An efficient Shopping or Checkout cart is the most important and pillar stone of your online business. All your marketing and sales efforts would become null & void if your checkout process fails.
A smooth and frictionless checkout experience is extremely vital to reduce abandoned carts and thereby a lot of wasted dollars down the drain.
You have to minimize the number of steps needed for the checkout to the bare minimum and make sure there are no downtimes or security lapses. The checkout page contains highly sensitive information like payment details and personal information like emails, mobile numbers, etc.
Therefore, it absolutely imperative to use a tool that has the highest security standards which otherwise might lead to serious damage to your brand's authority and your customers' confidence.
In addition to the security and stability of the platform, the tool should also have a good checkout page builder. The design of the checkout page can be really underrated and it is essential that the platform lets you build checkout pages with neat and eye-catching designs.
There is quite a few good checkout software to choose from, both standalone SaaS products or WordPress-based plugins. We will have a look at some of the best of those tools in this post. Let's get right into it.
Pricing - $495 for the lifetime, paid just once.
Free Trial - Not available.
ThriveCart is easily one of the most feature-rich and at the same time a very affordable checkout platform with an excellent array of useful features.
You can sell both physical and digital products with ThriveCart including memberships. It has a built-in page builder to build all your sales pages right within the platform.
With ThriveCart you can easily add one-click upsells and bump offers to your checkout pages. This helps you increase the average lifetime value of each customer. It is also possible to set up free trials for your products which could come in real handy if you are selling software-based solutions.
Apart from free trials, ThriveCart also supports many other payment types including split payments, recurring subscriptions, flexible subscriptions, discounts & offers, coupon codes, etc. You can also set up a cart where the visitors can pay as much as they prefer to. This is very useful for collecting donations and for non-profit organizations.
If you do not wish to set up a standalone checkout page in ThriveCart, you can also embed the checkout cart you built with ThriveCart on your own website or set it up as a pop-up cart on a specific page on your website. For selling physical products, you can set up the shipping price & weight, product price, package weight, etc.
ThriveCart also automatically calculates the taxes that have to be applied on a sale based on the customer's location and the type of product sold. This saves you a lot of time and money as there is no need to invest in a separate service to take care of this.
It is also possible to set up an affiliate program for your product or service and manage all your affiliates within ThriveCart. The commission percentage can be set up specifically for indicial products.
Another strong aspect of ThriveCart is its wide range of native integrations with multiple third-party tools in various sectors. Many email marketing tools, CRM's, learning management systems, membership portals, page builders, shipment providers & other e-commerce tools, etc. are covered that lets you easily connect and integrate.
Even if there is not a native integration with a specific tool, Zapier integration is available to connect via Zaps. When it comes to payment gateways, ThriveCart integrates with Stripe, PayPal, Authorize.net, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. You can connect multiple accounts of each payment gateway which lets you manage different business ventures easily.
When it comes to customer support, although there is no live chat support, email support is available and the response time is very good. The help & support documentation is also pretty good coupled with a thriving Facebook community where you can get a lot of queries & doubts cleared by fellow ThriveCart users.
With regards to pricing, the Standard ThriveCart account costs $495 paid once and gives you all the necessary features to set up your shopping cart.
The Pro upgrade costs $195 more and provides you with a lot of powerful additional features including the affiliate center, JV contracts, subscription dunning, custom domain name, business projections based on the analytics, etc. The Pro plan also gives access to agency-specific features like advanced user management and usage rights setting for clients.
For just an additional $195 paid one time, the Pro upgrade is an incredible value for money and definitely a must-buy if you are interested in ThriveCart.
Overall, ThriveCart is a seriously powerful yet significantly cheaper than any other shopping & checkout cart tool in the market. It is a fantastic choice to build your online business around and can't be recommended enough.
Pricing - starts from $99 per month for up to $10k in monthly revenue.
Free Trial - Yes, 14-day free trial available on all the plans.
The best thing about PayKickstart is that it is not just a checkout tool but a complete and all-around platform to manage & run your own online business.
In addition to online payments for checkout via Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay, etc., PayKickstart also supports ACH & SEPA-based wire transfer payments which is a huge advantage for certain types of businesses.
The checkout pages can be embedded on your main website and also can be set up as pop-up carts when customers click a button.
When it comes to subscriptions, PayKickstart supports various ways to set it up. You can offer one-time payments, trial offers, recurring subscriptions (weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc.).
It is also possible to offer a one-time setup fee or usage-based pricing for your customers. This could be very handy for software products and SaaS companies offering their products at varied pricing based on the usage limits. You can also offer a hybrid pricing offer comprising both one-time and recurring subscription fees.
For SaaS companies, PayKickstart also supports Freemium pricing where you can offer a specific basic set of features for free and paid plans offering features at various pricing levels. Your customers can upgrade or downgrade their payment plans at any time without your interference.
Split payments at various intervals are also supported, especially useful for selling higher-priced products & services. PayKickstart also lets your customers have a backup payment method set up so that their payments get through even if their main payment method is expired or faces any issues.
Also, if you offer enterprise-level solutions where the pricing varies between each client based on their requirements, you can also set up custom pricing with PayKickstart to have complete control over the billing process.
When it comes to special offers and discounts, PayKickstart supports one-click upsells, discount & coupon codes, and order bumps. Discounts can be set up based on both percentage and a constant value of money.
A combination of upsells and bump offers can be very effective based on your product or service type and might result in an immediate jump in the overall revenue.
PayKickstart also makes the completion of the shipping page easy for the customers by providing an address auto-complete and a pre-filled checkout page. This helps in reducing abandoned carts and for customers to spend as little time as possible.
To further reduce abandoned carts, you can also set up an exit-intent pop-up to make sure the visitor definitely wants to leave the site and do everything you can to save the sale.
PayKickstart also supports subscription dunning management easier so that you don't miss out on any customer due to billing issues. You can set up a separate email sequence specifically for this purpose and also specific cancellation rules to avoid any disruption in the subscription.
Customers can also easily update their credit card or payment information. It is also possible to set up in-app notifications in case of any upcoming expiry of credit card, any need for payment authentication from the customer's end, and upcoming expiry of a free trial, etc.
Another really strong point of PayKickstart is its excellent built-in affiliate management system. It is very powerful with a ton of features that you can find only in dedicated affiliate tracking platforms.
To start with, you can set up the commissions for your affiliates to be instantly as soon as the sale is made or delay it until a specified period of refund time. This is vital for digital products and software tools as you have to give at least a week or two of refund time for the customers to test and make a refund if they are not satisfied.
Affiliates can earn either one-time commissions on a sale or recurring commissions if it is a subscription-based product. You can host all your marketing materials like banner ads, email swipes, etc. within PayKickstart and each affiliate can access it easily through their dashboard.
You can run real-time affiliate contests and offer rewards to the best-performing affiliates for a specific campaign. The real-time statistics with a leaderboard can be embedded as a widget on your website on any page of your preference.
Special bonuses are huge in the affiliate marketing space where each affiliate offers a unique bonus when someone purchases through their link. It helps to stand out among other competing affiliates. With PayKickstart, affiliates can set up automated delivery of bonuses to the customer once a purchase is completed through their link.
It will help affiliates in saving a lot of time as there is no need for back and forth messaging to communicate and deliver the bonuses. You can see the statistics and detailed reports on the best-performing affiliates and the channels that bring the best results for your campaigns.
You also get detailed reports and analytics on your sales performance that can be specified down to the level of each campaign or even to a single product. For subscription-based businesses, you get detailed stats on churn, MRR, average customer revenue, etc.
Reports can also be tailored based on a specific sale funnel of the traffic channels. You get detailed stats on earnings per click, earnings per sale, average conversion rate, etc.
Finally, another important plus with PayKickstart is the availability of mobile apps for both iOS & Android. You get real-time alerts and notifications on any sale made and even your affiliates can use the app to get alerts on new commissions.
Mobile apps can also be very useful for on-field sales teams where you can accept payments on the go, for example, in a live event or a conference.
When it comes to integrations with other third-party tools, PayKickstart is well covered as well. Apart from Zapier, it integrates with a whole lot of membership platforms, email marketing providers, CRM's, shipping fulfillment services, webinar platforms, analytics, etc.
Pricing - starts from $39 per month.
Free Trial - Yes, 14-day free trial is available.
If your target is to build your online business through courses and memberships, then Podia is a fantastic choice for the checkout process.
It is packed with some incredible features. Apart from being a checkout tool, you can build all your courses and memberships within the tool, message, or have a conversation with your students through the included live chat.
You can also sell one-time digital downloads and even exclusive webinars to the students. The webinars can be hosted in Zoom or YouTube for free and linked as a product in Podia to which you can charge a payment.
It also allows you to set up affiliates to promote your courses and memberships. The commission percentage for the affiliates can be easily set up and changed if needed.
Podia's pricing is very impressive as well as the base plan costs just $39 per month and it allows you to host unlimited products, students, and messages. You can also add additional team members at just $20 per month.
With the highest plan of the three, you get 5 users included. Also, you get a dedicated account manager, personalized onboarding call, and a completely white-labeled website with no branding or mention of Podia anywhere.
Another excellent aspect of Podia is its included email marketing. It can save a lot of money in monthly expenses for your business as there is no need to invest in a third-party email marketing tool. As the emails and courses are managed within the same tool, it saves you a ton of time by making everything easily organizable and seamless.
The base plan gives access to 5,000 monthly email recipients which is quite generous to start with your online business. The Shaker plan gives access to 15,000 and the highest Earthquaker plan takes it up to 50,000 monthly email recipients.
It is also possible to build your website with Podia as well. The editor is very easy to use and you can completely customize the look and feel of the website to match your colors and branding.
Landing pages for specific products can also be built for lead generation and newsletter sign-ups. The best part is there are no limits on the page views across all the plans so there is no need to worry about increasing charges as your business and traffic grow.
You can also host videos on the sales pages within Podia without the need for a third-party video hosting provider. The pages built are mobile-responsive and even the Podia editor is supported on mobile that makes it easy to design & customize your site on the go. It is also possible to add a chat widget on the website so that you can chat instantly with your students.
The FAQ section that can be added to the sales page can be very useful both to yourself by reducing the customer questions and for the students to easily get to know about your courses and memberships.
The editor also supports a lot of fonts with a rich text editing tool that gives you full access to control the fonts, colors, and styling. Also, if you do not want to build the site with Podi and have a separate site on any other platform, you can embed the Podia page on your main website.
When it comes to course types, there are a lot of options to choose from as well. You can sell it as a standalone course, offer it as a bundle of courses in a packaged learning solution, or drip courses as well where the content of the course is fed to the students on a periodic timeline.
Drip courses let you easily gauge the progress made by your students and it also drives long-term engagement for the courses. Podia also lets you pre-sell your courses and memberships where you can collect payments even before a set launch date of the course.
You can also predefine a launch date and time specifically for a course so that all the students can take part at the same time that helps in building a thriving community. Also if you would like to give a product away for free, you can use it as a giveaway to build your email list.
In addition to digital downloads, you can also sell audio files that can be sold. For example, if you have a podcast that you would like to charge to give access to, that can be done with Podia.
If you are unsure about how well your course might do, you can collect feedback and test the idea before actually investing your time in building the course.
The customer support of Podia is fantastic as well. There is live chat support and regular webinar are conducted to learn how to best use the tool effectively to grow your business.
Pricing - starts from $25 per month
Free Trial - A forever free plan is available for sales upto$1,000 per annum to try Deal.
The unique selling point of Deal when compared to other checkout page builders is the ease with which you can add multiple types of checkout processes to your website.
You can add an express checkout as a checkout cart widget on any of your websites. It can instantly transform your website from a blog or static page to a dynamic checkout experience for your website visitors.
The cart widget lets you use your existing website to sell your products and not redirect your visitors to a different page altogether which might affect conversions.
It also supports express checkout links where you have to just share a unique link generated and the customer can complete the purchase by accessing the link. As there are no pages or lengthy checkout processes are involved, it helps in improving the conversion rates vastly.
You can share this unique link via your social media accounts or through emails to instantly get sales. All the customers need to do is to enter their mobile number and then the verification code sent, and just proceed to pay for the item. No need for lengthy form entry or any other distraction.
It is also possible to add this link to a chatbot sequence or an SMS campaign to completely automate the selling process.
Express link checkout can be incredibly useful for small and medium businesses that do not have a website or do not have the time and resources to build & maintain one. As there are no limits on the checkout links, you can build an unlimited number of links for an unlimited number of products.
You can also sell your products and accept payments via QR codes which can be paid either online or in the physical stores. It is required to enter the credit card information and the verification code only for the first purchase. From the second purchase, the customer will be directed to payment confirmation by just scanning the QR code.
Another unique feature is that all the subscribers get mobile apps for both iOS & Android. In the Pro plan, you even get a branded app and the publishing of the app is also taken care of.
You can add your own logo and completely customize the app matching your brand colors. Ay just $95 per month, it is a fantastic value for money.
You also get built-in inventory management to keep track of all the stocks and an NPS feature to get instant feedback from all your customers.
Pricing ranges from $29 per month to $195 per month for the completely unlimited plan. With the highest plan, along with all the other features, you get a loyalty & rewards program to encourage your customers to share your products.
There is also a completely free plan for sales volume up to $1,000 per year.
Pricing - starts from $19 per month for 50 customers.
Free Trial - Yes, available.
One of the biggest advantages of Pabbly Subscriptions, when compared to every other checkout tool, is that it supports a ton of payment gateways covering many countries.
While a majority of checkout tools support Stripe and PayPal as standard, Pabbly Subscriptions supports more than 35 payment gateways. Some of it includes RazorPay, PayTabs, Billplz, Bizappay, PayPlug, PayHere, Instamojo, Paystack, QuickPay, MoMo, PayLane, e-Way, Wirecard, Fondy, Cashfree, etc.
Pabbly Subscriptions also has a powerful affiliate management system that helps you manage all your affiliates. You can set up a fixed rate as a commission or percentage of the sales generated. The approval process for signing up new affiliates can be set up to be manual or automatic.
It also has built-in email notifications to notify on upgrade or downgrade, payment confirmation, or notification on declined payment.
When it comes to the customization of the checkout page, you can add custom fields to completely personalize it based on your specific product or service. Pabbly also supports multilingual checkout pages.
If you add an upsell to your main offer, you can do it as well by setting up an add-on and the quantity for it. It also supports dunning management where you can notify your subscribed customers for failed payment with completely customizable emails.
You can completely customize the pages with your brand logo, custom domain, and custom favicon. It is also possible to set a custom background image for your client interface.
It supports multiple payment types like one-time payment, recurring payment, and payments to be done for a specific number of cycles, etc.
Pabbly Subscriptions can also be used effectively by SaaS companies that have recurring revenue. You get detailed SaaS-based stats like Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR), total sales, net revenue, refunded, canceled, etc.
Your customers also get client portal access where they can monitor all the transactions, invoices, affiliate stats, etc. Pabbly also a built-in global tax management system where you can set up taxes on a country and state-level basis.
When it comes to pricing, plans start from just $19 per month for 50 customers up to $79 per month for 2,500 customers. You can upgrade further if you need more customers.
The good thing is that there is no limit on the features across different plans. All the plans give access to every feature available with the only limit being the number of customers.
If you need to connect with other third-party tools, Pabbly supports webhooks and has an API. You can also use Pabbly Connect to integrate with more than 500 third-party apps.
Pricing - starts from $15 per month for 30 products and 3 GB of storage.
Free Trial - Yes, available for 30 days.
If all you need to sell are digital products, SendOwl is a very good option. You can build a separate checkout page or embed it on your existing website.
In addition to the checkout page, it is also possible to embed a custom checkout button on your website just by pasting a snippet of code.
SendOwl supports multiple languages and currencies so that you can sell to a truly global audience. You can also offer flexible payment options. One unique aspect is you can offer 'Pay what you want" pricing so that the customers can pay the amount they wish to.
You can sell your digital products as a one-time download or even as a subscription on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. SendOwl also supports drip-feeding of content where you can deliver your content in periodic time intervals to keep your customers engaged.
SendOwl also supports custom promo codes and discount offers. These offers can be set up for a specific time period or based on the amount previously purchased by a customer.
It is also possible to invite affiliates to promote your product for a commission. SendOwl also supports one-click upsells that help to increase the overall lifetime value of each customer.
SendOwl integrates natively with a lot of email marketing tools to send marketing and cart abandonment emails to your customers. You can also keep your customers engaged about product updates and announcements. Custom email templates can be designed as well for new orders and drip campaigns.
SendOwl supports custom fields on your checkout page to gather any additional information from your customers. at any moment, any custom checkout field can be enabled or disabled to give you total control over how the checkout experience should be.
When it comes to security, SendOwl has some pretty good features as well. You can limit the number of times your digital product can be downloaded. This ensures that it can be used only by the person who purchased your product and not shared with anyone.
You can also set a time limit on how long the download link will be available for access to the customer. 2 Factor Authentication is also supported for additional security. To maintain your branding, it is possible to add a watermark to all your documents thereby preventing content duplication.
SendOwl provides you with detailed analytics and reports of your performance. You can get very useful insights on your best-selling products that can help you in tweaking your pricing and offer.
You also get detailed statistics specifically on your upsells and abandoned carts to optimize them for better conversions. You can also get a general report on all your orders over a period of time with details on order ID, customer information, and the transaction amount.
SendOwl integrates with a lot of payment gateways, email marketing tools, and membership platforms. Some of the available payment gateways are Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay, GiroPay, Bitpay, Alipay, etc.
For email marketing, Active Campaign, Aweber, Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, ConvertKit, Drip, GetResponse, Mad Mini, MailChimp, Mailierlite, and Sendy are supported. Wishlist Member, S2 Member, and Member Mouse are the supported membership platforms. You can also link your Shopify store directly and sell your digital products.
Even if there is not a native integration, Zapier integration is available to connect with a lot of other third-party tools in addition to an API as well.
Pricing - starts from $97 for one website.
Free Trial - Not available.
If you prefer to build your checkout pages with WordPress and not with a standalone SaaS tool, Upsell Plugin is one of the best options.
It allows you to build complete sales funnel in WordPress with one-click upsells & downsells, order bumps, etc. You can sell your product or service for a one-time price or recurring subscriptions. It is also possible to offer a free trial of your product or service and then convert it into a paid subscription after a defined period of time.
As subscriptions are built-in, you don't need to purchase an additional subscription plugin like Woocommrce Subscriptions. Upsell Plugin also supports dynamic coupon links.
Tax and VAT collection is also made easy as you can set up taxes for each country and state/province. You can also offer a 2-step checkout process with a form first to collect the customer's information and then to the checkout page. This helps in following up with the customer later even if they have abandoned the purchase.
The form can be placed anywhere on your website or even on your blog. Upsell Plugin also supports order bumps that can help increase the average lifetime value of a customer.
Upsell Plugin works with all the major page builders for WordPress including Divi, Elementor, Thrive, Oxygen, Beaver Builder, etc.
Pricing is affordable as well as you have to pay only once to purchase the plugin. Prices range from $97 for 1 site and $397 for 10 websites.
It integrates natively with membership tools like LearnDash, WishList Member, Lifter LMS, and Memberpress.
If you need affiliate functionality, you can integrate with affiliate plugins like AffiliateWP and iDevAffiliate. Zapier integration is also available to integrate with a lot of other third-party tools.
So, there you have it. The above are some of the best options you can get if you need to build checkout pages to sell your product or service.
Do you agree with the list or know of any other tools that you have used? If so, please let me know.