Is your checkout page leaking conversions?
If you’re a course creator or service provider, getting people to your website is part of the battle. But if you want to actually earn money from those visits, you need to convert those visits into paying customers.
Studiocart is a WordPress plugin that helps you do that by giving you tools to create optimized checkout pages and sales funnels on your site, all without requiring any special technical knowledge or separate eCommerce tools.
In our hands-on Studiocart review, we’ll share more about what this plugin does and how you can use it to optimize your site’s checkout process and boost conversions.
Studiocart Review: What the Plugin Does
Studiocart advertises itself as “a WordPress plugin that helps coaches, course creators and service-based businesses start selling in minutes.”
It does this with an all-in-one approach that includes everything you need to start selling online. That is, it does not require a separate eCommerce plugin like WooCommerce. Instead, it’s a completely standalone payment/checkout solution.
So right there, you can see the main focus of the plugin – helping coaches, course creators, and service-based businesses sell online in an optimal way.
That’s certainly not to say you can’t use it if you don’t fall into those categories – it’s just that the plugin is tailored toward those use cases.
Next, let’s take a look at some of the main features that Studiocart adds to your site…
Optimized Checkout Pages
The first big Studiocart feature is that it offers optimized checkout pages that let you sell any type of product.
You even get access to a variety of pre-built templates that you can use to quickly get started. You can browse all of the templates here, but here’s an example of what a checkout page might look like:
You can use Studiocart to sell pretty much anything, including both digital and physical products. Here are some examples:
- Coaching or other 1:1 services
- Retreats or conferences
- Live workshops
- Paid email series
- Digital products (ebook, video, etc.)
- …pretty much anything
The only thing to keep in mind is that Studiocart is not a traditional eCommerce solution with a cart.
Studiocart works best if you want to sell one product at a time, where a shopper starts their purchase directly on the sales page.
In contrast, Studiocart is not the right fit if you want a more traditional eCommerce setup where a shopper adds multiple items to their cart in various quantities and then purchases all those different items in the same transaction.
Flexible Payment Options
Studiocart gives you a lot of different payment options, all without the need to rely on third-party plugins like you would with WooCommerce.
You can offer:
- One-time payments
- Recurring subscriptions
- Payment plans – e.g. three payments of $99
- Pay what you want
- Free trials or one-time signup fees
You can also let shoppers choose their preferred payment option. For example, they could pay $500 one time or three payments of $199.
In terms of payment processor support, Studiocart supports the following:
- Offline payments (cash)
They’re also planning to add more payment processors in the future.
Sales Funnels and Conversion Optimizations
To help you optimize your conversion rates, Studiocart helps you create complete sales funnels, including tactics such as the following:
- Order bumps
- One-click upsells and downsells
- Coupons and offer discounts
You can also send abandoned cart reminders to capture even more sales.
For upsells and downsells, you can even create your own upsell path which links together multiple products in a hierarchy:
Here’s an example of how these can work:
A Completely Standalone Checkout Solution
One key thing to understand is that Studiocart is, at its core, a standalone checkout solution. That means it’s all you need to start selling – you don’t need an existing WooCommerce store or anything, which is how a lot of other checkout plugins work.
With that being said, Studiocart does integrate with other tools if you want to use it as a checkout system for an existing plugin or tool that you’re using.
More specifically, you can automatically enroll people in a course or give them access to protected membership content when they make a purchase via Studiocart.
Currently, the supported platforms are as follows:
- Restrict Content Pro
- WP Courseware
- Wishlist Member
- Groups by itthinx
For example, instead of using LearnDash’s built-in checkout system, you could sell access to your courses using Studiocart. When a student makes their payment via the Studiocart checkout, Studiocart can then automatically enroll them in the relevant LearnDash course.
Integrations With Other Services
Beyond the integrations that I specified above, Studiocart also integrates with a number of third-party services.
First, this includes a lot of popular email marketing services:
Beyond that, it also supports webhooks and integrates with Zapier, which lets you connect to thousands of other apps, too. Here’s the full list of automation tools that it supports:
- Webhooks (using WP Webhooks can open some cool automations here)
- Pabbly Connect
- Uncanny Automator
- Thrive Automator
- Bit Integrations
Finally, it integrates with popular page builders such as Elementor and Divi to help you design your funnel pages. Or, you can just use the native WordPress editor.
Reporting and Order Management
Once you start attracting some sales, Studiocart gives you a unified reporting dashboard to track sales, refunds, upsell/downsell/order bump effectiveness, and more:
You’ll also get dedicated interfaces to view orders and subscriptions, which helps you stay on top of what’s happening on your site:
How to Create a Sales Funnel With Studiocart
Now that you know more about what the plugin does, let’s dig into what it’s like to create a checkout page and sales funnel using Studiocart.
For these example screenshots, I’m using the premium version of the plugin. However, there is also a free version and the basic experience will be the same between the two versions. More on pricing later.
1. Configure General Settings
When you install and activate Studiocart, the first thing you’ll want to do is configure some general settings for how your checkout functions, such as which payment gateways to support, taxes, invoices, and so on.
You can access these options by going to Studiocart → Settings:
You can see that the settings are divided into different tabs, each of which is logically organized.
For example, if you go to the Payment Methods tab, you’ll be able to choose from all of the available payment methods, including cash on delivery, Stripe, and PayPal:
The Integrations tab lets you connect to various external services or other plugins including email marketing services, membership or course plugins/tools, analytics tools (Google Analytics events or Facebook ad events), and so on.
The Emails tab lets you configure all of the emails that your site sends for various actions such as new orders or refunds, including using merge tags to dynamically insert information:
The Taxes tab gives you the option to enable custom tax rates or VAT. You can also set up custom rates for specific geographic areas, including bulk importing from a CSV to save time:
Finally, the Invoices tab lets you configure the invoices that you send to customers, including controlling the prefix, suffix, and general format:
And that’s it for general settings! Now, you’re ready to create your first product.
2. Create a Product
A “product” is anything that you want to sell with Studiocart. It could be a course, an event, a coaching session, and so on.
This is where the meat of the plugin’s functionality is, so there’s quite a lot to go through.
To create your product, you’ll head to Studiocart → Products → Add New Product.
At the top of the interface, you can add the product’s title and description using the regular editor. Then, you get a bunch of options in the Product Settings box, which is where you can configure your product’s nitty-gritty details:
There are a lot of options here, which gives you a ton of control over your product.
Here are some of the most notable options:
- Payment Plans – choose the available payment options – e.g. one-time payments, recurring subscriptions, and/or payment plans.
- Purchase Restrictions – limit sales of the product.
- Form Fields & Settings – configure default form fields and add custom fields if needed.
- Order Bumps – enable one or more order bumps (by linking an existing Studiocart product).
- Upsell Path – show upsell/downsell options. You can create these upsell/downsell hierarchies in a separate interface.
- Integrations – send information to other services when someone purchases this product.
For example, here’s what it looks to create a payment plan:
3. Design Pages Using Your Favorite Builder If Desired
Once you’ve created a product, you can design your checkout/funnel pages using your favorite builder. For this example, I’ll use Elementor.
To do this, you can create a new page like you normally would. Inside Elementor, you’ll get special widgets to include data from Studiocart.
For the rest of the design, you can use all of your builder’s functionality.
You can also import premade templates from Studiocart
You can repeat the process for other pages in your funnel as needed, such as thank you pages.
For thank you pages, you would then need to go back to the product’s settings and select that page to use as the thank you design.
Studiocart uses a freemium pricing model, which means that it comes in both a free version at WordPress.org as well as a premium version that adds more features.
In general, the free version can work if you just want a basic way to accept payments on your site. However, you’ll want the premium version to access all of the best conversion optimization features.
If you want to see all of the feature differences, check out the dedicated Studiocart free vs Pro page. But here’s a partial summary of some of the most notable additions that you get with the Pro version:
- Order bumps, upsells, and downsells
- Cart abandonment tools
- Two-step checkout
- Coupon support
- Custom fields to collect custom information from shoppers
- User account creation
- More integrations with other services and plugins
If you do want the premium version, Studiocart offers three different license options, each of which you can pay monthly or annually.
All three licenses have the same features – the only difference is the number of sites upon which you can use the plugin:
- 1 site – $199 per year or $19 per month.
- 3 sites – $299 per year or $29 per month.
- 10 sites – $399 per year or $39 per month.
Here’s the yearly pricing:
And here’s the monthly pricing:
If you don’t renew your license, your existing version of Studiocart will continue to function, but you’ll no longer receive access to support, updates, and the template library.
Those prices are a little higher than your average WordPress plugin, but I think that they’re quite competitive for the space that Studiocart is operating in.
For example, another popular WooCommerce-based sales funnel builder starts at $300 per year, and a tool like ClickFunnels can cost hundreds per month.
If configured properly, the extra revenue that you get from order bumps, upsells, and other tactics should more than cover the cost of the plugin.
Final Thoughts on Studiocart
Overall, Studiocart delivers on its promise of making it easy for people to start selling in minutes.
I like that, unlike some other WordPress sales funnel solutions, Studiocart doesn’t rely on WooCommerce. This lets you create a more lightweight system, while still getting access to plenty of payment flexibility.
The checkout also works great and I’m confident that it will create an excellent experience for your shoppers.
While Studiocart is a standalone checkout tool, you still do get access to plenty of integrations, so you can easily use it with your existing online course or membership plugin/tool.
If you want to get started, you can play around with the free version at WordPress.org. Then, consider upgrading to the premium version to gain access to all of the features.