Mar 30, 2020 - 09:28 AM
What Is SamCart?
The world of eCommerce platforms may seem saturated with big players like Shopify and WooCommerce, but as SamCart proves, there’s always room for a newcomer that offers something different.
The concept behind SamCart is that today’s shoppers want simplicity. In the saturated world of eCommerce marketing, something sleek and streamlined can sometimes be more competitive than an elaborate website with a long list of products. SamCart creates a one-page experience for shopping and buying. Instead of a complex, SEO-optimized maze of landing pages, online catalogs, checkout pages, blog pages, and the like, SamCart keeps it simple.
This simplicity also extends to setup. SamCart doesn’t require you to know code: it offers over 18 responsive themes that any beginner can set up. But while the setup is simple, SamCart also supports A/B testing to improve on your initial design, and lets you add upsell features to make the checkout page even more successful.
SamCart has made some bold claims about its power to increase sales. But are these claims true? After all, SamCart has been an option for a number of years, yet remains far less popular than big-name competitors like Shopify. Here’s how it measures up.
How SamCart Compares to the Competition
With plans at $49/month, $99/month, and $199/month, SamCart’s prices are competitive. Let’s take a look at how what you get compares to what the popular competitors offer.
The primary drawback that users run into with SamCart is that it’s not designed for a full eCommerce store with a variety of products. Shopify is.
SamCart’s streamlined platform works well if you’re selling a single physical product, or if you’re marketing digital products like online courses. But if you need a fully-fledged catalog of products, competitors like Shopify are the right choice. The online shopping cart offered by SamCart is too simple to act as a complete online store.
SamCart is really a platform for online sales funnels, not for online stores. It was first designed to offer a better-looking alternative to the PayPal checkout page. When you think of it that way, you can see just how specific the platform is. SamCart doesn’t even have an “add to cart” feature; it lets users buy just one product at a time, with the option of adding upsells.
With Shopify, you can also build online sales funnels. However, the platform is much more flexible than SamCart: it’s designed to build and support complete eCommerce websites. Users who want only a simple shopping cart will be better off with SamCart, since it’s easy to get bogged down by all the bells and whistles of Shopify. But if you’re looking for the complete online-store experience, SamCart can’t compete.
The WooCommerce plugin allows you to turn a WordPress site into an eCommerce store. WooCommerce (and WordPress as a whole) is known for being super-customizable, but can also be challenging for beginners to set up. With so many different plugins and templates, it’s easy to get lost in the myriad of options.
The SamCart versus WooCommerce question is essentially the same as the SamCart versus Shopify one. WooCommerce is a more elaborate platform, designed to set up complete eCommerce stores where users can browse products before checkout. Although both WooCommerce and SamCart are eCommerce platforms, they have very different purposes.
If you just want to sell information products or a single item, the effort of setting up a WooCommerce store likely isn’t worth your time. But if you want a complete online store (or want to someday grow into one), SamCart is far too limited for your needs.
With its focus on marketing funnels, ClickFunnels is a more direct SamCart competitor than Shopify and WooCommerce. However, ClickFunnels uses a multi-page funnel approach, while SamCart focuses on a streamlined one-page design.
To put that another way, ClickFunnels focuses on the leadup to the checkout page, while SamCart focuses on the checkout page itself. SamCart optimizes checkout to ensure people go through with the purchase, and offers upsells to help you make the most money from each customer. Meanwhile, ClickFunnels focuses on moving an uncertain customer toward a purchase. That said, ClickFunnels does also have powerful upselling options, like SamCart’s.
SamCart also offers the simple solution of pre-designed checkout pages. With ClickFunnels, you’ll need to customize your checkout page design. Depending on how you value ease of use versus customization, this could be either a pro or a con.
If you’ve been using ClickFunnels but aren’t happy with your conversion rates, it may be worth giving SamCart a try. The platform’s simplicity and tested templates are a welcome alternative to the ClickFunnels method. However, SamCart’s one-page funnel design isn’t necessarily better every time - it’s just another option in the toolbox.
SamCart was designed for one specific thing: simple checkout pages. It does that one thing very well. However, this specialization also makes it a somewhat limited platform, which may be why you haven’t heard of it before.
SamCart makes it super-easy to get started, and integrates with a lot of eCommerce tools to help you succeed, such as HubSpot and Mailchimp. It even has a built-in Affiliate Center so you can easily tap the benefits of affiliate marketing. Its checkout page designs are heavily tested to optimize conversions, which saves you from the effort of trying to find the highest-converting design. (And this is why SamCart claims to help you make up to 5x more sales than other platforms.) SamCart also offers great training and customer support, making it even more beginner-friendly.
Still, keep in mind that SamCart conversions only work once users are already on the page - the platform doesn’t help you get users there. Unlike Shopify and WooCommerce, SamCart doesn’t have built-in traffic-generating tools like a blogging platform. So, although the conversion rates are optimized, you’re still responsible for getting users to that checkout page in the first place.
In the end, there are three types of sellers who will most benefit from SamCart: those selling info products, those selling a very short list of physical products, and those who want an easy way to try eCommerce. It’s a great platform for beginners and for those with limited items to sell. However, it will never be able to stand in for a complete online store.