What is the best Checkout Cart App with integrated Affiliate Platform?
SamCart vs ThriveCart vs PayKickStart
In this post I’ll review 3 different Checkout/Shopping Cart applications (for sellers of digital info products) with smart sales conversion boosting features (as Price Bumps, One-Click Upsell, Coupon Codes), integration with major payment processors, integration with major email/webinar/membership service providers, plus the possibility to use the app as affiliate platform.
Also these Cart applications have in common that they are way more affordable than InfusionSoft or 1ShoppingCart.
Before I do my comparison, first let me answer this question…
Why do you need a Checkout Cart application?
Well, if you’re selling products online, you can send people directly from your sales page to a payment processor (as PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net), but all these suppliers only show a simple checkout cart with no possibilities for:
- Customization of style and content on checkout page (as branding, your contact details, product image, product descriptions/features, custom fields, term & conditions checkbox, testimonials, guarantee, scarcity timer, Trust Seals).
- ESP/Autoresponder, Membership and/or Webinar Software integration.
- Price Bumps, Coupon Codes, One-click upsells.
- Different payment options (i.e. different payment processors).
- VAT Tax Calculation/Integration.
- Cart abundance features as save email, auto email or retargeting to people who quit during the order process.
Hence, without doubt, with the right Checkout Cart application, you can increase your sales conversions.
As there are many Shopping Cart applications, I looked especially for apps to sell digital info products (as courses, memberships, and software) and the ones with an integrated affiliate platform.
Note: physical product stores often need the “add to basket/shopping cart” feature and extra input fields (like sizes, colors, M/F). That’s why many sellers use Store Builder software apps with integrated shopping cart functionality as f.e. Shopify.
If you don’t need a complete store, and only want to sell your products via a main front-end sales page or small funnel (with upsells/downsells or price bump), you’ll (just) need a Checkout application – no add to cart functionality.
Prices and different packages
Before I’ll show you the comparison table, let me first tell you about the prices and different packages.
For the Basic Plan, you’ll also have to pay a 1.00% transaction fee for each sale (no transaction fees for Pro and Premium Plans).
There are just 2 differences between the Pro and the Premium plan. With the Premium Plan you’ll get all the Pro features plus the The Subscription Saver and Affiliate Center features.
The Basic Plan lacks several important features as 1-Click Upsells, A/B Testing, Trial Offers, Subscriptions & Payment Plans, Cart Abundance (Collect Prospects).
But if you’re on a small budget and/or don’t need these features, it’s a great deal.
The main PayKickStart front-end product costs $99.00 p/mo (the same as SamCart Pro).
And there is a Premium Upgrade with extra features as Demographics, Audience Builder, Facebook Custom Audience Auto-Integration, Survey Builder (Automated), and Uptime Monitoring. But I won’t discuss these features in this article.
ThriveCart has one main front-end product and can be (temporarily) obtained for a lifetime one-time fee of $599.00. (Note: price will increase in near future to monthly fee)
During the checkout process, you can upgrade ThriveCart with the Client License, that gives:
- The authority to sell your clients products through your account.
- The ability to create additional user logins with various levels of permissions and access. Great for giving clients or staff limited access to your account.
- The ability to set an ‘owner’ of a product in your account (so specific business information is included in the products receipts).
- The ability to download sales tax reports for specific users.
- The ability to remove ThriveCart branding from your checkout’s footer.
SamCart Pro vs ThriveCart vs PayKickStart
Let’s start with the most important features:
|Customizable Checkout Page Templates||18 Templates||4 Templates||Several + API|
|Different Payment Plans*|
|1-Click Bump Offer|
|Transaction Emails and Invoices|
(aka Cart Abandonment)
|Payment Processor Integrations||PayPal
|Major ESP/Autoresponder Integration|
|Major Webinar Software Integration|
|Major Membership Software Integration|
|VAT/Sales Tax Calculation|
(additional team users)
|Sales Page||Buy now||Buy now||Buy now|
* Different Payment Plans include One-time, Subscription, Split Pay, and Trial payment plans.
All vendors do improve their products and integration features regularly. So, this is just the current situation.
To learn more about all features and maybe to answer your questions, visit these help pages:
(But be aware, these are no affiliate links, so to get my bonuses, use the links below)
With respect to the templates, they all use a different approach.
SamCart allows you to choose out of 18 templates.
With ThriveCart you can select 4 main templates for each type of checkout (Tall 1-step Checkout, 2-Step Checkout, Embeddable Checkout, Popup Checkout) – but these templates are very customizable.
And PayKickStart comes with several templates but as extra feature you can integrate your own pages via their API.
PayKickStart has the best/most payment processor integration options. But do you really need these?
With respect to all the possible integration options, check out the individual sales pages and check whether your favorite (ESP, membership, webinar) application can be connected.
So, regarding the Checkout Cart features, all 3 apps have (most of) the features you would expect.
PayKickStart has the most advanced features, but the other 2 come close.
All apps are of high quality and can more or less compete with each other. It’s a matter what features you really need and want.
However, if you take the price into account, ThriveCart is for most of you probably the winner (as long as the price is still a lifetime one-time fee).
But what about the…
Built-in Affiliate Platform
If you’re selling digital products and want affiliates to promote your products, you were forced to use affiliate platforms as WarriorPlus, JVZoo, or ClickBank.
All have their benefits as having a solid reliable platform, marketplace, extra free marketing, and significant member of affiliates/vendors using the platform.
But for vendors, these platforms come with a price… the (platform) transaction fees for each sale (often 5%).
So, what if you can use your own affiliate management software and avoid these transaction fees?
You bet, you can save a lot of money.
Actually, there is one affiliate platform, Zaxaa, where you don’t have to pay transactions fees, and only pay monthly ($77.00-$99.00) or yearly (40% discount) membership fees.
However, although I really like Zaxaa, it comes with “standard” checkout pages with almost no customization options.
And that’s why I didn’t include Zaxaa in this review.
(Note: in case you decide to choose for Zaxaa, use my affiliate link above, and you’ll get the same bonuses as on this review page)
Luckily, the Checkout Cart applications in this review have all built-in affiliate features – especially for solo entrepreneurs or small business who sell digital (info) products.
As discussed above, the affiliate center feature is only included in SamCart Premium ($199.00 p/mo), while ThriveCart and PayKickStart have included the affiliate features inside their main product.
|Lifetime Commissions for other
products from same seller
|Custom Commission % per Affiliate|
|2nd Tier Affiliate Program|
|Manual & Auto-Approval Options|
|Promotional Material Area|
|Affiliate Contest Management|
|Instant Bonus Fulfillment|
|Retargeting for affiliates|
|Marketplace for Affiliates||Coming|
With respect to the affiliate platform, there is one clear winner, PayKickStart.
Maybe not surprisingly, because the vendors Mark Thompson & Matt Callen (Digital KickStart) are very successful product vendors and affiliates who made millions by using the JVZoo platform the last years. They know this market in all aspects and had to find a way to save transaction costs with JVZoo (due to the 5% commission fee, they’ve paid quit a lot of money to JVZoo).
So to summarize. I would go for PayKickStart if you need the most advanced affiliate platform.
If you need an advanced Checkout Cart application (and can live with less advanced affiliate features), go for ThriveCart (especially as long as you can get it for a one-time fee).
In case you just need a basic Checkout Cart app, choose for SamCart Basic.
But whatever solution you’ll choose, you definitely will get a great application that will boost your sales conversions and improves your trustworthy and professionalism with outstanding checkout experiences for your customers, and the possibility to have your own affiliate platform (with more control and saving affiliate platform fees).
If you buy through my affiliate link (click on any link on this page other than the help/tutorial links), for each application (product in the funnel) you’ll buy, you can choose 3 (software) products for free on GeorgesDeals.com.
Just tell me which products you want.
And you get 200 bonus points which you can change for great WP Plugins, Courses and other information products on Select Your Bonus.
Select Your Bonus is my personal bonus page. Almost daily I add new bonuses. You can use your bonus points whenever you want. They will be valuable forever. So you don’t need to hurry to change them into bonuses. Unused points will be kept at your account (until usage). In the animated image below you can see some of the bonuses that you can select.
To get your bonus points (and free products), just send your receipt to [email protected] and I will activate your bonus points within 24 hours.
Best Links to buy any of these Checkout Carts
For a limited time, you can get a huge bonus bundle package called Free Marketers Vault Startup Kit (worth $1,561.00) with a 30-Day Free Trial to PayKickstart, after which your subscription will renew at $99.00 per month.
If this deal has gone, sorry, just use this link PayKickStart.
For ThriveCart the special (limited time available) one-time discount price of (only) $599.00, use this link: ThriveCart.
Other products from the same vendors
Some of the other product sold by Digital KickStart and I wrote a review about:
- Easy VSL 3.0. Video Sales Letter creation software.
- Social KickStart. Manage all your social media accounts from one dashboard.
- PressPlay. Video Player with monetization features.
- Heatmap Tracker 2.0. Website visitor analyzing software.
- FreshMember. Membership software.
Josh Bartlett is the Founder at ThriveCart, EasyVideoSuite and Audello. All awesome applications where Josh puts his heart and soul into.
Brian Moran and his team (15+) of SamCart don’t sell any other products except SamCart (as far as I know).
Can't find my review but still want to buy a product and get my special bonuses?
First check out if you can find them on one of these pages: New Products or the latest JVZoo Picks of the Day. Still not found? Send me an email ([email protected]) and tell me which product you want to buy. And I'll reply with the affiliate link you can use.
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