Independent Shopping Carts for Artists?

Learn the Ways an Independent Shopping Cart Can Immediately Boost Your Online Art and Related Product Sales

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.

I Love the “Pay What You Want” Shopping Cart Feature

Some other useful features I look for include the ability to easily create free trials, split payments, tripwires, flexible subscriptions, recurring sales, discount offers, and “pay what you want” (PWYW) pricing. While I don’t advocate offering original art on a PWYW basis, but what about prints, back inventory, cups, notecards, or services you might have for your clientele?

I’m currently using ThriveCart to offer a “Pay What You Want” deal for artists to join my How to Price Art & Project Income Calculators course. I set a $10 minimum. The full price is $40 on my Teachable site. As good as Teachable’s shopping cart is, it doesn’t have the Pay What You Want option or many others as well.

ThriveCart with Zapier makes it very easy to coordinate my sale with Infusionsoft and Teachable. On my HowtoPriceArt.com site, I have a button that links to a hosted shopping cart page with the “Pay Want You Want” offer on it.

When a sale is made, ThriveCart passes a tag to my Infusionsoft marketing automation service. That tag is also passed to my Zapier account. Through Zapier, my new student is enrolled in the How to Price Art & Project Income Calculators course on Teachable. The tag also kicks off an autoresponder in Infusionsoft that sends a timed sequence of emails to the new student. All this happens automatically.

I’ve Used the ThriveCart Shopping Cart in Many Different Ways

In the past, I also used ThriveCart to sell thousands of digital downloads of my Straight Advice: How to Market Art Online ebook. It’s worked smoothly with every variation I’ve found to use it. I know I am only scratching the surface of what I can do with ThriveCart. Partly, I’m not in a rush because I’m on a beta lifetime access with unlimited updates deal with ThriveCart.

The Best Deal Ever for ThriveCart Closes May 24

That beta offer for lifetime access is still open, but only until May 24. After that, it will launch with monthly and yearly pricing options. The monthly price is $97 with a discount for prepaying annually. If you want in on the lifetime deal, the price is $595, including all future updates. As good as it is now, I can see from the roadmap and more than two years of personal experience that there are many more refinements and updates planned for the software.

ThriveCart has a couple of competitors that I am aware of. They are SamCart and ClickFunnels. I’ve researched both and determined neither would work nearly as well as ThriveCart for my business. I’m sure that is true for visual artists as well. Both competitors start at $97 or more per month and neither offer lifetime deals.

I am an affiliate and will receive a commission if you buy from my link. However, the price is the same regardless of how you get to the site. As such, I will be most grateful if you decide to buy the program using my link. As a way of showing my gratitude for using my link, I will give you a private 60-minute coaching session with me. You can use it to strategize on how to use ThriveCart in your business, how to set it up, or something about the art business unrelated to ThriveCart. Whatever works for you.

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