ThriveCart changed the way I did business in 2021 and I have never looked back since. I knew when I started my membership Pin Profit Academy I needed to upgrade the way I was taking payments for sales. In this ThriveCart review I’m going to break down the pros and cons of using this cart software for selling digital products & memberships.
Switching my course sales from LearnDash & WooCommerce to ThriveCart was the single best decision I ever made in my business.
The evolution of selling digital products in my business hit it’s peak once I setup ThriveCart for product sales and made it even easier when I integrated ThriveCart Learn+ for my membership.
So let’s breakdown this cart software & why you should considering using it for selling digital products, courses & memberships in your own business.
I can’t wait to dig into ThriveCart with you and show you exactly why you should sign up ASAP.
There are a lot more ThriveCart features and pros that I love than hate. Here are my pros & cons.
Let’s dig into some of these a little more.
When I was using LearnDash I had to setup my products through WooCommerce and the payment and delivery process were really unfavorable for the customer user experience. ThriveCart has really streamlined my sales process from product setup on the backend to purchase on the front end and product delivery.
They have even made it easy to integrate ConvertKit so I can nurture those customers to a sale yet again post purchase.
The ThriveCart payment gateways have made it easy to take payments securely as well. The ThriveCart product setup is incredibly user friendly and customizable to your brand through the entire process.
ThriveCart built their product to be conversion oriented. So if you aren’t getting sales what I have seen is it’s one of a few things… the product isn’t something someone wants, the pricing is turning people off, the copy on the cart isn’t conversion proofed.
My average conversion rate current day is 37.7%.
The content layout on your ThriveCart sales pages is already designed out of the box to convert so you simply need to plug-n-play.
I didn’t utilize upsells and downsells well until ThriveCart and even today I haven’t used them to the best of my ability. But ThriveCart makes it so easy to do that if you have the products for upsell and downsell you can easily set it up.
I was recently setting up my free offers in ThriveCart for my affiliate program and one thing to note on this feature is the delivery of the first product has to be the same as the upsell or downsell.
For example, in my free offer setup I add them to my membership. So if I want to create an upsell to my membership then both product deliveries in the product settings need to be set to “add them to my membership site” or it won’t work.
With any new tool I always check integrations first before purchasing anything. I do have some negatives when it comes to ThriveCart integrations and I can’t stand the issues it has caused me so far.
I personally decided to go with MemberPress for my membership plugin and ThriveCart does not play well with it. I also had an issue with my email delivery due to this issue as well. So just be aware of that before using the 2 tools together.
Major issues for me:
So just beware. Now onto the others that actually are great.
I personally use 3 payment gateways with another being added soon. I was able to quickly add PayPal, Stripe & Google Pay to my payment stack in minutes. Apple Pay seems to be a little harder to setup for me. This makes accepting payments so easy.
I will say PayPal isn’t my favorite for accepting payments but I do know it’s a trusted tool & I might as well increase my conversions by using it.
I personally have used ConvertKit for nearly 7 years and I’m so deep into it that I cannot envision switching now. So the ThriveCart integration with ConvertKit was a must for me. I use a tagging feature to connect all my purchases to automations then dump them into sequences from there.
I also use tags for revoking accesses to products and memberships as well. This is really easy to use and setup in the product settings.
When someone cancels I have a zap setup to make a task in ClickUp for my team to handle. This allows me near hands-off when someone who is a membership member cancels their subscription. I check these once per month now instead of daily. Their access is removed by ThriveCart on time and we then remove them from the Facebook group after their time expires.
I never had a good sales conversion with LearnDash and WooCommerce. ThriveCart makes it so easy to get those conversions right. With a validated product it really comes down to pricing and copy. Get those things right & you’re going to be selling digital products like a pro in no time.
I love how seamless and simple ThriveCarts dashboard is for analyzing your sales data. You can see what products were sold, conversion rate, totals for the day, month, year, etc.
I usually breakdown my sales by month then look at product breakdowns to see what I can improve upon to make conversion optimizations.
I honestly think what sets ThriveCart apart from the field of competitors is their lifetime price paired with the ability to host digital products and courses right inside Learn+. It’s all in one.
I do wish there was an easier integration to Vimeo so I didn’t have to open 37 windows to create one lesson.
When I was using this tech stack my website was entirely too slow. I had to have 12-15 plugins to just do what ThriveCart does with custom thank you pages, embeddable carts and ConvertKit integrations as well as the 1-click upsells and downsells. It’s too much to simply host a course or digital product for sale.
Not to mention WooCommerce is a whole store like Shopify which needs a theme to work. ThriveCart makes it super easy to setup my products to sell and embed those buyable links any where.
These two really can’t be compared because they do different things while also doing the same thing.
I also have a Shopify store for my digital products and the process to setup and manage the store is totally different than using a cart tool like ThriveCart for selling.
Using Shopify is definitely a storefront strategy and either way you spin it you need traffic to your products. The only difference to me is Shopify will need a lot of upfront work for conversion copy and setup to get your Shopify store pumping sales.
The benefit of a Shopify situation is the ability to integrate your catalog with platforms like Pinterest, Google, YouTube & Meta.
Whereas you can simply make products, connect to payment processors, to your email service provider and then you’re ready to sell with ThriveCart.
These two really can’t be compared because they do different things while also doing the same thing.
ThriveCart & SendOwl are more closely related and compared to each other.
SendOwl however is just a cart tool whereas ThriveCart can be used for hosting courses, memberships and a full JV partner program.
SendOwl does allow you to create affiliate links though but that’s the extent of the tool outside of selling.
You also have to pay a monthly fee for SendOwl whereas the fee for ThriveCart is for a lifetime license.
SendOwl starts at $9 per month and goes up to $39 per month.
The fees per transaction decreases with the plan.
If you aren’t looking for anything major in the beginning and budget is an issue this is what I would suggest doing.
If you want a full website with e-commerce capability and a blog then Shopify is a good choice but only if you always plan to use the selling feature.
However, if you want to build a blog on ShowIt, WordPress, Squarespace, etc. you may want to go the SendOwl route until you can afford to pay for ThriveCart outright.
I personally use the following tech stack:
I recently relaunched my affiliate program allowing where I integrated my free offers as well as my paid offers right into ThriveCart.
By adding my free offers to ThriveCart I can now grow my email list and my affiliates can lock their cookies for future purchases of my products.
The affiliate product setup is incredibly easy and allows for a lot of options from payout times, payout rates, funnel payouts and more.
They even allow you to select your cookie timeframe and how it locks. For example, my affiliate program is a lifetime cookie and first click. So no matter when someone clicks your link if they purchase you will get credit.
You can pick and choose what products to make available for your affiliates and what resources you can give to your affiliates to promote your products.
Overall the ThriveCart affiliate program is easy to setup and manage.
I recently shared to my email list how I think we as business owners never take full advantage of the tools we pay for. I know this is true for me with ThriveCart. So I have decided to add all my main free offers to ThriveCart as free products to collect those emails. Because carts are setup for conversion this process has really worked well for me since I started using it.
Since I started using it for one free offer I have seen 51% conversion rate on those leads. Whereas my landing pages I wrote and created convert at around 30%.
Another offer is converting at 58.5% of everyone who hits the page.
Those numbers are incredible given I have spent years optimizing my landing pages hosted on LeadPages. I will be using these pages going forward to grow my list.
I simply employ a tag to ensure each person who signs up through my ThriveCart landing pages with the proper automation inside of ThriveCart. View this landing page here.
The true benefit to me to ThriveCart is the lifetime payment. If I had used SamCart for the same thing I use ThriveCart for I would be paying $948 per year. I made my money back the first month after buying ThriveCart and even with my MemberPress issues I still plan to stick with this tool.
ThriveCart Standard comes at a price of $495 for the lifetime license.
ThriveCart Pro is an additional $195 making your total initial investment $690 for a lifetime license. You can add this on later if you choose. I would suggest getting it if you want any affiliate program at all as well as a custom domain or subscription saver functionality. These pay for themselves almost immediately.
I paid an additional $195 for ThriveCart Learn+ however the basic Learn feature comes with the standard ThriveCart Plan. Learn+ gives you extra features like setting up course bundles which are great for creating memberships, student tagging with your email marketing service, team members, as well as importing students.
I wanted to make selling my membership and adding those members to their dashboards super easy so I upgraded to Learn+ right away.
I do wish ThriveCart had a feature to create a brand defaults so you don’t have to change every page, every color, font, etc. when you setup a product or a course. That part is a bit annoying. You can import cart settings from other products but your can’t do that inside of the Learn platform.
ThriveCart recently sent an email informing us that they are adding in features like Klarna to accept payments. While I don’t sell physical products I could see this as a conversion tool that would be helpful if I did.
These may not be issues to you but so far they have been for me. So I’m sharing those with you as a way to ensure you’re getting everything you want and more when you buy this cart tool.
I would love to see ThriveCart add a search feature to Learn+ for members to search all content they have access to like you can inside a WordPress site.
I would also love to see Learn+ have a brand default setup to make branding courses easier.
They really need to fix the issue with MemberPress to allow for better management of payments and cancellations as well as access to materials. ThriveCart blames MemberPress and MemberPress blames ThriveCart so someone needs to take control and address the issue. Working together to fix it would be the best solution for those of us losing money over their lack of a proper fix.
I would love to see a bigger template library offered as part of the tool. You have to go out and build them on your own or purchase templates to import into your dashboard.
I would say overall given the feature set, integration capability and pricing you cannot go wrong with this tool. It can take you from no digital product cart to selling them in a weekend.
I made my initial investment back in my first month of using ThriveCart and they guarantee you that you’ll make your investment back or they will work with you until you do.
Overall, I would suggest ThriveCart to sell digital products and courses to anyone who is looking to do so.
If you’re looking to signup you can easily have your products ready to sell in a matter of days. I hope to see you out there selling!