Pinnacle Cart Review: Looking to Get Into The E-Commerce Game?

Pinnacle Cart is a software-as-a-service Shopping Cart and eCommerce solution that provides a way to launch an online store without dealing with the hassles of self hosting.

There are a lot of shopping cart solutions available if you are looking to set up an online store. Most ecommerce apps fall into one of three categories:

  • Standalone shopping cart or e-store applications.
  • CMS plugins that add ecommerce capability to an existing website.
  • Software as a service (SaaS) solutions that provide hosting, a website builder, and ecommerce all in one single account.

Pinnacle Cart: Ecommerce SaaS

Pinnacle Cart is an example of the last one. You do not need to purchase a web hosting account or manage your own website. With Pinnacle Cart, you pay for an account and then use their tools to build and host your store.

Benefits of Pinnacle’s SaaS Ecommerce Model

With Pinnacle Cart, you do not have to worry about software. They take care of all of it. You don’t have to know how to code. You don’t have to make sure your server stays working. Everything is much easier and simpler.

This allows you to focus on your core business.

Downsides of Pinnacle

What you gain in ease, you often give up in control.

When you self-host an ecommerce solution — whether as a standalone shopping cart or as a plugin to WordPress or Drupal — you have complete control over the platform and the shopping experience. If you want something that isn’t there already, you can add it. You can integrate with other systems.

Also, with self-hosted solutions, you own your data.

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Key Pinnacle Features

Pinnacle Cart is designed to be easy and scalable. Core features include:

  • Beautiful, modern designs
  • Easily customizable color schemes and skins
  • Access to template for advanced theme editing
  • Mobile and Facebook stores
  • SEO details such as pretty URLs, robot.txt files, meta data, sitemaps, breadcrumbs
  • Easy integration to QuickBooks
  • QR codes to products or promotions
  • Social media integration to encourage users to share products info to Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms
  • Drift Marketing to encourage sales after cart abandonment
  • Save payment details for faster shopping on return trips
  • Facebook login
  • Discounts, coupons, promotions.
  • Free shipping based on dollar amount
  • Gift certificates
  • Product recommendations, based on cart or browsing history
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Newsletters and email marketing
  • Integration to Mail Chimp and other marketing apps
  • Product syndication to eBay, Amazon, Yahoo, Google Product Search, PriceGrabber, NexTag, and more
  • PA-DSS Certified PCI Compliant
  • Advanced Image editing and display tools like Image Zoom, Magnify, Lightbox and Magic Thumb
  • Detailed analytics on all aspects of visitor and buyer behavior; fully integrates with Google Analytics and Google AdWords
  • Easy and powerful product management
  • Product Categories
  • Downloadable products
  • Weight totalling and shipping rate calculation, with real-time shipping rate integration to USPS, UPS, FedEx, and Canada Post.
  • Import and export data on products, customers, promotions
  • Real-time inventory management
  • Customer-driven product reviews
  • Wholesale discounting
  • Advanced tax management and calculations
  • Email notifications
  • Drop shipping
  • Shipping tracking numbers
  • Integrates with major ecommerce tools like Webgility, T-hub, DOBA, and ShipWire
  • Recurring and subscription based billing, with detailed options and pricing schemes

Additional Pinnacle Services

Pinnacle is looking to provide a holistic solution to ecommerce, not just a SaaS shopping cart. They provide marketing support, SEO consulation, design skills, and development expertise.

They also provide information — articles, podcasts, and videos — designed to teach you how to run an efficient and profitable online store.

Who should — and shouldn’t — use Pinnacle

Pinnacle is a good solution if you want to launch a professional-level ecommerce site without having to deal with hosting and web design. If you are not a programmer, and aren’t really interested in learning about web sites and hosting, the SaaS model of Pinnacle is probably the right choice.

If are a smaller operation that wants to run an online store as an ancillary to a non-retail organization (like a club, school, or band that wants to sell merchandise), Pinnacle is probably too expensive and complicated. A better option would probably be a simple free shopping cart solution, or a WordPress plugin.

If you are already running a blog or website powered by a serious content management system like WordPress or Drupal, then you likely already have the expertise and experience needed to add ecommerce to your existing website without incurring significant additional costs.

Most Popular Pinnacle Cart Hosting Plans

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Adam Michael Wood

About Adam Michael Wood

Adam specializes in developer documentation and tutorials. In addition to his writing here, he has authored engineering guides and other long-form technical manuals. Outside of work, Adam composes and performs liturgical music. He lives with his wife and children in California.

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