Though this is an honest review, we may earn a commission if you buy this product through our link. (learn more).
I’ve been using PayKickstart for over a year now. In this PayKickstart review, I provide my honest opinion on this shopping cart / affiliate platform for ecommerce, physical goods, digital product sales, and affiliate program software.
About the Company
PayKickstart is a shopping cart and affiliate management system for ecommerce/physical goods, membership sites, digital products, ands SaaS products. In this Paykickstart Review updated for 2021, we’ll take a look at this powerful marketing system.
Created in 2016 by Mark Thompson and Matt Callen, PayKickstart has processed over 1/2 Billion dollars in sales and, according to them, “PayKickstart is reinventing the modern day shopping cart and affiliate management – providing the tools, flexibility and automation to scale subscription-based businesses without the technical hurdles.”
Mark and Matt (the founders) were very successful Internet Marketers long before they created PayKickstart. Their company, DigitalKickstart (out of Carmel, Indiana) has produced (and continues to produce) very powerful digital products for online marketers.
They built PayKickstart because they couldn’t find a shopping cart that had the features they needed to maximize sales and marketing. This, I believe, is what makes PayKickstart stand out and results in happy customers writing raving PayKickstart reviews like this.
Watch the short video below to get a good understanding of what PayKickstart is, and how it can help you grow your business:
I realize I may have some bias, as I am a PayKickstart user myself. But as I look into other ratings (not just by affiliate marketers) I see that the PayKickstart reviews are high across the board:
It’s clear that this shopping cart and affiliate management service is very popular, not only among digital marketers, but also ecommerce marketers and more. They are always adding powerful new features too, so many of the reviews already left, were left when the system was in earlier stages of development. That means that the ratings should only continue to rise over time.
PayKickstart Review – More than Just a Shopping Cart
- Shopping cart: This is obviously the main service PayKickstart provides. It is a marketing machine, as you’ll learn further down the page when we get into the features.
- Subscription Service: Not all shopping carts handle subscriptions. Some that do handle subscriptions do not handle them well! PayKickstart handles every aspect of subscription management.
- Membership Service: Membership scripts, software, and other platforms in themselves can be very expensive and complex, but nearly all of them lack a good shopping cart. PayKickstart seamlessly integrates with 14 of the top membership services.
- Affiliate Management Software: Not only do PayKickstart users not need to find an affiliate management system, their built-in affiliate system is top-notch, with fraud prevention and tons of other necessary, and useful features, so you can quickly and easily recruit an affiliate arm that drives sales for you!
- Payment Gateway: PayKickstart seamlessly integrates with PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, Braintree, and EasyPayDirect.
There are seamless integrations for just about every imaginable. PayKickstart integrates with the following products/services:
Payment Gateway Integrations
Authorize.net, Braintree, EasyPayDirect, PayPal, Stripe.
aMember Pro, ClickFunnels, Digital Access Pass, FreshMember, Kajabi, LifterLMS, Memberful, MemberMouse, OptimizeMember, ProductDyno, S2Member, Teachable, Thinkific, WishList Member.
GetResponse, GetResponse 360, Aweber, ActiveCampaign, Campaign Refinery, ConstantContact, ConvertKit, Drip, iContact, Infusionsoft, Interspire, Klaviyo, Mailchimp, MailerLite, MarketHero, Maropost, OntraPort, Sendlane, SendReach.
Product Fulfillment (ecommerce)
ShipStation and ShipOffers
EverWebinar, GoToWebinar, Zoom, Demio, EverLesson, Webinar Ignition, WebinarJeo, WebinarJam.
Google Analytics, Chartmogul, ProfitWell, Prosper202
SegMate, Slack, Taxamo, Zapier
If a product/service you use is not supported, because they offer an API and Webhooks, you can build your own custom integration!
The Features that Make it GREAT!
There are tons of features within PayKickstart (though, despite the huge number of amazing features, it is very simple to use). But to me, the following are the features that really make this shopping cart stand out as a marketer.
My previous shopping cart was Zaxaa, and I’ve used others as well, but they always lacked common sense marketing features. PayKickstart filled all of those gaps, and provides amazing features I had never even considered before. The following are game changers to me:
Product Fulfillment & OTO Management w/o Additional Coding
I hated having to get with my coder every time I wanted to change the OTO, or add an OTO, or change the price of a product, or basically change anything. In this Paykickstart review I’m happy to report that it is all seamless with no additional coding necessary once the product is added to your PKS account.
Once a product is added to your account, you can add it as a front-end product, or as an OTO. You can add multiple OTO’s, you can change an OTO at any time, with no coding necessary. You can overwrite prices with no coding.
Everything works together as it should. It seems like common sense, but most shopping carts do not do this well. PayKickstart does it PERFECTLY in my opinion.
In-Depth Sales/Subscription Reporting
Amazingly, some shopping carts (like my previous cart, Zaxaa) do not provide in-depth subscription data reporting. PayKickstart provides in-depth reports, complete with graphs, trends, total rolling churn rates, MRR, and more.
The same level of exhaustive reporting is provided for one-time payment sales.
Seamless Coupon Code Management
You can easily create coupon codes that can expire at a set date/time, again, without the need for additional coding. And, once again, solid reporting is providing on coupon code usage. It’s really quick and easy to offer a discount with PayKickstart as your shopping cart.
Seamless Email Marketing Integration
The emails of your customers are incredibly valuable. You WANT to collect them and get them added to your email list. They’ve already spent money with you, so their email is exponentially more value than any cold, or warm, lead.
PayKickstart integrates with all of the top email marketing platforms and allows you to quickly & easily add all new sales to a list, so they can begin receiving followup emails at the point and sale and beyond.
Exit Intent / Cart Abandonment Reminder
Many sales are lost at the checkout page. PayKickstart has features to reduce the number of lost sales. One of the ways they do that is by providing you the option to add an exit popup that confronts the user before they leave, asking if they’re sure they want to leave.
Dunning management allows you to automatically recover subscription payments that have failed by alerting customers and directing them to get their billing details updated. This results in more active subscriptions, and more money in your pocket!
You can also customize and control the sequence of emails that are sent to customers who are delinquent, further saving lost sales.
Subscription Renewal Reminder emails
Setting up renewal reminder emails to go out to subscribers ahead of their re-bill helps reduce refunds and increase transparency and trust. I included this in my PayKickstart review, because my previous shopping cart software surprisingly didn’t offer this.
Though many people forget about annual subscriptions and don’t cancel if you don’t remind them, it is smart (and I believe the right thing to do) to enable this. It reduces the refund rate, reduces chargebacks, and increases trust.
Integrate with one of eight different webinar platforms and send an evergreen webinar to new buyers! Or, setup a live webinar with previous and new buyers. Webinars are one of the most powerful online sales producers and PayKickstart is ahead of the curve with this, and so much more.
Once-Click Payment Testing
I cannot tell you have much trouble I’ve gone through with other shopping carts just to test a new product sale or OTO. PayKickstart offers an easy one-click payment testing options that works great and allows you to easily test the entire product purchase experience without having to change the price to $1 to test your processes.
One-Click upsells can double the value you earn from each customer by allowing them to purchase other products (or addons) while they’re still on the checkout page, so they can enter their payment details once, while ordering more product/service than they initially decided.
This is the equivalent to the candy bar and gum shelves at the checkout counter at grocery stores and walmart. They’re waiting to pay, so entice them with more goodies.
Customizable Cancellation Saver Flows
PayKickstart also offers amazing cancellation saver flows that you can easily customize! This allows you to not only prevent many cancellations from ever happening, but it allows you to collect feedback from those who do complete the cancellation process.
PayKickstart Discount, Coupon, Free Trial
PayKickstart offers a Free 14-day trial through the following link/button with NO per-transaction fees!
In my estimation, the biggest down-side to the, “Starter” plan is that you do not get the affiliate management platform, which means you can’t have an affiliate program, which is a major downer!
So the, “Growth” plan is definitely the way to go. This is a $199/m. fee, which may be steep for someone starting out, but is WELL WORTH the price for a product owner that already has some recurring revenue coming in, or is able to afford the fee otherwise.
My experience with their support has been excellent. Any time I’ve had a question or issue their live chat agents have been on it almost always immediately!
Anything that requires higher-level support is quickly sent up the chain, though their primary chat agents seem to be able to handle most issues. I have been very pleased with the support their have provided.
There are a variety of shopping carts out there that have some comparable features that I want to mention in this PayKickstart review, including Kartra, SamCart, Keap, ClickBank, ThriveCart, Zaxaa, PayDotCom, PayPal, ClickFunnels and more. I believe PayKickstart beats them all in just about every category.
Clickfunnels vs PayKickstart Review
For a good comparison of the two, watch this short video. In short, PayKickstart is not a direct competitor with ClickFunnels. I recommend, as Mark does, to use them together for a powerful 1-2 punch!
PayKickstart vs Kartra
Kartra lacks several vendor integrations, does not offer 1-click upsells, or JV/Partner contracts. Kartra also does not offer secure digital product delivery, shipping/fulfillment integration for ecommerce/physical goods, 1-click payment testing, or a variety of other features that PayKickstart offers.
PayKickstart vs SamCart
SamCart also lacks many integrations that PayKickstart supports, like Braintree, Authorize.net, Easy Pay Direct, and custom payment integration. Samcart also lacks email and webinar integration, which are KEYS to online marketing!
PayKickstart vs Keap
Keap lacks a wide range of features and integrations that PayKickstart has. In fact, there are at least 39 PayKickstart features/integrations that Keap does not have!
PayKickstart vs ClickBank
Honestly, ClickBank and PayKickstart are not even comparable! Unless you’re just selling ebooks (even then I’d go with PayKickstart) ClickBank just doesn’t provide anything near the features and power that PKS offers.
First off, ThriveCart charges up to 8.5% of EACH SALE! No thanks! If you want to throw away 8.5% of your business revenue, be my guest. But I won’t be. But wait, there’s more (in my best Billy Mays voice). ThriveCart also lacks secure digital product delivery, an integrated licensing system, and several vendor integrations.
For a more in-depth look at how these different shopping carts compare, see below:
Trust & Compliance
PayKickstart is fully GDRP compliant, with publicly available policies on privacy, earnings, data security, sub-processor info, and more. This means your data, and business, are safe in their hands!
PayKickstart Review Conclusion
As I said previously, I am probably biased in this PayKickstart reivew because I have been using them for over a year now, but I truly believe that PayKickstart is the best ecommerce shopping cart, the best SaaS shopping cart, the best membership site shopping cart, and the best online shopping cart there is!
The powerful features would make any smart marketer drool, and the huge number of seamless integrations, along with the powerful affiliate management software, make it a no-brainer.