Cartflows versus Thrivecart – Clickfunnels Alternatives

Cartflows Versus Thrivecart

Clickfunnels Alternatives


What are the Differences Between Thrivecart and CartFlows?

In this article we want to focus on Cartflows Versus Thrivecart comparison – A Clickfunnels Alternative but first before we launch into the main product comparison lets deal with the elephant in the room, also known as “Clickfunnels“, it’s a very well known funnel app, it’s used by many marketers including some of the biggest and well known marketers in the world, so why bother looking at other solutions, Clickfunnels must be the best funnel builder right?

Well it depends, but probably not actually,  clickfunnels has a been criticised on the following major points;

  • It’s expensive, really expensive in fact the basic plan is $99 a month but really the plan you need is a hefty $297 per month, that’s a killer for many businesses right off.
  • It’s glitchy – many complaints have been made about unreliability and let’s face it that’s a disaster, even if you can afford Clickfunnels when it stops working your income is zero.
  • Ugly and limited templates that are so widely used they look rather “cookie cutter”
  • Inflexible platform, clickfunnels features are limited to what they offer you cant addon to to it or change it
  • It’s a closed platform, all your data is held in Clickfunnels and if you stop paying you either have no data or have to solve it with an awkward and time consuming process of manually exporting it yourself.

However it’s an extremely popular hosted funnel builder, you get an “All in One”  solution for hosting your website, shopping cart, auto-responder, payment service and marketing automation.

We think that the main reason Clickfunnels has achieved such success is the owner is Russel Brunson is a master of marketing and sales funnels he has built the sales infrastructure of books, training and sales videos and executes marketing extremely well, he is world class. 

The second reason is that Clickfunnels promises and delivers fast and quite easy implementation, that’s attractive for active marketers that are making money “time is undoubtedly money”.

However we think that if you have the the ability and time, you can do much better and for less using WordPress and few apps you can get a better, cheaper, more flexible and more robust solution. 

Cartflows is a relatively new product yet it’s already a strong proposition, it’s natural that site owners will compare it to other alternative solutions that are established and that offer good value and quality feature sets, the truth is, as is so often the case there is no “best solution for all” there are only solutions that will work and hopefully you can identify the one that will work best for your needs – sometimes Cartflows lacks a feature that Thrivecart has and othertimes it’s vica versa. 

To identify the best solution for your needs you should perform a careful mapping of your needs to each product because there are differences in each that mean that in some cases the solution is not viable for your site.

Both Thrivecart and Cartflows of course have shopping carts, they are both designed to take payments for products and services, however how they achieve this task is quite different and they do have some important differences in their feature sets,  this part of your site either is or will become very important so it’s worth doing the job once and getting it right.

ThriveCart was really created to address a key issue not only in Woocommerce but in many ecommerce platforms of ugly, awkward checkout processes that didn’t tend to help conversions, in marketing terms they were “sub-optimal”.

In marketing terms a lean checkout process is far better at converting visitors into customers than, slow, clunky, distraction-filled checkout processes offered by Woocommerce and similar shopping carts. 

ThriveCart focussed on building a cloud based Shopping Cart Funnel app to provide a better checkout experience for customers and therefore a better conversion rate, for some time they used the strap line ” the shopping cart built for marketers” and we think that’s a very fair description. That’s not to say that Thrivecart is the perfect shopping cart from a marketing perspective because it’s not, but it’s a lot better than most, it’s far cheaper than Clickfunnels, its less glitchy than Clickfunnels too and less glitchy than Woocommerce and it won’t bloat your WordPress site like Cartflows and Woocommerce will either..

Cartflows was designed with the same goal as Thrivecart, to optimize checkout processes but it solved the problem in a different way. 

They first thing to say about Cartflows is that it’s a WordPress solution only ( unlike Thrivecart which can be used on pretty much any site) – That’s a big difference and depending on your needs it could define your choice. Cartflows works inside the WordPress ecosystem  by combining it with of Woocommerce you can create a powerful cart and checkout process by leveraging an established solution from the Woocommerce ecosystem, millions of usere and sites use Woocommerce but depending on which parts of Woocommerce you need it can get expensive, but our major concern apart from cost is site bloat, websites have many moving parts but Woocommerce and any addons you need can add considerably to the site and apart from Woocommerce related glitches you may experience some negative effects on site speed.

Shopping Carts: Cartflows is for WordPress Sites Only

If you need a shopping cart app that can be used on any site Cartflows is not your solution, it’s WordPress only, period.

Many site owners prefer to keep everything inside WordPress, the reasons why will vary, sometimes because it appears cleaner and to have less moving parts – but we don’t necessarily agree with that analysis, yes everything is in one place but you have extra moving parts all inside WordPress, plus the extra code for Cartflows and Woocommerce make this a weak argument in our opinion, however if you absolutely need the Woocommerce functionality saving just the Cartflow “weight” on the website makes the point stronger.

A common benefit that is mentioned for Cartflows is that the customer doesn’t leave the website to checkout, the cart is presented under your sites own domain name and supporters argue this is beneficial to customer experience and therefore conversion rates. We think that the difference is often marginal in reality, these days when buying online customers tend to be “ravenous” they have made their choice and they want to buy, we don’t think that a hosted shopping cart is likely to put off many customers, perhaps back in the day when online shopping was newer and customers were more wary of purchasing online maybe it was a bigger factor but we think it’s far less significant these days.

However as always consider your circumstances, if your niche targets customers who might be negatively affected by a hosted checkout then choose accordingly, for example a niche where there are shady operators might be better served by a self-hosted checkout, or perhaps a niche where the users are less internet savvy, or perhaps a niche where conversions will benefit from a end to end branded sales process , say for example high end corporate services like consulting? We are trying to be balanced here but as you can probably tell we don’t believe that a off site checkout is a terrible thing for CTR. 

On the other hand ThriveCarts solution is a hosted service, once the customer clicks “Buy Now” they are taken  to ThriveCart’s own website to complete the checkout process.

In terms of payment page design, you have full flexibility with Cartflow it’s based in WordPress and you can design and brand what you need within the limits of WordPress, that means you can make a nice, slick and branded checkout process.

The design of payment pages in Thrivecart is flexible, you have templates, you can brand them and you have some design flexibility but that flexibility is not the complete flexibility you have in WordPress with Cartflows. Again we don’t evaluate that to be a huge issue because coming back to our belief that these days in the buyers mind once they get to the payment page they are very certain and unlikely to change their minds due to marginal factors like branding consistency, we find that fast, robust and simple checkouts work best, more sales are lost due to slow websites and website glitches in our opinion plus once they are setup there is less cost and work involved in keeping them running too.

One clear advantage too CartFlows is it’s access to the  power of the entire Woocommerce ecosytem and the community of developers, there are many many features and plugins available and there are always new ones too, but the price is ongoing cost to using many addons, more weight on your site, an increased possibility of website issues, more maintenance and likely a slower website. As mentioned analyse what you really need and choose accordingly.

The flipside of that is the disadvantage of ThriveCart – it is what it is, Thrivecarts feature set is all you can access, if you later need something that is not there then maybe Thrivecart will add it, or maybe they won’t, that sounds pretty bad but consider they are a business and like any business to survive they need to serve customers needs, are your needs that unusual? If not then it’s likely that Thrivecart will provide everything you need now and into the future too, just map your current needs and perhaps your expected future needs to see if it fits, Thrivecart already has a very solid set of features and they are all properly integrated for you inside Thrivecart, that makes for a robust solution that will remain robust in the future, that seems preferable to us too cobbling together Cartflows and Woo commerce and dealing with glitches and paying for addons too but of course you need to ascertain whether Thrivecart functionality will meet your needs first.

Cartflows and Thrivecart Comparison:

Many, if not most features are common to both of these shopping carts. We would suggest reviewing the shopping cart comparison table below in the light of your needs, as you can tell we favour Thrivecart as our solution whenever it’s possible, we see it as our default choice, in other words unless there is specific and significant reason we would choose Thrivecart over Cartflows

Interestingly the main reason for our preference is its robustness, we see the separation of the shopping cart from the website as a positive thing not a negative as many would argue, it helps to keep our sites slim and fast, it also provides a separate optimised platform for the shopping cart that has many features as native integrations like receipts, A/B testing and Affiliate marketing too.

Cartflow Features Versus Thrivecart:

X = Cart has this Feature
= Cart does NOT have this Feature
Coming = Feature being developed
Limited = Feature Exists but  is Limited

WP = A WordPress Feature
WC = A Woocommerce Feature
WC Plugin = A Woocommerce Plugin is available for this Feature

Cartflows Versus Thrivecart Comparison

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2 thoughts on “Cartflows versus Thrivecart – Clickfunnels Alternatives”

  1. Social Marketing Master

    Can I simply say what a relief to discover a marketing business who has genuine, intelligent insight into the questions I needed answering about these two shopping carts. Really appreciate your work on this and have already fixed an appointment for an SEO audit

  2. Great job – exactly what I was looking for,
    thanks for your work on this and the SEO Tools are awesome !

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