ThriveMarket.com Review

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5
reviewed June 2, 2016

The online merchant carries quality products from more than 400 brands and sells them for 25 to 50 percent less than retails.

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It can be expensive to buy natural and organic food. Not everyone has access to 10 local farmers markets. Thrive Market can help solve this problem. The online merchant carries quality products from more than 400 brands and sells them for 25 to 50 percent less than retails. There may never again be a need to trudge to a Whole Foods.

About Thrive Market

Thrive Market caters to health conscious and environmentally friendly consumers. Often in physical grocery stores and online, products such as unbleached, recycled bathroom tissue are priced much higher than standard brands. This can hamper efforts of less-than-wealth consumers to eat ethically or maintain a health-conscious lifestyle.

There are some items listed on Thrive Market such as spaghetti sauce that are priced significantly higher than grocery store brands. Thrifty shoppers just need to be selective about what they buy.

The main homepage is cleanly laid out, uncluttered, single-column and based a responsive design, so it works well on mobile devices and desktops. The main homepage and the blog homepage use sliders to promote featured items. Store offers a free mobile app for Android and iOS devices.

For sorting through categories, users can use a drop-down menu to choose by popularity, price or brand letter. There are a bunch of filters in the left panel for refining searches within categories: price range, manufacturer, certification, diet, environmental impact, ingredients and lifestyle.

ThriveMarket.com - buy organic healthy food and grocery online

On the account page, members can do a wide variety of things. They can

  • Adjust e-newsletter preferences
  • Add credit card information
  • Update shipping address
  • Set up a shopping list
  • Check on product reviews they have written
  • See their order history and status

Members can write reviews of items and give them star ratings much like on Amazon.com.

ThriveMarket.com - buy organic healthy food and grocery online

There is a referral program. Members earn $25 in Thrive Cash for each referral who becomes a paying member. There also is a monthly giveaway of a $1,000 shopping spree. To enter the contest, members must refer at least five people in a month. Thrive generates a refer link members can share on their social media accounts or send in email. There is an option to personalize the link.

Thrive has an affiliate program. Affiliates can link from their website to Thrive and receive $25 in real money for every new membership they funnel to the Thrive website. Affiliates get a bunch of promotional tools, a secure account and a dashboard for tracking.

Companies can sell their products on the Thrive website by becoming brand partners. Interested companies can fill out an online form, and the merchandising team will reply.

Thrive is active on many popular social media platforms and Google+. The Instagram account has more than 115,000 followers.

Top Features of Thrive Market

The store has the usual categories for products, food, beauty, health, babies, home and pets. There is unusual category called “Selects.” Clicking on the link brings users to a page with curated subcategories such as best sellers, coconut, what’s new, steals and detox.

These subcategories change with the seasons. The steals subcategory may be the easiest place to find items with discounts of 50 percent or more. Recently, gourmet turkey brine was 69 percent off.

ThriveMarket.com - buy organic healthy food and grocery online

Thrive automatically enters a member in the $1,000 Thrive Cash sweepstakes after he places an order.

A unique feature of the website is the ability for customers to shop by categories such as gluten-free, Paleo, raw and vegan. On individual product pages, users can click on the “Values” tab to find out whether the items meet a variety of requirements such as certified organic, Kosher, BPA free and made in USA. Users can share the item on social media from the product page.

ThriveMarket.com - buy organic healthy food and grocery online

The Thrive Market blog is extensive. There are five themes, and Thrive updates them regularly.

  • Beauty
  • Food
  • Health
  • Living
  • Well-being
ThriveMarket.com - buy organic healthy food and grocery online

Guest writers produce many of the articles. They are well-researched and include hyperlinks to off-site sources. In the right rail along the blog posts, Thrive places photo refers to products it sells that are mentioned in the articles. These are not sales articles. Some of them take controversial angles such as stating brown rice really isn’t always healthier than white rice.

The layout and features of the blog posts are at the level of a high-end magazine such as Refinery29 without pop-up ads or video. There is a short bio of the article’s author, which can be entertaining. There are social media share buttons at the bottom of the blog posts.

Thrive Market Prices

It is free to register, and new members receive a 15 percent discount on their first order. There is a 30-day trial membership. After that, the annual membership costs $59.95. If members do not make back the cost their membership in savings by the end of the year, Thrive will credit them upon renewal. After an order is placed, the amount saved is listed on the receipt accessible through the member account page.

Each membership fee allows Thrive Gives to sponsor a free annual membership for a low-income, American family. Applying for a free annual membership can be done through website. The following groups may be eligible

  • Teachers
  • Students
  • Low-income families
  • Veterans
  • First responders
ThriveMarket.com - buy organic healthy food and grocery online

Notification of acceptance can be instant. Thrive’s charity partners include the Environmental Working Group, Boys & Girls Club, LA Fund and Environmental Media Association. All Thrive packaging and inserts are made from recycled paper. The company is certified as carbon neutral.

There is free shipping for orders of more than $49. Shipping is via Fedex, UPS or On Trac depending on a customer’s geographic location. Shipping cost for orders less than $49 varies. The store sends orders out within 48 hours of placement. Thrive emails customers when their order has shipped.

For gifts, there is an option to send an email to the recipient during checkout. Users can choose to make monetary charitable donations during checkout.

ThriveMarket.com - buy organic healthy food and grocery online

Those customers struggling to reach the $49 threshold for free shipping can use the “20 Under $5” subcategory on the website. The store does not appear to charge sales tax.

Customers can pay for their order with MasterCard, Visa, American Express or Discover. Thrive sells electronic gift cards, which can be used for payment. The range for gift cards is $5 to $500.

Those who want to work at Thrive in Los Angeles can enjoy unlimited vacation time, an on-site gym, catered lunches, yoga on Wednesdays and kombucha on Thursdays.

ThriveMarket.com - buy organic healthy food and grocery online

Criticism of Thrive Market

In many cases, it is difficult to tell what a product is on the category product pages. The names of the products are truncated, so users must rely on the thumbnail of each product to identify it.

ThriveMarket.com - buy organic healthy food and grocery online

Currently, Thrive only ships within the contiguous U.S., so Alaskans and Canadians are out of luck.

Thrive uses the shopping-cart-reminder gimmick to email customers who leave the site without making it through checkout. The email includes thumbnails of all the items left in the cart.

The main website and blog could benefit from the addition of videos to help explain the uses of specific products. The videos could be repurposed on YouTube and used in other social media accounts to drive traffic to the website.

After completing an order, no receipt nor invoice immediately appears. The store emails a receipt, and members can get one through their account page.

Like Costco, BJ’s or Sam’s Club, Thrive periodically runs out of popular items. The stores buys directly from manufacturers. The website does label out-of-stock items on the subcategory product pages, so customers won’t accidentally order the item. Back orders are not an option. Users can setup an email restock reminder.

Some of the subcategories have a very limited number of items such as bedding sets.

There are not many details about the monthly, $1,000 shopping spree sweepstakes – as in when the drawing is or when the winner is notified.

ThriveMarket.com - buy organic healthy food and grocery online

Customer Support

Customers can call the hot line between 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays. There also is a customer service email address. There is a frequently asked questions page. Customers can ask more specific questions by filling a contact form on the site.

ThriveMarket.com - buy organic healthy food and grocery online

After customers place their first order, they are automatically enrolled as members. There is a cancellation page on the website.

Thrive has a 30-day return policy for unopened or used items. Customers can mail the items to the company’s address in California. Not all items are eligible for return. For questions about returns, customers can fill out the online form or call. After Thrive receives the return, it will send an email confirmation. Refunds can take three to five days.

Conclusion

ThriveMarket.com - buy organic healthy food and grocery online

For those who do not enjoy fighting through crowds across Costco then having to spend 30 minutes waiting in a checkout line, Thrive Market might be a good alternative. The store offers items that are hard to find in brick-and-mortar stores and even online such as a left-handed toothbrush with bristles made of castor bean.

ThriveMarket.com - buy organic healthy food and grocery online
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