2015 Pinnacle Cart Review

The Good – With over 11 years of experience under their collective belt, Pinnacle Cart truly is one of the best eCommerce solutions on the market. They've got over 400 features built into the platform (securely built-in, not 3rd party add-ons that conflict with each other) and an updated, modern…

Review Overview

Easy-of-Use
Cart Features
Marketing Tools
Set-up and Design
Customer Service
Security

Excellent Choice for Beginner to Advanced businesses selling 25+ products and doing under 5MM per year in sales.

As with most of the top eCommerce solutions listed here, you really can’t go wrong with Pinnacle Cart. It’s feature rich and is constantly improving as the eCommerce landscape changes. What’s most impressive about the product is the sheer number of features they provide at no additional cost.  It is a rock solid platform that will expand with your business as it grows.

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User Rating: 4.35 ( 4 votes)
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The Good – With over 11 years of experience under their collective belt, Pinnacle Cart truly is one of the best eCommerce solutions on the market. They’ve got over 400 features built into the platform (securely built-in, not 3rd party add-ons that conflict with each other) and an updated, modern control panel. Pinnacle Cart continues to impress by offering online business owners everything they need to sell on the web (and more).

The Bad – Some of the more complex features are lacking sufficient explanation and can be confusing, so beginners may have a small learning curve with the higher end tools. Additionally, some of the templates they offer felt dated and it would be great to see a product comparison tool.

Cool FeaturesPinnacle Cart‘s new control panel is great and the addition of integration like Endica, Avalara, Exactor, Stamps.com and PayPal’s Bill Me Later are welcomed. Drift Marketing, Recurring Billing, Product Widgets and Facebook Single Sign-On are powerful additions and fairly unique to the Pinnacle Cart platform. All stores come with a free Facebook and Mobile storefront, which is a huge plus.

Store Setup and Design

Pinnacle Cart offers about 50 different professionally designed templates (aka themes), and while many are very modern, we’ve noticed some are dated and a need a makeover. Choose wisely and look for responsive themes if you want your online store to look great on any device, from desktop computers to cell phones to tablets.  The good news is Pinnacle Cart seems to be adding new designs all the time. Generally speaking, what they offer is sure to satisfy the wide range of businesses that use the platform and most of the recent ones are coded for responsive design.

We found adding additional pages and custom fields very easy with Pinnacle Cart. Editing the default text on the site is also a breeze. Actually, most anything we could think to try could be done with Pinnacle.

For our testing, we selected the “Trendy Tree Kids” theme and moved forward into the “Cart Designer” tool to edit the selection. As mentioned in past Pinnacle Cart reviews, this particular tool is quite powerful and continues to allow you to control about every aspect of the carts design. You can change the site width, edit colors, edit and add widgets, change layout, upload a logo and background image, edit CSS and more. You can make these changes global, or by individual pages. As is our recommendation with all eCommerce solutions, make sure you pick a theme that most closely resembles what you want to final look of your site to be and customize from there. That way, you’ll spend less time in the editor.
Pinnacle Cart Quick Start Guide
Pinnacle Cart Quick Start Guide

Want some serious design changes? Simply hire a designer (Pinnacle provides access to all front end pages) or use the customization services they offer.

We found adding additional pages and custom fields very easy with Pinnacle Cart. Editing the default text on the site is a breeze also. Actually, most anything we could think of we found could be done with Pinnacle.

Pinnacle Cart's Cart Designer Tool
Pinnacle Cart’s Cart Designer Tool

Internet Marketing

Pinnacle Cart used to use the tag line “Built by marketers, for marketers.” and it stays true to its mantra.  This is definitely an eCommerce solution that has an impressive set of marketing tools! Unlike many popular solutions, they don’t “nickel and dime” you; everyone on the platform gets all the features they offer. The ZippyCart team appreciated that all of the features are built into the cart. This solution offers everything you’d expect from a cart of this size including moderated product reviews, testimonials, customers who bought “x” bought “y”, gift certificates, discount codes, drift marketing and more. They even include a newsletter tool for communicating with your customers and a feature that will automatically send out an email when new products are added to your store. It’s Search Engine Optimization features are impressive and provide you with the tools you need to elevate your product listings on Yahoo, Google, Bing and more. If you’re looking for a cart that truly works for you, give Pinnacle a try. 

Selecting a Template with Pinnacle Cart
Selecting a Template with Pinnacle Cart

Pinnacle Cart is one of the few carts to offer QR codes, recurring billing and product widgets. Pinnacle Cart product feeds are nice and allow you to post your products on some of the more trafficked sites on the web. And while we’d like to see a deeper integration with the big boys, including Amazon and eBay, what they do offer will allow you to get your product listed and updated.  We’d really like to see product comparisons added to the mix and some more in-depth Google tools. These features can be found with other solutions and hopefully Pinnacle Cart will be adding them in the future.

Security

Pinnacle Cart is one of the only eCommerce solutions, outside of CoreCommerce, that is both PCI and PA-DSS Compliant. Why? Well, both Pinnacle and CoreCommerce used to offer a licensed solution that would allow merchants to take their store and move it to their own server. Since our last review, however, Pinnacle Cart has discontinued this service. But lucky for us, it still holds the PA-DSS compliance… which makes it an incredibly secure cart. On the flip side, Pinnacle Cart no longer offers free shared SSL certificates so be prepared to pay a small fee to use it. If you’re serious about selling online, however, you shouldn’t be using a shared certificate anyway. The ZippyCart team recommends purchasing a dedicated SSL for your store, regardless of the solution you use.

Pinnacle Cart's App Store
Pinnacle Cart’s App Store

Product and Store Management

When it comes to product management, Pinnacle Cart comes with everything you’d expect from a solution of this caliber. Multiple images, inventory management ( including by product variant), summary and detailed description, SKU’s, the ability to list in multiple categories, add manufactures, up to 5 different ways to display the product images, customer testimonials, product reviews, bulk product import / export, and much, much more.  Also, they support all the major US based shipping carriers including USPS, UPS, FEDEX, Canada Post and allow you to create custom shipping methods by order price, weight, number of items or a combination of any of these. Generally speaking, the shipping features are quite impressive. And taxes won’t be a problem with Pinnacle as they provide you with the tools to calculate taxes, worldwide.

Want to sell internationally? With Pinnacle, it’s easy. They not only allow for multi-language, but support multiple currencies as well.

Pinnacle Cart's Advanced Settings
Pinnacle Cart’s Advanced Settings

Customer Service

The customer support team behind Pinnacle Cart delivers a strong customer service experience and offers many options for support.

  • Contact support by phone: Weekdays 5am – 11pm PST; Weekend 9am-5pm PST
  • Submit a support ticket: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Developer Community and a User Forum – 24/7
  • User Manuals, videos and an extensive Knowledge Base – 24/7

Overall Value

Pinnacle Cart is one of the leading eCommerce solutions available for small to mid-size businesses. Its incredibly feature rich, secure, and backed by a strong management team. We’ve watched Pinnacle Cart develop over the years and continue to be impressed with the direction it’s taking. As technology changes, Pinnacle Cart adapts and works hard, continuing to provide its customers the most up-to-date feature set, without all of the exhausting extra charges. You really can’t go wrong by selecting Pinnacle Cart as your eCommerce solution.  It’s a ZippyCart and industry favorite for a reason!

Additional Information

Overall, most other reviewers found Pinnacle Cart to be an excellent shopping cart solution, typically giving it 4 stars (out of 5) or above. It has a stellar rating with the BBB and is used by thousands of happy business owners. Of course, like most carts, we did find a couple of complaints about the solution. These include:

  • Customer service delays and lack of true 24/7 support.
  • Some customers found the system to be somewhat overwhelming, so we recommend taking advantage of their 14-day trial before you commit to buying the service.
  • A few customers complained about their Cart Designer tool, but we really didn’t have many issues with it.
Pinnacle Cart
Pinnacle Cart has about everything an eCom merchant needs to run a highly successful online business.

4 comments

  1. Great review. You brought some very important points to my attention (Customer support 24/7 is very crucial to me; I do not like having to wait a long time for a response). The fact that they support QR codes is a neat option, however. I think I’ll give their 14-day free trial a shot. Thank you!

    • Pinnacle Cart is a great solution and one of the top solutions listed on ZippyCart. From our understanding they are working towards true 24/7 support and hope to have it out shortly. That said, in our testing we found their support team to be very responsive and knowledgable.

  2. What an intelligent, lucid and well written review. I’m hadn’t heard much about Pinnacle Cart before and this review really taught me what it was all about. I’m glad to have found such a detailed review about it.

  3. I am interested in purchasing the Pinnacle Cart for my AKC Dog business but could I see some websites made with this application. Also is this linked to SEO directly?