There are few tools that I consider absolutely essential when running an online business.

One of them is definitely a shopping cart software.

You might consider it as the backbone of your business: it allows you to get paid for your hard work creating online courses, membership sites, masterminds, coaching programs, online summits, and pretty much anything else you’d like to sell.

But it also helps with marketing your products, giving your customers a great buying experience and ultimately, building trust.

It’s something you really can’t do without.

So, the next logical question is: what’s the best shopping cart software platform on the market?

As with all platforms and apps, the choice these days is virtually infinite.

Older companies keep updating their products and adding new features. New companies pop up every day.

In this in-depth guide, I did hard work for you.

I compared and reviewed 18 of the best shopping cart platforms, so that you can see their features and pros and cons at a glance, without having to read hundreds of reviews.

I also cover some best practices and frequently-asked questions to help you decide on the best tool for you.

Excited? Let’s get going! 

Disclosure: If you click on one of the links to the best shopping cart software services, tools, resources and products mentioned in the article and purchase via my link, it’s likely I’ll receive some sort of affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. With that being said, I ONLY promote stuff that I personally use, trust and stake my reputation on, and happily share with friends and family. View my full affiliate disclaimer here.

What Is A Shopping Cart Software?

A ‘shopping cart’ software allows you to create and manage digital or physical products in an ‘online store’, and ultimately sell those products to your customers.

Shopping cart software take and process payments, and store owners can easily monitor their sales through the analytics and reporting that the software offers.

The best options out there also give you various marketing functionalities aimed at maximizing your customer value, such as bump offers, one-click upsells, etc.

What Are The Best Shopping Cart Software Services?

In this section, we are going to review the best shopping cart software services.

For each tool, a brief introduction is given with the software’s main benefits.

Then, we give a short rundown of platform’s key features, followed with some pros and cons.

A very important part of each mini-review is the ‘Who is XX for’ section.

You’ll find that some services are better suited to e-commerce store owners. Others are best if you want to sell services. Others are great for small businesses.

Pay close attention to this section, which will help you decide on what is best for your needs.

You’ll see that in many places in this article I thoroughly recommend ThriveCart.

This is my go-to shopping cart software these days, and I stand behind it 100%.

But let’s get to the reviews right away, so you can decide for yourself on the best option for you and your business.

Shopping Cart Software Reviews (Ultimate Comparison Guide)

Here are my picks for the best shopping cart software, services and platforms for 2020. After the list, you’ll find an in-depth review of each tool. Enjoy!

  1. ThriveCart
  2. SamCart
  3. PayKickstart
  4. ClickFunnels
  5. Kartra
  6. GrooveKart
  7. Teachable
  8. Thinkific
  9. CartFlows
  10. SendOwl
  11. WooCommerce
  12. Spiffy (Formerly GoSpiffy)
  13. Gumroad
  14. Shopify
  15. Zaxaa
  16. Keap (Formerly Infusionsoft)
  17. Ontraport
  18. PayCartPro

1. ThriveCart

Best Shopping Cart Software - ThriveCart
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ThriveCart is a relatively young shopping cart software (launched 2016).

However, it is rapidly gaining a large customer-base who even prefer it to more ‘bigger’ names in the industry such as SamCart.

I was one of ThriveCart’s early adopters and I have never looked back.

The software is extremely feature-rich and the constant updates it receives make it more and more impressive by the day.

The possibilities with it are really endless, and the amount of customization you can make, together with its countless integrations make it – in my opinion – the best shopping cart software currently on the market.

What’s even more interesting is that at the time of writing this, you can purchase a lifetime licence for ThriveCart at an incredibly low price (more on this below).

You can read my full review of ThriveCart here.

Who Is ThriveCart For?

ThriveCart is suitable for all kinds of businesses. It’s a robust platform that’s incredibly versatile and flexible. Plus, its many integrations make it suitable in almost any scenario. 

Key Features of ThriveCart Shopping Cart Platform

  • Real-time metrics and forecasting
  • High-converting carts and upsells
  • Supports various payment options 
  • Bump offers
  • One-click upsell funnels
  • Popup or embeddable carts
  • Countless integrations
  • Native sales-tax calculation
  • Behavior rules
  • Built-in dunning
  • Affiliate-management system

Pros

  • Great interface
  • Great A/B testing feature
  • Very frequently updated
  • In-depth reporting (but easy to understand)
  • Affiliate-management system is very robust
  • Great price
  • Very active FB community
  • Great support via email

Cons

  • Customization might require a little ‘work’ to get the exact look you need
  • Some integrations a little cumbersome to setup

Plans and Pricing

ThriveCart is currently offering a lifetime deal for its ‘regular plan’ at $495 (normally $95/month or $1950+/year).

Best Shopping Cart Software - ThriveCart Pricing
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However, at checkout, ThriveCart gives you the opportunity to upgrade to their Pro Plan:

Best Shopping Cart Platform - ThriveCart Pro Pricing
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The Pro Plan adds various features that are really essential, especially at the low price-point they are offered.

Normally, this plan would cost $1000 to add on, but is currently offered at $195.

Here are the extra features you get with the Pro Plan:

  • Powerful Affiliate Center
  • Subscription saver functionality (dunning)
  • Automatic Sales-Tax calculation
  • Intelligent business projections
  • JV Contracts
  • Advanced user management
  • Client usage rights
  • Custom domain-name functionality

Special Offer For My Readers

Readers of my blog can get ThriveCart’s lifetime deal right now ($495 for Standard and $690 for the Pro Plan), before the company switches to its ‘regular’ pricing model.

Adding the “Pro” features to the regular standard plan is a no-brainer and I strongly recommend it (as more exclusive features will be added to Pro over time).

2. SamCart

Best Shopping Cart Software - SamCart
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SamCart has been the industry standard shopping cart software for many years.

That is, until ThriveCart was launched back in 2016. 

Overall, SamCart is definitely a solid solution with tons of great features. But the problem is, ThriveCart is simply better in so many ways, lots of marketers are making the switch.

With that being said, it does have its pros – such as great A/B testing capabilities, very in-depth reporting and a great affiliate-management platform.

But when you factor-in the price SamCart currently sells at, and you compare it with ThriveCart’s lifetime deal, you’ll definitely notice where to spend your money.

Who Is SamCart For?

SamCart is a very robust platform that’s well ‘established’, so it’s suitable for most businesses, including e-commerce stores.

There are some limitations that come with which pricing plan you choose, and the overall cost of the software is pretty high.

Key Features of SamCart Shopping Cart Software

  • Bump offers
  • 1-click upsells
  • A/B testing
  • Supports payment plans
  • Various integrations (email service providers, membership site platforms, payment gateways and marketing automation platforms)
  • Supports coupons, trial offers and dunning
  • In-depth reporting dashboard
  • Affiliate-management platform

Pros

  • Fast and easy to set up
  • Offers a free SSL certificate
  • Great control over coupons and discounts
  • Great reporting and analytics
  • Great knowledge-base

Cons

  • Only supports Stripe and PayPal
  • Customization is somewhat limited
  • No native sales-tax calculation
  • Not great if you are selling services
  • Quite expensive

Plans and Pricing

SamCart offers a 14-day free trial. There are three pricing plans that are billed monthly. 

Tiers differ based on features, but all plans include checkout templates, integrations, payment processing, coupons, checkout popups and a free SSL certificate.

Best Shopping Cart Software - SamCart Pricing
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Launch Plan: $49/month. 1 admin user, only sales reporting, SamCart branding on pages, no affiliate management.

Grow Plan: $99/month. 3 admin users, no affiliate management.

Scale Plan: $199/month. Full set of features, 10 admin users, priority support via email.

Special Offer For My Readers

SamCart has offered an exclusive deal to readers of my blog. You can get started with 14-day free trial period, then decide if you want to continue using the software!

3. PayKickstart

Best Shopping Cart Software - PayKickstart
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When it comes to its sheer number of features, PayKickstart is probably second to none.

It’s got a great set of templates, a very solid affiliate-management platform and even an advanced funnel-builder.

PayKickstart is also the software that offers the most options for flexibility and customization.

The endless possibilities it gives, however, are quite difficult to navigate, and so is their interface, with so many bells and whistles that might be a little overwhelming for those just starting out.

Who Is PayKickStart For?

If you are a medium-level or advanced marketer who is looking for a highly customizable option, PayKickstart might be the choice for you.

Not really recommended for beginners due to its fairly steep learning curve and possible ‘overkill’ when it comes to features. 

Key Features of PayKickStart Shopping Cart Platform

  • Supports various payment gateways and options
  • 50+ checkout page templates
  • Popup and embeddable checkout forms
  • Custom API
  • Supports various payment options
  • 1-click upsells, order bumps, coupons
  • Dunning and cart abandonment management
  • Affiliate management system
  • Automatic sales and VAT tax calculation
  • In-depth reporting and analytics
  • Mobile app
  • Countless integrations (email, webinar, CRM, etc.)

Pros

  • Supports more payment processors than its competitors
  • Great templates + great customization options
  • Offers a marketing portal to host email swipes, banners and contests
  • Checkout pages and transactional emails can automatically be translated in 25 languages
  • Live chat support

Cons

  • Steep learning curve
  • Dashboard is cumbersome to navigate
  • No A/B testing feature

Plans and Pricing

PayKickstart offers a 14-day free trial. There are three pricing plans, billed either monthly or annually (20% discount).

All plans offer zero transaction fees, but there are some limitations in the amount of features you get in the cheaper plan.

Best Shopping Cart Platform - PayKickstart Pricing
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Basic Plan: $29/month or $22/month (billed annually). Maximum 5 products, no order ‘bumps’, no affiliate management platform.

Professional Plan: $99/month or $77/month (billed annually). Unlimited products. No demographics reporting, no surveys, no “Audience Builder”.

Premium Plan: $149/month or $116/month (billed annually). Unlimited products. Full set of features. 

Special Offer For My Readers

PayKickstart has offered an exclusive deal to readers of my blog. You can get started with 14-day free trial period, then decide if you want to continue using the software!

4. ClickFunnels

Best Shopping Cart Platform - ClickFunnels
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ClickFunnels is an extremely popular tool among marketers. With it, you can easily create functioning sales funnels with a click of a button. 

It allows you to customise your pages, send and collect emails, and so much more. It’s often referred-to as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for marketers.

Among the many other things you can do with the software, ClickFunnels also allows you to create products and accept payments from customers (supports one-time purchases and subscriptions). 

However, the platform does not include a full-blown shopping cart software. In order to receive payments, you will need to integrate the software with other apps.

This is done in two ways: via their API payment integrations (for PayPal, Stripe, Keap, Apple and Android Pay, etc.).

Or, through their 3rd party product integrations (for Authorize.net, ClickBank, etc.). 

All of the above obviously means that using ClickFunnels as a shopping cart software does have its limitations and is more difficult to setup compared to ‘regular’ platforms such as ThriveCart or SamCart.

You can read my full review of ClickFunnels here.

Who Is ClickFunnels For?

As a shopping cart software, ClickFunnels does have some pretty serious limitations in terms of features and options at your disposal.

I would only recommend it if you are already a ClickFunnels user and want to have everything ‘under the same roof’.

Key Features of ClickFunnels Shopping Cart Feature

  • One-time and subscription-based products
  • Order ‘bumps’
  • Integrates with major companies through API
  • 3rd party product integrations available
  • Order-form testing

Pros

  • Simple and user-friendly product creation
  • Great integrations 
  • Quite flexible in terms of design (for the most part)
  • Excellent ‘all-in-one’ solution

Cons

  • Lacks many options you’d normally get in a ‘regular’ shopping cart software
  • Slightly longer setup process than other platforms
  • Quite expensive

Plans and Pricing

ClickFunnels offers a 14-day free trial. 

When that is over, you have two different plans to choose from, each billed on a monthly basis. 

When it comes to its shopping cart functionalities, there are some differences between plans:

if you are subscribed to the $97/month Plan, you can only have 3 payment integration. 

If you are subscribed to the $297/month Platinum plan instead, you are allowed 9 total payment gateway integrations.

However, you are still limited to just one of each Third Party Cart Integrations.

Best Shopping Cart Tool - ClickFunnels Pricing
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Standard Plan: $97/month

Platinum Plan: $297/month

Special Offer For My Readers

ClickFunnels has offered an exclusive deal to readers of my blog. You can get started with 14-day free trial period, then decide if you want to continue using the software!

5. Kartra

Best Shopping Cart Software - Kartra
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Just like ClickFunnels, Kartra is an all-encompassing suite of products made for online businesses that includes a website builder, a funnel creator, a help desk service, an e-commerce software, and so much more.

Among its many tools, Kartra also has a dedicated shopping cart software called “Kartra Checkouts”. 

Though not as feature-rich as some of its more established competitors, Kartra Checkouts does have some interesting perks such as great-looking checkout pages (with templates), automatic buyer-tagging and good reporting. 

However, you can’t use Kartra Checkouts without purchasing a plan that also includes their other products, so if you are not already a Kartra user (or plan to sign up for it), this might not be the best solution.

Who Is Kartra For?

Kartra is a great solution if you need a set of tools to manage your online business, all under the same roof.

Their shopping cart software is part of their suite of products and cannot be purchased separately, so it really only is recommended if you are already a Kartra user.

Key Features of Kartra Shopping Cart Platform

  • Multiple price-points for products
  • 1-click transactions
  • Automatic buyer-tagging
  • Upsells, downsells and order-bumps
  • Can integrate with credit card or PayPal
  • Trials and initial payments
  • Special promotions and discount coupons
  • Sales and revenue tracking analytics
  • Checkout pages instantly translate in 12 languages and accept 40 currencies
  • Affiliate management system built in

Pros

  • Checkout pages look great
  • Also supports physical products
  • Automatically calculates sales and VAT tax

Cons

  • Not a ‘standalone’ product
  • A little bit of a learning curve before you get used to it
  • Integrating gateways takes some time.

Plans and Pricing

Kartra offers four different plans with either monthly or annual billing (25% discount). 

Kartra’s “Checkouts” software is available in all their tiers, but the number of products you can create is limited in the Starter Plan (max 20). 

As stated above, it’s not possible to purchase Kartra Memberships as a standalone product.

Here’s a full breakdown of Kartra’s pricing structure:

Best Shopping Cart Platform - Kartra Checkouts Pricing