Launching a new online store is as easy as pie today. But launching it so that it brings profit and ensures stable growth for your eCommerce is a completely different matter. Although there are many online store builders on the market, on closer inspection, only a few of them can serve as a universal and effective solution.
PinnacleCart is definitely one of these solutions. The software was initially designed to create professional, visually appealing online stores and supply them with the whole spectrum of eCommerce, marketing, analytical, and other tools. The main idea was and is to let web stores grow sales fast. But is PinnacleCart good software for you? Read our detailed review of its functional capabilities to find out the answer.
Pros and Cons
Let us start with a quick overview of PinnacleCart’s strong and weak points:
| ✔ good value for money;
✔ easy to use;
✔ quality templates;
✔ physical & digital goods supported;
✔ multi-administrator access;
✔ a Drag & Drop site builder;
✔ great SEO & Marketing tools;
✔ no transaction fees applied;
✔ a free trial is available.
| ✘ no native POS;
✘ the number of templates could be bigger;
✘ limited bandwidth for cheaper plans;
✘ relatively expensive.
If you need a more profound overview of the platform to make a decision, keep on reading our review. We are going to take up all the options of the PinnacleCart eCommerce software to let you easily compare it with similar products.
Read several PinnacleCart reviews left by ordinary users, and ease of use might be one of the benefits they mentioned in most cases. And it’s true: even a beginner can cope with setting up and managing the PinnacleCart eCommerce software.
When you wish to set up PinnacleCart on your existing website, the installation will be very easy. For instance, you can install it under your domain. Then, a common setup procedure may look like this:
- You enter your hosting control panel with your login and password.
- You go to Domains.
- You select the domain to set up PinnacleCart.
- You go to the Web Application folder.
- You click on Install Applications and search for PinnacleCart via the search line.
- You press the Install button next to the PinnacleCart program.
- You accept the License Agreement, enter all the necessary info, and confirm the installation.
The setup is complete. Now, you can enter the application under your domain. Be also aware that you can purchase a domain from Pinnacle Cart as well and use the company as your online store’s host.
Online Store Setup and Management
PinnacleCart is a sort of software with which you can start at once without long-time learning the manuals. First, you sign up on the platform. Then, the system suggests installing a PinnacleCart online store with the help of its Quick Start Guide.
In a quick and clear form, you can get to know how it all works on the platform. The store setup process will include the following steps:
- Go to the Pinnacle Dashboard.
- Use the suggested template or choose another by clicking on Front-End→Manage Themes.
- Customize your template: add/delete pages, modify colors, change fonts, etc.
- Add and organize products.
- Tune up your payment system.
- Connect all the necessary add-ons.
- Apply SEO, reporting, and other tools.
- Publish your ready-to-operate webstore.
After you have launched it, your web store is easy to maintain. You can change its settings, add marketing tools, add or delete apps, and so through the easy-to-manage Dashboard.
PinnacleCart eCommerce Functionality
From a functional capability perspective, PinnacleCart is a truly powerful eCommerce instrument. With its help, you can implement practically any idea in your PinnacleCart-based online store, either by using one of the numerous built-in features or plugging in a third-party add-on.
You might find it very convenient that PinnacleCart allows sample products. That is, the software can add test data to your database to let you check the platform’s efficiency before inserting actual goods. You are free to add a database at once or each product item by item. When adding this or that good, you can indicate its name, category, ID number, price, individual parameters like size, weight, etc., and its short description. To visualize your goods, use such tools as:
- Web Image Uploader;
- 4 Zooming tools;
- One main image plus an unlimited number of extra ones;
- Bulk image uploading via FTP;
- Thumbnail Generator with customizable thumbnail sizes.
More sophisticated rules can be applied to each of your goods. Thus, you can hold it in stock but leave it unavailable for sale. Your products may have their own conditions for ordering and shipping. The organizational mechanism at PinnacleCart is also great: you can classify your goods according to their nature, that is, by manufacturer, brand, color, size, material, and whatever.
Moreover, there’s the Product Families tool here to make the process fully automated. At your disposal will be such features as Product Reviews, the Show-on-Homepage option, Quantity Limits Control, and piles of others.
Marketing & SEO Tools
There’s nothing excessive in PinnacleCart – your online store might need most of the marketing, email management, and SEO features available here. Since its main goal is to make an eStore effective in reaching its targeted audience and selling goods to customers, the platform supports a huge number of instruments like these:
- by default optimized pages for the best cooperation with major search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo;
- Google Analytics & Google Analytics Conversions integration;
- Google AdWords integration;
- customizable URLs, meta titles, meta descriptions, etc.;
- the ability to add schema.org tags;
- mod_rewrite and custom rewrites;
- Metadata Auto Generator;
- site map automatic generation;
- XML sitemap for Google Search Console;
- Breadcrumb navigation;
- the Capture email tool;
- Promo Codes & Gift certificates;
- Recommended Products;
- QR codes;
- Abandoned Shopping Carts;
- Drift Marketing for email campaigns;
- Omni-Channel Support 24/7 for your clients;
- Ad -Creation and SMO tools;
- sales widgets, ‘About’ buttons, and many more.
These are only the key instruments you can apply to your webstore to ensure the top rank and high traffic for it. We’ll need to go far beyond this review’s limits to list them all.
There’s no inner Point-of-Sale system at PinnacleCart, and it’s a certain drawback. But you can use any third-party software to create it. The platform allows integration with 25+ payment operators like PayPal, Authorize.net, Amazon, Stripe, NetBilling, etc. PinnacleCart doesn’t apply any fees to payment transactions.
A big plus of the software is that it integrates with Quickbooks. Thus, all the info about your customers and orders can be accurately moved to Quickbooks. It will let you cut the number of mistakes to zero level as well as save time.
Shipping & Taxes
There’s no counterpart to PinnacleCart when observing its shipping tools. Each of your products can go with a specific shipping rule. For instance, you can define flat-rate shipping costs or allow free shipping for it by suggesting a promo code, etc. Available features include the following:
- Shipping Quotes to let your customers estimate their shipping costs;
- Stamps.com integration;
- Endicia.com integration;
- several shipping methods available at once;
- Free Shipping based on weight, quantity, and other order details;
- Avalara/Exactor to calculate taxes in real-time mode;
- VAT tax supported, and many more.
Moreover, PinnacleCart allows launching your own delivery network. It is available thanks to the built-in Zip Code Delivery Zone feature. You are free to define the prices according to your customers’ locations and distances from your physical store.
PinnacleCart offers a centralized cPanel to manage your clients and the orders they make. It will let you keep the order list updated and your customers informed. You can send special notes to your customers and refund their payment through a specific gateway. Cart Admin will be able to quickly process all the orders by using Bulk Actions, as well as move orders to spreadsheets, view any transaction details, and more.
PinnacleCart uses a PA-DSS certificate as part of PCI compliance. This is a cloud hosting platform with an uptime of 99.99%. You can supply your webstore with an unlimited number of admin accounts (only five admin accounts are available for the Free and Standard plans.) Each may go with a free SSL certificate, password encryption, and other protective means. Admins will be able to assign roles and give permissions.
You can also easily block accounts, handle payment/order mistakes, and protect your store against fraudsters, by adding such powerful plugins as FraudLabs or No Fraud. There’s an ability to restrict the Administrator Access by IP, control cookie timeout, etc.
When a free Shared SSL certificate is not enough for your data security strategy, you can purchase a dedicated SSL certificate from Pinnaclecart. The options include Rapid SSL, Geotrust True Business ID, Thawte SSL Webserver EV, and Symantec Secure Site EV certificates. All the options go with a warranty.
Besides obligatory tools for any online store, PinnacleCart is able to offer you a huge set of pleasant extras. Let us list some of them:
- Language options;
- Multi-Currency features;
- Customer Address Book;
- One-way API;
- File Manager;
- reCAPTCHA tools;
- Wish List;
- Best Seller;
- Live Chat & Buy Now buttons;
- Social Networking Buttons;
- Remote logs for admins;
- Integration with over 30 useful add-ons, and other options.
Thus, even this compact survey on the functional equipment of PinnacleCart shows that you will be able to access incalculable instruments for comprehensive eStore management. The best thing about the PinnacleCart platform is that these tools are truly effective and easy to use.
Design and Templates
On the PinnacleCart platform, you’ll find a dozen of professionally-built, fully-responsive templates ready to fit any desktop or mobile gadget. They can use them in your eStore without any manipulations with code. Of course, their number could be larger. However, each of the offered templates is easily customizable (through built-in Front-End Designer 101), so you’ll be able to mix a well-thought-out structure with originality in your store’s final design. Again, you can preview it with the help of the sample products option.
For a more sophisticated approach, Pinnaclecart offers premium design plans. The cheapest will cost you $2,100. However, such an investment may be reasonable for your project when needing an effectively designed online store ready to transform its attractiveness and convenience into stably growing revenue. The option will let you work out your unique theme, homepage design, and logo, supply your pages with custom blocks and buttons, integrate them with social media accounts, and many more.
There are numerous ways to get help at PinnacleCart. At your disposal will be such communication means as these:
- Live Chat;
- a contact number;
- the ticket form.
The PinnacleCart site offers a profound Knowledge Base section with each point of working with the software explained. There’s a FAQ section, too. Both are to be found in the Resource menu on the official site.
PinnacleCart offers to host your future online store created with its help on its server. Its cost is included in each of the available plans. You can also purchase a domain from the company. However, you can set up PinnacleCart on your existing server or subscribe to another host to work with the software. In this case, you’ll need to buy a perpetual license from PinnacleCart.
The latter solution may be more cost-effective than expensive per-month packages from the company. However, there’s a long list of requirements for hosting capable of full integration with the platform, and your host really needs to be good to cope with the mission. When wanting a ready solution, we can recommend HostGator as a reliable hosting company with numerous hosting plans and a good money-to-value ratio.
HostGator is a forwarding provider of Web, VPS, Reseller, and dedicated hosting with a two-decade experience. No matter which HostGator plan you choose, you get an unmetered bandwidth, a free domain for one year, and a free SSL certificate. The host’s servers are robust and can ensure 99.97%+ uptime for your webstore. The provider also offers a unique Install Wizard. It can help you to install any software – including PinnacleCart – with just a click.
There are four PinnacleCart plans with hosting services included on the platform. The first one is completely free. However, it has several restrictions. The main one is that you can only use it with an active PruPay account. Without it, you won’t be able to conduct any transactions in your online store. It can also be connected to PayPal, but PruPay is a mandatory option.
The other three packages are paid but go with a 14-day free trial. The cheapest one is Standard. This plan will cost you $79.95 per month. It also has several limitations like 10Gb disk space, 20Gb bandwidth, and only five admin accounts supported, yet, its feature set is strong enough. You’ll be able to:
- add as many products or categories of them as you wish;
- get unlimited sales volume;
- access the same number of apps and payment gateways;
- make use of the same communication means for getting help, etc.
The Advanced package is $199.95 per month. It includes a number of advanced features like Product Filters, Split Shipping, and more. It goes with unlimited disk space and bandwidth. While using the Free and Standard plans, you get a free Shared SSL certificate, and there’s an option of purchasing a dedicated one. The Advanced package has an already included dedicated SSL certificate. You may also expect prioritized Customer Support here.
The Enterprise plan is the feature-richest and the most efficacious. Its price is manageable, and you should contact the team to know the details.
Thus, PinnacleCart can serve as a universal means of creating and launching an effectively working online store. It has loads of features to engage customers, learn their buying habits, interact with them via email and extra forms, conduct secure and quick transactions, and many more. The software is unbeaten when evaluating its SEO, Inventory Management, Shipping/Ordering, and Security tools.
Present-day users spoilt with WordPress might feel restricted by the number of templates available on the platform. But there are no bad themes at PinnacleCart at all, and each of them is ready to gain profit for your project. Moreover, you can customize any theme so that it looks more original.
The usability of PinnacleCart is great, so it will appeal to both beginners and code pros. The software is a powerful tool that can cope with an eCommerce project of any size. Surely, this is not the cheapest solution, but the company does not apply fees to transactions and offers good value for your money. You can integrate PinnacleCart with any host and use it under your own domain. This is one of the best solutions for the quick launch of a ready-to-make-money online store.