Kartra Vs. ThriveCart: Which One Should You Choose?
Today, we’re going to take a look at two different platforms oriented towards improving what your business can do. Both are highly popular platforms for online entrepreneurs, but they’re quite different.
Being confused when choosing between the two is normal. They do have some similar features, and if you’re unfamiliar with them, it might be difficult to spot how they’re really different.
Therefore, our comparison will focus on which tool is better for which kind of job. We’ll analyze which features one offers over the other. You’ll see how easy it is to make a choice once you know your goals and which solution adapts better to them.
In case you’re not familiar with the platforms, let’s take a look at their general description before diving into what makes each unique. Feel free to skip to the similarities section if you already know them.
Kartra is an all-in-one suite with different marketing features to help you promote and even sell products.
It’s quite popular for its marketing funnel builder, and many people argue it’s better than specialized alternatives like ClickFunnels. It also offers dozens of different tools to aid your business through all stages: from creation to sales.
Kartra comes from the minds of Mike Filsaime and Andy Jenkins, who released it in 2018. Despite being relatively “young”, it’s grown to be an industry standard when it comes to sales funnels and several other aspects of the online industry.
Among the features, we have video hosting, customer support, a neat calendar app (which we’ll discuss in a bit), and even creating membership sites. It also supports affiliate program creation.
However, one of the most intriguing aspects of Kartra is its “behavioral adaptive marketing” functionality. It basically uses the profiles of your registered customers to tailor your website’s user experience and content depending on each visitor’s interest.
Summarized, it’s a comprehensive platform with both marketing and hosting solutions.
ThriveCart focuses on creating checkout pages that look professional and entice visitors to buy from you. It’s very intuitive, and it comes with all the features you need to boost your sales; implementing it into your business is also straightforward.
You can use ThriveCart for split-testing, creating attractive checkout pages, add upsells, and more. A particularly interesting feature in ThriveCart is the affiliate marketing functionality, which we’ll explain later on.
ThriveCart is been around for a while, and it was founded in 2016 by Josh Bartlett. Since then, it has quickly become one of the best shopping cart apps available on the internet, and it’s received over a hundred updates per year on average.
Summarized, it’s a tool for creating checkout pages focused on boosting conversions.
How are they similar?
Upsells and bumps
Thrive and Kartra both offer up and downsells as well as order bumps for your products. These can be a huge boost to your profits if you know how to use them, but it’s kind of an art.
Basically, these are complements to a customers’ purchase. If they buy a product, you can offer them complements right on the cart page, or you can offer them a cheaper alternative if they decide to abandon their cart.
It can be annoying when over-used, but when done correctly, they can dramatically increase your order value.
Also known as A/B testing, it lets you test different versions of the same page at the same time and in real-time. It keeps track of different stats, like conversions, and it offers you all the information to determine which version you want to use.
Both platforms offer split-testing functionality to their users. You can use them to test different page designs, layouts, prices, and even copywriting.
Affiliate marketing lets other people promote your product in exchange of a commission from their sales. You can create and manage affiliate marketing programs with both Kartra and ThriveCart.
Both affiliate centers let you recruit, manage, and pay your affiliates. However, Kartra’s center might be confusing for some people, and sorting through the different statistics can be frustrating. ThriveCart offers a more intuitive interface
Still, both platforms offer great affiliate programs, and even though Kartra’s interface can be somewhat confusing, it’s only about getting used to it.
Most online platforms support integrations these days, especially when we’re talking about business-related apps. Thankfully, neither Kartra nor ThriveCart avoid this trend, and they support quite a range of integrations to help you increase the amount of features you can play with.
While Kartra is already a comprehensive marketing platform, it doesn’t really need many integrations. In fact, it only has a couple dozen possible integrations by default, but you can use it with Zapier, which gives you access to countless possibilities.
On the other hand, ThriveCart isn’t really a standalone app—at least in the sense that you can’t build your business solely using it. Therefore, it integrates seamlessly with email services, payment gateways, and even online stores.
Both platforms offer good customer support, and there’s not a lot to say here. Both platforms have their own wiki-like databases for you to find solutions to your problems.
While ThriveCart doesn’t support Kartra’s live chat support, you can send support tickets and expect response within a day.
This one is interesting. Both communities are quite huge, but they largely avoid the amount of “noise” and spam that you can see in similar groups.
Starting with Kartra, the community is a lot more organized than similarly big ones like ClickFunnels’. You can ask any question, and chances are you won’t have to wait too long before someone answers. Everyone is quite helpful.
There are also “sub-communities” for different purposes like the marketplace or campaign sharing. You can even access other people’s campaigns to use for yourself and offer yours to others.
ThriveCart has its own Facebook group as well, and I find it very similar to Kartra’s. Both communities are very supportive, and you won’t run into spam or self-promotion in ThriveCart’s group, either.
I should also mention that ThriveCart is being actively developed even today. Therefore, you can see regular posts from Josh himself whenever new updates come out.
How are they different?
By far, the greatest difference between Kartra and ThriveCart is their actual goals. As we’ve been mentioning repeatedly, both aim to fulfill somewhat different needs.
Kartra is a complete marketing and hosting solution for online entrepreneurs. It’s not just a page builder or a marketing platform; it offers features you can find in different tools, all in a single package.
That’s why you can see others referring to it as a suite. It has its own toolkit in which all tools work together towards the same goal.
ThriveCart is a checkout page builder and little more. It’s definitely a marketing tool, and it’s built precisely to increase conversions by letting you create professional checkout pages, but it won’t do everything.
For instance, you can’t use it to build sales funnels, but its features can be part of one.
This is another big difference between both platforms, and it ties into our previous point. You can’t build membership websites on ThriveCart.
Kartra lets you host online courses and determine which users have access to which content. You can restrict sections of your course to different membership tiers and set your own price for each subscription.
None of these features are available in ThriveCart. The only alternative is to create a membership site with a different app and use ThriveCart for your checkout.
Both platforms have their own set of premade templates for less experienced users. However, the templates themselves are quite different because of what each platform sets out to do.
Kartra has more templates simply because it’s used for more types of pages than ThriveCart.
You have templates for the different funnel types and pages, all depending on the industry, objectives, etc. For instance, you have templates for sales, squeeze, and webinar pages as well as list-building pages. They all add up to hundreds of options.
ThriveCart has a significantly lower amount of templates. Right now, it only has a handful of templates, and they’re all checkout pages.
Kartra has its own shopping and checkout features, but this is ThriveCart’s specialty, so it’s easy to know which one wins here.
ThriveCart allows for several customization options for your checkout pages. For instance, you can embed your checkout on any website, which saves a lot of time. Kartra only lets you create checkouts for your own Kartra funnels and pages.
In other words, ThriveCart is more of an integrated app for your business than Kartra. Any page you create there can be imported in to any website you own.
Both Kartra and ThriveCart let you integrate different automation tools for your email marketing needs, but Kartra has its own set of automation features.
It’s quite complete and powerful as well. You can use simple workflows with conditions and triggers to automate your messages depending on what your customers do.
Here, I want to mention the behavioral adaptive marketing technology we mentioned previously.
Also called BAM, it’s basically an AI that personalizes your visitors’ experience depending on their own profile. It studies your customers and then adapts all pages and content to them. It does wonders for customized user experience, and it’s something I haven’t found in any other platform—at least not with as much depth.
Yes, I mentioned affiliate marketing as a similarity, but it’s also a difference. Remember how I said that ThriveCart offered the best affiliate center overall? Well, let’s go through the reasons.
First, you can split your profit with all partners for every product. You can split these profits using percentages and defining how much both you and your partner will make with every sale, and ThriveCart divides the money automatically.
You can also offer digital bonuses to your affiliate referrals, and these can be a huge incentive when used properly. You can set up the bonuses you want to send to any customer you’ve referred as an affiliate marketer, and each affiliate is free to choose which bonuses they’ll use.
If you’re an affiliate, you only need to enter your bonus’ URL address and an email address to contact you. It gives a lot more freedom to your marketers.
Finally, you can even assign coupon codes to your affiliates. They can offer your products at a discounted price when this option is enabled, which is great for boosting conversions.
Kartra lets you host your own videos without having to rely on third-party platforms like Vimeo. It even comes with its own customizable video player, and you can place messages or CTAs along the video to promote conversions and sharing.
Even opt-in forms can be added in any section of your video, and you can tag your viewers automatically based on how they behave.
This is only a feature in Kartra, and ThriveCart has no video hosting features.
This is another exclusive feature in Kartra, and it’s a really simple but effective one. Your customers can access a calendar based on your own availability; they can use this to schedule appointments with you.
You don’t need to do anything other than set up your calendar, and it works with all your funnels. You can even ask for upfront payments when scheduling.
Finally, Kartra offers a unique help desk for customer support. It works as an hub dedicated to giving your customers different options without having to use an external app.
While both platforms offer support tickets and the knowledge base, Kartra’s hub is much more fleshed out. You can even offer live chat as a support channel for more efficient support.
You can pay $495 at once to get your ThriveCart license for a lifetime, and it gives you all of the standard features regarding carts and checkouts. There’s also the Pro upgrade with more advanced features, and it costs $195 to upgrade your standard account for a total of $690 for ThriveCart PRO.
However, it seems as if the one-off payment option is part of the pilot program currently running. Once the program ends, ThriveCart will be a regular monthly subscription with its lowest tier priced at $95 monthly.
You also have 30 days after purchase to ask for a refund.
Kartra has 5 different monthly subscriptions:
- Starter at $99.
- Silver at $199.
- Gold at $299.
- Platinum at $499.
- Diamond at $699.
However, you get the full suite of Kartra features even with the starter plan. The only difference between all tiers is the amount of emails, leads, custom domains, and bandwidth you get.
The starter plan is also limited in how many pages, products, and membership sites you can run, but these limitations disappear once you get the silver plan, so silver is more than enough for a good while.
Both platforms are great at what they do, so you just need to consider your needs when choosing.
If you want a comprehensive platform to build, promote, and run your business, then Kartra is the clear winner here. However, if you only need optimized checkout pages for your business, then ThriveCart is your best bet.
I hope you found this review useful and if you have any questions, please comment down below. I’ll be more than happy to assist you.
Once again, thanks for reading my Kartra Vs ThriveCart and I wish you the best of luck.