What is SureCart?
SureCart is a new take on ecommerce for WordPress sites by embracing new technology to provide a more secure and in many cases user-friendly alternative to some of the traditional ecommerce plugins that have dominated the market for so long.
But is it any good and is it a viable alternative to WooCommerce? That is what we are going to be looking at in our in-depth review.
Total out of 5
Free Plan Available
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SureCart Review: Quick Summary
Is SureCart any good? It depends on how you plan to use SureCart as it is a great option for landing pages where you need to add a Buy Button or a well-designed checkout directly to the page.
But due to SureCart not creating product or category pages, it doesn’t work that well for businesses looking for a more traditional ecommerce option similar to what WooCommerce offers.
In terms of features it is very good and there are some exciting additions coming, the support is very good and once you learn how it works, it is easy to use but we do recommend watching some of the videos on the YouTube channel first.
How Does SureCart Work?
Before we get into the review, we wanted to talk about how SureCart works as it is different from the likes of WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads because SureCart is a headless ecommerce solution for WordPress.
With SureCart, there are two elements:
- The Ecommerce Platform – this is where you sign up to SureCart and where all the ecommerce elements such as the checkout are hosted
- The WordPress Plugin – this connects their platform to your WordPress site, so that you can use the checkout etc
And while it appears to you as the user and the customer on the frontend of your site that everything is all part of your WordPress site, they are actually two separate platforms that work seamlessly together and this provides some advantages:
- It’s more secure – because the checkout pages are all hosted on SureCarts secure servers, it means that no customer information is stored on your WordPress site
- Less bloat – unlike traditional plugins that add lots of code to your site, SureCart doesn’t and won’t impact your site’s performance
And this is why SureCart is different from many of the other WordPress ecommerce offerings.
SureCart offers 4 options when it comes to its pricing, 1 free plan and 3 paid.
The free plan, which most people will get started with includes:
- Listing up to 100 products
- 500MB file storage for digital downloads
- Email support
It also comes with a range of features, which is covered more in the next section. The three paid plans are:
All SureCart plans are paid for annually but work out very competitively priced when you look at how much they cost per month vs many of the other WordPress ecommerce plugins.
Every SureCart plan comes with a good selection of features, with larger plans offering improved versions of certain features or ones that aren’t available on smaller plans and below is a summary of the features that are included with SureCart:
SureCart comes with a good selection of ecommerce tools to help you start selling through your WordPress site, including:
- Sell Physical, Digital & Service Products – it allows you to sell a variety of different product types and includes storage for your digital downloads
- Sell Subscriptions – build recurring revenue (can be used for SaaS products) by selling subscriptions and on the larger plans, customers can upgrade, downgrade and pause their subscription
- Offer Installment Plans – offer flexible payments if your customer can’t afford to pay everything upfront
- Auto-calculated Tax & VAT – SureCart automatically calculates tax, even for international payments and handles EU VAT as well
- Easy Refunds + Customer Survey – easily refund your customers and auto send them a survey to find out why they want a refund and what you can do better in future
Marketing & SEO
One of the most important aspects of ecommerce is marketing, so what tools does SureCart offer to help you start generating sales?
- Product Bundles – increase sales by promoting products bundles, which can also include discounts to encourage people to buy
- Discounts Codes & Coupons – easily create discount codes and coupons, which you can promote to customers
- Auto Payment Recovery (for subscriptions) – don’t lose out on payments, automatically send payment reminders to customers
- Abandoned Cart Emails – automatically send emails to encourage customers to complete the checkout, you can also include discounts
- Built-in Affiliate Program (Coming Soon) – you will soon be able to create and manage your own affiliate program through SureCart
In terms of SEO, due to how SureCart works, you can use all of the WordPress SEO features including the blog to help you start ranking in search engines (an SEO plugin might also be helpful)
SureCart comes with a small but very nice selection of payment gateways, including:
- Apple Pay & Google Pay (for mobile payments)
They also have more integrations with additional payment gateways planned but one very nice thing about SureCart is that the don’t charge any additional transaction fees.
SureCart currently offers a number of integrations, both with other WordPress Plugins and third-party software, this includes:
The great thing about the SureCart plugin is that all these features are built into the plugin and having just one plugin can make running an ecommerce store using WordPress a lot less stressful!
One thing that we do really like about SureCart is that they not only list the features that they are planning to add in the future but also give you an indication of when they are going to be available for you to use.
SureCart Theme Selection & Customization
With SureCart being a headless ecommerce setup, it works with any WordPress theme as you add the buttons and forms to pages using blocks.
This gives you the freedom to choose whichever theme you want but just make sure that everything displays properly before going live.
When it comes to customization, SureCart does offer a lot of control over the layout of it’s checkout forms and as it uses the Gutenberg editor as a base, you can create a truly custom checkout for your store.
All SureCart plans include email support but the more expensive plans give you priority support, which should result in your support ticket being answered quicker.
But even on the free plan, they aim to respond to email support tickets within 24 hours, so you shouldn’t be waiting around too long for an answer.
SureCart does also have a Facebook community group, which is a great place to ask questions and get answers from other members of the community and they have a knowledgebase, which is a useful source of information.
How Easy is SureCart to Use?
Ease of use is a hugely important thing to consider when choosing an ecommerce platform as you want something that not only offers all of the features you need but is also something that is easy to use as this will help in the day-to-day running of your ecommerce store and for ease of use, we will be looking at:
- Getting Started
- Setting up Storefront
- Inventory Management
- Managing Orders
In order to get started with SureCart, you will first need to have your WordPress site all set up and ready to go.
Once this is done, simply head to the WordPress plugin library and install the SureCart plugin and you will begin the sign-up process, which consists of 4 stages:
- Choose your plan
- Enter your store details (skippable)
- Connect your payment gateway (skippable)
- Get your API Token (make sure you copy this)
You will then be taken back to your WordPress dashboard and asked to enter your API token in order to connect your WordPress site with the SureCart platform.
Once this has been done, you will be taken to the SureCart plugin dashboard, which includes a 3-step guide to help you get SureCart setup on your store, which includes:
- Create products
- Add buy and cart buttons
- Customize forms
The button for How to Add Buttons goes to the SureCart YouTube channel and you have to find the video for yourself, rather than being taken to the tutorial video.
The dashboard also includes the reporting for your store and shows you:
- Your revenue
- Number of orders
- Average order value
- Your recent orders
These reports can also be compared to the last period (which is set by you from a dropdown menu), so that you can see how well your store is performing.
Setting Up SureCart Storefront
Adding SureCart to the frontend of our WordPress site was something that we initially found quite difficult and without watching a few videos on the YouTube channel, probably wouldn’t have figured out on our own.
This is because SureCart doesn’t work in the same way as traditional ecommerce plugins such as WooCommerce or Ecwid as it doesn’t allow you to create:
- Product pages
- Category pages
Instead, the way SureCart works is that you add a Buy or Add to Cart button or a checkout form to one of your site’s pages.
It does create two pages when you install the plugin, which are:
- Checkout – which can be used as a central checkout page, ideal if you are adding add-to-cart buttons to multiple pages
- Dashboard – this is a customer dashboard page, where they can view their orders, modify subscriptions etc
Once you understand how SureCart works, it does make and you can see the use cases for SureCart but it doesn’t allow users to create a traditional storefront in the same way that other plugins do.
Currently, physical products aren’t available for the free plan but we will come back and update this once they are available.
When we are looking at inventory management, we look at 3 main elements:
- Creating a new product
- Organizing your inventory
- Managing your inventory
Creating a new product in SureCart is pretty simple as the Add New Product page is very well laid out and easy to use, with the page including the following sections:
- Details – this includes the name and the description for the product
- Pricing – set the pricing, this is also where you can set up subscriptions
- Integrations – this is where you set up any integrations such as courses etc that are linked to this product
- Downloads – if this is a downloadable file, then you add the file in this section
- Summary – choose if the product is available for purchase
- Tax and Shipping – toggle whether tax or shipping applies to this product
- Product Image – add your product image
- Advanced – you can use this section to limit the number of purchases for this product
The dropdown menu in the top right also includes options for the instant checkout.
As physical products are currently available on the plan we tested, we don’t know what other options are available for this type of product.
But you do need to remember that setting up the product here doesn’t create a product page on your storefront, you have to create that yourself and currently SureCart doesn’t offer any blocks for this other than the Buy Button or Add To Cart button.
Due to the way that SureCart works, it doesn’t create categories.
There currently isn’t any kind of inventory management options for SureCart but this is something they are looking to add further down the line along with other options for physical products.
One thing we did notice was that there isn’t a stock option for digital products and we know this isn’t going to apply to all digital products but some sellers may want to limit a product to a certain number of customers.
SureCarts order management system is quite basic and doesn’t currently offer any bulk features, which may be limiting if you are planning on using it for physical products.
But on the order view page for individual orders, there is an option to download/print the order invoice and this will work very well as a packing slip, it would be nice if you could print these in bulk.
Is SureCart Any Good?
This isn’t a straightforward yes or no as it depends on how you plan to use the plugin:
If you are using the plugin for any product/s that you are building a landing page for, then SureCart is one of the best options for WordPress as you can add a buy button or well-designed cart directly to the page.
But if you are looking to build a traditional style ecommerce website with product and category pages, then SureCart isn’t going to be the best option as it isn’t designed to do this.
And it is for this reason that SureCart can’t really be seen as an alternative to WooCommerce as it is like comparing apples to oranges, they both allow you to sell through WordPress but do it in completely different ways.
But once we figured out how to use SureCart, we saw how good it is and the potential ways that it can be used. It will also be interesting to see how the plugin develops with the features they plan on adding.