If you are in the market for an e-commerce platform so you can sell online then you may come across a technology product called Samcart, as well as another ecommerce product called Stripe, and may be wondering what the difference is. This post will explain the primary differences between the two products — Samcart vs Stripe — and what they are each used for and how their features compare.

What is SamCart?

Samcart is a commercial e-commerce technology product found at http://samcart.com. It is an e-commerce solution that lets a company to 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 Stripe?

Stripe is a company that provides credit card clearing services for e-commerce websites. While it has some basic functionality that allows you to send a customer directly to a Stripe page to pay and checkout, it is not it primary feature. Stripe is used by e-commerce site owners to connect to their e-commerce platform and handle credit card transactions. Stripe is the intermediary between the buyer and the credit card companies such as Mastercard and Visa and the banks that use those brands to submit buyer’s credit card information for obtaining an authorization from the bank to submit a charge so that it allows the cardholder to make a purchase. On success, Stripe electronically tells the e-commerce platform that the purchase is approved, which in turn is displayed to the buyer. Stripe also accesses funds from the authorizing bank and transfers them to the e-commerce site owner. The bank in turn applies that charge to the credit card holder’s account for future payment.

Stripe Strengths:

  • Clears credit cards – Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Discover – by integrating with a shopping cart or ecommerce platform.
  • Fraud detection.
  • Easy to apply for an account and easy to integrate if you know what you are doing.
  • Has many partners it can integrate with.

Stripe 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).
  • Design for technical users, not everyday user friendly.
  • Website is difficutlt to navigate.

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

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

Can Samcart be used without Stripe?

Samcart can be used without Stripe if it has also been configured with an e-commerce operator’s Paypal account. In this scenario, Samcart submits a charge to Paypal, and the buyer’s Paypal account is checked, and if there are available funds they are debited and approval is returned to allow the transaction go through. Paypal 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 Paypal.

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.

Can Stripe be used alone without Samcart?

Stripe can be used to run a transaction directly through Stripe’s own website. However this is not recommended and is not particularly user-friendly. Stripe works best when used with a commercial e-commerce platform. Stripe can be integrated with products like ThriveCart, GumRoad, Shopify (using “Shopify Payments). Here is a list of e-commerce platforms that Stripe integrates with.

Ready to choose one of these ecommerce technologies: