Are you contemplating on how to furnish your business with an online store and upskill the checkout options? PinnacleCart has got some powerful tools to heighten your customers' shopping experience.
If you're a newbie merchant in the e-commerce industry, you want to pick a platform whose features aren't tangled. The acute rivalry between 3rd party sales channels can't go unnoticed. But that's acceptable since each has its selling points. The point is, you need one with a smooth learning curve.
Simply stated, you need a shopping cart manager which has nothing to do with prior coding skills because you might be a rookie thus taking those baby steps, which is okay as a matter of fact.
From an objective standpoint, you'd expect a platform which helps you fulfill orders, manage your stock levels, add products to the store, their variants as well, and so on.
What puzzles most is finding the most impeccable solution for your business needs. Don't worry too much though. You're in safe hands.
This review shows you the ins and outs of PinnacleCart and cites practical illustrations of how feasible it's to make huge strides in your business' prospects and operations alike.
Let's quit the bungy jumping and face the facts.
Editor's note: This post was originally published on January 12, 2017 and has completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
What is PinnacleCart?
You might coincide with me that this is a good curtain-raiser point to start our discussion from. Well, let me decisively attempt to leave no stone unturned.
Going by the true account of facts, PinnacleCart is primarily, a fruitful sales channel which goes beyond the bare minimum. It's a B2B SaaS platform which doesn't discriminate on the user's experience. Otherwise stated, it's a friendly software which lets merchants sell their products in the least demanding way. Without taking the ups and downs out of the equation, it still scores fairly good.
And my grounds are oversimplified, or if you like, black and white, so just you know. Let me sketch down a brief history of PinnacleCart for you. It dates back to 2004.
This multifaceted platform was the brainchild of two childhood buddies with a common goal to come up with an unprecedented and market-driven eCommerce solution. By that, I mean, they sort of wanted to bring a new frontier in the e-commerce market. Ever since its inception, they wanted to breathe some sense of flexibility to potential business setups, whether small or midsize, to sell their respective brands and niche ideas online.
Technically, Pinnacle Cart predominantly lives up to its dream. Just like other 3rd party platforms, it presents itself as a multitasking tool which takes care of your hosting needs and website's security status in equal measure. It's administration interface, otherwise known as the dashboard, brings a fair share of user-friendliness to all its users.
What else does it have?
From this single point, you can make all sorts of adjustments to meet all demanding needs in your enterprise. Think of it this way. What else would you be looking for besides an all-inclusive software which unquestionably, adheres to your noteworthy tasks?
If you're reading this review, it's undeniable that you're a dream chaser inclining the chances of coming out a few bucks richer per sale transaction.
PinnacleCart was built to make any online retailer happy ever after, as the three-word cliche phrase goes. This is quite handy because Pinnacle was built by marketing gurus, who fine-tuned it to steadily boost your store's sales and the average order value significantly. This shopping cart's infrastructure is, with pleasure, a faultless model for any start-up; newbies so to speak.
Since PinnacleCart is a cloud-backed system, you can sync your information with other devices instantaneously. Put differently, this lets you run your store no matter the location. Besides that, you can opt to go with the locally- installed version of the very same software. Surprisingly, PinnacleCart's functionality isn't cornered to any particular niche. This suggests that it can flexibly suit businesses of any kind whether small, startups or those at an Enterprise level.
There's much to talk about its features. Enough reason to break everything down in plain English. I'm ready when you are. Should we go on?
Have a look.
PinnacleCart Review: Ease of Use
On the face of it, everything looks overwhelmingly brain draining. And the same could be the most popular perception. But the opposite is actually true. So let me try to change the narrative. Now that I have your attention, let's set the record straight.
For a first-timer, the user experience needs to be impressively mind-blowing. As things stand, PinnacleCart seems to make its customers painstakingly utilize its features.
Once you log in, you're prompted to a setup guide which does the daunting task to make you grasp the basics. Typically, this part gives you hints on how to go about setting up your online store. With this at hand, you can, for instance, set up the shipping rates and connect to fast and secure payment processing methods.
Alongside that, there are a plethora of settings you can play around with. This guide leads the way like never before.
👉 And here are some of the most common scenarios;
- You can learn how to edit your store's location and the brand's logo
- Use Instagram as a sales channel by syncing the business account to your store's product page.
- Make your site known to your target audience via PinnacleCart's SEO tools. You can set meta descriptions and modify your URLs with lots of ease.
If you're a fast learner, however, you can skip this brief session. I did a couple of tests on the free version and PinnacleCart did an exemplary job by putting my store's information in order. At the dashboard, there are customizable options you can hang on.
Here's a practical illustration.
Without breaking a sweat, you can import in bulk, and edit your product details, set the price per item, and write detailed product descriptions. While setting up the products, you can make modifications to the already existing sample product page. Suppose you want to boost your sales, PinnacleCart lets you set discounts, and follow up on abandoned carts by pushing email notifications to your potential customers who give up the checkout process.
What's more captivating, is the preview mode which allows you to see how each item appears on your store’s product page. As far as setting up your products is concerned, all the basic features you’ll probably need are detailedly captured on PinnacleCart.
On top of that, this stunning software doesn't discriminate. What do I mean? PinnacleCart is widely available in so many countries at the moment. The platform supports several languages and multiple currencies as well.
If you’ve been using a different platform to sell your products online, PinnaaleCart allows an exclusive migration process from over 40 sales channels. The shopping cart is mobile-friendly and responsive, that I can guarantee.
So are there any noticeable snags?
I managed to find one difficulty while assessing its ease of use. The agitating challenge comes when I want to sort my product attributes. It restricts you from setting options like prices, taxes and shipping rates for your products, all at the same time. You strictly have to follow its formating rules and enter the information in the text field categorically without breaching its preset rules.
As per my personal experience with the free version, I feel like this is a slight deviation from the acceptable standard on user-friendliness. What makes it even is that you can set an unlimited number of product attributes.
To put everything into perspective, I’m impressed by its ease of use if I weigh in how other platforms in the market operate. Despite its tiny fault on the product attributes option, PinnacleCart scores fairly good if we factor in the other functionalities it has in store.
PinnacleCart Review: Pricing
This part matters most. You can't agree more. Working with a sensible budget is a top tier priority in your bucket list. Being alive of the above moment of truth, let's conclusively see how much, and to what extent each plan grows your business.
The pleasing news is that PinnacleCart gives you a free 14-day testing phase. So no premature commitments; not even your credit card information is needed during the trial period. This isn't your Netflix subscription guys. Also, it doesn't harass you for any transaction or cancellation fees. In an indomitable magnitude, you can give it an in-depth run and deduce whether it's a perfect fit or not.
So here's the deal.
The online store builder has three distinctive plans for its potential users. Alongside that, there's an Enterprise level plan for high-end business owners with massive sales volumes. With the latter, it comes with custom pricing since merchants who've scaled their businesses to jaw-dropping heights have diverse needs.
In a fulfilling way, each plan on Pinnacle Cart has some perks which make it an even ‘give and take' situation. This being the case, you can put these benefits into good use. First off, Pinnacle lets you import an unlimited number of products to your store. Not forgetting that it's a self-hosted service, storage space should be the least of your worries.
But the leverage doesn't end here.
What's more engrossing is that you get real-time backups since it's a cloud-based platform. In regards to security, each plan is SSL certified and you can access the support team via phone or email. Do I have to pay for these extras? You might ask. Absolutely not. PinnacleCart doesn't charge a dime for these benefits.
Contrastingly, we've all had some nasty encounter with free stuff. But that's not the case here. Pinnacle takes the game beyond the threshold.
To get started, this link takes you to its official pricing page where you can scrutinize each plan at your convenience.
👉 So here are the options at your disposal:
- Price- $44.95 per month
- Website's storage capacity- 1GB
- Bandwidth- 2GB
- Price- $94.95 per month
- Bandwidth- 20GB
- Integrates with Quickbooks
- Price- $199.95 per month
- Bandwidth- Unlimited
- Quickbooks online integration
- Premium Customer Support
- A binding SSL certificate
But that's just a scratch on the surface.
The above list only discerns the special features which each plan has over the other. There's more yet to come in a moment.
If you desperately need to do the hosting on your own, you can purchase a certified copy of PinnacleCart at $1,495 per domain. This licensed alternative gives you a higher sense of autonomy in a far-reaching manner.
👉 To be precise, it brings on board the following:
- All features in the ‘Advanced' plan(hosted package). This is inclusive of the Dedicated SSL certificate.
- 1 year of access to the skilled support team
- 1 year of access to security updates and new versions of the software
- 20% off on the subsequently licensed solution
If that's a bit off reach, you can stick to its servers and still make the most out of your online store.
PinnacleCart Review: Major Features
As a merchant, you’ll allude to the fact that maintaining secure payment transactions, is so imperative while making your business thrive for decades. No matter the payment method you want to integrate your online store with, PinnacleCart promises not to charge a dime in the name of transaction fees.
The fact on the ground is that it allows you to work with over 25 different payment gateways. This includes notable payment providers such as PayPal, Stripe, authorize.net, Braintree, the list is endless.
👉 Other profound gateways you can work with are:
- American Express
- CT Checkout
And much more.
The best part is that it links your account to Worldpay, a global payment platform that integrates with your point of sale to enhance credit card processing.
PinnacleCart allows you to hook your store with Cardconnect, a trusted, reliable, and futuristic credit card gateway. It comes with low transaction fees for PinnacleCart customers. For each payment, it charges 2.7% + 10¢. With this service at hand, you get real-time reporting of all transactions and a virtual terminal to manage all actions.
As a security measure, PinnacleCart markets itself as a PCI compliant channel, just in case your payment provider demands the compliance verification. On that note, the software works in tight affiliation with McAfee, a certified global scanner that offers verification of PCI compliance to PinnacleCart’s account holders. Putting more focus on the compliance status, MacAfee validates this by issuing an assessment report and technical assistance to all users.
But this doesn’t come for free. The plan starts from $150 per year
Aside from the free SSL certificate, there are other premium options to utilize. The primary benefit is that your customer’s credit card information is always protected from all sorts of vulnerabilities while they’re shopping at your online store. This begs the question. How feasible is it to make quick integrations? Let’s have a look.
Since this is a self-hosted platform, it tightens its firewall to keep your site free from any malicious damage. Since PinnacleCart's inception, they've regularly updated all their hardware in a bid to back up all the data on the servers.
This elevates the security during checkout and in the same effect, it steadily maintains the uptime at 99%.
Since you’ll have to deal with transactions every now and then in your e-commerce store, PinnacleCart gives you the outright solution you deserve. It easily allows you to connect to Quickbooks, one of the most flawless accounting software that is fast to learn and helps you automate all transactions.No more manual input errors.
This means you can generate sales receipts with little effort. Alternatively, you can use other accounting tools such as Exactor, Avalara, and Webgility.
For the most part, PinnacleCart seems like an action-packed software which doesn’t need so many extensions to optimize your store’s performance. You’ll realize that it doesn’t have as many apps like those of high ranking sales channels such as Shopify or even WordPress' very own plugin, WooCommerce. The truth of the matter is, it has less than 100 integrations, most of which are so handy and practical.
Long story short, I'll cut the corners for you and list down a couple of trendsetting tools which gear up to your needs.
So here are some other mainstream plugins on its app center…
The software links to popular apps such as Mailchimp, Google Ads, and AddShoppers. So what can I do with these? Well, there are lots of functionalities on board. This is the ultimate way to boost conversions on your store. To reach your projected sales earnings, you need marketing tools to help you target an audience on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Email.
For that reason, its dashboard has an option where the user gets to integrate their store with some of these social media platforms. In the current state of affairs, social media has become an all-embracing marketplace in the e-commerce industry. For this to happen, however, you need to make shoppable posts, say, on Instagram to create a substantial customer base. It's an authentic and unwavering means to drive inspiring traffic to your website.
To a great extent, PinnacleCart‘s ecommerce platform makes all your social media posts of your products to be responsive to your potential customers. Practically speaking, you can make more sales through referrals if customers can easily share your product's posts, for example, via a link to their friends.
Looking at the current stats, Facebook seems to lead the marketing dynasty but Instagram tends to take a larger share among the younger demographics. Millennials are shopping from posts which create fast-tracking leads to the merchants' online stores.
Reports & Analytics
As some point in time, you'll have to track down who you're real customers are. You need to work with accurate demographics. And by that I mean to know how customers are interacting with your store's pages.
Since it's inevitable to manually do this, Google Analytics steps up to its game to show in real-time, all the insights and forecasts, accordingly.
PinnacleCart allows you to use GA to analyze your website's traffic. Thereby, if let's say you've placed some part of your budget on ads, you can monitor your ROI by this tool which tremendously performs like it's on steroids.
Needless to say, that order fulfillment is a process which needs a handgrip effect at all times. You can't leave a chance to bad reviews from customers. Worst case scenario being a nerve-cracking chargeback.
To avoid such from happening, PinnacleCart integrates with Shipwire, a global order fulfillment platform. With its huge network of warehouses, you can make your eCommerce store available to nearly all corners of the world. You can track your customers' orders with USPS and make all deliveries a success.
Goes without saying that a good customer support system is always rewarding and worthwhile if you want to have returning shoppers in your store.
You can make good use of chatting apps like SumoMe and LiveChat. They have features to give you an edge over your competitors whenever you want to do product marketing or create gainful landing pages.
So you might be wondering whether you can run a blog here. Yes, you can. In two ways, actually.
First, you can use WordPress and integrate open- source software with your PinnacleCart account. In preference to this, you can go to the “pages” button on your dashboard and add a Blog section on your site. as easy as that.
Ecommerce Store & Hosting
Scaling your business on PinnacleCart is such a constructive and generative process. Bear in mind the fact that it's cloud-based. One particular part you might need to check on is your store's loading speed. This could only be possible if the hosting services are right on track.
Indeed, PinnacleCart is quite up to the task since it offers a secure platform to keep your data via level 1 PCI compliant servers. This guarantees you a 24/7 uptime monitoring and freedom to use your domain.
You can amplify your customers' shopping experience with Pinnacle's mobile-friendly store builder. It has inbuilt tools to optimize your store's results. They’re drag and drop buttons which lets the user reach the top of their goals. You can cash in on its beautiful widgets to make your site look more engaging.
Its learning curve is fairly smooth and you don't necessarily need any professional skills to set up your online store. If you have some extra HTML or CSS editing skills, PinnacleCart lets you customize your store to suit the needs around your business needs.
Second in command to PinnacleCart’s store builder, are its multi-sided and resourceful theme which you can make changes to, using its visual editing properties.
How about its themes?
First off, there are about 30 free theme templates that pair up with a couple of niches which you can edit to your liking. However, some are a bit old and thus making it hard to make adjustments.
Making your store's homepage look glossy is pretty easy here. PinnacleCart gives you options to design your website. If you wish to seek expert services while building your store, the software has a community of developers who are proficient with all the needful requirements while creating an online presence for your business. The team can help you customize all the features you want your site to have.
Besides the available apps on PinnacleCart‘s marketplace, you can make arrangements to have any third party app integrate to your store so long as it has an API. Your backend's control panel can be tweaked to help you organize all your administrative tasks.
Besides your product page, you can export your items to retails Giants such as Amazon, Google Merchant, eBay or even Shop Zilla.
Its dashboard comes with a reports button which shows you the performance of each action taking place behind the scenes. It generates the summary of your average order value, the total number of orders, and revenue per order periodically. This could be weekly, monthly or even annually. It's totally up to you to decide.
As a result, you can issue coupons and offers to your customers in a systematic manner. You'll know when exactly to be generous. Moreover, PinnacleCart sorts the total number of orders by the customers' profile.
In this fashion, you can spot all returning clients like a professional. The system goes beyond to list down the high selling products as well as those which aren't doing well over time. It gives you real-time results for all QR and promo campaigns you launch.
PinnacleCart Review: Customer Support
The company has a couple of support options. If you have any issues with its services, you can reach the Customer assistance team via mobile phone or through a live chat and get help from experts. As you may know, after-sales services is certainly a paramount dimension in such a business structure.
If none of that works out, you can send them an email explaining your technical hitches. Typically, you'll get a response within 24-48 hours. PinnacleCart runs a successful blog which has lots of useful and perceptive information which you can make the best of. It has a team of competent authors who update the blog page with a wide variety of e-commerce related content.
The frequently asked questions (FAQs) section, on the other hand, is a quick-witted problem solver. This knowledge base is as descriptive as the popular Quora platform, to be precise. Similar to this option, is it's User Forum, although it's not as dynamic as you'd expect it to be.
PinnacleCart Review: Pros and Cons
- It has devoted and definitive customer support. I was impressed by the prompt response I got while I was testing its free trial version
- The ease of use is up to par with acceptable standards in the market
- Has more than enough payment gateways to incorporate in your store.
- It's a self-hosted platform which maintains your store's security
- Quick integrations in check. As a merchant, you'll appreciate this since it connects you to foolproof accounting software like QuickBooks and a well-established order fulfillment software like Shipwire.
- It has HTML, CSS, and code editing tools
- The themes are easily customizable
- Its back-end interface is beyond user-friendly
- Has meaningful and productive SEO tools
- The setup guide isn't that much conclusive. This makes the learning curve for starters to be a little bumpy
- A couple of complaints from developers that customizing PinnacleCart through code gets a little tangled sometimes
- It's not globally compatible.
- Live chat is not accessible 24/7
- The POS system isn't in-built
PinnacleCart Review: Conclusion
So here comes the verdict.
Well, I'll even-handedly rank PinnacleCart as an intermediate-range e-commerce channel for starters and those merchants who are looking to scale to an Enterprise level.
The software supports a secure and easy checkout by linking your store to several payment gateways that are globally eminent. You can choose any of its plans if you're looking for a platform which helps you with abandoned cart recovery, has a good range of customer support options, is easy to use, and has several templates to pick from.
On the flip side, PinnacleCart has some minor flaws, which I hope the team will spare some time to look into. I'll briefly give you a recap.
Besides the cons I've listed above, It lacks a rich directory of integrations and themes which limits users from the flexibility to make customizations. Nevertheless, this isn't a mishap to every user. All merchants have their preferences and needs, some of which, are unheard-of.
Considering all of its functionalities, PinnacleCart cuts above the necessary minimum. Uploading your products, linking to social media platforms, setting up all variants and meta tags is with reason, viable, however, you must strictly meet the attributes guidelines. I found that to be a bit off.
The bright side to it is that I have grounds to support the fact that PinnacleCart is a channel which meets its users' expectations. It's the right software for any merchant who needs to set up a market absorbing online store. I'd recommend that you give it a shot to see if it's entirely consistent with your needs.