Samcart is one of the most popular checkout carts for marketers today. However, there are a lot of things that people wish Samcart did that they just don’t. Seeing as how so many people are looking for Samcart alternatives, we decided we’d do a quick exploration of Samcart and its three closest competitors… And we DO pick a clear winner by the end.
If you are running any kind of a serious e-commerce business, you need to have a solid checkout platform. If your customers are going to have trouble buying your product, then you are not going to be able to stay in business for very long.
But then the question becomes, what is the best checkout platform? That depends on what you need in an ideal checkout. Flexibility with payment methods? 99.9% uptime? Discount coupons? Loyalty points? Follow ups with abandoned cart purchases? Everyone’s mileage varies.
In this article, we are going to take a look at four checkout platform possibilities that might possibly meet your needs. Those are SamCart, ThriveCart, PayKickstart, and Zaxaa. Then we will make a judgment on which one we think is best. You’re welcome to disagree with us.
We start with SamCart which makes the bold claim that SamCart is “where serious sellers make serious money”. Well, at a minimum $99 a month fee for using the service, you definitely need to be making enough money to justify paying that. The Premium plan is $199 a month!
So what do you get for all that money? Let’s take a look.
First, the platform integrates with a lot of other major services. You have your email services such as Mailchimp and Aweber. You have your automation services like Zapier and Hubspot. At the very least you need email integration to maintain a customer mailing list and SamCart provides this.
Then you have the little features that can easily help you get those profits rolling in to make SamCart more profitable. Upgrade offers to customers, letting customers pay in monthly installments and A/B testing to see what works and what doesn’t. Offer subscriptions, discount coupons, and trial offers.
The most important aspect though is that you get a free SSL certificate for your website, so customers feel at ease whipping out the credit card. But since SamCart does all your payments through Stripe, this is not so much of an issue as Stripe has its own SSL.
Last but not least, you can set up your own affiliate program so you can have your army of die-hard fans sell on your behalf. Suddenly that monthly fee isn’t so bad after all.
But now how does SamCart stack up against three of its rivals?
PayKickstart, the first Samcart alternative that we looked at, claims to be the “easiest, simplest, and most powerful shopping cart and affiliate management software”. A bold claim. Let’s put it to the test.
Payments are processed by Paypal, Stripe, Braintree, and Authorize.net. You can charge one-time fees, or recurring subscriptions to keep the money rolling in. But you can tempt your customers first with a free trial. When they do pay, offer them the possibility of an installment plan if your prices are a bit on the high side.
To make your checkout look appealing and professional, PayKickstart offers templates. You don’t need a college degree in graphic design to make something halfway decent. Simply point, click, and drag with your mouse. It’s simple. Or if you do have the flair for design, you can embed one of PayKickstart’s forms on a self-made website page. Just make sure you have SSL on that page.
A nice feature that PayKickstart has is the popup checkout box which means the customer doesn’t actually ever leave the product page when buying. The payment box comes up on top of a now-darkened screen. You can offer coupon codes to sweeten the deal.
Once the customer has paid successfully, they can then get a secure encrypted download link to the product (if it is a digital product). It can be a link that runs out after a certain time period or after they have downloaded the product. That way, you can rest assured they are not going to illegally share the link with others.
PayKickstart will email customers who left the site without completing the transaction. Some customers will find this helpful, others will feel harassed. But the fact still remains that a lot of transactions go uncompleted which is money lost at the end of the day.
Finally, you have the standard affiliate program and the integrations with the email newsletter services. But it should be noted the affiliate program is not available for the basic plan.
Speaking of plans, how much does this service cost? The Basic plan is a very affordable $29 a month. The Professional plan is $99 a month, and the Premium plan is $149 a month. Clearly, PayKickstart are trying to be all things to all people with their wide-ranging payment plans.
On its front page, Zaxaa promotes itself as being the go-to platform for anyone who is into creating online courses or digital products, as well as coaching. This is a smart marketing ploy as there are more and more online courses and digital products being produced every single day. But is it the best Samcart alternative?
But does Zaxaa have the necessary features to dominate such a niche?
First, the checkout platform can charge a one-time fee or a recurring automated monthly subscription, depending on the revenue model of the online course or digital product. You can also run a certain number of discounts to generate excitement and a spike of new subscribers.
After the payment successfully goes through, Zaxaa delivers the product automatically or enables the customer to log into the website to start looking at your content. You can also try and upsell your customers to a higher package, which is how every successful online course winds up being successful. What I call the “do you want fries with that?” feature.
Plus of course there is the affiliate program feature, and the integration with major email newsletter providers. Payments are processed with Paypal, Stripe, Authorize, and 2Checkout.
How much you pay Zaxaa depends on how many customers you have. For up to 30,000, it is $77 a month or $99 a month. Paying annually gets you 40% off. After 30,000, you have to move the slider on the Pricing page to see how much more you need to pay. Once you get to 200,000 customers though, you need to arrange special pricing directly with the Zaxaa sales team.
OK, I thought that what I had seen so far was pretty impressive. However, I hadn’t met ThriveCart yet. Now I have to re-evaluate what “impressive” means. This IS the Samcart alternative that beats them all!
The problem with ThriveCart is where do I start? There’s so much!
Why don’t we start by saying it offers everything the other three do? Now let’s look at the extra unique features it offers.
You can add embeddable shopping carts to blog posts and articles. Are you writing about one of your products in the company blog. Link to it so someone can click and buy it without even leaving the page.
ThriveCart calculates the correct sales tax no matter where the customer is in the world and charges the customer accordingly. The last thing you need is to get on the wrong side of the tax man ThriveCart has your back covered on this. This is huge and saves so much time over the other alternatives!
Since a lot of sales are now on mobile devices, ThriveCart is 100% responsive and will look great no matter how large or small the device size is. This is essential if you don’t want to drive away impulse shoppers who look you up on their phone or tablet. People can even purchase with Apple Pay and use a thumbprint to buy! No other cart that we’ve seen has this!
Then there’s two factor authentication to prevent hacking, automatic receipts for successful purchases, and even a video shopping cart where you can embed a video for the customer to watch in the cart.
The price for this is currently $595. Now before you barf up a lung in protest, this is $595 for a lifetime license. Everyone else charges a minimum $99 per month and to get the same feature set, you’re looking closer to $199/month… so $595 for life is like paying someone else $199 for a mere 3 months. With the lifetime license, you can use the platform for 30, 40, even 50 years, and not pay another cent. It’s pretty insane to think about the savings over the long haul.
Now which one is the better deal?
Conclusion – Which One Of The Four Comes Out On Top?
I think it goes without saying. ThriveCart comes roaring up from behind to steal the crown. The $595 offer is a limited-time offer so you need to grab it now before it’s gone. Remember, an e-commerce platform is only as good as the checkout platform that powers it. If it fails at any point along the way, you end up losing money and your reputation suffers.
So the one area that you can’t afford to skimp on is the checkout platform. Get your credit card out, and invest in quality. And our judgment is that the best quality is ThriveCart.