If you are in the market for an e-commerce platform so you can sell online then you may come across an ecommerce platform called Samcart, as well as another ecommerce product called Paypal, and may be wondering what the difference is. This post will explain the primary differences between the two products — Samcart vs Paypal — and what they are each used for, how they compare, and if they can be sued together (spoiler alert, they can!).

What is SamCart?

Samcart is a commercial ecommerce technology product found at http://samcart.com. It is an e-commerce solution that lets a company sell products or services online to customers that want to use either a credit card or their Paypal account.

It is primarily used as a landing page product. That means you create a single page with Samcart that features a specific product, its description, its features, and its price. You can also display one or more images. The page also has a checkout feature that lets a buyer input a credit card or Paypal account. The site lets you configure your page design with pre-built templates. It also has a drag-and-drop page builder so you can customize the look of a page using page elements. You do not need to understand web program code to achieve a professional-looking design. Samcart is primarily used to sell digital information products (like PDFs, ebooks, videos or software) and also online courses.

However, you can use it to sell physical products. It has a setting that will collect shipping information from the buyer and can also collect a shipping fee you set.

Website: Samcart

Samcart’s strengths

  • Designed to sell information products and non-physical products
  • Month fees start at as low as USD $99/mo
  • Excellent upsell and cross sell features
  • Easy to set up
  • Drag and drop design interface
  • Free integrated course design software built in (added in 2021)
  • Pricing starts at $39/mo

Samcart’s weaknesses

  • Only uses four transaction processors (Paypal, Stripe, Easypal Direct and Braintree)
  • No shipping service (USPS, Fedex, UPS,Canada Post etc) integration for phsyical products.
  • No shopping cart for multi-product browsing. Single product focus with upsell features, although you can built as many product pages as you like
  • Does not provide website. It’s more for custom checkout page development. However could can use your own domain instead of the the samcart.com URL.

What is Paypal?

Paypal is an ecommerce company that provides payment services for e-commerce websites. While it has some basic functionality that allows you to send a customer directly to Paypal page to make a payment and checkout, it is not a primary feature and this process while quick is not an ideal e-commerce transaction as it primarily focuses on those that have a Paypal account with a secondary function of using a credit card to make payment.

Paypal is used by e-commerce site owners to connect to their e-commerce platform and handle payment transactions between a seller and buyer who both have a funded Paypal account. On a successful transaction, Paypal electronically tells the e-commerce platform that the purchase is approved, which in turn is displayed to the buyer.

Paypal also accesses funds from the buying account and transfers it (less a 2-3% fee) to the e-commerce site owner.

Paypal Strengths:

  • Easy transfer of funds from buyer to seller.
  • Buyer protection policy and decent and fair dispute resolution process.
  • Good fraud detection.
  • Free to apply for an account and easy to integrate if you know what you are doing.
  • Integrates will many shopping carts including Samcart.

Paypal Weakenesses:

  • Is not a standalone product. Relies on integration with other e-commerce products for best user experience.
  • Charges high fees (3.3% or more).
  • Website is difficult to navigate. Not always intuitive for a seller.

Now that you know what the core uses are for Samcart vs Paypal, let’s discuss how they can work together to make e-commerce possible.

Paypal integrates into Samcart and is vitally necessary to clear a Paypal transaction. A Samcart user (an e-commerce seller) must apply for a Paypal account and then enter that user account information into Samcart under an account holder’s settings so that Samcart can send transactions to Paypal to authorize a purchase on a buyer’s account.

Can Samcart be used without Paypal?

Samcart can be used without Paypal if it has also been configured with an e-commerce operator’s Stripe account (see related article Samcart vs Stripe).

In this Paypal-free scenario, Samcart submits a charge to Stripe, and the buyer’s credit card account is checked by Stripe, and if there are available funds they are debited and approval is returned to allow the transaction to go through. Stripe in turn pays the seller the funds less a processing charge of 2.7 to 3.5%. This fee is variable based on the kind of transaction. It may be more or less depending on the account holder’s agreement with Stripe.

To be able to run any transactions using Samcart, a seller much integrate either a Stripe account or a Paypal account. Optimally, both services are connected to Samcart so that the buyer has a choice to use either a credit card or a Paypal account when they make a purchase. Without either of these scenarios in place, Samcart cannot complete a transaction and is basically useless. It relies on an integration with one or the other, and preferably both.

Best practices

The best practice here is to get a Samcart account and integrate it with both Paypal and Samcart to offer your buyers two payment options.

Can Paypal be used alone without Samcart?

Paypal can be used to run a transaction directly through Paypal’s own website. However, this is not recommended and is not a shopping cart.

Paypal works best when used with a commercial e-commerce platform. It can be integrated with products like ThriveCart, GumRoad, and Shopify.

Ready to choose one of these ecommerce technologies: