Best SamCart Alternatives, Competitors & Similar Software (2022 Updated)

The SamCart platform provides direct-to-consumer businesses a way to create, display, and sell products or services directly to their customers.

There's a good chance you might have come across SamCart while searching for a platform to sell courses and digital products. SamCart is an online platform that allows you to sell physical and digital products. For example, you can create shopping carts and checkout pages.

SamCart recently added course creation to its platform. You can create courses, but you get limited customization and editing options. So it might not be the right fit if you want to create a full-blown learning platform with SamCart.

There are many better options available at better prices where you can build an online community and sell your products with a dedicated built-in store.

SamCart Pricing

  • Starts at $49/mo.
  • Free trial available.

What is an online community platform?

A community platform can help you create a safe, secure online space where your members can interact with each other and your company. With a community platform, you can give your members the ability to share knowledge, help each other, and create valuable personal and professional networks.

There are a lot of community platforms out there, but the best ones share some key features. They're customizable, use modern design practices, are easy to use, and come with powerful gamification and moderation capabilities. If you're looking for a new community platform, make sure it has these features.

Reasons to consider SamCart alternatives

  • You cannot edit your content on SamCart. You also need to spend extra time on post-production if you use videos in your courses.

  • SamCart does not support hosting videos directly, so you'll first need to upload them to YouTube, Wistia, or Vimeo, then embed them into your course.

  • Because SamCart does not have a native mobile app, you cannot leverage mobile learning and build your brand. There are few payment gateways, no membership website builder in SamCart's lower plans, and it lacks A/B testing functionality.

Best SamCart Alternatives

Scenes

Scenes is an ultimate community platform that helps you build a robust community where you can sell your courses and host live events, webinars, and live streams. Scenes offers the best community features through which you can moderate, manage, and monetize your community all in one place - with your brand appearance, under your custom domain. Scenes can also generate a whitelabelled mobile app and list it on the Play Store/App Store.

Scenes Features

  • High level of customization: You can plug in your domain, add your branding, maintain the brand's colours, and even copy/paste your exact UI (via custom CSS). Scenes is an absolute "brand-consistent" platform.
  • Built-in store: A built-in store allows you to sell courses, information products, digital goods, merchandise and even membership tiers. Plus, you pay the lowest transaction fees compared to all other similar platforms.
  • Push notifications on mobile: When more than 60% of global internet users are on mobile devices, your members must have access to the community on the go. Push notifications via a mobile app ensures that your users are engaged regardless of where they are.
Scenes

Pros

  • Available across in multiple formats & avatars; be it a web app under your domain, a native whitelabeled app on Android and iOS, integrations within your existing app or API-based integrations.
  • Auto Scaling across platforms - Scenes uses powerful auto-scaling technology to keep your community blazing fast no matter how many visitors you have across all devices. They scale as you scale.
  • The only platform that enables custom CSS for top to bottom granular-level user interface customization. You can make your community look close to your app/website's UI.
  • A built-in coin system lets you incentivize your community members to engage more.
  • Live audio-video features for your events, webinars and live classes where all your members can get notified and RSVP.

Cons

  • You will lose some members during the platform migration process.

Teachable

Teachable is a popular online course platform that allows anyone to create, host and sell their pre-recorded online courses. So if you have your videos recorded & ready, you can create an online course within half an hour without being tech-savvy.

Teachable Features

  • Drag and drop builder - Building courses on Teachable can get slightly confusing if you try to do it all yourself. But thankfully, if you follow their tutorials, it becomes easy.
  • Quizzes - You can add multiple choice questions alongside (or after) your lectures - this helps your students assess their learning progress.
  • Promotional offers - You can create coupon codes. This is a good way to run discounts and increase sales on your courses.

Teachable Pricing

  • Paid plan starts at $39/month.
  • Teachable has free trial.
Teachable

Pros

  • Teachable is affordable even on the paid plans, making it accessible to everyone.
  • Teachable is easy to start with - it best suits beginners to advanced-level users.
  • You can sell a variety of add-ons alongside courses like ebooks and services and even set up workshops and conferences.

Cons

  • Pay-out options are a problem for customers from outside of the USA.
  • Teachable doesn't include email marketing, community management, or landing page software.
  • Teachable does not offer gamification or live learning which can make your courses boring and not up to the mark, as per 2022 standards (where cohort-based courses are the norm).

LearnWorlds

LearnWorlds is a learning management system that lets course creators create online courses. Using LearnWorlds, you can create student communities and sell online courses.

LearnWorlds Features

  • Offers gamification tools such as badges so that you can acknowledge efforts & promote good behaviour.
  • In-built shop for highlighting the details of your courses and selling them all in one place.
  • A broad range of assessment tools to help the educator & the students measure the learning progress.  

LearnWorlds Pricing

  • Paid plan starts at $24/month (billed annually).
  • LearnWorlds offers a free 30-day trial.
LearnWorlds

Pros

  • You can create student communities in LearnWorlds so that your members can share their experiences, ideas, and learnings.
  • Students can interact with your course content through LearnWorlds' course builder and enjoy a blissful learning experience.
  • LearnWorld's live online classes encourage your students to have interactive sessions and discussions among each other.

Cons

  • LearnWorld's interface is difficult to understand, and there are no tutorials that can help you get started.
  • Regarding email management and funnel-building tools, LearnWorlds does not offer as many options.
  • In LearnWorld, users complain that many features do not work when courses are published, making the learning experience less seamless.
  • With LearnWorlds, you need too many integrations and more management, distracting you from your business activities. 

Thinkific

Thinkific is a digital course creation platform where educators can curate online courses for their students. In addition, they offer competitive LMS features that let their customers run online courses effectively.

Thinkific Features

  • Assessments & Certificates - Offers comprehensive quizzes, engagement surveys, assignments, exams and certificates.
  • Progress Tracking - In-depth reporting to track student progress.
  • Live Lessons - Deliver lessons via live audio/video and let your students engage with you in realtime (via Zoom integration).

Thinkific Pricing

  • Paid plan starts at $39/month to $399/month.
  • The free plan includes access to all the core features of the platform.
Thinkific

Pros

  • Easy-to-use UI that makes running courses on Thinkific all the more seamless.
  • A very prompt support system responds to customer queries and problems and comes with an active Facebook group filled with Thinkific customers.
  • You can design the access portal, the courses, and the payment methods all in one interface without needing third-party integrations.

Cons

  • Not built for community engagement - in 2022, an LMS is not enough to successfully run courses. Thinkific lacks critical community features like gamification and incentive systems.
  • Cannot manage multiple cohorts under the same roof - this may constrain you as your courses start scaling and diversifying.
  • The pricing is slightly more expensive than alternatives and confusing for some.

Hotmart

Hotmart allows users to create and sell digital products that can be consumed on any device at anytime. Professionals of different fields create content for their students, clients, and followers by transforming their knowledge into videos, courses, eBooks and other resources.

Hotmart Features

  • Hotmart Members Area, Online Events Personalize your Members Area to be more than an online classroom or create unique online events that fit your brand.
  • You can reach a wider audience with Hotmart Affiliate Program which helps automate payments to your affiliates and reach more potential buyers while keeping control of your brand.
  • You can share the journey with Hotmart Co-Creation and Hotmart Collaborators Center by adding partners to your product, automatically distribute profits, and set access permissions according to your team.
Hotmart

Pros

  • You get real-time updates, set tracking pixels for customized reports, and more which helps in making sound decisions
  • Host livestreams, gather leads, and offer products with one-click buying during your webinar.
  • The perfect way for potential buyers to find your work at no extra cost. Customers can browse the products of Hotmart Creators according to their interests and needs.

Cons

  • It is expensive and takes a 10% commission on top.
  • It has few features to increase student engagement in class.
  • An inexperienced user may find it difficult to use.

Zenler

Zenler is a web-based online course platform best suited for creators and educators to create and sell their online courses and memberships. Zenler also helps you design video-based courses and build your video library.  

Zenler Features

  • Learning tools - Zenler offers tools like quizzes, exams, assignments, certificates, and more. Quizzes are its best feature, with plenty of available customization options. You can create quizzes with multiple-choice answers or single answers, images, and true or false questions.
  • Page designer - Zenler allows you to create a page without any coding knowledge. You can use the Page Designer to customize your course website, with the home page, landing pages, funnels or even a blog with SEO settings.
  • Community – Zenler lets you build an online community with your members. You can create different groups where you and your members can post anything.

Zenler Pricing

  • Paid plans start at $67/mo.
  • No free plans are available.
Zenler

Pros

  • Zenler provides many easy-to-use features that save a lot of your time on learning complex things.
  • Zenler Integrates well with email, funnels, payments and blogs that make you market your courses better.
  • You can host live webinars and classes and stream live with your members, making your sessions more fun and interactive.

Cons

  • Because Zenler does not offer mobile app features, users may not open your website regularly, reducing retention and losing interest.
  • Zenler is not the place to go if you want to make unique newsletters. It has limited email design options making your newsletters look boring.
  • There are no creative templates or designs in Zenler that match your brand. It significantly affects the user experience.

Kajabi

Kajabi is a platform that enables educators to run their online courses and manage their students in one place. Moreover, Kajabi also offers a mobile app to allow your users to access courses on the go (however, it is not a native white-label app)

Kajabi Features

  • No bandwidth or storage restrictions - Upload all of your videos, photos, and other files without worrying about space or bandwidth limitations.
  • Fully-fledged LMS capabilities let you run your courses and manage your students seamlessly.
  • Integrated checkout - Accept payments from anywhere in the world using Stripe or PayPal and give instant access to your content behind a paywall.

Kajabi Pricing

  • Starting Price is $119/month.
  • Kajabi offers a 14-Day free trial.
Kajabi

Pros

  • Kajabi has rich-text and media features that let you upload all kinds of content into your online content library.
  • You can track lesson progress, view grades, and get detailed analytics on how well students digest your content.
  • Kajabi offers your prospective students free trials to taste your content before rolling them over to become paid customers.

Cons

  • Kajabi is one of the most expensive solutions out there when it comes to LMS + community platforms.
  • It lacks good customer support and offers minimal options to customize your course community.
  • You have no native branded mobile app; your students will have to download the Kajabi app to access your content.

Gumroad

Gumroad is a digital marketplace for independent artists and creators selling digital services like books, memberships, and courses.  

Gumroad Features

  • Gumroad offers a robust analytics dashboard that provides you with an array of data about your sales, including - How much you've sold over the last week, month, or year.
  • Your customers can enjoy full content access as long as they are subscribed. You can also create discount codes for your products.
  • Gumroad offers email marketing tools that will help you send automated messages. Workflows help save time and energy, automating email campaigns and sequences after your customers purchase a product.

Gumroad Pricing

  • Starts at $10/mo.
  • Free version available.
Gumroad

Pros

  • It's possible to accept any payment format, including different foreign currencies, create software licences, and sell similar products in various forms.
  • It has a user-friendly interface that is simple to set up and can quickly go live with a product.
  • With Gumroad, you can set up a simple storefront with a profile image of your brand - and upload some text to describe the products you'd like to sell.

Cons

  • There are limited options for customization when it comes to email design, and all you can do is format the text and add a call-to-action button; that's it.
  • There are no trial capabilities, A/B split testing, or other forms of payment processing.
  • When you sell products on Gumroad, you'll be charged a fee for every transaction on the platform.

Mighty Networks

Mighty Networks allows businesses of any size to create online courses, mobile apps, and communities. In addition, one can create membership sites to offer paid courses, paid groups, or bundles of courses and groups.

Mighty Networks Features

  • It offers platform capabilities that scale as your community scales, allowing a seamless experience for you and your community members.
  • White-label and customize your community under your domain and replicate your brand aesthetics.
  • It has many LMS features that let educators and course-creators manage and run their online courses in one place.

Mighty Networks Pricing

  • Starts at $39/mo.
  • A 14-day free trial is available.
Mighty Networks

Pros

  • It offers good social engagement features like live audio/video and chat that lets your members engage with each other.
  • It comes with a native mobile app that is fully Whitelabeled (available when you buy the Mighty Pro plan)
  • It has a very user-friendly UI on the web that replicates Facebook groups on some level.

Cons

  • Not very customizable when it comes to their user-interface. Community owners have to work within a relatively rigid set of constraints.
  • At $30,000, the native mobile app is the most expensive compared to other alternatives.
  • The course creation experience has been said to be 'cumbersome' by many of their paid customers.

Patreon

Patreon is a membership platform that makes it easy for artists and creators to get paid. When you become a Patron, you agree to pay your monthly membership fee. In return, you'll get access to exclusive content and experiences, as well as special discounts and opportunities created just for Patrons.

Patreon Features

  • You can create membership tiers and integrate Patreon with Discord and Zapier. The customization tools for your own Patreon page are good and user-friendly.
  • It is easy to extract money from it via PayPal, it also allows for simple content sharing for the subscribers and the subscription tiers are easy and nice to set up.
  • Patreon is to use between a consumer and seller. I can buy access to media from content creators and sell my art to a large audience.
Patreon

Pros

  • Offers continuous crowdfunding for creators.
  • The platform facilitates reward giving.
  • Fewer content restrictions than some other crowd-funders. Multiple subscription plans available.

Cons

  • No built-in promotional tools.
  • Some creators report issues when attempting to collect funds.
  • A high volume of public complaints.

LearnDash

LearnDash is a platform for creating course websites using WordPress. In addition, LearnDash offers great LMS features for course instructors, educators, and knowledge creators.  

LearnDash Features

  • The drag & drop course builder helps course creators create courses easily and quickly.
  • It offers gamification tools like badges and certificates - Award certificates based on quiz results and course completions.
  • It has a built-in notification feature that prevents your students from missing any necessary updates.

LearnDash Pricing

  • Paid plan starts at $199/year.
  • No free trials available.
LearnDash

Pros

  • The video preview feature gives students a sneak peek into video lessons and makes the course more engaging.
  • It offers a flexible quiz builder that makes creating QnAs easy.
  • Provides gamification tools that help in engaging your members in your courses.

Cons

  • Its URL structure is highly complicated, making SEO difficult. There is no way to shorten it.
  • It takes some time to get used to all the new features. The learning curve is steep.
  • It runs only on WordPress, which means you'll need to know all WordPress functionalities.

Simplero

Simplero is a learning management system built for online courses and coaching programs. You can sell digital products, build a list, create landing pages & more.

Simplero Features

  • Flexible course delivery - In granular detail, you can control who gets what content.
  • Sales Funnel - Set up your sales funnels without stress or tech nightmares so you can focus on your customers. 
  • Badges - You can give badges and community groups on the same membership site. It has worksheets, quizzes and a blog and notifies your members about community activity.  

Simplero Pricing

  • Paid plan starts from $70.80/month to $298.80/month.
  • Simplero offers a free trial.
Simplero

Pros

  • You can deliver your members a great customer experience with easy-to-use courses and products.
  • Simplero offers integrations with Stripe, PayPal, and 120+ other gateways. 
  • You can give people a taste of what you have to offer. Then, if they decide to buy, you can release the rest of your content to them. 

Cons

  • There are too many options and not enough customization options in design.
  • Simplero has a tough learning curve, pricing 50% higher than other platforms.
  • To make your website design look professional, you must have CSS knowledge.

PeepSo

The PeepSO plugin is an easy way to add a social network or an online community to your WordPress site. It is extremely light, free and it looks great on any device. You can connect with your friends, share photos, videos and much more.

Peepso Features

  • You can automatically create a corresponding Post on Community Stream when a new blog post is published.
  • WordPress blog posts can be reacted on and commented on. Comments and reactions are synced with the corresponding community posts.
  • Provides live On-site and Email Notifications.
PeepSo

Pros

  • Dashboard with an Overview of Your Community and statistics.
  • Configure your entire community navigation from one place.
  • Built-in security configuration, preventing brute force attacks and more.

Cons

  • Peepso expect customers to go into a testing-phase to find errors that the plugin causes the site.
  • It is not user-friendly.
  • Plugins are buggy.

Tribe

Tribe is a Whitelabell community platform for businesses. It is famous for its customizability and integration capabilities. Primarily, Tribe is built for text-based conversations using features like forums, polls, etc.

Tribe Features

  • The UI is easy-to-use and comprises customizable blocks called 'spaces'.
  • It offers powerful rich-text features to format and deliver your content how you want to present it to your users.
  • A moderation panel that lets you manage your community smoothly and efficiently.

Tribe Pricing

  • Paid Plan starts at $59/month.
  • The free Plan includes 100 total members, essential apps, and a custom domain.
Tribe

Pros

  • Offers a white-label community with a good level of customizations that lets you match your community aesthetics to your brand aesthetics.
  • Has widgets and APIs that let you integrate with several third-party applications. 
  • Has a generous free plan that lets you house 500 members (without the Paywall feature, however).

Cons

  • More of an old-school forum-based tool rather than a full-fledged community platform with real time-communication features like live audio/video.
  • It lacks an incentive system and gamification features necessary for community engagement. Your users need incentives to engage.
  • No built-in shop/paywall system that lets your users buy products from you, such as premium memberships, courses, and the like.

Disclaimer: To curate the pros, cons and reviews - we mine the internet for customer references regarding the said software. Some of our sources include Reddit, Product Hunt, Twitter & Quora (and sites like G2 & Capterra).

What you should do now

Whenever you’re ready…here are 3 ways we can help:

  1. If you’d like to turn your business into a community-led business, book a call with us. One of our community experts will understand your current situation, and suggest how a community can work for you.

  2. If you’d like to learn the exact community-building formula we’ve used to help build 2000+ communities, watch this masterclass or read this guide.

  3. If you know another colleague or friend who’d enjoy reading this page, share it with them via email, Linkedin, Twitter, or Facebook.

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