Digital products. Online courses. Sales funnels. “What software should I use for this?” is probably THE most common question I get asked as an online strategist. I’ve got a favorite and am sharing my ThriveCart review with you today but back to the question.
It’s also the hardest question to answer without delving deep into features, capabilities, and pricing. You see, what software you choose depends on a lot of things. It depends on the kind product you’re selling, the platform you’re selling it on, the price of your product, your current stage in business, and so much more! I’ve talked before on the best tools when you are just getting started, here.
But today, I’ve pulled together this software review to my favorite software so you can find out which tool I personally use and why I think it works best for those selling digital products. This blog post talks you through:
what cart software is (and what it isn’t)
what you need to think about before you choose a cart tool
my top favorite cart / funnel software platform – best features and cons
other software recommendations for you to check out
I also share my brand new masterclass all about how to build a time-leveraged, passion fueled business! Don’t miss out!
What is shopping cart software (and what it isn't)
Shopping cart software is a tool that will allow you to sell products – ranging from digital products to physical products. At its bare-bones, this tool will process payments for your customers, provide them with an invoice, and create a customer “account” to reference for past purchases and purchase management.
I just want to make it clear that shopping cart software is NOT a digital store front, product host, or landing page builder. While many services out there offer an entire suite of software options like shopping cart/course hosting or shopping cart/landing page builder bundled together, it’s important to note the difference when researching the right tool for you.
The best cart software will:
allow you to create and sell an array of different product types
provide reports and analytics
let you customize your check out pages and payment options
let you design your back end sales funnel by connecting multiple products through order bumps, upsells, and downsells
allow you to set up different payment types – one-time purchase, payment plan, subscription
and way, way more!
What you need to think about before choosing a shopping cart software
You may have already spent some time researching different options and before you make a final decision, it’s important to get some clarity around a few different aspects.
What type product are you actually working with here? It’s kind of obvious that you need to make sure your cart software is built to work with your creation.
For example, if you’re selling a monthly membership, you want to make sure your cart software can handle recurring payments and integrates with your hosting platform. The same goes for online courses.
What Else You Need
I mentioned a minute ago the basic features of a shopping cart software and also mentioned that many out there bundle extra features together for an entire digital sales suite. So it’s important to know what features you personally need and which ones you don’t so that you can accurately make a decision based on that and not based on “well this looks cool, but not sure I’ll use it.”
For example, do you need a cart software that offers:
- Course hosting?
- Email integration?
- Affiliate tracking/management?
- Sales funnel design?
My Favorite Shopping Cart Software
Okay, let’s get into my top pick for shopping cart software for digital products and sales funnel design! It’s ThriveCart, of course! Why? Mostly because it’s an amazing all-in-one checkout processor that has SO much more built into it. If you don’t think any of this suits you, keep scrolling because I have a list of more recommended options at the end of this post!
Want to watch my review of ThriveCart instead? Here ya go:
My ThriveCart Review - More Than A Shopping Cart Software
ThriveCart is great for online course creators, membership creators, and even coaches who want the ability to create powerful sales funnels and automations.
You can create your entire digital product suite inside of ThriveCarts system. Read more on creating your value ladder here.
With SO many features, it’d be hard to cover them all in this blog post so I’ll go over my very favorites here with you.
Uhm, did you say no monthly membership fees? This was honestly the biggest deal for me, this is what drew me to Thrivecart initially. The fact that right now you can get the entire software system one flat fee, instead of paying for it monthly. Only $495 for LIFETIME access.
A lot of the other shopping cart softwares that can do what Thrivecart can are like monthly fees of up to multiple-hundreds per month. And that’s just not something that I wanted to have to rely on or was not something that was easily accessible for me when I was first getting started.
Within ThriveCart’s system you can sell basically anything that you want to. You can sell digital products, you can sell memberships, you can sell online courses, you can sell masterminds. Basically anything that an online entrepreneur is going to be selling!
You can even use they’re system to sell physical products, though I never have.
You have the freedom to set up:
- payment plans
- membership fees + subscriptions
- one time payments
And a combination of each of those for the individual product. For example, a course for $297 or 3 payments of $99. Customers can pay with their credit card or debit card through Stripe and they can even use PayPal to check out.
Sales Funnel Building
So while it does not cover the landing pages side of it, you can do upsells, you can do product bumps, you can design your entire sales funnel in the background of Thrivecart.
Sales Funnel Building 👇
Product Bump Building
Another thing I really like about Thrivecart is that the background is actually pretty visually appealing and you can customize it quite a bit. Now it’s not fully 100% customizable like I would prefer, but compared to alot of options out there that are really clunky and ugly. That’s not the case with Thrivecart.
You can change the colors to an extent, you can add videos and images to your cart checkout pages. Check out pages are available in multiple different forms:
- Popup checkout form
- One page checkout form
- Two step checkout form
- Embedable checkout form
One Of My Checkout Pages
And finally, the last thing that I want to cover here about ThriveCart and still use it after 2.5 years is the fact that it can integrate with SO many different things.
It can integrate with your email marketing service. So for instance, I use Mailerlite and it seamlessly integrates with that as well as a lot of other choices.
It also integrates seamlessly with an assortment of membership technology.
Basically I love that it connects with anything that you need. You can also connect it to your Zapier account. And then from there you can make any zap under the sun.
Here’s an overview of their integration categories.
No software is perfect. While there hasn’t been many things I’ve disliked about ThriveCart, here are a few cons I’ve made note of:
- Lack of design customization range – as in having full control of what forms look like.
- You can’t have an upsell replace an order bump – it’s one or the other. This was a pain when I tried setting up my past sales funnel.
- You can only use the integrations they offer.
While ThriveCart plans on eventually chargeing a monthly fee for use, the software is currently available for one fee of $495!
In the long-term, this can save your business a whole ton of money! (It totally has mine!)