ThriveCart vs PayKickStart: One CLEARLY Takes The Crown

When looking for an online shopping cart solution, you may have come across ThriveCart and PayKickStart

While both are great shopping cart solutions, there are some key differences between the two which may sway you towards one or the other. 

In this article, we’ll be taking a look at what both Thrive Cart and PayKickStart have to offer so that you can make a better and informed decision when picking between the two.

ThriveCart vs PayKickStart: Key Differences

The key differences between ThriveCart and PayKickStart are that while ThriveCart comes at a one-time fee, PayKickStart comes at a monthly subscription. PayKickStart also has a little more templates, while ThriveCart has more sales enhancers such as A/B testing. 

In terms of integrations, it depends on what other types of software you’re trying to integrate with.

PayKickStart has a few more options for direct membership sites and email integrations, while ThriveCart has a lot more options for physical product stores. 

For payment processors they both support the usual:

  • PayPal
  • Stripe
  • Braintree

However, ThriveCart also allows you to accept Google pay and apple pay, while PayKickStart does not. 

ThriveCart vs PayKickStart: Overview

Founded in20152014
PricingStandard: $495 (one-time)
Pro: $695 (one-time)
Starter: $99 per month
Growth $199 per month
Scale: $399 per month
Free TrialNoYes
Money-Back Guarantee30 Days 30 Days 
Overall Rating9.5/108/10

What Is ThriveCart?

ThriveCart is an online shopping cart solution founded by Josh Bartlett in late 2015. 

It has some of the most powerful and comprehensive shopping cart features on the market with strong sales enhancers and detailed analytics. 

What Is PayKickStart? 

PayKickStart is also an online shopping cart solution, but it was founded by Mark Thompson in 2014. 

Similar to ThriveCart, it also has some strong shopping cart features helping its users get more conversions. 

What Features Do They Offer? 

They both allow you to build fully-customizable checkouts quickly and easily.

ThriveCart also comes with a fully integrated & ready to use sales tax calculating service, while with PayKickStart you have to integrate via an external service called Taxamo costing at least an additional $30. 

Other than that, we are going to be comparing ThriveCart and PayKickStart in three core categories:

  • Sale Enhancers
  • Integrations
  • Customization & Templates

Sales Enhancers

Our first category is sales enhancers.

Here, they both perform well as they both have:

  • One-click upsells & downsells
  • Order bumps
  • Subscription billing

However, there are some key differences in which ThriveCart clearly wins for this category.

The features shown below are only offered by ThriveCart:

  • A/B testing
  • Multiple pricing options on checkouts
  • Free trials on single payment products
  • Event-based behavior rules
  • Dynamic checkout (depending on location, time zone, etc.)

Sadly, PayKickStart does not offer these features.

So, in terms of sales enhancers, the point goes to ThriveCart due to the number of added features named above which are not available in PayKickStart. 


Our next comparison is in terms of integrations.

Here we are going to compare the two in:

  • Direct email integrations
  • Direct membership site integrations
  • Direct physical product integrations

Keep in mind, the ones not on the lists for each integration category can usually be integrated with Zapier, or with the API.

Email Integrations 

Firstly, we have the direct email integrations and here it’s a win for PayKickStart. 

ThriveCart offers email integrations with: 

  • Ontraport
  • ConvertKit
  • ActiveCampaign
  • AWeber
  • Hubspot
  • MailerLite
  • Infusionsoft
  • MailChimp
  • Drip
  • GetResponse

PayKickStart offers email integrations with: 

  • Drip
  • SendLane
  • Maropost
  • Constant Contact
  • ActiveCampaign
  • Aweber
  • ConvertKit
  • iContact
  • Infusionsoft
  • Klaviyo
  • Interspire
  • MarketHero
  • GetResponse
  • MailChimp
  • Ontraport
  • SendReach
  • Campaign Refinery

While ThriveCart does have the main email integrations, PayKickStart simply has more options.

With that being said, keep in mind that you can usually integrate all of them via the API or Zapier, no matter if you choose ThriveCart or PayKickStart. 

Membership Site Integrations

Again, PayKickStart wins in membership site integrations.

ThriveCart only offers direct integrations with: 

  • Teachable
  • MemberMouse
  • MemberPress
  • Wishlist Member
  • Digital Access Pass
  • OptimizeMember

PayKickStart offers direct integrations with

  • AMember
  • Memberful
  • Teachable
  • Thinkific
  • FreshMember
  • Kajabi
  • Digital Access Pass
  • EverLesson
  • Wishlist
  • OptimizeMember
  • ProductDyno
  • MemberMouse
  • S2Member
  • ClickFunnels

Physical Product Store Integrations

Lastly, we have integrations with physical product stores such as Shopify, Printful, etc.. 

Here it’s a clear win for ThriveCart as it directly integrates with:

  • Shopify 
  • Printful
  • Lulu 
  • ShipStation
  • Disk 
  • Google Sheets
  • Kunaki
  • Shippo 
  • Vervante

PayKickStart however, does not integrate with ANY of these apart from Shipstation. 

Customization & Templates

Our next category is customization & templates.

For shopping cart customization Thrive Cart wins as it offers more customization in discounts and shipping settings. 

However, PayKickStart does have a few more templates.

Both solutions have fully customizable templates, meaning it’s a draw in this category as Thrive Cart wins in shopping cart customization, but PayKickStart comes with more templates.

Who Wins In Features? 

You can’t really decide a winner in features, as they are both great in different ways.

If you want to have a little more templates and need to integrate with a lot more membership sites, then PayKickStart probably wins the feature battle for you.

However, if you want more comprehensive sales enhancers and want to give your conversions the best tools possible, then ThriveCart probably wins in features for you.

It just depends on what you are looking for and if you want ThriveCarts tools with the membership integrations, you can usually easily integrate via Zapier or API key. 

How Much Do They Both Cost?

ThriveCart has two pricing options, both are one-time fees: 

  • Standard: $495
  • Pro: $695

The main difference between ThriveCart’s pro and standard plan are:

  • You receive the affiliate center
  • Subscription Saver Functionality
  • Automatic Sales Tax Calculator (Not available in PayKickStart)
  • Intelligent business projections
  • JV Contracts
  • Advanced User Management
  • Client Usage rights
  • Customer domain name functionality

PayKickStart has three pricing options, all are subscriptions:

  • Starter: $99 per month (Up to $10K monthly revenue)
  • Growth  $199 per month (Up to $50K monthly revenue)
  • Scale  $399 per month (Up to $100k monthly revenue)

For anything over $100K monthly revenue with PayKickStart, you would have to contact them.

Features only available in PayKickStart’s Growth plan and up:

  • Affiliate management
  • User-based roles & permissions
  • Customer billing portal
  • Cancellation Saver
  • Advanced Dunning
  • API Access

Features only available in PayKickStart’s Scale Plan:

  • Designated Account Manager
  • Demographics
  • Customer Feedback surveys
  • Audience builder
  • Uptime monitoring
  • Social Proof

Who Wins In Pricing? 

Despite, both of these platforms being fairly priced, this is another clear win for ThriveCart.

When you go for these types of software, you’re probably going to stay with them for years to come. 

Even, on the starter plan for PayKickStart which is very limited compared to ThriveCart, you would have paid more than you would on the ThriveCart Pro plan after just 7 months. 

And, that’s for the starter plan, on the other plans that timeframe is reduced to two or three months. 

Use ThriveCart If You…

  • are looking for a lifetime solution coming at a one-time fee saving you thousands of dollars in the long term
  • need the A/B testing feature to find the best converting variation
  • need integrations with physical product stores (Shopify, Printful, etc.) 
  • need multiple pricing options on checkouts to give your user a better choice
  • want to offer free trials on single payment products
  • need event-based behavior rules (for example, coupons)
  • need a dynamic Checkout (depending on location, time zone, etc.

Use PayKickStart If You…

  • need the additional membership integrations (and don’t want to use Zapier or the API)
  • need the additional email integrations (and don’t want to use Zapier or the API)
  • have a budget suited better to pay on a monthly basis
  • want a couple of additional templates

ThriveCart and PayKickStart: Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article has helped you find the software you want to use.

Both of these shopping cart solutions are great and work well, it just depends on which one suits your needs better.

While ThriveCart wins in cart features and pricing, PayKickStart wins in integrations for email and membership site applications. 

Personally, I would go for ThriveCart, as you get a lifetime deal.

If you would go with PayKickStart, after 2-7 months, you have paid as much as you would for ThriveCart pro, but you have to keep paying the subscription fee every month.

Plus, you also get better sales enhancer features with ThriveCart.

Those are just my thoughts, but I do highly recommend taking advantage of the lifetime deal as it will simply save you thousands in the long run. 

Our #1 Choice


ThriveCart is the best shopping cart platform I’ve ever used, hands down!

If you haven’t invested in ThriveCart yet, I’d highly recommend taking advantage of their lifetime deal since it will be going away very soon! It’ll save you a ton of money in the long run with this special offer I negotiated for our readers…