Last Updated on by Karl
Hey, welcome to my best SamCart alternatives in 2021 review.
SamCart pricing scaring you off?
Don’t worry, you can still have payment gateways, high converting sales funnels, affiliate management, and more advanced features to sell your products and services – just a lot cheaper or WAY better.
But first, I want to tell you about my SamCart journey…
Why I’ve Never Used SamCart and Never Will
I’ll never forget my first experience with Samcart.
I was just starting to sell consulting packages and needed a more sophisticated digital platform and payment processor.
At first everything looked fine. “A drag-and-drop editor that’s cool”. “One-click upsell? OK, cool”.
Then I went to the pricing page and thought…
NO F********************************** WAY!
$200 a month for cart abandonment and AB testing?! Are you kidding me?
NO. WAY. IN. HELSINKI.
That’s a total ripoff (Helsinki is a cool town though). You do NOT need to pay $200 for those marketing features.
I started asking around and pretty much everyone actually doing well selling digital products was using a SamCart alternative.
Everyone I asked recommended either ThriveCart or ClickFunnels, so I spent the next few weeks researching and testing those two plus a few other platforms before deciding on the one I’m using now.
I’m so happy I’m not paying $200/month for Samcart. That’s a total ripoff unless you’re a huge business that needs hand holding and plans to do everything through Stripe.
99% of online entrepreneurs are fine with one of the following alternatives.
Quick Verdict: The 2 Best Alternatives to Samcart
Remember how I said “99% of online entrepreneurs are fine with one of the following alternatives”. I hope so, because it was literally the previous line before this section.
Well, of that 99%, 90% need only one of these two:
1. ThriveCart – Affordable Lifetime Pricing Plan, No Recurring Payments, No BS
- Lifetime access – pay once and never pay again
- Money back guarantee
- High-converting bump offers
- More payment options than SamCart
- Auto follow up on abandon carts
- Affiliate center
- A/B testing
ThriveCart is the best alternative to SamCart out there for solopreneurs and other small business owners who can’t stomach SamCart’s outlandish monthly payments.
For the same price as 3 months of SamCart, you get a LIFETIME of ThriveCart – and you get basically all the same features. This is the fastest, most affordable way to sell your products online.
I Recommend ThriveCart for:
- Solo course creators, coaches, and consultants
- Small business
- Small teams of 1-10 people
- Any digital business on a tight budget
Who is ThriveCart NOT for?
ThriveCart is lacking high-end features like CRM and business management tool, so it’s not for:
- Big eCom businesses
- Solopreneurs with dozens of different stores that need everything under one roof
2. ClickFunnels – The Industry Standard Funnel Builder
- 14-day free trial
- The best funnel builder
- Unrivaled landing page templates
- Intuitive email marketing
- High-converting lead generation
ClickFunnels is the best alternative to SamCart for you if you want to generate new leads, nurture them with email sequences, and bring them to high-converting landing pages to make the sale.
Think of it more like a marketing and sales optimization tool rather than shopping cart software.
It’s not as cheap as ThriveCart, but you get a free trial to test the waters and make sure you’re ready to commit first.
We've also got a comprehensive Clickfunnels review if you want to dig deeper (and we'll talk about it more below)
I Recommend ClickFunnels for:
- Medium to large business
- Companies who want to generate leads
- Any business that wants to combine email marketing with checkout optimization
- Businesses with unusually high dropoff rate
So, What’s the Problem With SamCart?
Snoop around the web a bit and you’ll see plenty of people complaining about checkout templates, customer support, and the drag-and-drop page editor.
That’s kind of true, but honestly you’ll experience all those same problems with any checkout platform tool.
The REAL problems with SamCart are:
1. SamCart’s Pricing is LUDICROUS
SamCart, the tool itself, is actually a great shopping cart software.
Checkout pages? Cool.
Payment processing? Sounds good.
Affiliate management and A/B testing? Woah, take my money!
Until you actually go to the page where they take your money.
Why is SamCart’s Pricing Ludicrous?
I remember the first time I went to Grand Central Station. What does anyone do their first time in New York?
Obviously, you buy a hot dog. So I asked the guy for one and he goes: “Sure, 8 bucks.”
“$8 for a hot dog? Are you kidding me? Is it my accent?”
No way. Next stand please.
That’s exactly how I felt the first time I saw SamCart’s pricing page. NOPE.
Their starter plan – Launch ($49) – and Grow ($99) plan don’t even offer some of THE MOST IMPORTANT tools to help business owners, consultants, coaches, and course creators make more sales.
If you want A/B testing, dunning (saving canceled payments), and affiliate management, you have to pay $199 per month.
That’s INSANE. Especially when you compare it to competitor pricing. The juice just ain’t worth the squeeze. You can get pretty much all the same functionality from SamCart alternatives for way less.
You can get way more from competitors for the same or just a bit more per month.
OK, rant over. Next problem.
2. SamCart Only Accepts Stripe and PayPal
SamCart is one of the more limited payment gateways out there. It seriously limits your customer base. You can only accept Stripe or PayPal, basically shutting half of the market out of paying you.
That means if anyone uses Skrill, Authorize.net, crypto, or any other payment processor, they can’t buy anything from you.
And all because SamCart has some odd love affair with Stripe and PayPal.
To be fair, those are two of the largest, most well-known online payment processors.
But if you want to seriously grow, especially in the beginning, you need more.
With ThriveCart, my customers can pay me with ApplePay, GooglePay, and Authorize.net, which opens up a whole new world of customers to me that I wouldn’t have had access to.
The Problem With SamCart Summary
I know that was long winded so let me sum this up succinctly:
SamCart is not only very expensive compared to competitors, it hinders your growth by not allowing you to accept some of the most common payment methods.
So even if you pay the hundreds of dollars needed a month to grow, you’ll still be fighting an uphill battle the whole way.
OK, moving along.
The 5 Best SamCart Alternatives by Customer Type
1. ThriveCart – If You Want a Cheap Lifetime Deal
$495/$695 for LIFETIME ACCESS
Why ThriveCart Over SamCart?
It’s just… better.
ThriveCart provides almost the same features and functionality as SamCart just for a miniscule fraction of the price.
Pay $495 forever and never have a monthly payment again or pay $199/month?
Which one sounds better?
- Lifetime plan – no recurring payments
- Better A/B testing
- More payment options
- Easier to use
- Thriving community
- “Pays for itself” guarantee
- Intuitive page builder
- No transaction fees on purchases
- Limited design options
- The interface isn’t as intuitive as SamCart or competitors
- Hit or miss customer support (they’ve got you for life!)
ThriveCart is the best payment processor, cart abandonment, A/B testing, and affiliate center for the vast majority of entrepreneurs – and it costs $500 FOREVER (or $695 for PRO – I explain below).
My 3 favorite words in the online business world are “no monthly fees”.
It’s the perfect affordable, simple platform for online courses, coaches, consultants, membership sites, and anyone else that wants to accept payments and boost sales.
I’ve been using it for what seems like a lifetime and I’m still happy with it.
Unlike SamCart, there are no high monthly fees and you can accept Stripe and PayPal PLUS Apple Pay, Google Pay, Authorize.net, and a bunch of others through payment gateway integration.
Even if you only use it for 2 years, that’s $500 for 730 days or roughly $.68 CENTS per day.
A $500 Lifetime ThriveCart Subscription Comes With:
- One-click upsells and bump offers
- A/B testing
- Video carts
- Coupon codes
- Membership integration
- Mobile payments
- GDPR compliance
- Physical products
Why Upgrade to thriveCart Pro?
Upgrading to Pro for $695 gives you some added features beyond the shopping cart that are essential for success. Including:
- Affiliate management
- Sales tax calculation
With SamCart, those features would cost $199/month!
So, you basically have two choices now:
- Pay $695 for 3.5 months of SamCart OR
- Pay $695 for the same features with ThriveCart FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE
Seems like an easy choice to me.
What Is the ThriveCart “Pays for Itself” Guarantee?
Either way, they have a money back guarantee for the first 30 days anyway, so you’ve got nothing to lose.
ThriveCart isn’t necessarily THE BEST online selling platform overall.
It’s just the best option for most entrepreneurs.
If you really want the best platform out there with advanced sales funnel building, then you’re better with option #2 here.
2. ClickFunnels – The Best Alternative to SamCart
$97 – $297
Why ClickFunnels Over SamCart?
ClickFunnels is a business-building tool that not only optimizes checkout and boosts conversions, it actually allows you to sell more products by bringing in new leads, nurturing them, and eventually making the sale.
Then it resells more products and services after.
It’s a checkout optimizer, product manager, email marketing tool, and funnel builder all in one.
Their landing page gives a better overview of everything than I could type up, but here's my experience with it:
- Free trial
- High-converting funnel templates
- Simple cart software
- The best sales funnel builder in the industry
- Intuitive page builder
- Simple but powerful affiliate management center
- Membership sites included
- Starter plan is $97
- Affiliate center not as good as ThriveCart
- Page builder gets wonky at times
ClickFunnels is an all-in-one, A-Z sales funnel builder that includes capturing new leads, nurturing them through the sales process, selling them a product, and following up for optimized conversions AND selling more products.
Think of it like an online business growth tool rather than just a tool to sell your digital product.
Clickfunnels Gives You So Much More Than SamCart
SamCart optimizes your digital product’s checkout page. ClickFunnels GETS MORE PEOPLE to your checkout page AND THEN optimizes your checkout page.
My favorite part about ClickFunnels is that everything is super easy. Don’t know anything about sales funnels? They have plug-and-play templates for different types of business.
Choose yours, click a few buttons, and you’re good.
Can’t design a landing page? Just pick a template, use the easy drag-and-drop page editor, and boom you’ve got a landing page or sales page ready to go.
So, on top of A/B split testing, bump offers, payments and everything else you get with SamCart, you also get complete sales funnels, email marketing, and post-sale follow ups.
The cool thing about ClickFunnels is that even if you aren’t selling digital products, you can still use it. Every business, whether you’re a freelancer, small local business, or big SaaS company, needs sales funnels.
If Clickfunnels Is So Good, Karl, Then Why Don’t You Use It?
I do use ClickFunnels – just not for my digital product business.
I use ThriveCart for my digital products, and I use ClickFunnels for my actual SEO businesses.
That’s because I’m not big-time enough to need a complete sales funnel for my consulting… yet ;).
That’s the thing: ClickFunnels is NOT CHEAP and it’s overkill if you’re a small-time coach, consultant, online course creator.
$97 or $297/month is a good chunk o’ change, and not worth it if you don’t have the juice to land big clients yet.
Wait, $199/Month Is Expensive, but Now You Want Us to Pay $297/Month?
$199/month is expensive for consultants, coaches, product creators that only need a shopping cart, payment processor, and A/B split testing. Especially when you can just choose an alternative for a fraction of the cost.
$297/month is NOT expensive for businesses-building sales funnels, running email campaigns, AND optimized checkout pages plus payment processing and all that jazz.
See the difference? You’re paying 1.5x more for ClickFunnels but getting 3x the functionality.
If you’re interested, check out our full Clickfunnels review to get an idea of the whole picture or…
3. Karta – The Best SamCart Alternative for Agencies
$99 – $499
Why Kartra Over SamCart?
SamCart is mainly a checkout optimization platform.
Whereas Kartra is mainly a business management platform that includes checkout and payment processing.
Kartra makes managing your agency easier by keeping your leads, client calendar, videos, membership sites, and even entire client accounts in one place.
- Your entire portfolio at your fingertips
- CRM functionality
- Native video
- Calendar for planning and scheduling
- Not cheap
- Steeper learning curve
- Funnels and landing pages don’t compare to ClickFunnels
Kartra is my top recommendation for agencies handling a large portfolio and juggling hundreds of leads (must be nice).
It’s part CRM, part business management platform, part marketing tool, and part funnel builder.
So you get similar tools to SamCart like landing pages, funnels, and affiliate management PLUS you get some kickass agency tools that make it way easier to manage, grow, and optimize your operation.
Kartra’s Top 3 Tools For Agencies Are:
- Lead management: Kartra’s CRM-like lead management puts all of your prospects in one dashboard and adds a bit of Premium gas to your agency. Instead of playing a guessing game, you can organize leads according to custom tags like “requested demo”, “negotiating offer”, “lukewarm”, etc.
- Kartra agency: Your entire portfolio at a glance. Now you’ll be able to add clients, generate reports, analyze in-depth metrics, and even keep all your billing in one place.
- Calendar: It’s nice to have a built-in calendar for managing meetings, demos, sales pitches, etc. Kartra’s is the best, most intuitive on the market in my opinion.
Of course, the funnel templates and editor don’t compare to ClickFunnels or ThriveCart – those two guys are more focused on building funnels and making sales.
Think of Kartra as a big picture management tool.
Want all your clients in one place, a CRM, business management tools, analytics, AND sales funnels?
I don’t recommend it for small businesses or solopreneurs with infoproducts or courses.
4. SendOwl – The Best Cheap SamCart Alternative
$15 – $39
Why SendOwl Over SamCart?
SendOwl is like SamCart but for budget shoppers.
If you’re new to online business, SendOwl gives you everything you need to get selling for as low as $15/month.
Unless you’re doing big numbers, you 100% won’t even notice the difference until you’re making solid money. Then, you can just switch to something else.
$24/month is enough to get you most of the same features as SamCart, just not quite as glossy or powerful. The only major downside is you cannot sell unlimited products.
- The most affordable tool on the list
- Bitcoin payments
- High-end features on the cheap (affiliate marketing, bump offers, analytics, and more)
- Limited templates
- No A/B split testing
- No Facebook community
SendOwl is ideal for digital entrepreneurs needing a simple, affordable tool for getting off the ground.
You’ll get everything you need to launch your first site, course, or eBook and nothing you don’t.
Prices start at $15/month for the basic plan, but you need to pay more to get features such as video streaming and extra products. I highly recommend you get Premium – you’re wasting money otherwise.
A $24/month SendOwl Membership Comes With:
- Payment processing
- Custom checkout pages
- Bump offers
- Affiliate management center
- Coupon codes
- Cart abandonment
- 1 subscription
- Video streaming
- 100 products
Say you’re selling a writing course, SendOwl is enough to get you your checkout page, get your affiliate marketing going, run a promotion, and accept payments.
Plus it integrates with a ton of other programs (e.g. Zapier) to make up for lack of functionality.
And unlike all the others, SendOwl won’t give you a nervous breakdown the first day you use it.
Everything is simple, intuitive, and bare bones. There’s not much you can do, so you don’t suffer from decision fatigue.
The Downside of SendOwl
You knew this was coming.
SendOwl is cheap and easy. So that means you won’t get many templates, and you won’t have much design capability.
That includes emails, checkout pages, analytics, affiliate campaigns – there’s not much you can do. What you see is what you get. It’s enough, but that’s all you’re getting.
It reminds me of Christmas at my grandma Aster’s house.
“You’ll eat your sauerkraut and blood sausages OR YOU WON’T EAT AT ALL!”
And you’ll need an external landing page tool since there’s no native builder. Hey, it’s $24/month, stop complaining.
5. Sellfy – The Best SamCart Alternative for Creative Merchandise
$19 – $89 per month
Why Sellfy Over SamCart?
Sellfy is a simple, hassle-free platform that empowers creatives to sell physical products like branded merchandise or creative digital products (music courses, photography instruction videos, home decor designs, etc.).
You’ll get everything you need to promote and sell your online courses or other products plus a few bonuses for creatives that make your life a lot easier.
- Great for social media shopping
- Built-in print-on-demand service
- Very affordable
- Video streaming included
- 14-day free trial
- Limited store design options
- Limited marketing
- Poor conversion rate optimization features
Sellfy is one of the best SamCart alternatives for creatives selling digital products, selling online courses or their own merchandise.
If you’re a solo creative with some cool product ideas, it allows you to sell your products for super cheap.
You can start a store in a couple of clicks, reach an audience on social media, and start accepting payments immediately. It’s even got a built-in print-on-demand storefront.
What Makes Sellfy Perfect for Creative Types?
Sellfy is a mobile-first platform, so if you’re using Instagram, Twitter, TikTok (kill me), or any other social media, Sellfy makes it so your audience can shop right from their phones.
You make promo material, they click the link to your store, they select a product and customizations, and BOOM they pay with PayPal or Stripe and that’s it.
I highly recommend it for anyone that wants to turn their passion into an income, especially if you’re into fashion, music, film, photography, blogging, or any of those other fields that your parents begged you not to choose.
If you want to sell mugs, clothing, photographs, or even creative courses (e.g. Night of the Living Shred Guitar 101), Sellfy will get you set up with a storefront for selling your products, let you host or create your product, accept payments, and fulfill orders.
And all that with no transaction fees when customers make a purchase. Not too shabby.
The best feature has to be print-on-demand.
How Does Sellfy’s Print-on-Demand Service Work?
You just create your design, choose a category, upload your design onto the product, and Sellfy makes it for you. You don’t have to hold any inventory.
So if you’re a band selling $3 t-shirts, just slap your logo on a shirt and Sellfy lets your customer choose the size and color, then they ship it to them. You do nothing.
They don’t charge a transaction fee when customers make a purchase – you just pay the clothing cost, shipping, and taxes. Call it the price of doing business.
As far as the best SamCart alternatives for selling merchandise, there’s Sellfy and there’s everything else.
A Bonus Alternative to SamCart
BigCommerce – The Best eCommerce Platform for Big eCom Businesses
$29 – $299/month
Why BigCommerce Over SamCart?
BigCommerce is a massive eCom platform for businesses selling on Amazon, Google, eBay, or social media.
Or for any eCom brand looking to increase sales, manage their catalog, and gain access to 3rd-party services like shipping, digital sales tax calculation, and time travel (I think…).
None of the other SamCart alternatives comes close to these advanced features
- Everything you need in one service
- Unrivaled B2B features
- Unrivaled payment gateway options
- Digital sales tax calculation and bookkeeping
- SEO friendly
- Great for selling your products on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest
- Overkill for small businesses
BigCommrce is… big.
Seriously, BigCommerce is a massive, all-in-one ecommerce solution encompassing the following:
BigCommerce’s Key Area of Focus:
- Store design
- Conversion rate optimization
- B2B management
- Lead management
- Product launches
- Social media selling
That’s not even everything. I just know you’re getting tired of reading this article.
This is a great alternative to SamCart for big online businesses selling digital and physical products.
Think of it like an ecommerce tool for taking your business into the big leagues.
BigCommerce has more built-in advanced features for sales, conversion optimization, advertising, and management than any other tool on the market.
It even allows you to sell on Amazon directly through the software. You can list and manage products directly through BigCommerce rather than switching ecosystems.
If you’re a big, ambitious, or fast growing ecommerce operation, BigCommerce will take you into seven-figure territory.
I do not recommend it for small-scale sellers or solopreneurs selling online courses, coaching, or consultations. At least not if you’re only selling one product.
What Does a BigCommerce Subscription Come With?
- Store creation: You get a visual editor, custom themes, shopping cart, custom checkout pages, and mobile editor. Anything you need to make a beautiful storefront is here.
- Conversion and marketing: BigCommerce helps you grow faster by selling more products through coupons, discounts, SEO, and digital wallets (for Apple Pay and other options).
- Cross-channel selling: Seamlessly sell on Amazon, Google, or eBay as well as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
- B2B: BigCommerce is unrivaled in the B2B space. No other platform comes close. You can manage products, price lists, quotes, leads, and even payments. It’s dope!
- General commerce: Catalog management, shipping, built-in taxes, credit card vaulting, and a lot more that’s above my paygrade.
BigCommerce is what you need when you’re ready to make the big time.
Conclusion – Which SamCart Alternative is Best for me?
The vast majority of complaints I hear about SamCart sound like this:
“$200 A MONTH?!?!?!?!ARE YOU CRACKED?!”
With that in mind, the best SamCart alternatives for the vast majority of sellers are ThriveCart, SendOwl, and ClickFunnels.
Let me sum it up for you quickly…
Get ThriveCart if you’re a solopreneur or small business looking for the best value and never want to pay a monthly fee again
Get SendOwl if you’re a solopreneur on a tight budget
Get ClickFunnels if you’re a medium to large-sized business looking for the best business growth tool
Both ThriveCart and SendOwl give you comparable features for way cheaper than SamCart, and ClickFunnels gives WAY MORE value for basically the same price.
You don’t have to pay $200 a month for basic features when there are plenty of SamCart alternatives at every price point.
Best SamCart Alternatives F.A.Q
Q: Is SamCart better than ClickFunnels?
A: No, SamCart is not better than ClickFunnels, at least not for the vast majority of businesses. SamCart is only for shopping cart optimization and payment processing whereas ClickFunnels does that plus email marketing and sales funnel building. And they cost roughly the same price.
Q: Is SamCart a funnel?
A: No, SamCart is not a funnel. SamCart is only one part of the funnel – the shopping cart. SamCart is a tool that helps you optimize checkout conversions with better design, speed, and bump offers. So, it’s the bottom end of the funnel. Tools like ClickFunnels help you build an entire funnel from top to bottom.
Q: What is SamCart used for?
A: SamCart is used for optimizing your shopping cart and accepting payments. SamCart allows you to create checkout pages, accept Stripe or PayPal, and then optimize checkout conversions via design, A/B split testing, remarketing, and analytics.
Q: Does SamCart have landing pages?
A: Yes, SamCart does have landing pages, but they are not high-quality. SamCart is a checkout page tool, not a landing page builder. Consider using landing page tools like ClickFunnels instead.
Q: Is SamCart legit?
A: Yes, SamCart is legit. It’s a very popular tool with thousands of happy customers. It’s just a bit limited and the price is outlandish considering the limited features. That’s why most people choose alternatives to SamCart.
Q: What is better than ClickFunnels?
A: It’s hard to say what is better than ClickFunnels. It depends on the business. If you’re on a budget, then go with SendOwl. If you’re a creative seller, use Sellfy. If you’re an agency, you may need Kartra. Again, it all depends on your budget and needs.
Q: Are ClickFunnels worth it?
A: Yes, ClickFunnels are 100% worth it for most businesses. You can build high-converting sales funnels including capture pages, landing pages, sales pages, and checkout pages, plus email marketing – and all for a very low price. It’s one of the best shopping carts plus marketing tools available.
Q: Is SamCart Easy to Use?
A: Yes, SamCart is easy to use as far as payment gateways go. It’s one of the best ways to sell your products. It allows you to create checkout pages with features like a simple page builder, checkout page templates, and other features for selling your products. However, it is expensive and payment options are limited. Most payment gateways at least accept crypto, Apple Pay, or Authorize.net. SamCart accepts none of those.
Q: Does SamCart charge transaction fees?
A: Technically, no, SamCart does not charge a transaction fee. The transaction fee is worked into the price of membership. That’s one of the best features in my opinion. As far as payment gateways go, though, it’s a bit limited.