SamCart Review: Pros, Cons, Pricing, Competitors & More!
Whether you are selling digital products or online services, SamCart is an easy way to start accepting orders online.
SamCart is a web shopping cart designed for digital marketers. No matter if you’re selling physical or digital products, this software gives you the tools for creating cart checkout pages and scale your business.
WHAT IS SAMCART?
Samcart Is A Digital Product eCommerce Platform
Online sellers need more than a pretty website to deliver content. Conversions need to go up, customer value needs to go up, and business needs to run smoothly without having to worry about technology.
Samcart claims to create high-converting checkout pages.
If you’re doing well, monthly pricing is okay but we prefer the free or lifetime offer from Groove.cm instead. Read more to find out about Groove.cm
Samcart Ease of Use
Adding products and services in Samcart is simple, however, some steps can get tedious and are overly repetitive.
Samcart has a good support center with articles & videos. Along with chat & email support.
Free Trial, No Contracts, Cancel Any Time
SamCart aims to be the ultimate checkout solution for online marketers who sell digital products and services. They do trail behind Thrivecart and GrooveKart however.
SamCart has many features such as:
- Integrations with payment processors
- Physical or Digital Product Templates
- Test Split Capabilities
SamCart has many benefits, but it’s not for everyone.
SamCart was founded in 2013 by Brian Moran and Scott Moran, a web-based checkout platform that has stood the test of time (in online years). Being one of the leading online shopping carts and constantly improving, SamCart has many loyal users.
Whether you want to sell information products, digital products, or physical products, Samcart allows you to create a beautiful checkout page in as little as 30 minutes. SamCart checkout pages can be integrated into your sales pages (known as the one-page funnel).
Prefer to watch rather than to keep reading? Watch our video below
Features of SamCart
SamCart has all the features you’d expect from a shopping cart. In this section, we will be discussing the features found in the Launch and Grow plans (plans will be explained in the pricing section).
We will also discuss what I liked and disliked about SamCart. I will also compare SamCart with its main rival, ThriveCart and then you can read my Thrivecart vs GrooveKart comparison here.
Gateways for payments
To get started, one of the first steps is to set up your Stripe (for credit card purchases) or PayPal payment gateway(s).
PayPal and Stripe are among the most popular credit card payment processors used online. SamCart also supports Google Pay and Apple Pay!
SamCart does NOT integrate with the following payment options:
- Cryptocurrency (like Bitcoin)
I was left scratching my head because ThriveCart (considered SamCart’s main competitor) offers Authorize.net and Braintree as payment processors. It’s only been around for a few years. And GrooveKart has its own system called GroovePay.
With SamCart, you can offer your customers these payment options and methods:
- Single-time offers
- Split-Payment Plans (aka Split-Pay)
- Subscription Payments
- Payment Processing without Processing Fees
- Billing structure: Controllable payment cycles for payments, subscriptions, and memberships (weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly, and custom).
- Offers of free trials
- Eight currencies to choose from
- Quantity Limits & Shipping Options
- SSL Certificate for Free
- Test payments: always use SamCart’s test payments feature (aka sandbox mode) before going live and launching a new product
SamCart distinguishes itself from ThriveCart, GrooveKart, and some of its other competitors by providing a detailed payment structure and product flexibility. They offer granular billing frequency settings as well.
Samcart Payment Gateway Summary:
Google Pay and Apple Pay are now accepted in SamCart, as well as PayPal and Stripe! Besides offering flexible billing frequency options, their product delivery, and subscriptions are superb. If most of your purchases are done via a mobile device then having Google Pay and Apple Pay give them an advantage most other cart providers don’t have.
Templates for high-converting checkouts
The goal of your checkout process should be to reduce bounce rates and improve conversion rates.
SamCart offers 18 checkout templates that have been tested for conversions. Among their product pages is the infamous one-page funnel (made famous by Brian Moran). As well as their pop-up and embeddable checkout pages.
SamCart customers have access to a wide range of one-page funnel and checkout page templates to choose from, making it easy for them to get started by adding their product info. This is less however than the number of templates available to Groove.cm members (both in the free version and paid versions).
The checkout pages can be customized in many ways with a few limitations. SamCart checkout design customizations include:
- Color presets
- Choose Your Colors
- Upload your logo
- There are several fields (Billing Address, Shipping Address, Email Address, Zip Code, Quantity)
- The text of the button
- Title and text guarantee
- Bullet Points: Title, Bullets, and Image
- Title of Testimonials
- Creating custom content
- Conditions & Terms Checkbox
- Terms & Conditions URL
I know what you are thinking. Pretty much every modern page builder does all that!!!
Customizing SamCart checkout carts is rather old-fashioned. Your changes to checkout designs are not visually visible.
To see how your checkout page will look, you can click the preview button on SamCart’s dashboard.
Introducing SamCart’s New Drag & Drop Editor!
SamCart has a drag-and-drop editor now (most SamCart reviews don’t mention this). The landing pages may be customized across the entire sales funnel.
A Split-Test feature
The best online shopping carts have the ability to do A/B testing. Once you determine which cart variation works best, you can increase conversions over time.
In the advanced settings tab, you can set up SamCart split tests. A new variation name will be requested. After you’ve selected that, you can click on the variation you want to edit.
You’ll know which variation you’re editing when the screen refreshes and you’re shown the Product Details tab (you’ll see a difference in your test variation URL).
Samcart Checkout Page Templates Summary:
Samcart has a great variety of checkout page templates. SamCart now offers a drag-and-drop builder to customize template designs! Additionally, you can run A/B split tests on them (their A/B split tests could be more user-friendly).
Samcart Order Bumps, Upsells & Coupons
The value proposition of SamCart is that its cart software allows you to maximize profits and increase customer lifetime value. GrooveKart does this better with their butterfly marketing strategy IMHO.
SamCart helps people to maximize sales with the features it offers (without needing web development skills).
Let’s start with bump offers (available both for digital and physical products). I have found that the conversion rate for these quick offers is high!
You can set up a bump offer on your checkout page by clicking on the Upsells tab. Pre-existing products must already exist in your account before you can add an offer.
When bump offers are added, the added products inherit their price. There is an additional step if you want to adjust the price of the product you want to use as a bump offer.
The topic of one-click upsells is next. Undoubtedly, upsells can increase your overall sale value.
One-Click Upsells Image Source: Samcart.com
As with bump offerings, SamCart upsells are set up a different way than bump offerings (sigh). Upsells can be configured using the Upsells dashboard.
Imagine the Upsell dashboard as a section of Upsell products. Your upsell pages can be customized here, and then tied to the main product.
Customization includes upselling copy, video insertion, and features that you would expect a standard upsell page to have.
Similar to order bumps upsells inherit the pricing of the original product.
You might be a little frustrated if you’re running a promotion across your funnel. You would have to duplicate the original upsell page(s) and setup a different funnel.
SamCart coupons and discounts round out the list! You can create coupons within the same Product dashboard. To add a coupon, simply turn the Allow Coupons toggle on and click the +Add Coupon button. This will bring up a variety of coupon options.
You can also adjust the following settings after choosing your coupon code:
- Duration of the coupon (one-time or recurring)
- Description of the coupon
- Amount (percentage or flat rate) of the coupon
After those settings are configured, you will be asked to apply them to a product. SamCart makes it easy to set up discount codes, and you can set up multiple codes at the same time!
Samcart Order Bumps, Upsells, & Coupons Features Summary:
Besides allowing customers to create beautiful checkout pages, SamCart also provides tools to enhance the sales process, such as bumps, upsells, and coupons (common in sales funnels). In my opinion, setting up individual products for the upsell funnel and bump offers impacted the user experience.
Samcart Autoresponder Integrations
You’ll want to integrate any online shopping cart with your email marketing autoresponder first. Every time you make a sale, SamCart will automatically add the customer to your email list! It is unfortunate though that Samcart does not have its own internal autoresponder like Groove.cm does.
SamCart integrations for email providers are:
- Constant Contact
Adding your API key to your account is as easy as copy-pasting. To add people to your email list using SamCart, you may have to use a Zapier integration if you do not use any of the email marketing tools above. Also, those e-mail providers come with an extra cost.
Samcart Membership Integrations
SamCart has stepped its game up with membership site integrations. Previously, they supported only four membership sites. Recently, they added three more. The integrations of membership platforms look like they are tough for online shopping carts. To help solve this Samcart but just had their most significant feature release in the last 3 years. They just released Samcart courses which fills a big knowledge gap for users.
If you missed it, you can watch it here: https://try.samcart.com/june-17/
Integrations with marketing automation
If you use marketing automation software, tracking tools, or other sales processes, these native integrations can help:
Samcart Webinar Integrations
In this day and age, many digital product owners use webinars as a method of selling their products online. Unfortunately, SamCart does not offer webinar platform integrations. Zapier, however, can integrate it with GoToWebinar and WebinarJam or if you skip Samcart and go with the paid version of Groove.cm you get GrooveWebinar and considering that the CEO of Groove.cm Mike Filsaime was also the founder of WebinarJam you know they have that fully figured out.
Samcart Integrations Summary:
SamCart integrates with most of the major email marketing autoresponder and membership providers. You can avoid external services like this however with an all-in-one platform like Groove.cm.
If your marketing tools aren’t on the native integrations lists, you can always use Zapier to connect your tool(s). In terms of monthly pricing, I was expecting more native integrations like Groove has included in their offer.
Samcart Customer Support
It’s not always sunshine and rainbows when it comes to software. Occasionally, you will need assistance with a technical issue. Being able to count on an excellent support team is crucial.
SamCart support offers the following types of support:
- Getting Started Documentation
- Chat Support
- Email Support
- Facebook Group
They provide thorough support articles (as they should) and easily understandable videos and/or GIFs.
Although their articles are thorough, sometimes you need a bit more immediate assistance.
They have both chat and email options for it. A live chat response usually takes a few hours, if not minutes. It could take upwards of 24 hours, however. Their support hours are weekdays 9 am – 5 pm ET.
The last support option they offer is their Facebook group, which boasts 14,000+ members as of 2021.
As with most online cart companies, SamCart does not provide direct phone support.
Samcart Customer Support Summary:
There is email support, live chat, a Facebook group, and helpful articles (many of which have tutorial videos). The most expensive plan receives priority support.
Advanced Features of SamCart
In this section, we’ll discuss SamCart’s advanced features: Dunning (nicknamed “The Subscription Saver”) and The Affiliate Center.
SamCart includes Dunnning. Dunning, as its name implies, is primarily used by those who have subscription products and wish to maintain customer value.
Businesses that are subscription-based worry about customer churn. An online subscription can be paid for a few months, then canceled, or for some reason, their credit cards get declined.
Dunning is concerned with preserving failed payment attempts. For its premium users, SamCart makes a complex process easy to set up.
Dunning software works by sending customers email reminders that their cards are about to expire.
Automating the process of updating credit card details of a customer after payment attempts fail is a sophisticated process that requires the customer to update their credit card details after their subscription payments fail.
Dunning tools can cost you more than $100 per month. SamCart comes with dunning built-in.
Samcart Dunning Summary:
Getting started with dunning is as simple as watching a video tutorial in SamCart’s detailed support article. Dunning setup is also made easy with the Premium plan, which gets dedicated support.
In the Affiliate Center of SamCart
SamCart used to be miles ahead of other affiliate platforms in this area. But now its main competitor (ThriveCart) is catching up – and Groove.cm has surpassed them both.
The affiliate management dashboard lets you set up affiliate commissions, payout periods, affiliate signups, affiliate approvals, and cookie expiration.
The SamCart affiliate center stands out here as one of their best features. One of the first affiliate systems, it lets you promote any website and credits affiliates if customers decide to make a purchase.
Whether you are a small business owner or a big one, this approach works. You can set up affiliate promotional links that send people to sales pages (this is standard), webinar registration pages, squeeze pages, even YouTube URLs, and your affiliates will still be credited for any sales generated!
There is no affiliate tracking ID in their affiliate dashboard (it’s not a must-have, but it’s nice to have).
SamCart loses out compared to ThriveCart’s and Groove.cm’s affiliate program. With ThriveCart and GrooveAffiliate, affiliates can now be credited commissions based on any URL, and they can add custom affiliate tracking IDs to their links so they can track exactly where their sales come from.
The Samcart Affiliate Center Summary:
Consider the SamCart affiliate center if you have content on the web that directs traffic to your sales page and plan to have affiliates promote your product. You will be able to share an affiliate signup page with affiliates.
Your affiliates can leverage your content URLs through its unique affiliate system. The Premium package should have included affiliates’ ability to attach tracking IDs to their links.
Samcart Pros and Cons
- A user-friendly platform for selling digital or physical products online.
- A wonderful checkout experience.
- Sales funnel features: checkout popups, order bumps, and one-click upsells to increase order value.
- Reports that provide advanced statistics, such as Lifetime Value.
- Coupon codes (% or $ off) are easy to create.
- The following payment models are available: one-time, subscriptions (product payment frequency control), payment plans, and trial periods.
- A/B split testing of landing pages.
- Training resources are available in the knowledge base.
- You can track cart abandonment on a checkout page.
- Whenever a customer’s product/service is renewed, the Dunning System is automatically updated.
- Easily move elements around on checkout pages (such as videos) using a drag and drop interface.
- 30-day money-back guarantee.
- NEW: Membership Training
- Stripe and PayPal are the only payment methods supported.
- Pricing starts at $49 per month.
- There is no built-in feature for calculating sales tax in digital format
- Affiliates cannot use tracking IDs in the affiliate system.
So, how much does SamCart cost?
SamCart has four monthly pricing plans.
- Launch Plan: $49/month
- The Grow Plan costs $99/month
- Scale Plan: 199/month
- Enterprise Plan: $399/month
SamCart’s Launch Plan is designed for online entrepreneurs who are launching their first digital product or physical product. It’s not a good fit for subscription businesses or people who need the one-click upsell or payment plan features. In the Grow & Scale plan, these features are available.
SamCart’s Grow Plan includes what the Launch Plan does not. It offers customer management tools, subscription billing reminders, advanced subscription cancellations, upsell features, and more.
The SamCart Scale Plan comes with Advanced SamCart’s features. In addition to the features included in the Launch and Grow plan, this plan includes their built-in dunning tool, their Affiliate Center, cart abandonment, built-in A B testing, CRM integrations, webhooks, and priority email and chat support.
SamCart Enterprise is designed for large companies. With this plan, you get a dedicated account manager, integration setup, and everything you need to get started quickly,
Using SamCart is risk-free, as there is a money-back guarantee and free trial.
Is Samcart the Right Choice for You?
Before you start a 14-day free trial, let’s figure out if SamCart is right for you.
Samcart Is Recommended IF:
If you want a drag & drop shopping cart platform
Late in 2019, SamCart upgraded its platform to enable drag-and-drop editing of page templates. While they were late to the party with this feature at least they are constantly improving it.
If You have a subscription-based business
The Scale Plan is worth it if you have a subscription product due to its dunning system.
If you want to provide your affiliates with multiple types of tracking links to promote your product(s)
For product owners with existing content that funnels leads to their products (all tracked), SamCart has a great affiliate feature.
Samcart Is Not Recommended IF:
If you want to add another monthly subscription charge
Although SamCart’s pricing options are decent, I recommend paying $495 one-time (review link) for ThriveCart for the features that SamCart’s Grow and Scale plan offers or $1395 for Groove.cm’s lifetime premium plan which is an all-in-one suite of marketing tools and avoids the monthly fees.
If you want your affiliates to know where their sales are coming from
With SamCart, you won’t be able to provide affiliates with tracking capabilities, but it does work if you want affiliates to help promote your product(s).
Samcart Review Conclusion
In spite of SamCart’s high monthly fee, no one can deny that it’s a powerful tool for any internet marketer (especially their Scale Plan).
Their easy-to-use interface (and drag-and-drop editor) will help you create beautiful checkout pages that will separate you from your competitors.
However, SamCart is not the only one in the market. By charging a one-time fee, ThriveCart and GrooveKart are giving them a run for their money in terms of checkout page software (they have a drag-and-drop cart builder too).
If you do decide to go with Samcart I’d recommend SamCart’s Scale Plan at $199 per month and ThriveCart instead of SamCart’s Launch or Grow Plan. GrooveKart’s free plan easily matches and surpasses the Scale Plan and their premium plan makes Samcart look like a lost child wondering how they got left behind.
For more shopping cart alternatives, read our recent ThriveCart vs GrooveKart Review.
GrooveKart is our recommended alternative to Samcart
GrooveKart provides a free eCommerce platform with upgrade options. As if Samcart were on steroids. Despite Groove.cm’s platform still being in beta, GrooveKart (and Groovesell) are now fully functional.
GrooveKart is free, which makes it an ideal choice for aspiring entrepreneurs. GrooveKart might be the right choice if you’re switching from platforms such as Wix and Shopify or Samcart.
We at Digital Papercuts are big fans of Groove.cm and GrooveKart.
GrooveKart’s features include:
Free templates and drag-and-drop builder built with Google mobile-first technology.
GrooveKart’s drag-and-drop builder allows you to customize pre-built templates. Setup of your eCommerce store does not require you to know any coding.
Free domain and website hosting
A free domain name and free hosting are included with the GrooveKart application. GrooveKart stores its e-stores on the Google Cloud platform. 99%+ uptime and faster website loading are included. For better branding, I do recommend getting your own custom domain at Namecheap or GoDaddy.
Due to its mobile-first technology, Groove.cm is SEO friendly.
There are features available for upselling
- Upselling with one click
- The pre-checkout upsell
- The post-checkout upsell
- Order bumps
- Scarcity and urgency
You can increase conversions at every stage of the buying process by using GrooveKart’s upselling features. GrooveKart was designed by marketers specifically for creating high-converting stores.
Customer reviews can help or hurt your business these days. Using GrooveKart, you can manage and control your reviews so customers or competitors cannot harm your online reputation. They have TrustPilot integration.
A one-page checkout process
GrooveKart makes it easy to check out and add to Cart.
Other features of GrooveKart
- Mobile-friendly and desktop-friendly platform
- Shipment and fulfillment apps built-in
- Payments accepted worldwide
- Coupons and discounts can be offered
- Web pages that are legal compliance-ready with GDPR on the near horizon
- Focused on design and conversion
The Customer Service Department
Videos and articles are available on its YouTube channel and website to demonstrate how to use GrooveKart. You can chat with them live or send them messages, and they reply within minutes to a few hours.
They also have Groove Brazil and Groove Asia separate areas for being able to help with marketing and with learning in different areas of the globe.
Pricing for GrooveKart
GrooveKart does not charge for the creation of up to three stores. You can access 17 additional premium apps (via GrooveFunnels) for $1,397.00 USD. In December of 2021, this pricing will be discontinued, and they will convert to monthly pricing. You can build unlimited stores with the paid plan.
You can use GrooveSell to sell digital products through Groove.cm.
GrooveSell is used for digital product sales, and GrooveKart is used for dropshipping physical goods. GrooveSell is capable of selling physical products, but it is superior to GrooveKart for digital products, just like ThriveCart is superior for selling digital products over physical products. The difference in this regard is that Samcart does not have anything comparable at this time to GrooveKart.
With GrooveKart, GrooveSell is included as a free add-on.
Groove.cm, which includes GrooveKart and GrooveSell, is currently free for up to three websites. I recommend you sign up as soon as possible if you are interested in this plan. The offer will soon expire and become a monthly subscription. Grab it now while it’s free for life.
You will receive GrooveSell with all its features with this plan. Premium features cannot be purchased separately.
The offer includes the creation of three websites and complimentary hosting for life.
Physical items, digital products, and subscriptions work best.
What makes GrooveKart and GrooveSell better than Samcart
- It is free of charge. It has additional features that Samcart does not have. Compare the chart below to see what is included.
GrooveKart is a better shopping cart service for various products than SamCart. I have recommended it to others since I started using it. We have made a return multiple times over for our investment with their referral affiliate program. I paid only one time, but the features keep improving. If a free member upgrades, they are paid 20%, while paid members are paid 40%.
GrooveKart is my choice despite ThriveCart being a close competitor and Samcart is really left pretty far behind the two of them.