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 began development in the late 1990s after founder and CEO Gonzalo Gil noticed a pattern in his own shopping cart software development. Online merchants would constantly ask for the same necessary features, so Gonzalo combined all of the most-needed elements and created the streamlined eCommerce platform known as Shift4Shop. Today, Shift4Shop has made its name as the most comprehensive eCommerce solution packed with integrations, apps, built-in features and SEO tools to help merchants sell more online. Shift4Shop’s office is located in Tamarac, FL.
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'll only have access to a fraction of Shift4Shop's payment gateways, and you'll be missing important features like store email addresses. Plus, your PinnacleCart store goes online immediately, before you even have a chance to edit or customize it.
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 no store emails @yourdomain included to give you that professional look. 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 included 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, sensibly-priced premium themes to bridge the gap to full-on custom design, 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 over 40 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 core 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 Core Theme Editor and Drag n’ Drop 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, that’s easy to do as well within Shift4Shop’s site editor tools.
Shift4Shop supports over 160 Payment Solutions, more than any other eCommerce solution. See a full list of payment providers here.
PinnacleCart supports only around 30 payment processors, limiting your options and preventing you from maximizing your range of customers.
Since you’re limited to around 30 payment processors with PinnacleCart, you’re severely limited when it comes to the types of customers you’ll be able to accept payments from. Their short list doesn’t include big names like Square, which most eCommerce platforms support integration with. 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 difficulty 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 unable to accept payments from all countries, like you can with Shift4Shop, then you may be alienating a huge part of your potential customer base.
Shift4Shop integrates with more than 160 payment solutions to ensure that all merchants can accept payments from any customer, regardless of geographical location or industry. With a Shift4Shop store, you’ll have control of your business every step of the way. Check out a quick summary of our payment features below or see a full list of payment providers here.
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.