Founded in 2003 by Craig Fox and Mike Auger, PinnacleCart is a SaaS eCommerce platform that was designed with the goal of being a marketing-based eCommerce solution in mind. PinnacleCart is optimized for small to medium-sized businesses that are looking for a hosted eCommerce service to get their online store started without much technical skill required. PinnacleCart headquarters is located in Phoenix, Arizona.
Shift4Shop is a feature-rich eCommerce platform serving businesses of all sizes in a wide range of industries across the globe. Offering an unmatched free eCommerce solution, the company provides everything you need to start — and grow — your business. This turnkey eCommerce experience includes powerful tools to help businesses succeed — a robust website builder, product and order management, customer marketing tools, and more. Customers can choose from dozens of professionally designed, industry-specific templates, all of which are mobile-friendly, SEO optimized, and highly customizable.
If you're looking for a secure eCommerce solution that puts you in control, PinnacleCart will not fulfill your needs. You'll need to pay extra for SSL, and even then, a complete lack of fraud detection leaves you vulnerable. You may not have access to the payment gateways you want to use, and you'll be missing dozens of important features. Plus, your PinnacleCart store goes online immediately, before you even have a chance to edit or customize it. This is a severe lack of control that most business owners (and web developers) find inconvenient at best — and damaging to the business at worst.
Shift4Shop gives our merchants access to all the security features needed to protect both their data and their customers'. Our platform includes all you need for complete customization and control of your online store — right down to the launch date.
Using PinnacleCart, you're on your own with site content and customer communication. There's no built-in blog, so you'll have to use an outside service like WordPress, and there are other missing features as well. To make it worse, you can't connect your cart to an existing website. With Shift4Shop, however, you'll have all these capabilities and more built right in. In fact, if you choose Shift4 Payments as your payment processor, you can even access our End-to-End eCommerce plan, an enterprise-grade, fully unlimited plan, for free.
PinnacleCart has no free SSL encryption, and not even a hint of anti-fraud measures in place. You'll have to pay extra for SSL, as you can't run an online store without it, and the lack of fraud detection puts you at risk for fraudulent customer activity. Shift4Shop, however, offers free SSL and integrates several fraud detection features, protecting both you and your customers.
"PinnacleCart would have been great 10 or 15 years ago. Nowadays it's just missing too many features to count, and some of them are features you would expect EVERY cart to have. Switching to Shift4Shop addressed literally all of my concerns with my store, and I'll never look back."
– Ex-PinnacleCart Customer
As a PinnacleCart client, you'll have access to only a few free themes, and if you want something else, you'll have to go straight to expensive custom design — inexpensive premium themes aren't even an option. You have only about 30 payment gateways to choose from, limiting your capabilities, and your store launches immediately rather than when you're ready. Shift4Shop gives you vastly more theme options all for free, over 5 times as many payment processors (160+), and control over your store's launch date.
How do free PinnacleCart themes stack up against free Shift4Shop themes?
PinnacleCart and Shift4Shop both offer free themes for merchants to use when building their online stores. But how do their themes compare?
Let’s look into the details.
PinnacleCart offers merchants a selection of 30 online store themes that are designed to be responsive. However, quite a few of their free theme options look and feel dated, which limits your choices if you want to design a modern website. While there is a WYSIWIG available on their site editor, called the Cart Designer, this feature is only available for certain elements within the themes, which restricts customization. Users report that the Cart Designer doesn’t feel intuitive and has a relatively steep learning curve to use which, on top of HTML and CSS editing being difficult to do, makes it nearly impossible for merchants to design the site that they want and need.
Shift4Shop has a huge (and still growing) collection of free, modern, unique and responsive themes to choose from, giving merchants a wide variety of options when it comes to designing their full-featured online store. Each theme is built and designed to be optimized for any eCommerce store straight out of the box. If you’d like to customize your Shift4Shop theme, the Theme Editor and HTML Builder are built-in WYSIWYG features that allow for advanced customization without any coding knowledge required. If you’d like to make more technical HTML or CSS edits, you'll have full access to your store's theme files to design as much as you like.
Shift4Shop is powered by Shift4 Payments, which sets up in minutes to allow you to accept credit cards and several alternate payment types. If you need other payment methods, we also support over 160 Payment solutions — more than any other eCommerce platform. See a full list of payment providers here.
While PinnacleCart does integrate with Shift4 Payments, set up is not built-in by default. PinnacleCart also supports about 30 payment processors, limiting your options and preventing you from maximizing your range of customers. With inconvenient setup and limited choices, accepting payments is far from quick and easy.
Since you're limited to around 30 payment methods with PinnacleCart, you may not be able to offer the payment type preferred by your customers. Their list of supported processors doesn't include financing solutions like Sezzle, making it difficult to offer buy now, pay later solutions to customers who prefer it. You also won't see options for high-risk merchants that need a payment processor who will support their industry, like tobacco or adult-oriented online stores.
If you're looking to sell your products internationally, PinnacleCart doesn't leave you with many options on that front either. Many users report difficult accepting payments from overseas customers due to the simple lack of support for payment gateways that cross borders and accept payments around the globe. If you're looking to accept payments from all countries, PinnacleCart may not be able to provide that functionality.
Shift4Shop helps you cut through the hassle of looking for the right payment processor. Powered by Shift4 Payments for payment processing, you'll be able to accept credit cards, digital wallets, and more instantly. Shift4Shop also integrates with more than 160 payment solutions if you need an international solution. Check out a quick summary of our payment features below.
Create a blog within your store that uses the same design elements and domain name of your website and store.
Create a blog on a third-party site like WordPress or Blogger, neither of which will share your store’s design.
Automatically improve your SEO efforts and expand your reach using Shift4Shop’s built-in blog feature, which will eliminate any need of re-creating your blog’s design elements or having to direct your blog to your store’s URL.