- Accepts credit card/PayPal
- Supports subscriptions and payment plans
- Ability to generate license keys for selling software products
- Clean and customizable checkout pages
- Can use Gumroad’s embeddable checkout button on your site
- Can easily create discounts and coupons
- Basic but workable affiliate center built-in
- Membership, video hosting and gated content built-in
- Super easy to understand user-interface
- Affordable cost and free plan available
- No support for Apple Pay or any cryptocurrencies
- No way to offer paid or free trials
- No A/B testing functionality
- No bump offers or one-click upsells
- Lacking many native integrations (though you can use Zapier)
- Poorly documented knowledge-base
- No live chat or Facebook community
Founded in 2011, Gumroad has been around for a fairly long time in internet years, and it has quickly become the go-to platform for thousands of bloggers, writers and artists.
Unlike the other tools in this shopping cart review series, Gumroad is both a platform and marketplace for creators to host and sell their products and/or services.
For this review, however, I’ll be looking at the shopping cart aspect specifically, though I may mention some other aspects of this platform if I feel they are relevant.
So let’s see how this thing stands up to the competition, shall we?
The Good, Bad, And The Ugly
For this review, I fired up Gumroad to see how it fares in comparison to popular alternatives.
From here on out, I’ll share my experiences using this tool, as well as what I liked and didn’t like along the way.
How Well Does It Accept Different Payments?
As I was digging into the different payment methods available, I realized that Gumroad does thing a little differently to other shopping carts.
For processing debit/credit cards, Gumroad appears to be its own payment gateway, in that it doesn’t use something like Stripe.
As you can see, it does also allow payment via PayPal, but apart from that, things like Authorize.net, Skrill and Braintree are not supported by Gumroad.
Oh, and before you ask, there’s also currently no support for any cryptocurrencies… or Apple Pay.
While this does sound a little weak, it’s easy to forget that by accepting all major debit/credit cards and PayPal, you already have the vast majority of the market covered.
Let’s look at the payment models.
Subscriptions are easily doable from the product setup screen after clicking on “digital product”.
You then get to choose how the subscription works, whether that be sending ongoing content, or granting access to archived content.
Even at this stage, you can feel that Gumroad is much more than a shopping cart, since having everything built-in allows for this level of granularity when setting up new products.
Me likes. Me likes a lot.
As for payment plans (also sometimes called split pay), you can simply set a limited number of months in Gumroad to achieve the same effect.
So far so good.
What about trials? Can they be done?
I looked high and low and couldn’t find any mention of trials being supported by Gumroad, either free or paid.
One thing I did notice, however, was the ability generate a license key for your product.
If you’re a developer or you just happen to be selling a software product, this could be a real winning feature for you.
Accepts all major credit cards and PayPal, but no support for Apple Pay or Cryptocurrency. No way to offer trials, though you can set up subscriptions and payment plans, as well as generate license keys for selling software products.
How Well Does It Convert Prospects?
This is the part where we talk about turning prospects into customers, and that’s a HUGE responsibility to give to one tool or platform.
The question is, how good is Gumroad at doing just that?
Let’s start with checkout templates. Gumroad let’s you change the theme and styling of this page from the preview screen.
The handful of themes on offer are only subtle changes to what you in the screenshot above, although you can use some CSS wizardry to get more creative.
There are also some options to configure what Gumroad refers to as “Purchase Flow”, which essentially the button, form fields and receipt page.
As for functionality, Gumroad does give you an option to embed their button on your site, which essentially opens a modal checkout.
While it does feel a little basic, I like that this is even possible considering the simplicity approach that Gumroad is clearly going for.
Making all of this stuff flow with your branding might be a little challenging, but I think it’s good enough for most cases.
What if you wanted to A/B test multiple designs?
Unsurprisingly, Gumroad doesn’t have an A/B testing feature per se, though they do claim to run tests on their own checkout experience to make sure they stay “well above the industry average”.
Of course, Gumroad provides statistics such as views and sales for each of your products, so you could pull this off manually. In theory.
Clean but basic checkout pages with the ability to theme and customize with CSS. No A/B testing available, although Gumroad claims to always be improving their checkout experience to boost conversions.
Does It Help Boost Your Sales?
If the last section was about making the sale, this one’s about increasing the value of that sale.
Let’s start with discounts and coupons.
For any product you create with Gumroad, you get the option to add what they call an “offer”.
You can then add a coupon field to your checkout page, allowing anyone to use your newly created code for a discount.
It’s pretty basic stuff, but it works.
One thing I found odd was that the knowledge base had no mention of setting up coupons and discounts. Luckily it wasn’t too difficult to figure out.
For bump offers, I couldn’t see any way to make it happen within the Gumroad UI…
…and yeah, the knowledge base was little help.
No upsells of any kind, either.
This is where I feel Gumroad users suffer the most considering how big of an impact these additional offers can have on your customer lifetime value.
The last thing I’ll talk about here is recruiting affiliates.
Yet again, the knowledge base was useless in finding out whether or not Gumroad had an affiliate centre built in, but I did eventually find it once logged into the platform.
It’s about as basic as it gets for an affiliate centre, and what you see above is basically what you get.
There’s no sign up page, so you have to create your affiliates manually…
Your affiliate has to already be signed up to Gumroad, so that adds another layer of complexity…
And there’s no granular options, like setting payment method, payment frequency or second-tier affiliate payouts.
The simplicity of Gumroad is something many users will admire, but it does come at the cost of more advanced sales features such as bump offers and 1-click upsells. You can recruit affiliates, however.
How Well Does It Fit Into Your Tech Stack?
When it comes to shopping carts, having them properly integrate with the rest of your software setup is essential.
Email marketing is often the first thing to consider when introducing any new tech into your business.
Gumroad’s native integrations here only seem to include ConvertKit, Drip and Infusionsoft, so if you’re using anything else, such as ActiveCampaign or MailChimp, you could be left scratching your head.
One thing that confused me about these integrations was that I couldn’t find any options to hook them up in the settings.
Turns out, you make the connection from within your email marketing tool.
Next, I’d usually talk about integrating with membership platforms, but Gumroad is a membership platform by itself.
It can be used to gate images, audio, and video. You can even present your media in a course format.
So, yeah, there aren’t any native membership platform integrations because it’s not really necessary given what Gumroad is primarily used for. Besides, it’s wayyyyy easier to use the in-built tools.
That being said, if you did decide that you’d prefer hooking it up with something like Teachable, for example, it can be done through a third party… but I’ll get to that.
And webinar platforms?
It’s a no-go. Gumroad just isn’t built for that level of marketing integration, and once you start using Gumroad, it’s easy to see how that might conflict with their ‘keep-it-simple’ approach.
As I mentioned earlier, there is a plan B if you find yourself stuck without a native integration.
Using Zapier, you can use email marketing platforms like MailChimp and MailerLite, webinar platforms like Go-To-Webinar and EverWebinar, and even hook it up with Google Sheets for all you spreadsheet junkies.
Lacking a lot of native integrations for popular services, but Zapier can always be used to fill in the gaps. Membership integrations can also be replaced by Gumroad’s own functionality.
Does It Always Have Your Back?
Your shopping cart is perhaps one of the most crucial components of your business. No question.
So it goes without saying that you need to have somewhere to turn when sh*t hits the fan.
Whether it’s figuring out how to add a product, setting up a promotional discount, or trying to fix a complete system failure…
…we all need a little help from time to time.
One of Gumroad’s best qualities in this regard is it’s super simple user-interface, meaning that even a complete novice would have little trouble navigating the platform.
From the minimal design, barebones settings and timely prompts, you quickly begin to appreciate how easy Gumroad is to use despite missing out on many of the features you’d find in something like ThriveCart.
In the unlikely event you do get stuck, the first port of call will typically be the knowledge base (or ‘help center’).
Now, I’ve bashed the knowledge base a few times already throughout this review, and I’m not about to change my mind now.
It’s very hit and miss.
Sometimes you get your answer straight off the bat, other times you’re simply left in the dark — as I’ve demonstrated a few times.
But let’s be honest, bigger issues can and will arise.
If you want to get in touch with a human, Gumroad advises users to reach out via email.
Obviously email is less than ideal in a more time-sensitive situation, and that could be deal-breaker for some given that there’s no phone or live chat support.
Even weirder…. No Facebook group.
Maybe I’m missing something here, but for a platform as popular as Gumroad is, I can’t get my head around why there’d be no community on Facebook of all places.
Despite a beginner-friendly UI, the spotty knowledge base, lack of direct support and no sign of any kind of community around this product makes me just a tad nervous.
Gumroad is not only the cheapest shopping cart in this review series, but it’s also the only one that has a free plan.
While the free plan does have some limitations as well as a higher commission rate, it’s still a great way to get started selling your products online.
Here’s what the pricing page looks like:
That aside, let’s look at how other shopping carts are priced, so you can get a better idea of where Gumroad currently sits in the market.
|Shopping Cart||Free Plan||Trial||Refund||Low End Cost|
|No||14 days||45 days||$99/month|
|No||No||30 days||$595 (one time)|
|No||14 days||30 days||$29/month|
|Yes||14 days||No?||$240 p/m|
Note: the pricing above reflects the lowest tier monthly plan for each of the shopping carts, and should not be seen as a direct comparison since the features and limitations vary a lot from cart-to-cart.
Is Gumroad Right For You?
Now that I’ve covered all the different features and functions of Gumroad, weighing up the pros and cons and giving my experience along the way — let’s talk about YOU.
As with any tool, Gumroad isn’t going to be the right choice for everyone, so I’d like to get to the bottom of who exactly this page builder is suitable for.
Can I Use Gumroad To Sell Digital/Physical Products and Services?
Digital and physical products… yes.
Basically, in Gumroads own words, “if you make stuff for people to buy, Gumroad is for you.”
Here’s how it works:
When you first sign up, Gumroad will ask what you’re working on, and this will allow them to better shape your account.
From here, when you choose to add a product, whether that be an image, audio clip, video file, software or even physical goods.
While there is a subscription option available for products, Gumroad isn’t built for service based businesses.
If you would like to bill for services, the best alternative in my opinion is SendOwl.
Gumroad has been on my radar for quite a while now, especially with influencers like Pat Flynn endorsing the platform for so many years.
So what’s my overall verdict?
Despite being one of, if not the cheapest shopping cart solution on the market, Gumroad has a LOT to offer, both in terms of shopping cart flexibility and hosting the deliverables.
Of course, if you’re looking for a dedicated, feature-rich cart to handle things like bump offers, 1-click upsells and affiliates, you’ll probably be better off with something like ThriveCart.
All that said, you really can’t go wrong with a free Gumroad plan to get your feet wet as a newbie online seller.
If you’d like to see exactly how Gumroad compared against 5 other popular carts, click here to read the full roundup.