An honest ThriveCart review for bloggers and businesses
There is a lot of hype in the online business world about ThriveCart right now. Bloggers and virtual business owners are switching to this platform in droves. So what the heck is ThriveCart and would it be a good investment for you? Let’s talk about it!
What is ThriveCart?
ThriveCart is an incredibly useful shopping cart system that increases revenue with high-converting cart pages and one-click upsells.
What Can You Sell with ThriveCart?
You can sell pretty much anything with ThriveCart. There is a bit of a learning curve when setting up different product types, but once you learn the different functions and integrations that are offered, there really is no limit to what you can sell.
1. Digital Products
ThriveCart is best known for its ability to sell digital products like e-books, printable planners, PDF workbooks, videos, workshops, etc.
2. Physical Products
You can sell physical products on ThriveCart. I actually have multiple clients who do this. If you are trying to sell multiple physical products that need shipping, you may run into an issue because each product has to be purchased via a dedicated checkout link which means customers can only purchase one at a time. There are workarounds to this, though, if it becomes an issue.
Memberships and subscriptions can be sold in ThriveCart by using the subscription pricing option. Customers and students can sign up for recurrent billing based on whatever payment plan you want to set up.
ThriveCart has added a new program called Learn and Learn+. This is a course creation tool that allows you to build high-quality courses without a monthly fee. My courses (and my clients courses) are all created and sold in ThriveCart.
One of the most appealing aspects of ThriveCart is the one-time lifetime access fee. While other high-converting systems and course creation platforms charge a high monthly or annual fee, ThriveCart only charges you one time ever.
ThriveCart Standard is $495 for lifetime access. ThriveCart Pro is $690 for lifetime access.
Don’t let the higher price scare you off. When compared to the monthly and annual fees that you would pay for other services, this is an absolute steal AND it will pay for itself quickly.
My ThriveCart Review: the Pros and Cons
I will start off by saying, I think ThriveCart is incredible, but it isn’t right for every business. Read through the pros and cons of ThriveCart here before making your decision.
If you choose to purchase ThriveCart, go grab my course- “Using ThriveCart to Increase Revenue” for a step-by-step walkthrough of the platform.
ThriveCart Review: Pros of ThriveCart
1. One-Time Payment
ThriveCart only requires one payment for lifetime use! This includes the built-in course creation platform. That is unheard of. Most shopping cart systems and course platforms charge a monthly fee (sometimes hundreds of dollars every month) for the same services that you can get with ThriveCart.
The one-time payment may seem hefty at first, but when you compare it to a Teachable monthly plan, you will see that it pays for itself very quickly. Even without courses, ThriveCart pays for itself by maximizing your income with impressive funnel systems.
2. Powerful Sales Funnels
Sales funnels are vital to increasing revenue in an online business. ThriveCart makes funnels easy by offering one-click bump offers directly on the cart page as well as upsell and downsell offers that are shown directly after purchase. All of the funnel pages and bump offers are fully customizable to fit your branding.
This is the #1 reason that I purchased ThriveCart. I needed to increase my sales significantly and trying to create quality bumps and upsells with my free e-commerce platform just wasn’t working. ThriveCart makes funnels easy and effective so you can bring in more money without stress.
3. Built-in Course Creation
ThriveCart Learn is a fairly new feature. It is a fully functional course creation platform that is included in the one-time fee for ThriveCart. There are a few premium features that require an additional one-time payment for Learn+, but that fee still beats other course platforms by a mile.
The interface for ThriveCart Learn is very user-friendly. You can build quality courses easily and offer other courses as upsells/downsells to maximize your income and the value that your customers receive.
One thing that I want to note is that ThriveCart is able to offer course creation without a monthly fee because they do not directly host your videos and documents (like PDF worksheets). You will need to upload your documents to your website, Dropbox, or Google Drive and upload the URL from there. Videos need to be uploaded to Youtube and then embedded in the course. This is very easy to do once you walk through it the first time.
I can walk you through step-by-step in my “Using ThriveCart to Increase Revenue” Course.
4. Built-In Affiliate Program
Many bloggers use affiliate platforms like Rakuten, ShareASale, Impact, etc. to allow affiliate marketers to promote their products. With ThriveCart Pro, you don’t need another platform because there is an affiliate program built right into the cart system.
When you create a new product, you can choose to allow affiliates to promote the product. Give the sign-up link to potential affiliates via an affiliate page (You can see my affiliate page here) or by handing it out individually.
ThriveCart integrates with pretty much anything that you could need… email autoresponders, fulfillment services, membership platforms, payment processors, webinar platforms and more! There is also a Zapier integration so you can connect with many more apps that are not included in the native integrations.
6. Multiple Pricing Options for Products
When you set up a product in ThriveCart, you can set up multiple pricing options for the customer to choose from on the cart page. This can work to offer separate price points and multiple options for the same product.
For example- My Homestead Management Planner can be purchased in landscape or portrait format and there are multiple options for the darkness of the graphics. I have one cart that contains all options. When a customer chooses their option, ThriveCart delivers the product in the format that was chosen.
Example #2- You may have a product sold in tiers. Each pricing tier can be listed on the cart page for your customers to choose from.
7. Pricing Plans
This one stacks onto #6. With ThriveCart, you can offer payment plans to your customers. These pricing plans are set up just like the payment options listed above. This allows your customers to choose whether they would like to pay all at once or in installments. You can choose how many installment options to offer.
You can even choose “pay your own price” if you have a product that you want to be accessible to everyone, but still accept payments of whatever the customer can pay.
8. Quality Customer Support
While ThriveCart does not offer live chat, their email support is very responsive and quick to help. To get in touch with ThriveCart support, you will need to submit a support ticket. Representatives can help more quickly if you include the support code that can be generated in your TC profile. I have always had a response within 24 hours and they walk me through whatever it is that I am having trouble with.
9. Completely Customizable
The cart pages, invoices, and upsell & downsell pages are fully customizable. You can make them look however you want to fit your branding.
Carts come in standard style or sales cart style and they can be embedded or used as a pop up. Inside the drag-and-drop cart editor you can choose one or two-step cart pages, add your own branding, add coupon codes, and countdown timers. There are so many options that you definitely don’t need to worry about having a “cookie cutter” sales funnel.
10. Drag & Drop Editor
Some editors can be a little tricky to navigate; however, ThriveCart has an easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor that allows you to quickly and easily set up high-converting cart pages and one-click upsell funnels.
If you want all of your sales pages to be based on a template that you create, you can replicate it by clicking “copy design from another project” when you are designing the cart for a new product.
11. High Conversion Checkout Pages
ThriveCart isn’t a typical e-commerce service. They focus on maximizing sales via bump offers and upsells. On each checkout page, customers can see exactly what they are purchasing and enter their info…then they are met with a one-click bump offer that they can add to their order to increase the value that they receive (and the $$ that goes to you).
A quality checkout page is important- this shows customers that you are a legitimate business and it provides them with an easy purchasing journey. With ThriveCart, you can have impressive sales pages that increase sales and credibility with the click of a button.
12. Money Back Guarantee
ThriveCart offers a 30 Day “ThriveCart Pays for Itself” money-back guarantee. They offer to work with you until the platform is working for your business or to refund you within the first 30 days if you aren’t satisfied.
It is important to note that ThriveCart can only work for you if you are setting up your pages and getting your products in front of people. Look at your normal sales/customer from before purchasing ThriveCart and the average sales/customer after. My low-ticket items (I did not have high-ticket products when I started with TC) went from $3-20/sale up to $50-80/sale in the first month.
13. ThriveCart for Clients
This one is great for virtual assistants! ThriveCart Pro allows you to manage accounts for up to 5 clients within your account.
Your clients may prefer to have their own ThriveCart lifetime license in which case you would need to log into their separate account to manage cart pages, transactions, upsells, etc.
However, if they do not need their own separate accounts, then simply set them up as a client where you can easily manage their products without needing multiple sign-ins.
14. Sales Tax Calculator
In ThriveCart Pro, the sales tax can be automatically calculated for you based on location and product type. This is a game changer for your business’s bookkeeping.
15. Detailed Insights and Reporting
ThriveCart offers a clean dashboard that provides you with the insights that you need to evaluate your sales. You can search for full sales reports by product and by date.
ThriveCart Review: Cons of ThriveCart
When people ask me what I don’t like about ThriveCart, I have trouble coming up with anything to say. I absolutely love this shopping cart platform. However, when I sit down and really think hard, I am able to come up with a few things that slowed me down just a bit in the beginning. Once I got further into my journey with ThriveCart, I learned to navigate these issues easily.
If you need help navigating ThriveCart, enroll in my “Using ThriveCart to Increase Revenue” Course where I will walk you through setting up your account, creating products, building courses, customizing sales pages and invoices, and more.
1. Course Hosting
When you create a course on a high-cost platform like Teachable, they host everything for you. Videos, documents, all of it. ThriveCart is able to offer Learn, their course creation platform, with no monthly fee because they don’t actually host videos and documents.
This isn’t a big issue if you have a website and/or a Youtube channel. You can upload docs to your website and videos to Youtube and then simply embed them into your course. If you do not have a website, you can host docs in Dropbox or Google Drive. A Youtube channel can be set up for free or you can use another platform like Vimeo for videos.
2. Must purchase products one at a time.
This is the only thing that I personally view as a real “con”. In regular e-commerce shopping carts, customers can add multiple products and checkout all in one transaction.
With ThriveCart, customers have to purchase one product at a time with separate transactions each time (with the exception of bump offers, upsells, and downsells). This is because ThriveCart is not a traditional e-commerce platform. It is focused on highlighting products and maximizing sales through upsells, downsells, and bumps. That wouldn’t work properly if multiple products were in the cart at the same time.
This definitely does not negate all of the incredible value within this platform, but it is something to be aware of. You can, of course, use another e-commerce platform (like WooCommerce) in conjunction with ThriveCart so you have both options.
3. No emergency support (live chat or phone)
ThriveCart does have wonderful support, but that support does not come instantly. There is no live chat or phone support option. To contact support, you need to submit a support ticket using a code that is generated on your profile page. Representatives are usually very quick to respond, but you will need to wait a little longer than you would for a live chat.
4. Other “cons” of ThriveCart
The cons that I have seen listed in other ThriveCart reviews don’t sit right with me. I’ll address them and tell you why I don’t think they are cons at all.
- Limited cart templates
I feel like there are good template options with ThriveCart. There are four different cart types to choose from and each one is fully customizable so it can look however you want it to. I don’t see any limitations there.
- Limited customization
I have seen this one on a few reviews and I haven’t figured out why. ThriveCart cart templates, invoices, and upsell & downsell pages are 100% customizable to your liking. When TC first came out, there was some limitation to the custom options, but not so much now.
- No Crypto payments
ThriveCart does not take cryptocurrency as a payment form. This doesn’t bother me, but if you want to be able to accept crypto it may be an issue.
- Not good for physical products or services
I have multiple clients who use ThriveCart for physical products and services and it works great. The only issue I could see here is if you want a customer to be able to order multiple products in the same transaction to reduce shipping costs. ThriveCart also doesn’t automatically create shipping labels for you, but it seamlessly integrates with Shippo and ShipStation to make that a non-issue as well.
ThriveCart Standard vs. ThriveCart Pro
A standard ThriveCart account is powerful and works just fine for many business owners. However, ThriveCart Pro offers some pretty great features that can help to boost the functionality and productivity of your business.
ThriveCart Pro Upgrades Include:
- The Built-In Affiliate Center
- JV Contract & Revenue Sharing with Business Partners
- Powerful Business Projections
- Multi-User & Client Use Permission
- Built-In Sales Tax Calculation & Reporting
- Built-In Dunning & Subscription Saver Functionality
- Custom Domain Name
Is ThriveCart worth the investment?
YES! Yes, yes, and yes. ThriveCart paid for itself in the first month that I used it. If you put a little effort in upfront to set up bump offers, upsells, and downsells, then you can truly maximize your revenue with this shopping cart platform.