If you’re shopping around for a reliable ecommerce platform and need an unbiased Pinnacle Cart review, you’re in the right place.
If you’re planning to build an online store from scratch or migrate an existing store, Pinnacle Cart is simply the platform you might want to look at. It offers two different versions, a hosted solution and an enterprise solution for larger stores.
Founded in 2003, Pinnacle Cart has built a solid reputation over the years, earning an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Today, their platform is one of the most feature-rich carts available.
Is Pinnacle Cart for your business? Let’s find out in this complete review of Pinnacle Cart.
Who is Pinnacle Cart good for?
Pinnacle Cart is an all-in-one ecommerce platform that’s capable of building an online store and more. It’s simple enough that even the most novice user will be able to set up a store.
Due to its scalability, it’s going to be a good fit for an array of businesses out there. And since the cart offers an enterprise solution, there aren’t any limitations. The competitive and comprehensive feature lineup is something that any online store can benefit from.
Pricing and fees
- Price: $29.95/month to $149.95/month
- Annual Discount: None
- Setup Fees: None
- Bandwidth Overages: $2.50 to $3.50 per GB
- Transaction Fees: None
- Products: Unlimited
- Bandwidth: 2 GB to 100 GB
- Storage: 1 GB to 50 GB
Pinnacle Cart offers a 14-day free trial that you can try here.
Ease of use
It isn’t like working with Shopify (see my Shopify review) but it’s pretty close. If you plan on working with the basic settings, Pinnacle Cart is as easy as any other hosted ecommerce platform out there.
As you start using their advanced settings, things get a little tricky and it may seem overwhelming to learn everything. However, once you get the hang of things, it will be all downhill from there.
Everything is set up so that both novice users and experienced developers find the platform attractive. Almost all of the store information settings can be configured from the settings page (things like payments, shipping, tax options, currencies, and languages). All other store functions can be carried out right from the admin dashboard.
The store frontend that the customer sees is user-friendly. You’ll be able to sleep with ease knowing your customers have a simple shopping experience.
This is one area where we can say that Pinnacle Cart struggles. Their selection of free themes is very limited and their premium themes are incredibly expensive.
Pinnacle Cart offers both free and premium themes. There are a total of 33 themes of which 30 are completely free. Premium themes are priced anywhere from $395 to $1295.
Here are some of their free themes that you’ll be able to use for your online store:
On the plus side, design is where Pinnacle Cart excels when compared to their major competitors. Like many other ecommerce platforms, Pinnacle Cart allows you to makes changes to your theme using html and css.
For a more in-depth control of your design, they offer a neat drag-and-drop editor that’s incredibly easy to use. First time users won’t have any trouble using this editor.
The thing that I absolutely love here is that their templates are compatible with Dreamweaver. So if you are familiar with how Dreamweaver works and plan on using the software to edit your themes, you’ll like it too.
Pinnacle Cart has a logo uploader that makes it very easy to upload a custom store logo.
Of course there are hundreds of useful features that are built into the platform; recurring billing is the one that stood out to me. For the ones that aren’t familiar with how recurring billing works, I’ll try to explain it very briefly.
Recurring billing gives to the option to sell your products on a subscription based billing model. So if you don’t sell subscription based products, this feature will be useless to you.
However, you never know if you’ll sell subscription products down the road.
This is one more area where Pinnacle Cart lacks selection where platforms like Bigcommerce don’t (see my Bigcommerce review). I would love to see Pinnacle Cart improve this area by taking charge and creating an extensive app store. I understand that it’s tough because Pinnacle Cart has just about every feature built-in already.
They have an app section, but it’s very limited to things you may never find yourself using. However, one thing that Pinnacle Cart does here is their ease of integrating with their available apps.
So for the curious ones, here are the apps that will be available to you:
We all know how important mobile commerce really is. Each year, more and more customers are shopping using their mobile devices and tablets. If you don’t have an optimized store for mobile users, you’re probably losing money.
Pinnacle Cart’s mobile commerce is a feature that’s included with every plan. It can be customized and it’s already enhanced to help increase store sales. This feature is fully optimized for iPad’s, iPhone’s, and Android devices.
Once the feature is enabled, you don’t have to mess with it unless you want to customize the design any further.
Search engine optimization
Pinnacle Cart’s search engine optimization tools are at par with other top ecommerce platforms out there.
Every product or page you create, Pinnacle Cart will allow you to configure the SEO settings. You can add things like meta tags, descriptions, search keywords, and friendly URLs. You’ll also have the option to generate a sitemap with a single click and create your own url structuring.
Here are the SEO settings for individual product pages:
We all know the true importance of a quality support structure. Due to the nature of an online business, we can all run into problems that we simply don’t have an answer for. That’s where support comes into play.
Pinnacle Cart isn’t as popular as some of the top ecommerce brands. However, they have a smaller customer base so their support is able to answer your questions much quicker than their competition.
Their support department is available from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. Email support is available 24/7.
You also have full access to their community forum where you can chat and get help from other Pinnacle Cart customers. Additionally, you can browse through hundreds of support guides in various categories. Pinnacle Cart has a blog that provides you with news, articles and tips relating to ecommerce and small business.
I did find it a bit disappointing that they don’t offer support via live chat.
Hosting, security, and backup options
Pinnacle Cart is a hosted ecommerce platform, so you don’t need to worry about purchasing web hosting for your store. I do recommend purchasing a custom domain name from NameCheap to build a better brand for your business.
Their Linux-based hosting is optimized for ecommerce stores. Pinnacle Cart promises a 99% uptime guarantee and 24/7 uptime monitoring, so you can be sure that your store will always be up and running.
Pinnacle Cart takes security to the next level. Their shopping cart is 100% PCI/PA-DSS compliant. The control panel is secured and locks out your administrators after too many failed login attempts.
The cart has other basic security options for your customers as well. For example, your customers will get locked out if they have too many failed transaction requests. You can also purchase a SSL certificate through Pinnacle Cart. This certificate will further protect all of the information that’s transmitted through your store.
Lastly, all of their plans offer daily backups for free so you never have to worry about losing your orders, products, and store design.
Pinnacle Cart pros
- Pinnacle Cart offers a free migration service that can transfer your existing store from over 40 major ecommerce platforms.
- You have the option to leave a message and receive a callback when their support team is helping other customers (no more waiting).
- Their interface allows you to program multiple languages and currencies onto your store.
- The interface/dashboard was redesigned to make it easier to carry out all of your store functions.
- Pinnacle Cart is part of a handful of ecommerce platforms that are integrated with recurring billing.
- Their platform supports drop shipping and wholesale ordering.
Pinnacle Cart cons
- Pinnacle Cart doesn’t have a built-in point-of-sale system like some of their competitors.
- All plans come with limited storage and bandwidth. Larger stores may run into a problem here.
Is Pinnacle Cart good for my online business?
Pinnacle Cart is an all-in-one, above-average ecommerce platform. With a slight disadvantage in terms of free templates, they offset this drawback with their strong customization capabilities.
The robust multi-lingual capabilities make Pinnacle Cart a good platform if you’re planning on selling in other parts of the world.
And, their strong Doba integration (see my Doba review) makes them a competitive choice for entrepreneurs that don’t have any products to sell by connecting you to over 1.5 million products.
If you’re ready to get started and see how Pinnacle Cart can help your online business, head over to their website and start your free trial.
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