Platform Reviews

Stan Store vs. Beacons: Which Creator Store Platform Should You Choose?

by Kelsey McLellan · Published Apr 3, 2024

Want to start selling digital products online? Well, there’s no better tool to use than a creator store. And lucky for you, there are quite a few options for you to choose from. In this article, we’ll be comparing two popular creator store platforms, Stan Store and Beacons.

While Stan Store is a creator favorite, Beacons proves to be a great alternative, offering a ton of the same features — and even additional features — for less cash.

Both platforms allow creators to build and sell digital products to their following. However, there are some key differences between the platforms that are worth looking into. Read on to learn more about Stan Store and Beacons, and see which one is right for you.

Build your link-in-bio creator store with The Leap today. It’s free!

Stan Store vs. Beacons: Key differences

PlatformFree planPricingNative emailAI tools
Stan StoreCreator plan: $29/month

Creator Pro plan: $99/month
Only available with Creator Pro plan.AI chatbot generates text based on your social content.
Beacons✅ with 9% transaction feeCreator plan: $10/month

Creator Pro plan: $30/month

VIP plan: $50/month
Available with free plan.

Unlimited emails available with Creator Pro and VIP plans.
AI-powered text and image generator.

The difference between Stan Store and Beacons really comes down to three things: their pricing, native email functionality, and AI tools.


Firstly, their pricing strategies are pretty different. Stan offers two paid plans, Creator ($29/month) and Creator Pro ($99/month), while Beacons offers a free plan (with 9% transaction fee) along with a series of paid plans (starting at $10/month). Not only does Beacons give you the opportunity to access some of its best creator tools for free (more on that in a second), it also gives you more flexibility in terms of paying for the features you actually want.

Native email functionality

In most cases, Beacons offers the same (or similar) features as Stan for a lower price. Take the platforms’ native email feature, for example. While Beacons offers native email functionality on its free plan, Stan only offers this on its Creator Pro plan — which, if you remember, is $99/month. That’s a large disparity in the price you’re paying for that one feature!

AI tools

Finally, Stan and Beacons offer different sets of AI tools. Many of Beacons’ tools, including its storefront, media kit, and email marketing, are integrated with AI technology. For example, Beacons’ AI can generate brand outreach emails, product images and descriptions, and your media kit for you. On the other hand, Stan’s AI only generates text based on your social media content, similar to a chatbot like ChatGPT.

What is Stan Store?

Stan Store is a creator store platform that lets creators sell their digital products to their following through a link-in-bio storefront. Launched in 2020, the platform has since become a pretty popular tool among creators.

On top of its storefront capabilities, Stan provides creators with an online course builder. Like other creator stores on the market, the platform also offers a range of useful creator tools including email marketing, audience analytics, native calendar booking, and more.

stan store vs beacons link in bio creator store platform tool sell digital products

Stan offers two plans: its Creator plan for $29/month and Creator Pro plan for $99/month, both with 0% transaction fees. It almost goes without saying that Stan’s Creator Pro plan provides creators with a more robust offering of tools, while its Creator plan provides more limited features.

Unfortunately, Stan doesn’t offer users a free plan, which means all users need to pay to use the platform.

What is Beacons?

Beacons launched the same year as Stan, and like its competitor, has grown in popularity as a creator store platform. Beacons provides users with a range of creator tools including a link-in-bio storefront, an online course builder, and an extensive marketing suite.

On top of that, Beacons provides users with tons of additional tools made to help you earn more. Some of these extras include email marketing, an email list builder, an invoice generator, an auto-updating media kit, and a pitch email generator — and those are just the tools offered on its free plan.

beacons vs stan store link in bio creator store platform tool sell digital products

When it comes to Beacons, however, “free” means “free-ish.” This is because the platform charges free users a 9% transaction fee on each of their sales. And if that’s not enough, the platform’s free plan also places a cap on how much you can use some of its features, like AI tools and email marketing.

If you want to go unlimited or ditch the transaction fees, you’ll need to upgrade to paid, which can run you anywhere from $10 to $50/month depending on your plan.

Stan Store vs. Beacons: Comparison

PlatformPriceOnline course builderCreator storeGenerative AINative emailNative calendar booking
Stan Store$29 – $99/month
Beacons$0 – $50/month

Free plan comes with with 9% transaction fees.
✅ Unlimited courses only available on VIP plan

1. Pricing

When it comes to pricing, Stan and Beacons both have their pros and cons.

For starters, Beacons offers users a free plan (with a pretty robust features offering), whereas Stan Store doesn’t. Yes, Beacons’ free plan does arrive with a 9% transaction rate, but when you think about it, you’ll only be paying those fees if you’re already earning money through the platform. With Stan, you stand to pay anywhere from $29 to $99/month with no guarantee that you’ll be earning any money through your Stan store. pricing plans vip creator pro free
Beacons’ plans and pricing.

In terms of paid plans, whether Beacons or Stan Store wins in your book depends on the features you’re looking for. Stan’s Creator plan ($29/month) and Beacons’ Creator Pro plan ($30/month) are essentially the same price and provide creators with a link-in-bio storefront, alongside a host of other crucial creator tools. However, Stan’s Creator plan is missing out on email marketing (for that, you’ll have to upgrade for $99/month).

stan store pricing creator pro plans
Stan’s plans and pricing.

Beacons gives users more flexibility in terms of their plans and features. For example, users looking to use only Beacons’ link-in-bio and email marketing tools (and skip out on nice-to-have features like buy now, pay later) can opt for the platform’s Free plan or Creator plan for only $10/month. For additional features, you can upgrade to Beacons’ Creator Pro plan ($30/month) or VIP plan ($50/month).

2. Online course builder

Stan and Beacons’ course builders are pretty similar, with Stan edging out Beacons just a little bit in terms of functionality — and price.

When it comes to creating digital products, both platforms enable creators to build online courses (and online courses only). Both course builders are fairly standard, allowing users to create groups of lessons that include various types of media, like photo and video. 

Stan’s course builder offers just a bit more functionality than Beacons’. That’s because Stan’s course builder provides drip content functionality, so creators can give their customers access to different portions of the course over time.

Where Stan really beats out Beacons here is on pricing. In order to use Beacons to offer unlimited courses with video hosting, you’ll need to shell out $50/month on the platform’s VIP plan (all of Beacons’ lower-tiered plans allow you to only offer one course, with no video hosting). On the other hand, Stan’s course builder is available to users of its lowest-tier plan ($29/month), and the platform allows all users to offer unlimited courses.

3. Creator store

Both Stan and Beacons provide users with mobile-optimized, link-in-bio storefront tools, which are pretty similar in terms of ease-of-use and functionality. 

What’s better is that both Stan and Beacons’ storefront builders let you set up your shop in only a few minutes, so you can start selling ASAP.

4. AI tools

Beacons is known for its AI tools, so it’s no surprise that it beats out Stan when it comes to this category.

Beacons uses generative AI technology to help users generate both text and image. Many of the platform’s tools, including its storefront, media kit, and email marketing features, are integrated with this AI functionality. This means that Beacons’ AI tools can create pitch emails, invoices, product images, product descriptions, and much more for you.

beacons ai media kit auto updating

On the other hand, Stan has an AI chatbot Stanley, which simply spits out content and topic suggestions. Similar to ChatGPT, Stan’s AI tools can create text based on input from your social media content and answer questions you might have regarding the platform’s FAQ.

Stan Stanley AI chatbot

5. Native email

In terms of native email (i.e. in-app email marketing), Beacons has a leg up on Stan. Why? Well, it’s pretty simple and it has to do with pricing.

Beacons offers users access to its robust email marketing feature for free. That’s right: free plan subscribers have access to Beacons’ native email tool (however, you’ll need to upgrade to Creator Pro for $30/month to send unlimited marketing emails).

On the other hand, Stan’s email marketing feature is only available to its highest-tier subscribers, aka those who are shelling out $99/month for Stan’s Creator Pro plan. That’s a huge price difference for such a crucial feature.

6. Native calendar booking

Both Stan and Beacons’ native calendar booking tools are fairly standard, and both platforms come out even in regards to this feature.

On both platforms, this feature allows users to book and sell appointments, such as one-on-one calls, coaching sessions, webinars, and more.

Stan Store vs. Beacons: Which one should you choose?

So, which platform should you go with? In the end, the platform you choose will depend on your needs, goals, and budget.

With all that in mind, Stan Store and Beacons both have a number of pros and cons, with no clear “winner” coming out on top. The winner in your books will be the platform that aligns with your specific needs as a creator.

That being said, Stan Store is a great option for creators looking to sell digital products through their creator store — and don’t mind paying a price for it. The platform offers its link-in-bio storefront and course builder through its lowest tier plan at $29/month. However, you’ll need to pay a heavy premium ($99/month) for email marketing features.

If you’re looking for more marketing features for less money, then Beacons might be a better choice for you. But that’s only if you’re willing to forgo — or pay an extra premium — for unlimited marketing emails or unlimited number of courses you can offer.

Either way, if you’d like to build, market, and sell your digital products on either of these platforms, you’ll need to pay up.

The best alternative to Stan Store and Beacons: The Leap

Now that you know all about the key features and differences between Stan Store and Beacons, you’ll be able to decide which platform suits you best.

Still unsure? Why not consider The Leap?

The Leap is an all-in-one creator store that lets you build, sell, and market your digital products from one place — for free! That’s much more than can be said about Stan and Beacons.

The Leap provides you with all the tools and features you need to start selling digital products dn earning money now, including an AI-powered digital product builder, a link-in-bio storefront, and — soon — native email. The platform’s user-friendly storefront builder will have your shop up and running in just a few minutes, while its supercharged authoring tool enables you to create a range of engaging digital products — from mini-courses and tutorials, to guides and challenges — quickly and easily.

The best part? The Leap is 100% free. Try The Leap for free now to kickstart your creator monetization journey.


Start monetizing your audience with The Leap, your all-in-one creator store.

Stan Store vs. Beacons FAQ

How much does Stan Store cost?

Stan provides users with two subscription tiers: the Creator plan, priced at $29/month, and the Creator Pro plan, which costs $99/month. Both plans come with the benefit of 0% transaction fees.

Unfortunately, Stan does not offer a free plan option, meaning all users are required to pay for access to the platform.

Do you have to pay for Beacons?

Beacons offers a Free plan. However, it charges users a 9% transaction fee on each of their sales. To get a custom domain, users will have to upgrade for the Creator plan ($10/month, with 9% transaction fees). With these two lower-tiered plans, the platform also limits how much you can use some of its features, like AI tools and email marketing.

To eliminate transaction fees and get unlimited access to select features, you’ll need to upgrade to either the Creator Pro plan ($30/month) or the VIP plan ($50/month).

Is there a free alternative to Stan Store and Beacons?

Look no further than The Leap. This versatile platform serves as your all-in-one creator store, completely free of charge. It functions as a link-in-bio tool, online storefront, email list builder, and AI-powered digital product generator, enabling you to craft mini-courses, guides, and more in mere minutes. Additionally, The Leap automatically generates sales pages for your digital products and seamlessly integrates them into your link-in-bio storefront. Simple and hassle-free!


Build, market, and sell digital products all in one spot with The Leap!

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Further reading

kelsey mclellan
About the author

Kelsey McLellan

Kelsey McLellan is a writer and editor based in Toronto.
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