If you sell anything online, whether digital products and services or physical goods, a shopping cart is required to process the order and interface with a payment processor.

Some payment processors, for instance, PayPal provides buttons and links you can use to place on your website, or in an email or blog post. However, since their main business is payment processing, they usually are not very flexible or robust as they were not designed from the ground up to act as an independent shopping cart to use everywhere.

2005 Was So Long Ago in Internet Years

Like most internet marketers, my first use of an online payment processor was with PayPal. I used its buttons to sell books and consulting in the early years of my online business, which began in 2005. At various times, I’ve also used Stripe, Square, Mint, and Authorize.net to process payments. Today, I use a combination of PayPal and Stripe.

Built-in shopping carts are often handy. That is the case with my online course platform. I have used Teachable for three years and am very happy with its performance. Through Zapier, which connects web apps, it integrates with my Infusionsoft email marketing provider. I’m not targeting international sales. If I did, Teachable could be set up to collect and pay EU VAT taxes, for instance. It also has a built-in affiliate program that makes automatic payouts to affiliates for me.

Why Would I Want to Use an Independent Third-Party Shopping Cart?

Given Teachable does so much, why would I want or need an independent shopping cart service?

I have several reasons:

  • First, I don’t like being entirely dependent on a dedicated platform like Teachable. I want to know I can use my shopping cart anywhere I choose without restrictions.
  • Second, I take great comfort and get value knowing I can promote my products on my website, blog, Facebook, and via email directly with no constraints on who can take my payments or what service I use to send my emails.
  • Third, it’s the only way to get options to make bump sales, upsells, downsells, and more.
  • Lastly, I want the ability to tag customers who make a purchase, abandon the cart, request a refund, or have a payment declined. Each of those gives me options to save a sale.

Okay, Why Should Artists Consider an Independent Shopping Cart?

The reasons why an artist would use an independent shopping cart are many.

  • To start, all the reasons listed above apply to artists.
  • You can integrate it with your blog or website, and even Facebook, to sell from pages within them directly.
  • You can use it to make an upsell when someone purchases from you. You are only limited by your creativity when it comes to offering an upsell. Think about providing upscale framing options, color or design services, art classes, workshops, or trips.
  •  You could offer an affordable hanging service within a given area.
  • Use it to help you set up a membership, or trial membership to your collector society.
  • You could upsell to offer note cards or other goods that bear the image of the original art, and so on.

I Use and Recommend ThriveCart

Here is a screenshot from ThriveCart showing the drop set behavior rules that will pass tags from ThriveCart to Infusionsoft. If a buyer abandons the cart, the tag can be used to initiate an email sequence to the potential buyer. It could offer a coupon for an extra 10% discount or something else to help save the sale.  By the way, ThriveCart makes using coupons with it easy.

Related Posts


You may also like

  • Phyllis Lombardo says:

    Not sure I’m in the eright place but here goes.
    I’m 75 years old and started painting about six years ago.
    I have many good paintings in oil, acrylic and watercolor.
    Some framed and not, also varied sizes from 8×10 to
    36×40. I have sold some but now I feel ready to sell.
    What is a first thing to do to start??

    • Hi Phyllis,
      Thanks for commenting. It’s never too late. You need a domain name and a website. Back end items are a business checking account, a legal structure for your business. You need an email address that reflects your business in the name. On the marketing side, it’s important to have goals and vision for your career. That is, what do you want to achieve in the next 12 months and the next 36 months? Then create a customer avatar. Define as closely as possible who is the best prospect to buy your art? To get your work distributed, you can try to get into galleries. It’s harder than ever these days as the number of galleries is in decline. You can also begin to work on a marketing strategy that will get you known to and your work is seen by your target audience that most closely resembles your customer avatar. I recommend reading my Guerrilla Marketing for Artists book. You can get it on Amazon for a few bucks. It expands on the ideas I’ve given you here along with much more useful information. If you want my direct help, let me know. I’ll get back to you to set up a discovery call to explore your options and opportunities. Cheers, Barney

  • My question is: can this cart work with fine art america, Vida, society 6. Basically other third party vendors I am doing business with? Thank you

    • Thanks for your question. It won’t replace Fine Art America or other service providers who also fulfill and ship your art. When a customer buys from Fine Art America, you don’t get the contact information. To get sales on FAA, Society 6 and so on, you have to drive traffic to the site. They are too big with too many artists to be able to market for you. When your traffic gets to the third-party site, there is no guarantee they buy from you. On the other hand, if you drive traffic to your website, you can sell to them directly and use ThriveCart to manage the checkout process and add them to your email list such as MailChimp or Convertkit. They can be tagged with tags you create, which you can use to help segment buyers. You can pull buyers by tags and send them messages specific to their purchase. Tags are nearly endless, Price range, original, print, subject matter, primary color, size, and much more. The more you know about your buyers, the easier it is to send them customized messages based on preferences and history.

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    Subscribe to weekly updates. 
    "Helpful information & encouraging inspiration for fine artists."  

    Search This Site