To accomplish this, ThriveCart offers several useful features for your checkout page.
1. Sales Pages
One of the main reasons to use ThriveCart is to build your own sales pages. This is because funneling traffic to a page that’s dedicated to selling your product or service is usually the best way to convert readers into customers.
ThriveCart also keeps things simple and lets you choose four cart types to get started:
- Standard (full sales page)
- Sales cart
Once you select your type of cart, building a shopping cart with ThriveCart is somewhat similar to using an email editor; you drag-and-drop elements onto the page to start crafting your sales page.
ThriveCart lets you add elements like video, testimonials, countdown timers, and tactics like upsell offers (more on this later.) You can also quickly edit your sales copy to entice people to buy.
Overall, it’s an intuitive, beginner-friendly editor and saves you from having to use a separate WordPress page builder.
I also like that you can create embeddable and popup carts with ThriveCart, so you can encourage readers to buy right from your blog.
2. Upsell and Downsell Offers
One of the main ThriveCart features that help bloggers make more money is its upsell and downsell offers.
An upsell offer is an additional offer you promote someone to buy after they’ve decided to buy your main product. If you ever see those “you might also like” boxes on e-commerce stores that encourage you to add one more product to your cart, that’s an upsell.
In contrast, a downsell offer is an offer you make to customers after they decline your initial offer or your initial upsell. Usually, downsell offers are more affordable than your main product.
For example, let's say you sell t-shirts. Your main offer might be a pack of three shirts, but if the customer doesn't make the purchase you might offer them the chance to buy just a single shirt. That's a downsell.
ThriveCart lets you create funnels with specific upsell and downsell products. Upsells are great news if you’re selling complementary products. Downsells are also useful if you’re selling big-ticket items like online courses but have more affordable mini-courses to offer readers who want something cheaper.
ThriveCart also lets you create bump offers, which let the customer upgrade their purchase right before they checkout. If you sell different membership tiers or can add value somehow with a bump offer, this is an excellent way to increase your average order value.
3. Payment Options
Any shopping cart software that’s worth using supports multiple payment options. This is because the more payment flexibility you give customers, the less friction they have when checking out.
ThriveCart currently supports over 20 currencies and credit and debit card payments. Additionally, you can connect payment processors like PayPal, Stripe, Google Pay, and Apple Pay.
ThriveCart also lets you customize payment terms, which is useful if you offer a membership service with a monthly fee. Payment options include:
- One-time purchase
- Name your price
- Multiple payment plans
- Free trial period and then payment
You can also create coupons with ThriveCart, which again, helps increase your conversion rate. Coupons options include fixed or percentage discounts, and you can also offer perks like free shipping.
4. Built-in Affiliate Program
One of the main reasons people choose ThriveCart over other shopping cart software is its affiliate management capabilities.
With a few clicks, you can make your products eligible for promotion by affiliates. You don’t need third-party software either; ThriveCart lets you set up everything from its dashboard.
For example, you can quickly determine:
- How much affiliates earn in commission
- If its a fixed or commission-based payment structure
- Bonuses for affiliates that drive more sales
- Cookie duration and if it’s user first or last cookie
- When you payout affiliates
- If affiliate requests require manual approval or not
You can also set different rates for specific affiliates, which is useful if you have a superstar promoter and you want to incentivize them to continue promoting your products.
ThriveCart’s affiliate management system is only available in the Pro version, which I’ll cover later in this review, but it’s one of the best features of this shopping cart software.
ThriveCart can function just fine as a standalone shopping cart software. But if you rely on other marketing platforms to manage your product sales, natively integrating with ThriveCart is a plus.
Currently, ThriveCart supports numerous integrations, including:
- Autoresponders: Includes ActiveCampaign, AWeber, ConvertKit, Drip, GetResponse, HubSpot, MailChimp, MailerLite, and Moosend.
- Fulfillment Services: Includes Google Sheets, Kunaki, Pabbly, and Shopify.
- Membership Platforms: Includes Kajabi, MemberMouse, MemberPress, and Teachable.
- Webinars: Includes Demio.
ThriveCart also integrates with Zapier, and Zapier has a page that outlines the possible integrations and popular ThriveCart workflows you can use.
The bottom line is ThriveCart should work with most third-party software you’re using to run your online business. The fact it integrates with membership sites is also a massive perk if you sell digital products through platforms like Kajabi or Teachable.
Related: Convertkit Review — Is it Worth the Cost?
Part of scaling your product revenue requires tracking results so you know what is and isn’t working.
With ThriveCart’s insights dashboard, you get a quick snapshot of how your sales are doing, with metrics like:
- Average daily revenue
- Total views and sales
- Conversion rate
- Average order value
- Active subscriptions and monthly recurring revenue
You can also connect your ThriveCart account to Google Analytics and report back purchase data to your Google Analytics account if you want to track sales there.
ThriveCart is always running a “limited time offer” when you visit its website. However, note that this isn’t actually time-sensitive and that ThriveCart is always “on sale.”
That being said, ThriveCart’s pricing depends on if you stick with the base plan or if you go pro:
- ThriveCart Lifetime Account: One-time purchase of $495.
- ThriveCart Pro: A $195 upgrade for a total of a $690 one-time purchase.
With ThriveCart Pro, the extra features you get include:
- The affiliate management center
- Automatic sales tax calculation
- Advanced user management
- Custom domain name functionality
- Dunning (notifies customers with active subscriptions about expiring payment methods so they update their payment method before their subscription terminates)
- JV contracts (revenue share agreements with affiliates)
The affiliate management system is the main reason to go with ThriveCart Pro. If affiliate marketing is a key revenue driver for your products, you really need the upgrade. Otherwise, you can likely stick with the basic plan.
ThriveCart’s pricing model is certainly expensive upfront. But alternatives like SamCart and Kartra cost around $49 and $99 per month respectively, so ThriveCart actually saves you money after several months.
Pros and Cons
If you’re wondering if ThriveCart is right for your online business or not, the following pros and cons are worth considering.
- Supports a variety of payment methods
- Versatile shopping cart editor
- Comprehensive affiliate management with ThriveCart Pro
- Saves money in the long-run with one-time pricing
- Easily create upsells, downsells, bump offers, and use coupons to drive sales
- Considerable upfront expense
- You need ThriveCart Pro to effectively manage affiliates
ThriveCart is just one shopping cart option. And, while it excels for helping you sell digital products, there are various ThriveCart alternatives that might be a better fit for different types of websites.
- Kartra: An all-in-one marketing platform that has a checkout feature plus other features like email marketing.
- PayKickstart: A subscription and affiliate management system that also lets you design and optimize your checkout process.
- SamCart: One of the main ThriveCart alternatives that lets you design unique shopping carts, add order bumps and one-click upsells, and improve overall revenue-per-user.
- SendOwl: Another way to sell digital products, memberships, and subscriptions to your audience.
If affiliate management is important to you, nothing really compares to ThriveCart. But PayKickstart, SamCart, and SendOwl are all viable alternatives for bloggers who sell products or subscriptions. In contrast, Kartra lets you optimize your checkout process but also has an email service that can potentially replace ones like MailerLite or ConvertKit.
Who Should Use ThriveCart?
If you sell digital products, ThriveCart is one of the best shopping cart solutions out there. The variety of customer billing options, upsell and downsell features, and intuitive cart builder tool help you optimize your checkout process to get more sales.
ThriveCart also has the best affiliate management system compared to other shopping cart software. If you rely on affiliates to promote your products or courses, this is a major selling point.
ThriveCart isn’t as useful for selling physical products since a lot of the pricing options and upsell functionality targets digital products and subscriptions. Plus, you can use platforms like WooCommerce or Shopify for selling physical products.
But, for digital products, memberships, and subscriptions, ThriveCart is an excellent choice.
The checkout page might be one of the last blog pages you think about when trying to make money blogging. But even slight increases in conversion rates or AOV can result in a massive revenue lift.
ThriveCart does have a hefty price tag, but in the long run, it saves money compared to monthly shopping cart subscriptions. Plus, if you generate more sales, ThriveCart basically pays for itself over time.
Hopefully, my ThriveCart review helps you decide if this is the shopping cart platform for you.