Should you use Thrivecart or Shopify or both?
I shall help you decide which in this Thrivecart vs Shopify comparison guide.
If you’re looking for a true eCommerce cart system with physical products, adding dozens of items to your cart, etc, then Shopify is probably the answer.
However, if you’re doing a single (or a fewer) product/service/subscription offers with upsells, bump orders, affiliate center – then Thrivecart is the fantastic path to go.
As someone actively involved in marketing, sales funnel, and eCommerce – I’ve had a great experience on both platforms…
And I know what I’m talking about when it comes to choosing the right system to sell online.
I did a full Thrivecart tutorial and review here and I will put out an epic Shopify review very, very soon.
But for now, let’s dive into the business of the day: Shopify or Thrivecart or both?
First off, here’s what we shall be covering in the Thrivecart vs Shopify In-Depth comparison:
- Overview of Thrivecart and Shopify
- Full features of both
- Thrivecart vs Shopify Pricing
- Pros and Cons – Shopify vs Thrivecart (differences)
- Can I Integrate both?
- Other things to know (faqs)
- Which to use?
Thrivecart vs Shopify – Overview of Both
Before starting off with how one is different from the other, it is important to state that both of these tools are superb in their own ways.
To be fair, each software serves a specific purpose.
Despite having their individual differences, there are many ways in which both of these tools overlap one another.
To draw a comparison, it is important to understand what each software does. We will begin with Thrivecart.
Thrivecart power mounts in the ability to create a streamlined sales process and produce an optimized checkout page for product and service sellers.
Thrivecart is a shopping cart solution created by Josh Bartlett in 2016 with the aim to help solve so many inconsistencies found on leading checkout tools.
His main goal for building Thrivecart was to make selling online as easy as possible.
Without needing any other software nor having to master design/coding.
Ever since Thrivecart has developed into a full-fledged sales funnel building software to cater to those who want to market and market and sell their products online.
It comes with lots of awesome features like:
- 1-click upsell and order bump
- Affiliate management center
- Prebuilt templates and nice page editor
- Share funnel/cart feature
- Ability to create coupons and discounts
- Different payment models (recurring, trials, onetime, etc.)
- Dunning feature
- Embeddable cart option
- Huge automation and behavioral rule
- Cart abandonment
- Automatic digital sales tax
- Sell both physical and digital products
And lots more…
Thrivecart focuses mainly on eliminating every form of distraction for your visitors to help you convert as many customers and possible.
We shall take look at how these Thrivecart features help you sell online.
But for now, lets see what Shopify is all about:
Shopify on the other hand is a very popular online platform for product sellers.
One of the leading (if not #1) eCommerce platform that you can use to build your store online, and make sales. Shopify provides everything needed by those that wish markets and sells all sort physical products online.
A company founded by Tobias Lutke in 2004.
It has grown to become a multinational e-commerce company serving over a million people worldwide.
Shopify allows both beginners and pros to create their online stores without coding.
Not just setting up an online store. But also, merchants can also sell their products in person with Shopify POS.
Shopify hosts tons of features that make it a huge all-in-one online store builder/designer without you needing an external solution to make your store an awesome one.
Here are some of the features of Shopify eCommerce platform:
- 100+ of professional themes
- Fully customizable website, online store
- Product inventory management
- Automate your fulfillment process with 3rd party shipping apps
- Mobile App
- Abandoned checkout recovery
- 70+ payment gateways
- Translate in 50+ languages
- Secure shopping cart -256-bit SSL
- Supports dropshipping
And a whole lot more…
Undoubtedly, Shopify comes out as one of the best hosted solutions for creating a multi-product eCommerce store with inventory, marketing tools, accounting, customer records, etc.
It shines mostly for physical products.
Features – Thrivecart vs Shopify
Thrivecart and Shopify can do a whole lot of things. A whole lot!
For online entrepreneurs and marketers.
Just like as you have seen a glimpse of each of their features – I will go into details how their core features aim at helping its users make more money selling things online.
This time we’re starting with Shopify:
Core features of Shopify
Now, lets dive into the core Shopify functionalities and what they help achieve as a Shopify eCommerce store owner.
Feature #1. Customizable Templates & Designs
Just like I highlighted earlier – you don’t need to acquire a special skill before you launch your online store.
As there are unlimited variations of beautifully designed theme templates that are responsive and customizable. Which you have total control over the look and feel of your online store.
Both free and paid ones.
If you need a specific design you could get one exclusively developed for you from one of the many Shopify experts. Cool!
Feature #2. Shopify Point of Sale
This is one particularly strong feature offered by Shopify.
Shopify POS is an application for iOS and Android devices that you can use for transactions in a physical store or pop-up setting.
With this you can basically process orders, take payments, issue receipts, etc. All from your iPad or mobile device.
Feature #3. Cart Abandonment
Stats have it that the average cart abandonment across all industries is almost 70%.
Which is a pretty high one.
With Shopify, you can automatically send an email to customers after they have abandoned their checkout.
The abandoned cart recovery feature in Shopify helps you identify users who went part of the way through purchase only to change their minds about it. So, you can follow-up with them to continue where they took off.
Each abandoned cart email contains a link to the customer’s abandoned cart, allowing them to complete their checkout if they choose.
However, If your shop does not support shipping to the customer’s address, then the email won’t be sent.
Feature #4. Shopify App Store
The Shopify App Store is a collection of free and premium plugins, extensions, and tools that helps extend and improve the functionality of your online store.
To give your store specialized and enhanced functionalities.
There is a huge number of apps (over 3,000) available.
Feature #5. Dropshipping with Shopify
With the help of Shopify – you can dropship. Shopify provides all the tools, utilities, and resources you need for dropshipping.
Basically, dropshipping lets you sell products by using a supplier that holds the inventory and ships the product for you. You pay the wholesale price to the supplier while controlling the price that your customers see in your Shopify store.
Shopify is a market leader when it comes to dropshipping.
It offers you a very large range of dropshipping apps which allow you to source and sell a variety of suppliers’ goods online with ease.
Feature #6. Huge Payment gateways
Shopify comes with its own inbuilt payment system – powered by Stripe. But NOT available in many countries.
If you’re in a country where you can’t use Shopify’s own payment platform. Then you have unlimited options for payment gateways and processors to integrate into your store.
Plus a whole lot more…
One painful issue with Shopify is that they will charge you extra transaction fees if you don’t use Shopify Payments – 2%, 1%, or 0.5% depending on your plan.
As of when writing this – Shopify supports over 70+ payment gateways.
Other Shopify features:
There are tons of other amazing Shopify features that make creating your eCommerce store a great one for you and your customers.
They help in the overall awesomeness of an online store.
Here are features worth mentioning:
- Shopify supports SEO (Search engine optimization
- Supports 1-click upsells
- Multi-channel selling
- Supports discounts
- Shopify comes with a blog and content creation section
- Comprehensive reporting
Plus a whole lot more…
Core Features of Thrivecart
With over a dozen features (and detailed walkthrough) covered in my review – in this part of the Thrivecart vs Shopify comparison – we shall be covering just the most popular features.
Feature #1. Ready to use Thrivecart templates
Thrivecart checkout templates are fine-tuned and optimized to help you instantly improve your conversions and increase revenue as soon as you switch them on.
Although they’re limited in number.
But they are designed to work perfectly on any device and entice your visitors to buy.
To see a typical page/funnel built on Thrivecart – click the link below to have a view:
Feature #2. Affiliate Center
This is an inbuilt function of Thrivecart. Getting a dedicated affiliate center would cost you around $97 per month.
Fair enough, this comes with your Thrivecart subscription.
It basically allows you to recruit, assign, manage, track, and pay your affiliates.
Thrivecart affiliate manager is a very powerful one that comes with some pretty advanced options.
Like an option to automate your payouts, group affiliates based on performance, follow up affiliates, remove bad affiliates, increase commissions based on performance. Awesome!
And do you know the nicest part?
All these can be done on automation.
Feature #3. A/B Split testing
You can A/B test as many or little as you want. And set a time period for the test to automatically run and show the winner automatically.
This Thrivecart feature allows you to locate weak spots in your marketing or funnels, so you can fix them in minutes.
Feature #4. Create upsells and order bumps
Creating an upsell on this Thrivecart platform can be done with just a few clicks. And you’re done!
For years, adding upsells has been a valuable technique for increasing the profit margin within your product funnels.
While an order bump is just a small attention-grabbing box you can add on your checkout page a customer can just tick to be added to their product purchase.
Applying both sales booster on Thrivecart requires just a few effortless clicks.
Without any tech knowledge.
Feature #5. Create coupons and discounts
As you already know, creating coupons can be a massive way to boost your revenue for products and services.
Because you would be giving your customers the feeling that they’re getting a no-brainer deal that is totally different from the usual price.
Thrivecart offers one of the coolest coupon features for your checkout and products.
Feature #6. Dunning capability
The built-in dunning system allows you to automatically notify your customers on upcoming and overdue payments ahead of time.
No need to pay for third-party software.
Feature #7. Automatic digital sales calculation
A feature lacking in most funnel and checkout tools out there.
This helps ensure you’re charging the relevant taxes. You can calculate digital sales tax for both physical and digital products. no external tools required.
Feature #8. Mighty integration supported
Thrivecart seamlessly integrates with lots of tools and wired in a way that they can all work together.
- You can connect your membership course platform (Teachable, Kajabi, etc.)
- Fulfillment services (Kunaki, Lulu)
- Notification platforms
- Your favorite autoresponders (ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, GetResponse, etc.)
- Webinar software
- Zapier (connect anything on the planet)
- Payment gateways
And talking about payment gateways – Thrivecart happens to be one of the very, very few platforms that support Apple Pay as a payment option.
A kind of a big deal for mobile users. Easy pay. Without credit card info.
Another cool feature of Thrivecart is the ability to embed your cart pages into any of your web pages. As a button or as a section.
With over 15 distinctive features we can keep going on and on… and on…
…About Thrivecart and how it can help digital product creators, coaches, consultants, and physical product sellers (yes it supports physical products too) – maximize sales using its highly optimized checkout experience.
Obviously, Thrivecart is a beast in its own rights.
Let’s get into the pricing differences between Thrivecart vs Shopify.
Pricing – Thrivecart vs Shopify
Well, when it comes to pricing – there’s good news and bad news.
The good news is that Shopify offers a 14-day free trial. While the bad news is that Thrivecart does not offer any free trial BUT rather giving everyone a license to a lifetime deal.
Chill… That’s not all.
Although on Shopify you pay a monthly recurring fee. For Thrivecart nothing like that. You pay just once and enjoy it forever.
Here is the pricing breakdown of both:
Thrivecart costs $495 (standard) or $690 (PRO) for a one-time price.
Unlike most tools and software in the marketing space with the level of features provided by Thrivecart – Thrivecart comes as a lifetime pricing deal.
The reason being that – they’re on their pilot program. Where you pay once and use Thrivecart forever.
Thrivecart is set to turn into a recurring monthly fee of $99. Which makes it a good deal to take advantage of while it’s still available.
Shopify price varies based on the number of personal accounts, cart abandonment recapture features, reports, and shipping costs, as well as the transaction fee the cart charges.
In reality, there are 5 Shopify plans. But there only 3 popular ones:
- Shopify Basic plan – for $29 per month
It allows you to sell unlimited products. Shopify will charge a 2% transaction fee unless you use Shopify inbuilt payment system.
- “Shopify” Shopify plan – for $79 per month
It comes with more eCommerce features like gift cards and abandoned cart recovery etc. Transaction fees are 1% unless you use Shopify’s’ own payment gateway.
- Advanced Shopify plan – for $299 per month
In this plan, you get advanced reports and automatically calculated shipping rates. Transaction fees are about 0.5% unless you use Shopify Payments.
If you pay upfront for a year, you can avail of a 10% discount, and paying for 2 years upfront gets you a 20% one.
Thrivecart vs Shopify – Pros and Cons
Pros of Thrivecart
- Currently a lifetime deal
- Inbuilt and robust affiliate management center
- Embed cart to any site
- High converting cart templates
- You can integrate membership platforms and sell courses and ebooks
- Share funnel feature (example: https://thrivecart.com/share/7y5w6KK/)
- Automatic digital sales tax calculation
- Supports Apple pay for mobile users
- Integrates with various platforms
- Multiple payment models
- Supports bump offers and 1-click upsells
- Helpful documentation, support, and engaging Facebook group
- For selling both physical and digital products
- Integrates with fulfillment services
- No transaction whatsoever
- Limited checkout templates
- You can’t build a variety online store
- Payment gateways not as huge as that of Shopify
- No blogging and SEO feature
- One time payment could be an expensive deal for beginners
- No live chat support
- Does not host files
- Comes with a free trial
- Shopify templates are attractive and fully responsive
- Abandoned cart saving functionality
- Great for dropshipping
- Supports multiple currencies and languages
- It comes with a built-in email marketing tool which lets you host a list of up to 2,500 subscribers for free.
- Shopify point of sale for physical sales
- You can extend functionality easily thanks to a huge range of third-party apps
- A built-in blog is provided with SEO supported
- You can create AMP versions of product pages
- Provides both iOS and Android apps
- There are no transaction fees if you are happy to use the built-in payment processing system, Shopify Payments.
- Costs a recurring monthly fee
- Additional transaction fees for using external payment getaways
- Customization is limited to theme and platform capabilities
- It does not have a free plan
- Most of the advanced features like reporting are only available on the expensive plans
Both Thrivecart and Shopify have their strengths, but for the most part, it comes down to whether you’re creating an optimized sales funnel/checkout experience for your audience and business or building an online store.
How to Integrate Thrivecart and Shopify
I’ve come across so many questions and queries asking if it’s possible to integrate Thrivecart with Shopify and vice-versa.
The short answer is YES and NO.
Yes in the sense that it works ONLY for one-off product through Zapier.
And No you can’t (currently) perform other sophisticated functions like pushing your Thrivecart orders through Shopify for tracking and order fulfillment. And no way to integrate both natively with each other.
While having your Thrivecart and Shopify combined (for eCommerce sellers) could help maximize the conversion opportunity and user experience.
At the moment, It’s almost impossible for both to work together seamlessly.
While I was digging deeper and finding ways on how to integrate Thrivecart and Shopify. I had to reach out to Thrivecart support to know if there’s a way to get around this.
Here’s the exact response I got recently:
Earlier this year (2020), Shopify disabled support for third-party platforms (such as ThriveCart) to process payment outside of their system.
To our knowledge, this has affected all platforms which integrate with them in this way.
Our understanding is that Shopify is working on an alternative solution for a handful of third-party platforms that will be approved for this functionality (including ThriveCart), but we are yet to receive further clarification or an updated timeline from their end.
Existing integrations between ThriveCart and Shopify created prior to this change will currently continue to work without issue.
Please note, this is not specific to ThriveCart but is the result of a larger change at Shopify’s end.
Until such time as they provide an alternative solution, they have made new connections unavailable.
You may be able to connect with Shopify through Zapier for simple one-off products, but from our experience using their Zapier app, you can’t add multiple products in Shopify to an order when submitting via Zapier.
So we stay hopeful till something pleasing comes out of this.
Frequently asked questions
Who should use Thrivecart?
If you are an established business looking for a focused cart and sales funnel marketing solution to increase conversion, perform some high cart automation and manage affiliates other than just building an online store then Thrivecart is awesome.
Who should use Shopify?
If you’re totally sold to eCommerce and looking to build an online store that gives users a variety of product options or do dropshipping – then Shopify is a very powerful online store builder for creating small and big online stores.
Which is more expensive, Thrivecart or Shopify?
Like we saw on the pricing plan of both – Thrivecart is a one-time software (at the moment) while Shopify is monthly recurring software.
That said, Thrivecart costs more when investing at a-go while Shopify costs more in the long term but easy entry. Other direct Thrivecart alternatives (like Samcart) still costs a recurring monthly fee. Which makes Thrivecart a better option in the market.
Do Thrivecart and Shopify have trial periods?
Shopify comes with a free 14days trial period. No trial period for Thrivecart. But there’s a 30days money-back guarantee.
If I integrate Thrivecart and Shopify – can I still refund a customer directly from Shopify?
Your customer’s transaction is processed by your connected payment processor to ThriveCart, you can refund their purchase from within your ThriveCart dashboard and typically from within the payment processor directly.
In Shopify, the customer’s order is simply passed through and generated there, it’s not connected to their payment, and so cannot be refunded by a 3rd-party.
What is Special about Shopify?
It’s simply its flexibility and complexity to build online stores.
Shopify is a complete eCommerce platform that helps everyday people set up their own online store and sell products on multiple channels without any tech constraint.
What is Special about Thrivecart?
ThriveCart is a conversion-focused funnel-based checkout, designed for selling a primary product and then using bump/upsells to maximize your revenue from a customer.
A dream come true for online sellers.
Related: Kartra vs Thrivecart comparison
I’d have to say that Thrivecart as a marketing platform isn’t directly comparable to Shopify or a platform like WooCommerce which are ‘shop’ platforms designed for add-to-cart.
If you’re wanting ‘add-to-cart’ functionality, there are a plethora of traditional eCommerce shop type systems out there to choose from (like Shopify).
Multiple products in ThriveCart are managed through allowing your customers to add the bump and upsells to their order as they go through your sales funnel.
And another upside is that Thrivecart offers a wide selection of fulfillment services and methods.
Thrivecart vs Shopify – Which Should you use?
My final (simple) verdict is:
Use Shopify if you want to create a multi-product online store. Or you need the perfect dropshipping solution.
Use Thrivecart if you want to create a conversion-focused sales funnel and checkout page for both digital and physical products.
The third option is to integrate both if you plan on using the Thrivecart powerful cart experience and capability. And have your orders pushed through to Shopify when your customers go through your Thrivecart checkout page.
Which service is a better fit for your business — Thrivecart or Shopify?
As we’ve discussed, the answer to that question really depends on what you’re looking for… a conversion-focused cart/funnel page or an online store.
Whatever you decide, I wish you and your business the best!