It’s no surprise that an e-commerce shopping cart business would shift its focus to membership sites. After all, membership sites and online courses are thriving in the knowledge economy.
But can a platform that started as a shopping cart really stack up against an all-in-one online course platform?
In this Kajabi vs. Samcart review, we’ll take a deep dive into both platforms so you can choose the best course platform for your digital business.
How does Samcart work?
Samcart bills itself as “the easy way to sell online.” But what exactly does that mean?
Samcart started as a “bolt-on” shopping cart feature that allows you to use your existing website or produce a one-page website with their tools to sell physical or digital goods. Then, in June 2021 they expanded into the knowledge commerce industry by offering online courses.
Kajabi vs. Samcart: Features
Since Kajabi focuses on helping people sell their knowledge online through courses and memberships, it makes sense to compare Kajabi and Samcart based on how well they serve a knowledge entrepreneur.
To help you know which is the best option for you, we’ll look at the following:
- Online courses
- Digital sales and payment processing
- Email marketing
- Website and landing pages
- CRM features
- Support and Pricing
Kajabi has long been an online course host. It was built and designed because the founder was unable to find an easy way to sell courses online. So how does Samcart, which is newer to offering online courses, compare?
When it comes to the course creation user interface, both Kajabi and Samcart are pretty easy to use and navigate. Now, let’s see what online course functionality both softwares have. In both Kajabi and Samcart, you can:
- Create courses with videos, audio files, and downloadable files for course materials
- Offer quizzes with the option to include a minimum score required to move on
- Drip course content on a set schedule
But Kajabi builds upon the core course functionality. Kajabi includes Wistia video hosting in the membership cost and you can upload videos in the Kajabi app. Kajabi’s Assessments are robust, allowing for quizzes or for students to submit various file types as responses and allow the instructor to give feedback.
What also makes Kajabi stand out is the customizable course Blueprints. These save you tons of time on the layout of the course so you can simply add in your content to the framework.
In Samcart, course creators have to do more to set up the framework. Right now, course creators have to design the layout of their courses. Course creators need to upload their videos elsewhere which adds another step in the workflow. Samcart also offers multiple choice quizzes and assessments with open text responses.
Digital sales and payment processing
When considering Kajabi vs Samcart for digital product sales, it’s a good idea to look closely at how each platform handles product setup and sales. Both Kajabi and Samcart provide a payment processing tool. Both also allow you to offer coupons to your customers.
Plus, you’ll be glad to know that neither Kajabi nor Samcart take a percentage of your sales (unlike some other knowledge commerce platforms). This means you keep more of your money in your pocket and are free to grow and scale your business as you see fit.
Both Samcart and Kajabi allow for Stripe and PayPal payment processing. The advantage that Kajabi has is that lots of other features tie in with checkout and we include helpful automations that make it super easy to streamline your workflow.
We have to give some credit where it is due. Samcart, which started primarily as a shopping cart and added online courses later, naturally has some helpful checkout-related features.
Email marketing - keeping members engaged and coming back
One of the most important features of any membership platform is decidedly simple yet incredibly powerful: the ability to email your subscribers and members. That brings us to our next Kajabi vs Samcart comparison: Which service offers the best email marketing option?
In the case of email marketing, Kajabi wins hands-down. That’s because Samcart doesn’t offer much email marketing functionality. Samcart does send out some transactional emails, like the order receipt, refund notifications, subscription charge receipts, and subscription reminders.
But, in order to do true email marketing with Samcart, you’ll need to pay a third-party email service and integrate their service with Samcart. Other services like Ontraport, Constant Contact, AWeber, and Getresponse are also available with varying levels of integration with Samcart.
You’ll need to fork over a monthly fee for the email marketing tool that could be well into the hundreds of dollars each month depending on the number of contacts you have. Sometimes the cost of the email marketing tool alone is more than Kajabi.
Kajabi has email marketing baked into its platform right from the start. Rather than having to pay a third party and deal with the hassles of integration, you can market to your members and users directly from within Kajabi itself.
Kajabi also provides you with beautiful email marketing templates, an intuitive visual editor, and subject line validation to help your emails succeed.
Website and landing pages
Kajabi and Samcart differ in their approach when it comes to your digital home base for your business and courses.
Kajabi provides you with a full website, which includes a home page, navigation menu, storefront, blog, contact forms. It provides a great user experience for visitors at every stage of the customer journey, whether it’s their first time on your site or if they are a paying customer. We provide templates that are designed with top industries in mind and are consistently developing new templates.
Samcart does not provide the same website experience. They provide customers with a sales page that allows people to learn more and purchase the course.
While this might get the job done in terms of selling your course, it can provide a disjointed user experience. If you have a website now and link a Samcart sales page to sell the course, visitors might be confused when they get to the Samcart templated sales page that has a completely different look and feel.
If you don’t yet have a website, and build your course on Samcart, the course sales landing page only lets people buy. If your sales page visitors are not ready to buy, but instead trying to learn more about you or your business and have no other page to navigate to... they might decide not to purchase.
Ultimately, all businesses really need their own fully-fledged and cohesively designed website. If you’re going to start a knowledge commerce business, it makes sense to choose Kajabi, the platform that provides you with the tools to host a website and sell your products in one place. It also helps support a cohesive brand strategy.
CRM features - managing and improving customer relationships
To manage your business, you need a good customer relationship management software (CRM). Not only does it allow you to see where your customers are in the sales funnel, it makes it possible to tailor your emails and marketing to them accordingly.
Samcart has a basic Student management area where course creators can enroll students in their courses. Samcart encourages customers to access CRM functionality through a third-party integration. Keap and Hubspot are two reputable CRMs that integrate with Samcart. Both are expensive, and you still have to take the time to integrate them.
The Kajabi CRM functionality is designed for small knowledge commerce businesses and has robust functionality. You can automate emails and grant offers based on your contacts’ actions. You can have up to 100 custom fields to store lead and contact information that’s relevant to your industry.
Samcart offers third-party integrations with other providers that specialize in other features. These include Wordpress, Mailchimp, Keap, ActiveCampaign, Maropost, and more.
With the right integrations, you can piece together a good marketing and sales tech stack. But be prepared. It takes a lot of work to build these integrations, and they can end up causing a lot of headaches or taking time away from your other tasks that can grow your business.
Tech issues aside, building a business around Samcart and third-party integrations can require a bigger financial investment than the cost of an all-in-one tool.
Kajabi takes a different approach. It gives you the entire tech stack that you’ll need to build a knowledge business — website, landing page builder, product hosting, payment processing, email marketing software, blog and podcast hosting, automations and more.
You never need to buy another app to run your knowledge-based online business. (But, just in case you already have another tool you love and can’t live without, Kajabi does integrate with other software tools too.)
The support you get from any software platform can impact your long-term business success. Like most software platforms, both Kajabi and Samcart offer a self-serve knowledge base.
When it comes to getting in touch with a specific concern, Samcart offers email support. The higher priced package comes with priority support.
With Kajabi’s customer success team on your side, along with 24/7 live chat available on our Growth and Pro plans, everything we do is engineered to help you build, grow, and scale your business. We also offer an add-on plan called Access that gets you one-on-one calls with a Customer Success Manager.
The bottom line: Which platform is a true all-in-one tool?
If you’d rather focus on your business than your tech stack, Kajabi gives you complete access to all of the knowledge commerce tools you need in one place. That makes Kajabi the clear winner in a head-to-head Kajabi vs. Samcart comparison.
Although our Samcart review does demonstrate that you can enhance its functionality with third-party add-ons, between the two, only Kajabi is a true all-in-one tool.
Rather than paying separately (and dealing with the hassle of integrations) for email marketing software, shopping cart, membership sites, and funnel builders, you get each of these tools built into your Kajabi tool set.
Not only does this save you time and money, it also saves you countless hours time that you could be spent building up your business.
Getting a secure foothold in the knowledge economy and building your business from scratch doesn’t have to be overwhelming or daunting. Join us for live Q&A webinars every day, Monday through Friday. Register today to learn everything you need to know to succeed as a knowledge entrepreneur, including selling products, Kajabi themes, pipelines, webinars, and the Kajabi Partner Program.
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