If you’re looking for a hosted cart checkout platform that supports both digital and physical products, 1 click upsells, downsells and membership integration then you’ll likely have come across SamCart and Clickfunnels.
I’ve been a member of SamCart for the last 6 weeks and have decided to share my thoughts on this platform. Until recently, I’d been using Clickfunnels for my product launches and subscription sites.
SamCart is owned by Brian Moran who’s famous for his course, Get 10,000 fans and he’s built a simple yet sophisticated platform which aims to allow marketers to sell products and services through a professional shopping cart.
The SamCart platform offers multiple integrations from email providers, membership, webinar and payment processors, allowing you to create high converting funnels.
How SamCart Works
It’s important to point out that Samcart doesn’t offer much customization in terms of creating full sales pages. They recommend you use another platform for that such as Optimizepress.
- Add a new product (digital or physical)
- Add your price, description, recurring billing etc
- Choose one of the 18 different checkout templates
- Customize your checkout template
- Add any one time offer bumps
- Add any upsells and downsells to your funnel (You can have 6).
- Add coupons, split testing, integrations or checkout redirections
- Promote your product/service link.
When I started using SamCart it was impressive to see how quickly you can actually setup a new checkout page. You can create pages in minutes with further customization only taking 20 minutes. Sometimes less is more and SamCart certainly delivers as a simple to use platform.
SamCart Detailed Review
When deciding whether to use SamCart or not, the first thing most marketers look for is the number of templates and variety in the platform. SamCart currently offers 18 different templates, which is not a huge quantity however they do offer two templates which are very customizable.
- Sales page no header
- One page checkout.
I particularly like the one page checkout (available only on pro, premium) plans, which allows for selling one, two or three different products from one sales page. Buyers can select their chosen package and the description and pricing box automatically updates.
Another popular template is the sales letter popup which allows buyers to click a ‘buy now’ button and then complete checkout on the current page using an overlay credit card/Paypal order form.
Each of the templates contain specific content that can be edited including:
- Trust Seals
- Product Images.
While these features can be customized, SamCart does offer limited customization further to this. You can however edit the color scheme of your template. There’s preset colors or you can use your own hex codes.
You can also change the the checkout button text, guarantee title and text.
You can edit the fields such as removing the billing address and/or shipping address and the telephone number. You must have the first name, last name and email. It would be handy if you could not enforce the name for a really small checkout form.
There’s no drag and drop builder or web based editor that you might get in Clickfunnels or Instapage. This may or may not be a plus though as it’s much easier for beginners to get started without worrying about complete page development.
Other positive features about SamCart are:
Responsive pages: All the templates are optimized for mobile, tablet and any other screen size. You don’t have to worry about any further customization.
Multiple languages: You can easily change the language depending on where your visitors are from. You’ll need to input the additional languages for each sales page.
SSL encryption: As with all checkout pages SSL is a crucial component before you can start accepting credit card payments. SamCart includes this for all pages.
If you want a fully fledged page builder then unfortunately SamCart might not be the right solution for you. If you want an easy to use solution with fast results it’s definitely a platform to checkout.
There is a wealth of integrations ready to use from signup. The most obvious ones are the ones required to start selling and are the payment providers. Currently only Paypal and Stripe are available.
To add a new payment method you’ll need to go to ‘Settings’ and then ‘Integrations.’ Adding both Paypal and Stripe is simple with the API integrations.
If you want to connect an email provider then SamCart currently supports Aweber, Getresponse, MailChimp, iContact, Ontraport, Drip, ActiveCampaign, Hubspot, Infusionsoft, Constant Contact, Convertkit and Maropost. Most require the API or account details to connect.
Once an email provider is integrated you’ll be able to add buyers to lists automatically and remove them too. This is perfect if you’re upgrading or downgrading a buyer they’ll automatically get moved on your lists.
If you’d like to create a membership website then SamCart is the perfect solution to automatically grant buyers access to the platform and remove them if they cancel or request a refund.
You can currently integrate with Optimizepress, Wishlist, Digital Access Pass (DAP) and Member Mouse. It’s important to note here you can only have 1 membership active at a time. If you have two or three membership sites you need to pay an additional 50% for subsequent accounts with SamCart. A little disappointing given the price you’re already paying.
When you create a product you’ll automatically see the membership options and select which user level they’ll get access too.
Other integrations include Taxamo, Kajabi and Zapier which allows for access to over 700 additional applications for your business. The sky really is the limit with Zapier but you can do pretty cool things such as:
- Send text/sms messages regarding new orders
- Ship physical products with Shipstation
- Get push notifications to your phone
- Add buyers to Salesforce.
Adding Front End Value
One of the impressive features about SamCart is the ability to add an ‘order bump’ to your product. Usually this is an additional product or service that’s added to increase your front end value.
This works on selecting another product (so you’ll need to create this first).
Adding an order bump is different to an upsell or downsell as these take place after the first payment has been made.
SamCart makes it easy to add both these by creating a funnel. You’ll need to ensure you’re on the pro or premium plan to get such features (i.e. there not available on the $19 plan).
SamCart has a dedicated upsell downsell page. You’ll need to create another product which will be added as one. Then go to upsells and choose the product you created. You’ll need to customize all feature of this page including colors, button texts etc.
You can then create a funnel and add your various products.
It’s up to you how you create your upsells however Samcart only gives you an HTML box to add code too. If you’re not very technical you’ll likely need help here. I created a guide on how to create such pages. You can create 5 upsells and 5 downsells although sending your buyer through 6 pages in total might be a bad idea, use wisely.
SamCart also offers you the ability to create coupons which can be provided to visitors on a percentage or fixed discount. You can set a one time or recurring coupon as well as a limit on the number of coupons that can be used.
The last feature is SamCart’s A/B split testing which allows you to create two checkout pages and rotate between both, testing which one is converting the best. This is a popular feature in most modern day landing page creators so it’s good to see SamCart included this in their last update.
SamCart offers three pricing plans depending on what you actually need. The basic plan is the entry level plan for those looking to try out SamCart and see it works with their business. The cost for this is $19/month and requires a 1% success fee on all sales to be paid and your products will include a ‘powered by SamCart’ link.
The pro plan is $99 a month and definitely the most popular. This is the plan I’m actually using for my own checkout pages. There’s no sales fees and no link requirement. You also get full features including upsells, reporting, split testing and coupons which aren’t included in the basic plan.
The premium plan is $199 a month and includes everything in the pro plan but also includes an affiliate center and subscription saver.
Is it worth an extra $100 per month for two features?
Well subscription saver will automatically try to rebill a customer who’s payment failed on first attempt. SamCart will also send them an email with a link to update the payment details. If they do, SamCart will rebill them and keep the subscription going.
If you’ve used companies like Warriorplus or JVZoo they just cancel the subscription if it doesn’t renew automatically so it’s definitely a nice feature, I’m unsure if it’s worth $100 more though.
The last premium feature is the affiliate center which allows you to start recruiting affiliates. I haven’t used this feature myself but I can only assume you have to find your own affiliates and that requires time and effort. If you’re going to do that you could always use a third party plugin such as Affiliate WP which handles the commissions from your sales pages or success pages.
In my opinion the pro plan at $99/month is the best plan on offer.
SamCart Vs Clickfunnels Review
Now that you know everything there is to know about SamCart it makes sense to compare Clickfunnels and see if it’s a viable alternative for the biggest platform out there.
As you’ve found out the lack of customization puts Clickfunnels one step ahead however for beginners and technical junkies SamCart offers a far more superior experience. The ability to create your own sales page from scratch will see advanced marketers taking SamCart.
If you’re looking for a done for you site builder then Clickfunnels is your solution. They allow you to create pretty much any page style you can think of in minutes.
In terms of upsell and downsells both offer the same level of service. Both offer integrations with major email providers, membership platforms and payment processors. If you need more payment methods then Clickfunnels also supports Authorize, JVZoo and Warriorplus.
Both checkout systems offer 1 click upsells and downsells so buyers don’t have to re-enter their payment details.
In terms of pricing, Clickfunnels is cheaper per month at $97 but the premium version of SamCart is $100 cheaper. Both offer a two week free trial and 30 day money back guarantee.
Clickfunnels has recently implemented visitor limits, product and funnel limits and more to get you to upgrade to the $297 plan.
I personally choose SamCart as it’s far simpler to use, I can create unique sales pages, upsells and integrate with Optimizepress in a matter of minutes.
After 6 weeks of using SamCart I’ve found it to be a great way to sell both digital and physical products quickly.
Their reporting is spot on and you can get setup and running quickly. Integrations are simple and includes most of the common ones marketers will need.
The cons are the page builder and number of templates that Clickfunnels ultimately has.
Cons aside, the platform is great for advanced users and ability for growth.
If you’re a digital marketer looking for a sophisticated checkout and sales page builder you should definitely consider SamCart.