Last Updated on by Karl
Welcome to my SamCart review for 2023.
I first heard about SamCart checkout pages a few years back.
I was thinking about launching an SEO eBook and online course, and he said it was the best checkout page and shopping cart tool for my type of online business.
I ended up going with Kajabi… but a few months ago I saw a video with a woman claiming to have made $400,000 using SamCart with NO website – only their checkout pages and online shopping cart.
I don’t know about you, but when someone mentions 400 large, I click.
After listening to her story, I decided to sign up and take a deep dive myself.
I spent a few days checking if SamCart really was as good as everyone claims.
The result? Eh, it both is and isn’t.
This SamCart review covers everything I’ve experienced and how it compares to other checkout page and shopping cart tools I’ve used.
In this SamCart review, I’ll cover:
- If SamCart is really worth the money
- What it does well and where it falls short
- Who it’s for and who it’s NOT for
- My thoughts on SamCart’s pricing
- My personal experience with the tool and how it compares to competitors
There’s one VERY IMPORTANT detail you need to know that other SamCart reviews don’t mention. It could save you thousands of dollars.
SamCart Overview – What is it And What Does it do?
SamCart is a web based checkout platform that makes it easy for entrepreneurs to sell online.
It makes your life way easier, by putting everything you need to host a product, advertise, make a sale, and receive payment in one place.
You can host a product, set up a “store”, and start accepting payments all with little to no experience.
Imagine you want to start selling fitness coaching plans. With SamCart, you can set up a one-page site, offer a bunch of different packages, accept customer credit cards, and get paid with 0 technical experience. It’s stupid easy.
If you’re selling any digital or physical products – eBooks, online courses, services, physical products, etc. – SamCart makes it dead easy.
It includes all the features you need for one “low” (wink wink, read on) price:
- Checkout pages (where you accept payment)
- Page templates (checkout page templates, one click upsell templates, etc.)
- Shopping cart
- Payment gateways
- Payment plan capabilities (different payment models like installments)
- Affiliate program
What makes SamCart’s shopping cart platform unique among shopping cart software is that everything is designed to increase your sales.
So not only does it contain everything you need to sell online in one package, it’s super easy to use, AND it will – in theory – earn you a ton more revenue if you use its features right.
The company claims the average user makes 3-5x more than if they were using another online shopping cart software.
This is super important, so let me go into a bit more depth.
Why I Recommend SamCart to Most Solopreneurs
SamCart is one of the best shopping carts out there for boosting conversions, increasing average customer value, and running a small business with little to no headaches. Even after just a few days of testing it out, I could see just how powerful it was. It made me realize just how much money I was leaving on the table in my business.
The shopping cart software was created solely with the purpose of making it easy for you to offer a product AND maximize conversions. Most platforms allow you to host a product, but then leave it totally on you to figure out how to squeeze the most juice out of every customer.
With SamCart, it’s pretty much done for you out of the box.
Here’s how they do it:
- Upsells: One click upsells at the right time equals more sales. Basically, this allows you to ask “would you like fries with that?” at the exact right time. Some entrepreneurs claim to have doubled sales with this feature alone.
- Cross-sells (Order Bumps): Take a page out of Amazon’s playbook and offer similar products and add-ons when customers are already primed to buy.
- High-Converting Templates: SamCart is one of the few companies that actually tests their templates. This includes checkout page templates, sales page templates, and pop-up templates.
- Sales Saver: YESSSSSS. You know all those deadbeats who don’t update their payment info? SamCart hounds them until they do. If they refuse, they report them to you so you can start breaking legs…I mean, politely request they pay up.
- Abandoned Cart Recovery: Pretty standard feature here. When people jump ship, SamCart helps get them back with targeted offers, reminder emails, and some other cools tricks.
- Pixel Tracking: Smart tracking shows you exactly where the money is coming from. Facebook, Google, etc. – you’ll know what’s working and what’s not working so you can improve efficiency.
See why it’s pretty much the industry standard for selling info products?
With SamCart, I could offer an SEO course, cross-sell consultation services, upsell to an advanced course, and boost conversions with more targeted marketing and better templates.
And right now there’s a 7-day free trial, so you’ve got nothing to lose. Set up your product, start selling, and see if it’s the right fit for you. If not, cancel. You lost nothing.
SamCart Pros and Cons
- Improves conversions: SamCart’s checkout templates, one-click upsells, crosells, and bumps are all designed to boost conversions. If you’re selling products, you should see a boost in sales just from using SamCart.
- User-friendly: SamCart has next to 0 learning curve. You can be up and running in no time even with 0 experience.
- High-value advanced features: SamCart is one of the few platforms I’ve seen that offers quirky added-value features that actually work. You don’t get these in most other online shopping carts. Subscription payments are a game changer.
- Learn from pros: Creator University is full of informative training from successful SamCart users and includes a community of like-minded entrepreneurs to network with.
- Simple templates: I like that everything is straightforward and there’s no option overload. Their library is full of high converting checkout templates that have actually been tested and confirmed to work.
- Lacking high-end features: No email marketing, funnels, or high-end analytics means you’ll need a bunch of integrations and a lot of duct tape to hold it all together. It’s fine for solopreneurs, but it’s a pain.
- More expensive than it looks: Launch – the cheapest plan – isn’t going to cut it. NOBODY mentions this anywhere online for some reason. It’s a huge deal.
- No inbound marketing: This is my biggest gripe with SamCart. There’s no built-in way to bring in customers to your store. There’s no email, blogging, or high-end PPC features.
Who is SamCart For And Not For?
In my opinion, SamCart is the ideal shopping cart for new solopreneurs, all info product businesses, and small, simple physical product online businesses.
I highly recommend it for:
- Anyone who wants to sell online courses
- Subscription products
- New entrepreneurs
- Small arts and crafts shops
- Niche physical product stores with a small catalog
However, I don’t recommend SamCart for larger businesses, agencies, or advanced ecom sellers.
SamCart is good if you have a core product like an eBook or course and some high-value peripheral services to upsell like a consulting package.
However, SamCart isn’t a complete, all-in-one business solution like some competitors. It’s basically a shopping cart solution and only a shopping cart solution. As far as shopping cart software go, it’s great. But that’s pretty much all it is.
For example, Kajabi and Kartra have built-in sales funnels, email marketing, PPC ads, podcasting, communities, memberships, and a ton more to build a massive brand. Kartra even has CRM for customer management.
With SamCart, it’s basically just a product, simple funnel, upsells/crosells, and that’s it. If you want more, you’ll need to integrate with a 3rd-party service, which means more time, money, and headaches.
So, yeah. If you’ve got a simple offer and want to start making some good money quickly, SamCart is perfect.
SamCart Features Breakdown
Imagine increasing your average order by up to 70% just by adding a single one-click upsell. It’s possible.
A one-click upsell could add thousands of dollars to your bottom line. SamCart claims this can increase your average order by up to 70%, but I’ve yet to see any hard data.
SamCart takes upsells to the next level. You don’t just show a picture and say “yo, do you want this too, bro?”.
You can add a video, text, and pictures, and do so on a branded, high-converting page that fits seamlessly into your funnel.
It doesn’t get any easier to set one up. Check it out:
And see that little purchase confirmation option at the bottom? That’s a lifesaver.
Trust me. Customers often click the purchase upsell button because they think it’s just a confirm purchase button. Now they see $100 more on their bill, get totally pissed, and start coming after you. That little confirmation could save a ton of headaches down the line.
Order bumps give your customer a chance to go on a mini shopping spree before checkout, boosting sales and increasing average order volume.
Have you ever gone into the supermarket to buy “just milk and eggs”, but you come home with “just a 30-pack of beer, 7 kgs of Norwegian Salmon, 4 bags of Doritos, a week’s worth of instant oats, and $100 worth of lotto tickets”?
Order bumps are basically the same as upsells, except instead of selling them an add-on or upgrade, you’re selling other, similar products related to their main purchase.
This is basically how Amazon came to dominate the world.
All you need to do is choose a product:
Add a headline, description, and price (plus strikethrough price):
And you’re ready to go. SamCart even has multiple order bumps now where you can offer several products at once.
What makes SamCart’s bumps different is just how simple and easy they are to set up. You can create a new order, high-converting bump in less than a minute, and sleep easy knowing the format and timing has proven to increase conversions.
Checkout Pages and Sales Pages
SamCart has a small, conversion-tested library of page templates (currently 50) that make it easy to set up high-converting pages. Choose a template, fill in your content on your sales page, preview to make sure it looks nice, and get it live. Simple as that.
You know how checkout pages work so I won’t bore you with details. Let me just get to the point and tell you why SamCart’s pages are next-level compared to other shopping cart software:
- Built-in trust factors: I like how templates come with testimonials, badges, and other trust factors built-in (e.g, payment options visible at checkout). These are insanely important for sales, but most tools leave it up to you to add them in.
- Sandbox mode: With most other tools, a page has to go live before you test it. With SamCart, you can enable Sanbox Mode and see how it functions before making it live.
- Less is more: I really don’t need 5,000 templates to choose from. That just leads to panic attacks. SamCart’s smaller, more manageable library means I don’t stress or waste time over which page to choose.
- One-page checkout: Now we’re cooking with gas. One-page checkout puts the entire checkout process on a single page including payment plan, billing info, coupons, and contact info plus trust badges. Ther result? Better conversions. Life pro tip: Use a single checkout page.
And of course, all of the templates are put through the ringer before being offered by the company. So you know you’re getting a high-converting template at all times.
SamCart Affiliate Center lets you create a private sales team to promote your brand.
I’m not going to bore you with this. You probably know how affiliates work. They sign up, promote your product for you, and take a comission if anyone buys your product based on their recommendation.
There’s really nothing at all unique about SamCart’s affiliate feature to be honest. It’s simple, easy, and straightforward. The affiliate signup page is super simple and you can even tell SamCart to automatically accept affiliates if you don’t feel like vetting anyone.
That’s about it for the affiliate center.
A few years back, I chose Kajabi over SamCart for a few key reasons… one major one being the lack of payment options.
Back then, SamCart only had Stripe or PayPal. To be fair, those are by far the most popular payment processors.
However, SamCart has finally entered the 21st Century and added Apple Pay and Google Pay, so we’re getting there. At least we have mobile payments now. No crypto is a bummer, but I haven’t checked my crypto portfolio in months and I’m sure you haven’t either.
Payment options are now:
- Google Pay
- Microsoft Pay (what is this?)
- Apple Pay
SamCart integrations are pretty run of the mill. Nowadays, pretty much every marketing SaaS integrates with basically everything you need. Very few tools stand out. They all claim they do…but they really don’t.
Like I said before, SamCart is pretty limited in what it can do for your business, but whatever it lacks, there’s another tool you can integrate and live happily ever after.
Just keep in mind that this means you’ll be paying more and dealing with headaches from duct taping multiple tools together.
Key integrations include:
- Digital access pass
I don’t have a ton of experience with SamCart support obviously, but I can tell you right off the bat there are a ton of red flags.
To be fair, the tool is really simple. If you’re selling basic digital products, you probably won’t have many issues at all. And if you do, there’s a big help center and training videos to help out. Plus a Facebook group with thousands of people.
OK, now that I’ve said something nice, let me totally trash the platform.
SamCart claims to offer a dedicated account manager. That’s why their service is “amazing”.
Problem is that you only get that manager on an Enterprise plan…which is probably thousands of dollars a month.
There’s only email support. Read that again. The only way to get in contact with them is via email. And for Launch customers, they don’t even guarantee they’ll respond.
You need to be on a high-priced plan to get “priority” email. LOL.
Sounds like garbage to me. With Kajabi or Kartra, you’ll get a real person via live chat or even on the phone. Step up your game, SamCart.
Core eCommerce Features
SamCart’s eCommerce features are totally fine for small or medium-sized businesses selling digital products online, but are a bit lacking for physical products. I definitely recommend sticking with Shopify if you’re doing FBA or intend to offer a large catalog of physical products.
It’s got everything you need to sell digital products and small numbers of physical products:
- Tax and VAT: SamCart takes all of the complexity and stress out of calculating sales tax by automatically calculating taxes and adding them to the price for the customer. You have nothing to worry about. Say your customer is in the EU. SamCart will automatically add big, disgusting, greedy VAT taxes that the government has no right to be charging to their purchase without you needing to do a thing.
- Subscription options: SamCart goes a step beyond competitors like Teachable and offers a ton of different payment models, helping improve conversions. Free trial, $1 trials, multiple payment plans, pay what you want – if you can dream it, you can charge it as a payment plan.
- Coupons and discounts: Super straightforward. Create one-time or recurring discounts or coupon codes for customers when running promotions. Nothing special happening here.
- Flexible refunds: This is good for both sides. If the customer is totally unhappy, refund everything. If you can come to some agreement, give them a portion of their money back. In my experience, don’t offer refunds for courses or eBooks. Just don’t.
Advanced eCommerce Features
Time for some fun. Here’s where the magic starts.
These features could earn you a lot more in revenue each year. And it’ll be mostly automated. I was actually pretty surprised how useful these were, and since SamCart is one of the few shopping carts that offers these, it’s a huge advantage to you.
Imagine having a team working 24/7 contacting your subscribers and demanding payment when their payent is declined.
Pretty cool, right?
That’s basically what Subscription Saver (also known as Dunning) is.
Basically, it’s an automated feature that reaches out to customers and reminds them when their payment didn’t go through for whatever reason (usually a card has expired).
When a payment fails, SamCart reaches out via email with a secure link to updating the info, then it automatically charges the late payment. They will reach out several times before threatening to start busting knee caps.
Just kidding. If the customer doesn’t pay up, SamCart automatically cancels their subscription and marks it delinquent. You can then check delinquent subscribers, and reach out on your own and make some real threats.
Please don’t threaten anyone. This is all a joke.
I played around with SamCart’s A/B testing (split testing) feature a bit, and tried to set up a simple test. It’s really dead simple. The setup process couldn’t be any easier.
I especially like that you can just choose a split testing straight from within the dashboard rather than needing to open a new window or manually entering which elements you want to test.
Check this out:
You can test single elements on page (e.g, a video or headline) or test two pages against each other. You can even test upsells, bumps, checkout pages, or entire funnels.
The data here is super basic, but it should give you a decent picture of which variation converts better so you can maximize profits.
Like I’ve been saying the whole time – basic split testing isn’t a big deal for a small business, especially something as simple as a course or eBook. Once you reach the level where a split test will bring in serious money, integrate SamCart with a different tool and hire a professional who actually knows what they’re doing.
Pay What You Want
When I first heard about pay what you want, I immediately thought “I ain’t in the charity business. Pay me what I want, or you aren’t getting the product.”
But then I actually dug into this type of payment structure more and realized something…
THIS IS AWESOME.
This type of payment plan is where customers just pay whatever they feel like paying.
Could be $1 or it could be $1,000. It’s up to them. I wouldn’t do it on my flagship products for sure, but there are a ton of cool use cases.
Like, say I have a template or an SOP for my business lying around. Why not put that up as an add on? It’s just sitting around collecting dust. Some SEO with a ton of money might really appreciate it and pay me like $20 for it.
Or say I want to make some training videos or case studies…I can just put them up for “sale” and let customers name their price. People who really get value from them will pay. Hell, anything is better than the $0 those items are making me right now.
SamCart analytics are solid. Nothing really too exciting happening here either. Just meat and potatoes analytics including traffic reports, subscription data, revenue reports, and Facebook Pixel tracking.
A good friend of mine put it this way “SamCart analytics doesn’t have everything, but it has everything you need”.
I tend to agree. You’ll get key data on page, funnel, product, and subscription plan performance, and you’ll get the most important data from traffic sources and paid ads. And whenever you need more, just connect to Google Analytics like everyone else does.
One cool feature that SamCart nails perfectly is using long-term value (LTV) with Facebook lookalike audiences. Now you can upload audiences plus LTV directly into Facebook via SamCart for even more targeted audiences for your ads. That’s a really easy win for increasing customer value.
SamCart Pricing (VERY IMPORTANT!)
How much does SamCart cost? A LOT.
I’m not sure why nobody covers this around the web. Maybe SamCart is blackmailing them to keep their mouths shut.
SamCart is what I call “sneaky expensive”.
What’s crazy is that everyone says it’s so cheap. It’s one of those things where if you just keep repeating it, people believe it. In reality, SamCart is one of the most, if not THE MOST, expensive eCommerce shopping cart tools out there.
On the surface, it LOOKS cheap. Launch starts at $39/mo annually and $59/mo paid monthly.
But Launch is definitely NOT going to cut it.
The following ARE NOT INCLUDED in Launch:
- Affiliate Center
- Subscription saver
- A/B testing
- Custom reporting
- Cart abandonment features
- Multiple payment options
- Free and paid trials
- Post-order upsells
If you want to grow a business, these ARE NOT optional. They are mandatory.
The next plan up, Grow, is also missing affiliates, dunning, and cart abandonment.
The entire reason SamCart kicks A** is its dunning, cart abandonment, and other revenue-boosting features. But if you want them, you’ve got to pay up to $299/mo ($159/mo paid annually).
See how things start to get dicey? ~$50/mo is nothing, but $299/mo for a tool that doesn’t include any inbound marketing or advanced page design is a bit harder to swallow. Keep it mind you’ll also be paying for subscriptions to other tools as well to make up for what ole’ Sammy Boy is lacking.
Here’s a recent screenshot from their pricing page.
Anyone with any hopes of growing an online business will need Scale, and now we’re starting to talk serious money.
Pricing verdict – SamCart is NOT CHEAP. If you’ve got a good product, good offer, and are ready to grind a business the right way, SamCart is 100% worth it. Scale is expensive, but you can easily double or triple revenue quickly if you know what you’re doing. If you just plan to mess around and want a cheap tool, look elsewhere.
Kartra – The Best All-In-One Alternative
Unlike SamCart, Kartra basically lets you do everything your business needs under one roof without any add ons. SamCart is just one tool for running a business. Kartra, IS THE ENTIRE business.
Kartra does everything SamCart does – checkout and landing pages – PLUS:
- Email marketing
And there’s a massive marketplace where you can get help from experts or even sell your own funnels for extra cash.
It starts at $99/mo. Can’t beat that.
ThriveCart – The Cheapest Alternative
ThriveCart is SamCart’s closest competition, and perhaps the coolest member of the famed Cart Clan.
It does basically everything that SamCart does, it’s just way cheaper. Instead of paying $159/mo annually or $299/mo monthly, ThriveCart is $695 FOR LIFE.
So for a little more than 2 months of SamCart, you get ThriveCart FOREVER.
SamCart’s page templates and checkout pages are definitely better, and it’s definitely more user friendly. But it really won’t make much of a difference in the long run. In fact, most digital entrepreneurs are starting to say ThriveCart is making SamCart obsolete. I tend to agree.
You’ll get all the features you need to sell more digital products – one-click upsells, bumps, dunning, A/B testing, etc. – for ~$700 lifetime.
If you’re a new entrepreneur on a budget, this is 100% for you. You won’t even notice a difference.
ClickFunnels – The Best Alternative for Funnel Building
ClickFunnels is the industry standard funnel builder. It basically invented funnel building itself.
It’s got the best funnel templates, landing pages, checkout pages, and pre-built funnels in my opinion. If you want to build a high-converting funnel for a product – eBook, course, service, whatever – this is the tool.
Think of it this way:
SamCart provides payment processing and pages you need to build your own funnel. ClickFunnels provides the entire funnel for you plus acts as a payment processor on top of it.
Here’s what it comes with:
- Marketing automation
- Drag-and-drop page builder
- One-click upsells
- Cross sells
- Pre-made funnels
- A huge library of marketing training
It even has follow up funnels where you can connect with your audience via Messenger, Text, eMail, or Facebook ads for even more revenue.
Honestly, there’s really no comparison. It’s just a lot more complex and gets pricey quickly.
Verdict – is SamCart Worth the Money?
Let me sum up this SamCart review for you:
SamCart is awesome for solopreneurs with online digital product businesses like eBooks, courses, or coaching packages. It has everything you need right out of the box, and will earn you a ton more in sales with some cool features. If you’re ready to grind, it’s 100% worth the money.
But I don’t recommend it for agencies, big physical product stores, complex services, or memberships. And I don’t recommend it to anyone who wants to build a massive business.
You’re better off with Kartra, Kajabi, ClickFunnels, or even Shopify.
Q: Is SamCart legit?
A: Yes, SamCart is 100% legit. It’s one of the best shopping cart tools on the web, and currently powers 40,000 plus online businesses.
Q: Does SamCart have a money back guarantee?
A: Yes, SamCart does have a 30-day money back guarantee for annual subscriptions paid in full up front.
Q: Can I build a sales funnel with SamCart?
A: Yes, you can build a basic sales funnel with SamCart. SamCart makes it easy to build a high-converting sales funnel, but you might need integrations to improve it. You only need a basic sales page, a standard checkout form, and some ads on social media to make a “micro funnel”. SamCart works differently than traditional funnel builders, though. A SamCart account doesn’t come with as many features as ClickFunnels or other competitors. It’s best to shop around.
Q: Is SamCart good for beginners?
A: Yes, SamCart is good for beginners. It’s actually the best tool for beginners since the setup process is so easy, and upsell features help you earn more money faster. Since SamCart focuses on “one-page” funnels, there’s not much work to do to get up and running. You can set up a basic funnel in a few days or less. SamCart customers consistently rave about how easy it makes it to sell products online.
Q: Is SamCart the same as Shopify?
A: No, SamCart is not the same as Shopify. Shopify is an eCommerce store software that allows you to set up a store, offer products, manage inventory, setup a custom domain, and a lot more. SamCart is a shopping cart that allows you to accept payments and host checkout pages.