(Disclosure: I use affiliate links within this post. I get a small kickback if you sign up for services using these links, at no cost to you!)
Flodesk recently rolled out early access for their Checkout feature and I am super excited about to be in on it! If you know me, you know I love all the technical aspects and behind-the-scenes of running a business. My industry friends come to me often with questions about checkout carts, email platforms, CRMs, and other geeky stuff.
One question I saw in the Flodesk Insiders group was, “How does it compare to Thrivecart?” As I have both the Flodesk Checkout beta and a lifetime sub to Thrivecart, I thought I would walk you through the key differences I have noticed so far.
The Quick & Dirty on Flodesk Checkout
- Design: Flodesk Checkout is prettier and easier to design with their pre-made blocks and layouts.
- Payment Integrations: It only connects with one payment gateway: Stripe Express.
- Price: Flodesk Checkout will be $38/month with some special offers for early access and/or email users, whereas I made a one-time payment of $690 USD for a lifetime subscription of Thrivecart.
- Integrations: Flodesk lacks the majority of integrations for power-users, but that said, you likely aren’t using Flodesk if you are an email and checkout power user.
- White-Labeling: No white-labeling is available for Flodesk Checkout which leaves users with pretty ugly URLs.
Flodesk Checkout is pretty. I mean, so beautiful! If you like clean checkout pages with gorgeous font options and lots of white space, this is for you. It was easy and quick to put together a checkout page for the flash sale I plan to launch soon. Flodesk offers layouts specifically for their Checkout pages and you can add or delete blocks with ease. They clearly took their core design elements from email and applied it to Checkout. Downside? No option to design from scratch. You have to use one of their checkout templates to begin. But with the ease of adding or deleting blocks, this isn’t a big deal.
Thrivecart design has always been just…okay. Nothing super special or beautiful, but it gets the job done (and there are people who know how to make it pretty…I am not one of those people, I lack the patience!). Know what I mean? That said, there are a lot of options within Thrivecart that don’t exist in Flodesk Checkout, such as one page templates where the landing page and checkout page are one page instead of two.
Flodesk Checkout only connects to Stripe Express. Even if you have an existing Stripe account, this creates a new one under their Express checkout option (I’d never heard of this before now) but it does link to your Stripe login credentials so at least it’s easy to find and view.
Thrivecart connects with multiple payment gateways, which include Google Pay, Apple Pay, Stripe, Authorize.net, and Paypal. You connect with each using your own login credentials (where applicable).
Neither integrates with Square.
Flodesk Checkout will be $38USD/month with no platform fees and only the standard 3% processing fee from Stripe. But, if you are an early access member, you can get Checkout for $19 per month for the lifetime of your subscription –or– bundle it with your email subscription for a total of $29.50 per month. A steal!
Thrivecart has a lifetime deal that is also hard to beat: $495 with the option to add on their Pro subscription for a one-time upgrade of $195, for a total of $690. Other options like Samcart charge as little as $100 per month for their lowest tier, so this is a great option.
Winner: It’s a tie! The price is great on both, although in terms of longevity, eventually Flodesk will cost more than Thrivecart if you stick with it long enough.
Flodesk Checkout seamlessly integrates with their email platform. You can easily add tags to purchases like “Purchased flash sale” which can then lead them into specific workflows you have created to educate them or help them plan their purchase (in my case, a boudoir session). For example, once a client purchases my flash sale, they are tagged which then triggers my workflow to remind them to set up a call.
Thrivecart can integrate with multiple email platforms via Zapier, which is how I have personally used it in the past. The upside is this means almost unlimited possibilities, but the downside is it is hard for some to figure out how to set up (if you are techphobic) and costs more money as you now have to pay for Zapier. I personally love Zapier because it has so many uses for business, not just with email platforms and checkout carts!
NOTE: You can integrate with other platforms using Flodesk + Zapier, but there are currently no new integration options other than adding segments or subscribers.
This is potentially a big issue for some users. While Thrivecart allows you to white label your checkout carts, Flodesk Checkout does not. When I create a sales page on Thrivecart, it shows either your username.thrivecart.com or if you have set up a CNAME record with your host, it will show your custom subdomain, like this:
Flodesk does not allow for this right now (I’m not sure if this is planned in a future update), but currently it seems to randomize the URL with a Flodesk subdomain:
Chances are, many customers won’t notice this, especially if they are on mobile, but it potentially could lead to a loss in bookings or purchases if the customer thinks this URL is a spoof page.
I’m not going to lie, I don’t love it. Is it a deal-breaker? Probably not, but my brand is also pretty established. Brands with less history may not want to deal with it.
- Thrivecart has the option for downsells, whereas Flodesk Checkout does not. I’ve never used downsells because that model doesn’t fit my business, but for some, this may be an issue.
- Flodesk Checkout does not allow for your customers to become affiliates unlike Thrivecart.
- Thrivecart lets you do A/B tests; this is not a feature in Flodesk Checkout that I can find.
- Both will let you create and use coupons.
- Both will let you create order bumps and upsells.
- Thrivecart has Learn+, a platform comparable to Teachable, Kjabi, and Podia. Flodesk Checkout does not offer this, although they do offer a checkout page for your course, with links after checkout to access or download.
- Thrivecart allows you to include tracking IDs; Flodesk Checkout does not.
- Flodesk Checkout does not offer a countdown timer to promote urgency in sales, whereas Thrivecart does.
- Thrivecart offers the ability to sell your checkout design by giving you a unique template URL someone else can then take and add into their account to duplicate the page. I don’t see this ever being a feature in Flodesk because their entire platform pitch is ease of use with simple design. Allowing their customers to sell their designs to other users introduces a complexity I don’t think they want.
- Thrivecart also offers checkout popups to integrate with your own website, memberships, payment plans, and a host of other options.
- Both include the option to showcase testimonials.
- Thrivecart allows users to connect to analytics like Google and Facebook. Again, I don’t see this option anywhere in Flodesk Checkout.
|Ease of Design||Easy||Somewhat difficult to get a clean design|
|Payment Gateways||Stripe Express||Stripe, PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Authorize.net|
|Price||$38 per month, no platform fees||No other fees other than the cost of the lifetime license ($495)|
|Seamless email integration||Yes, proprietary||No, you must use Zapier|
|Integrations||Zapier, but only for segments and subscribers||A ton of integrations via Zapier, you can see the list here|
|Calculates taxes automatically||No||Yes|
|Website modal embed||No||Yes|
|Analytics tracking (Facebook Pixel and Google)||No||Yes|
|Payment plans/recurring subscriptions for customers||No||Yes|
|Import custom checkout designs||No||Yes|
Thrivecart is for you if you need a robust platform with a lot of options such as multiple payment gateway options, integration with several email platforms, and the ability to offer affiliates, do A/B testing, or create, host, and sell online courses.
Flodesk Checkout is for you if you need a simple checkout platform that integrates easily with your Flodesk email subscription without the mess or complication of extras like Zapier. It is clean, beautiful, and easy to use!
Flodesk Checkout is currently offered only in an Early Access beta to some subscribers in the United States; I received an email yesterday morning with an offer to try it out until September 13th, when it will go live. I will likely sign up even though I have a lifetime subscription to Thrivecart so I have the option to make beautifully simple carts on the fly.
Interested in Flodesk? If you use my link, you can save 50% off your monthly or yearly subscription for the first year. I have converted many friends to Flodesk! The checkout cart launches on September 13th, 2022!
I have used Thrivecart for a couple of years now. I am not a power-user by any stretch of the imagination but it has allowed me to create and promote easy flash sales for my session fees. Their Lifetime Deal is almost unmatched. Grab it here.