Thrivecart Learn vs MemberVault Review 

Thrivecart Learn is the new kid on the block, when it comes to online course platforms… but is it any good?

Thrivecart Learn is an integrated course platform for users of the shopping cart system, Thrivecart and was launched on 6th October 2021.

I have been a Thrivecart user for 5 years now, and love the simplicity for managing payments and sorting out taxes, affiliates, order bumps and upsells. Thrivecart has launched Learn, to compete with SamCart who also offers a similar course platform (but I can’t comment on that as I am not a SamCart user).

Thrivecart is including the very basic version of Learn, free for all Thrivecart users. This has unlimited member and product numbers. They have a lifetime deal for Learn+ currently available as well, I will go into what you get on the two packages below. 

My recommended course platform to date is MemberVault for it’s full customer journey ethos PLUS the Forever Free Plan that gets you started and earning with 3 products and 100 clients, making it an ideal platform that grows with your business.

But when a Lifetime Deal opportunity opens up from a software provider that I trust (Thrivecart), it makes sense to take a good look at what is on offer. I also know that many MemberVault users integrate their checkout with Thrivecart, as I have myself, and this article can save you time doing the same comparison. 

Thrivecart Learn Overview

To quote Thrivecart:

” Learn is an extremely powerful and flexible course platform that is available for free directly within ThriveCart for ThriveCart users. It allows vendors to easily sell their training and content to customers through highly flexible courses containing modules and lessons. Each of which has a wide range of super-powerful drip-feeding options – giving you complete customisation on how your content is delivered to your students.

There are two versions of Learn available;

  • Learn (included for free as part of your ThriveCart account)
  • Learn+ (a paid advanced version containing a number of extra-powerful features)

Both versions allow for unlimited courses, unlimited modules, unlimited lessons, and unlimited students.”

MemberVault Overview

To quote MemberVault:

” A home for your online business. Grow your list, sell your offers and do it all in one place. You’ll love how easy it is to get started, whether you’re brand new to online business or a pro looking to explore our gamification and personalisation features.

Create a Binge & Buy Marketplace: Consider it your deconstructed funnel where your audience can easily see all of their options, from day 1, and you can track their interest, auto-magically. Stop making people wait till email #3 in your funnel. Let them buy NOW.

Say goodbye to free trial stress — our free plan lets you grow and test things out, with no time limit!”

So that’s what the companies lead with, but what does this mean to you as the course creator?

Thrivecart Learn vs. MemberVault

The quick version is Thrivecart Learn won’t replace MemberVault any time soon if you are a serious course creator.

Let’s take a look at the main areas that interest any course creator.

🔎  Initial Set-Up

Very simple to set up, the native integration with Thrivecart and their upsell / downsell funnels is excellent. For many, this will solve a huge pain point. The instant access to the course for new clients is awesome.

Course page layout options similar to current ThriveCart options, using a very easy drag and drop editor. Though I struggled finding any “preview” button to see how my layout would look for a user. I needed to make a new Thrivecart product and go through a test process to just preview – this needs addressing fast!

The drag and drop editor is something that has been missing in MemberVault, but Mike Kelly ensures us this is coming end of 2021.

Thrivecart does need integration with an email client and payment portals, just like MemberVault.

🔎  Custom Branding

In Thrivecart Learn, you can’t customise your fonts and colours product wide, with each new text box or content box you have to set these to your brand. This is irritating as it takes a lot of time, as is the fact that the product logo isn’t set to auto fit in their space for this… nor do they tell you the size it needs to be! You can see this in the image below of my quick test product called ‘Course Catalyst’.

Thrivecart Learn’s colour tool is glitchy in how it saves ‘recently used’ colour swatches that means across areas I find myself having to retype in my hex codes repeatedly. It would be great to add in a custom colour palette for each product and save these.

My instant get-around advice here would be to set up one lesson perfectly with all the design elements set to your branding, before adding any content, and then duplicate this one lesson to adapt and switch out content. Speed will be gained in good preparation, which applies to anything I guess!

Overall, MemberVault gives you more customisation options, both site wide and at lesson level, which brings greater brand consistency across this platform and with your website.

ThriveCart Learn Dashboard

🔎  Product and Content Access

Learn+ (paid version) module and lessons drips have great variety including day of month as well as setting certain lessons locked to set tags) and automations to bundle products are good. (We can bundle via actions in MV).

🔎  Import Customers

If you want to switch from anywhere you need to pay the upgrade to bring in customers. Otherwise it’s taking them through product sign up.

🔎 Funnel Integration

Thrivecart is all about funnels and processes, so naturally Thrivecart Learn integrates into these. All content and content bumps need to be sat in Thrivecart Learn for the drop down menu access in product fulfilment page. 

In Thrivecart Learn, onboarding people into a free mini-course and immediately offering the paid full course will now be simple. Those who don’t buy immediately get the offer on completion of the mini course through sequences – again, I imagine this will be simple to set up.

Seems to me Learn+ will evolve into a membership solution, not just a course LMS, as you can automatically stop access when payments are cancelled or fail – something that you have to deal with manually in MemberVault.

MemberVault is by it’s very nature ‘anti-funnel’ as you see in their own description above. They prefer to show all available options for sale and to let the customer decide which they would like, rather than moving through the high pressure sale funnels that leave us all shouting at the screen “enough already!” as many course hosts seem to abuse the funnel system to the nth degree! 

I never have more than 1 option post the initial offer, and rarely even you that.  

🔎  Document Upload 

Currently you can’t upload any files directly into Thrivecart Learn (their suggestion is to use Amazon A3), this is HUGE as all lessons benefit from added worksheets being available and even transcriptions to download. By needing to have another space to upload these and then link to, takes away some of the glow of this being “an all in one place” solution. MemberVault will host all your files on their server with an easy drag and drop upload feature.

🔎  Video Integration

Videos need to be embedded from a Video Host, for both Thrivecart Learn and MemberVault. I highly recommend VimeoPro for this and my affiliate link with save you 25% off your first year subscription). 

🔎  Audio Integration 

Thrivecart Learn allows you to add html embed code so you can share your externally hosted audio files this way. MemberVault has this PLUS you can also integrate your Hello Audio Podcast as well as audio files into lessons, as they have private podcast feeds as well as public streams.

🔎 Gamification and Leaderboards

No gamification Thrivecart Learn. MemberVault has EPs (Engagement Points) with associated leaderboards and confetti celebration tools that motivate users to complete the training.

🔎 Quizzes

No quizzes in Thrivecart Learn (though on roadmap apparently). MemberVault has a simple quiz system set up that also allows for written feedback from students as well as multiple choice answer options. The long form response sheets and ability to respond directly to students as they work through content is a great MemberVault bonus.

🔎 Community

Neither Thrivecart Learn or MemberVault has an inbuilt community feature. 

🔎 Contact with Host

No automatic way to send message to host in Thrivecart Learn, but you can add a button that says “Email” and link that way. MemberVault allows you to add custom CMS and Java to the platform that allows you to ingrate free messenger tools for clients to have an easy way to reach out. 

🔎  Organic Search to Courses

I would still recommend a separate WordPress based website to host your blog and business information to gain organic search traffic. Thrivecart focuses on the back end once people have found you. 

Conversely, MemberVault does have public facing pages (their Binge and Buy marketplace), so all your active products can be found through organic search for your solution. MemberVault in introducing blog pages in late 2021 as well to support this, as they plan to be able to replace your need for a separate website altogether.

Thrivecart Learn vs MemberVault Review

All in Thrivecart Learn still have a lot of development to do, as with any new platform. But even in its current iteration, I can see there is a lot on offer with Learn+. 

If you’re needs are very basic and you don’t want interaction in course delivery this is a possibility but I still think MV is a far better place to have your courses reside.Thrivecart Lifetime deal is $495 or $690 dependant on your needs. This will open up your access to Learn for free, or upgrade to Learn+ lifetime deal of $195 at October 2021.If you want to check out MemberVault as a host, click here to sign up for a forever free account to start testing and selling today. Or to see how it feels as a student you can see my MemberVault in action at https://memberzone.susannareay.com/ plus snag yourself some free resources while you are there!

Written by Susanna Reay, 10/08/2021

Susanna Reay is a multi award-winning coach, writer, and speaker who’s been bringing clarity, focus and structure into small businesses and entrepreneurial start-ups for over 20 years. Susanna brings a unique perspective informed by her training in design and business strategy, her life-long interest in psychology and strengths as an introverted online business builder. Her book, courses and mentoring have been the catalyst for growth for clients who’ve integrated Sparkle Frameworks® into their business. She helps the unseen be seen, heard and respected. Susanna is based in Europe, serving a global audience from her English home.

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