SamCart vs ThriveCart vs PayKickStart


What is the best checkout cart app with integrated partner platform?

SamCart vs. Thrive Cart vs. PayKickStart

SamCart vs. ThriveCart vs PayKickStart

In this post I will review 3 different Checkout / Shopping Cart applications (for sellers of digital information products) with features to increase sales (such as price increases, one-click upsell, coupon codes), integration with major payment processors, and integration with Important E-Mail – / Webinar- / membership service providers and the ability to use the app as a partner platform.

These cart applications have in common that they are much cheaper than Infusionsoft, 1ShoppingCart or ClickFunnels (with backpack plan).

Before I make my comparison, let me first answer this question …

Why do you need a Checkout Cart application?

Well, if you sell products online, you can send people directly from your sales page to a payment service provider (like PayPal, Stripe, However, all these sellers only see a simple shopping cart that does not allow:

  • Customization of style and content on the checkout page (such as branding, your contact details, product image, product descriptions / features, custom fields, conditions checkbox, testimonials, warranty, scarcity timer, trustmark).
  • Integration of ESP / autoresponder, membership and / or webinar software.
  • Price increases, coupon codes, upsells with one click.
  • Different payment options (ie different payment processors).
  • VAT tax calculation / integration.
  • Auto-fill functions such as save e-mail, automatic e-mail or retargeting for people who have quit during the ordering process.

With the right Checkout Cart application, you can undoubtedly increase your sales.

Since there are many shopping cart applications, I've been looking for apps that sell digital information products (such as courses, memberships and software) and those with an integrated partnering platform.

Note: Stores for physical products often require the “Add to Cart” feature and additional input fields (such as sizes, colors, M / F). Because of this, many sellers use Store Builder software apps with built-in shopping cart features such as: Shopify,

If you do not need a full shop and would like to sell your products only through a front-end sales page or a small funnel (with upsells / downsells or price increases), you will need only one checkout application – No Add to Cart functionality.

Prices and different packages

Before I show you the comparison chart, I would first like to inform you about the prices and the various packages.

There are 3 plans for SamCart: SamCart start ($ 49.00 per month), SamCart Grow (99.00 USD per month) and SamCart Scale (199.00 USD).

The Startup Plan is the basic startup plan with all the basic functionality, but lacks some advanced features included in the expansion and scaling plans, such as custom checkout boxes, pre-sale add-ons, post-buy upsell, multiple payment options, customer Administration, Reminder of Subscription Fees, Extended Subscription Cancellations.

The Scaling Plan gives you all the features of Grow, plus additional apps like Cart Abandonment, integrated AB testing, Subscription Saver, and the Partner Center.

The most important PayKickStart The front-end product costs $ 99.00 a month (as does SamCart Grow).

And there is a premium upgrade with additional features such as demographics, Audience Builder, automatic integration of custom Facebook audiences, Survey Builder (automated) and uptime monitoring. However, I will not discuss these features in this article.

ThriveCart has a major front-end product and can be purchased (temporarily) for a one-time lifetime fee of $ 67.00. or monthly fee of 19USD/month with excess to all Thrive Themes family such as Thrive Leads, Thrive Architect etcs.

During the ordering process, you can use ThriveCart to update Pro license (with an additional one-time payment of $ 195.00) that yields:

  • Powerful partner center.
  • Subscription Saver functionality.
  • Automatic VAT calculation.
  • Smart business projections.
  • JV contracts.
  • Extended user management.
  • Client usage rights.
  • Custom domain name functionality.

Therefore, a comparison makes sense SamCart Grow With ThriveCart Proand the main frontend product of PayKickStartand discuss the functions of the partner platform / partner center separately.

SamCart vs. ThriveCart vs PayKickStart

Let's start with the most important functions:

featureSamCart GrowThriveCart ProPayKickStart
Customizable checkout page templates / custom fields18 templates
Custom fields
4 templatesMultiple + API
Checkout popups
Embeddable carts
Physical product properties
via custom fields


Different payment plans *
1-Click bump offer
1-click upsells
Funnel generator
A / B test
Several currenciesNo16 currencies32 currencies
language support6 languages10 languages12 languages
Real-time currency
Transactional emails and invoices
Customer Hub
Prospects collection
(also known as cart abandonment)
Integrations of payment processorsPayPal
Apple Pay
Google Pay
ESP / autoresponder integration
Webinar Software Integration
Integration of the membership software
Zapier integration
Calculation of VATAbout TaxamoBuilt-inAbout Taxamo
White label / branding
Client Version
user management
(additional team users)
Live stats
partner platform
price99.00 USD
p / mo
495.00 USD + 195.00 USD
99.00 USD
p / mo
sales pageBuy nowBuy nowBuy now

All vendors improve their products and integration features on a regular basis. So that's just the current situation.

Watch this full demo video for PayKickStart

Visit the following help pages to learn more about each feature and possibly answer your questions:




(Note, however, that these are not affiliate links. Use the links below to receive my bonuses.)

Regarding the templates, all use a different approach.

In SamCart you can choose from 18 templates,

With ThriveCart you can choose 4 main templates for each type of checkout (1-step large checkout, 2-step checkout, embeddable checkout, popup checkout) – but these templates are very customizable.

And PayKickStart comes with multiple templates (one page or several steps). As an additional feature, you can integrate your own pages via their API. You also have some editing features (such as changing the colors, and so on) to change the appearance of the checkout page.

ThriveCart offers the best features for selling physical products worldwide (with reasonable VAT and flexible shipping cost calculation) and integration with physical product senders such as, Kunaki, Printful, Shippo and 3 others (EasyPost, Lula, ShipStation) ).

In addition, with ThriveCart you can use Zapier for integration into, for example, ShipStation (until native integration is released). You can also use Google Sheets (for example, for each local provider).

(Note: SamCart has no fulfillment integrations and PayKickStart has 3 integrations (ShipStation, ShipOffers).

SamCart, however, offers the best options for adding custom fields. Therefore, you can use these fields to gather information on size, color, date, time, company name, username, password, day of the week, Twitter handle, special instructions, custom engraving or something in between!

All 3 apps have different payment plans such as one-time, subscription, split-pay and trial payment plans.

With ThriveCart you can also offer different payment plans on the checkout page itself!

If you use ThriveCart, you do not have to use different purchase buttons on the sales pages, all of which lead to a different checkout page.

In addition, ThriveCart offers the payment option that allows your customer to set their own price (do not worry, you can set a reserve price!).

In terms of foreign currency and language support, PayKickStart offers the best features. It even allows your buyers to choose their payment currency in real time using currency conversion calculations!

However, ThriveCart has a (free) function to calculate EU VAT. SamCart and PayKickStart require you to use Taxamo's paid services and connect.

To reduce reimbursements and support / help desk requests, ThriveCart has introduced the so-called ThriveCart Customer Hub, Customers can manage and update their personal and billing information, cancel subscriptions, and view invoices and purchases in a user-friendly area (without having to remember a password).

PayKickStart offers the best / most integration options for payment processors with full 1-click upsell PayPal integration. But do you really need them?

Review each sales page for all sorts of integration options and see if your favorite application (ESP, membership, webinar) can connect.

Note, however, that you can only use one payment service provider and one email provider per account in SamCart.

With ThriveCart and PayKickstart, you can use multiple payment processors and ESPs.

In terms of the Checkout Cart features, all 3 apps (most) provide functionality that you would expect (though SamCart does not have a two-step checkout process).

PayKickStart offers the most advanced features, but ThriveCart comes very close to that (and offers some special additional features like VAT integration and physical products).

SamCart beats the other two with his Custom Fields feature.

In general, support from ThriveCart and PayKick is the best, while SamCart's support is sufficient (but can be much better).

The winners are ThriveCart and PayKickStart. But of course it's a question of what features you really need and want.

However, if you take the price into consideration, ThriveCart is likely to be the winner for most of you (as long as the price is still a one-time lifelong fee and it only takes a few days for the price to rise!).

But what about the …

Built-in partner platform

If you sell digital products and want partners to promote your products, you had to use partner platforms such as WarriorPlus, JVZoo, or ClickBank.

All have the benefits of a solid, reliable platform, marketplace, additional free marketing, and a significant member of affiliates / providers using the platform.

For providers, however, these platforms have a price … the (platform) transaction fees for each sale (often 5%).

What if you can use your own affiliate management software and avoid these transaction fees?

Betting that you can save a lot of money?

Actually, there is an affiliate platform, ZaxaaIf you do not have to pay transaction fees and only pay monthly ($ 77.00- $ 99.00) or annual (40% off) membership fees.

Although I really like Zaxaa, it contains “standard” cash accounts with almost no customization options.

That's why I did not include Zaxaa in this review.

(Note: If you choose Zaxaa, use the affiliate link above and you will receive the same bonuses as on this review page.)

Fortunately, the Checkout Cart applications in this test have all the built-in partner features – especially for sole proprietors or small businesses selling digital (info) products.

As explained above, the affiliate center feature is only included in SamCart Scale ($ 199.00 per month), while ThriveCart Pro and PayKickStart have partnered with their core product (for ThriveCart, you'll need to purchase the $ 195.00 “Bump Pro” upgrade).

featureSamCart ScaleThriveCart ProPayKickStart
Immediate commissions
Delayed commissions
Lifelong commissions for others
Products from the same seller
Custom commission% per partner
Campaign / sub-ID tracking
2nd Tier Affiliate Program
Options for manual and automatic approval
The promotional products sector
Affiliate Competition Management
Immediate bonus fulfillment
Retargeting for partners
Partner / JV contracts
W9 / W8 management
Marketplace for partners

In terms of the partner platform, there is a clear winner, PayKickStart.

No wonder, because the providers Mark Thompson & Matt Callen (Digital KickStart) are very successful product providers and partners who have earned millions with the JVZoo platform in recent years. They know this market in every way and had to find a way to save on transaction costs with JVZoo (they paid a lot of money to JVZoo because of the 5% commission).


So, to sum it up. I would go PayKickStart if you need the most advanced partnering platform.

If you need an advanced Checkout Cart application (and can live with less advanced partner features), choose ThriveCart (especially as long as you can get it for a one-time fee).

If you just need a simple Checkout Cart app, select for SamCart Basic,

Whichever solution you choose, you will definitely get a great application that will increase your sales conversions and your trustworthiness and professionalism with excellent checkout experience for your customers and the ability to have your own affiliate platform (with more control and accountability) Saving) fees for partner platforms).

Best links to buy one of these checkout carts

Simply use this link for PayKickStart PayKickStart,

For ThriveCart, use the special (temporary) one-off discount price of (only) $ 495.00 through this link: ThriveCart, (Note: The new price will soon be $ 1995.00, so do not wait too long.)

Use these links for SamCart: SamCart start (14-day trial) – SamCart Grow (14-day trial) – SamCart Scale (14 days trial).

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