PayKickStart Review 2024: Is It Really the #1 Shopping Cart Platform?​

Paykickstart Review

PayKickStart Summary Review

PayKickStart is an effective shopping cart solution that can certainly improve your average customer value if you capitalize on all its basic and advanced features. PayKickStart has advanced conversion tools like one-click upsells, bump offers without having to hire a developer. Selling products online has never been easier.


One of the lowest monthly pricing plans, but no lifetime option available.


Has all the bells & whistles to sell anything online.

Ease of Use

Not as simplistic as hoped for. The learning curve is greater than other carts.


Support is there for you with email and live chat support (when they're online).

If you’re reading an article about online shopping carts, you’re probably already aware that a lot has to happen between when you first attract a potential customer and the moment you make that sale.

Online marketing is not easy, and your shopping cart is a crucial tool in bridging that gap. But there’s a problem. Switching to a new cart platform is a leap of faith into the unknown.

Sure, you might land on a better way to curate your customer journey with an elegantly designed customizable checkout. You might also invest a whole lot of time and money without much to show for it on the other side.

It was with equal parts cautious optimism and fear of leaping into the unknown that I decided I’d give PayKickStart a trial run. In this PayKickStart review, I’ll describe what I found out and offer some opinions on its value for money.

What Is PayKickStart?

PayKickStart Logo

PayKickStart is a shopping cart and affiliate marketing platform that was co-founded by Mark Thompson. It first hit virtual shelves way back in 2014, and it was heavily marketed on social media.

PayKickStart lets customers create checkout pages, order bumps, one-click upsells, downsells, subscription saver sequences, coupon code creation, and a lot more for digital products & physical products.

Built with an eye for easing a customer’s progression from initial interest to repeat sales, PayKickStart supports a range of payment models, including one-off payment, subscription services, payment plans, and free or paid trials with multiple payment integrations available.

PayKickStart also includes the best payment processing and a built-in affiliate management center, making it a great choice for product owners who want to provide an affiliate program.

The following video was done by a colleague in the internet marketing industry, Adam. I agree with most of his video but differ when it comes to his thoughts on PayKickStart vs ThriveCart.

The Features

I’ll delve into PayKickStart in some detail in this review, but here are a few broader characteristics of the platform you should know about up-front.

Ease of Setup

I’ll be honest. I smirked when I saw this platform’s setup wizard includes a sixty-second “how to get started” video. What a great way to onboard new customers.

Shopping cart software is famous for its fiddly nuances and fairly steep setup curve. But PayKickStart is one of the best examples I’ve seen of a complicated feature-set introduced in gentle, easy-to-understand steps.

If you have enough smarts to set up a product page, sell digital products, or an affiliate link, then getting the ball rolling with PayKickStart will be almost trivially straightforward.

That said, the ease of use for PayKickStart has a steeper learning curve than its competitors.

Flexible Pricing Models

Subscription and one-time billing are both available through PayKickstart.

These features are integrated into the same product setup process, so it’s not problematic to include both pricing approaches into one campaign.

A nice feature is that you can also set split-pay and paid trial options. Therefore, this platform won’t lumber you with squishing a square peg into a round hole if you have some unconventional product offerings.

Crucially, whichever pricing model you choose, you keep 100 percent of your profits because PayKickStart has a 0% transaction fee.

Affiliate Marketing Friendly

PayKickStart is designed for regular vendors and affiliates alike.

A suite of affiliate management, marketing, and analytics tools are included with the platform, and it’s’s easy to build campaigns around your own digital products or physical products or a combination of both. You’re able to pay affiliate commissions from their affiliate system too.

It’s also a comfortable affiliate center to use if you like pushing the affiliate envelope with affiliate contests and the like.

A Scalable Solution

I’ll go into this in greater detail in the pricing section, but scalability is important enough to list as one of the platform’s defining features.

PayKickStart is one of the few shopping cart resources that offer a genuinely useful basic tier account.

If you’re starting out, PayKickStart is great for refining your strategy before investing too heavily because it gives you the power of a fully customizable checkout from day one.

Payment Processing Gateways

PayKickStart currently offers five payment gateway integrations:, Braintree, EasyPayDirect, PayPal, and Stripe.

Paykickstart Payment Processing Settings
Payment integrations

I’ve used, PayPal, and Stripe, so I can only comment authoritatively on these integrations.

Each has been completely hassle-free in my experience, and I’ve seen or read nothing about the Braintree or EasyPayDirect integrations to imagine they’d be any different.

PayPal is always a bit fiddly once you enter their environment, but hey, this has nothing to do with the PayKickStart platform!

Whatever payment gateway you’re using, setting it up in PayKickStart is a pretty basic process. Each integration has a customized PayKickStart support page walking you through the process, and you’ll generally have all the core settings squared away in minutes.

To name the elephant in the room, yep, PayKickStart doesn’t accept crypto payment transactions, and I see no plans to do so on their development horizon.

So if accepting crypto payment is on your “must-have” list, this platform isn’t going to be for you. There’s better news if you’re holding out for Apple Pay or Google Pay transactions; both are listed as planned integrations.

One added feature which you’ll probably rarely use but find incredibly handy from time to time is the option to easily switch campaign payment gateways.

You can switch at any time without derailing or restarting your campaign. And yes, this even works for a subscription campaign.

PayKickStart is smart enough to keep a subscribing customer on one payment gateway, only switching your customers across when they update their payment details.

It’s a smart little added feature, and it shows that PayKickStart understands the kinds of decisions you sometimes have to make in the day-to-day hubbub of managing a campaign.

Checkout Page Templates

We all know that a ton of shopping cart platforms fall short on their checkout templates.

If you’ve spent any time at all futzing about with a fiddly or poorly designed template, you’ll know that a well-designed template selection is a critical factor in making your job easy.

But it’s not just about functionality. Ideally, the template your work with should “fit” and feel like a natural part of the whole sales journey, from marketing materials to payment button.

Nothing hangs an amateurish lantern on your whole operation faster than websites or apps with a generic looking and visually discordant payment page.

So how does PayKickStart stack up with it’s approach to template window-dressing?

First up, the good news. You get over thirty starting checkout templates to work with. Better yet, they genuinely do run a pretty wide gamut of style choices, from basic and clean to slick and corporate.

I’ve played with maybe half these templates, and they’re consistently easy to use, offering just enough variation to give you decent brand tie-in options.

Paykickstart Checkout Templates
PayKickStart checkout templates

That said, I’ve definitely seen more creative checkout templates out there. PayKickStart’s templates all seem to have the same basic elements, so if you’re looking for weird, wild, and wonderful variations you probably won’t find that through this platform.

But to be fair, I’d struggle to give you the name of any shopping cart platform that’ll dazzle you with its template creativity.

This platform gets a solid B+ for its templates, maybe even an A- if you’re a fan of a clean, unfussy checkout experience (which I suspect will probably be true for about 90 percent of readers). I also recommend using their a/b split testing feature to test which checkout forms will convert best.

Email Marketing Autoresponder Integrations

The platform handles a lot of third-party email integrations, including:

  • ActiveCampaign
  • Aweber
  • Campaign Refinery
  • Constant Contact
  • ConvertKit
  • Drip
  • GetResponse
  • IContact
  • Infusionsoft
  • Interspire
  • Klaviyo
  • MailChimp
  • MarketHero
  • Maropost
  • Ontraport
  • Sendlane
  • SendReach

I have the illustrious claim-to-fame of having used precisely one of these integrations with PayKickStart.

My trusty ESP account hasn’t missed a beat with PayKickStart, and smoothly handles adding users to my list when they drop an item into their cart or perform a successful transaction.

You can also configure the platform to add customers who request refunds, or when a user performs a failed transaction with all the above email marketing tools.

I haven’t done this myself, but I could see such lists providing a useful opportunity for capturing potentially missed sales and keeping these folks on your customer journey radar.

PayKickStart is GDPR compliant and has great support articles on how to make sure your marketing is ethical, legal and generally legit.

It’s also worth mentioning that you can set up autoresponders through AmazonSES and even Raw SMTP services. So if you want to deliver email notifications via your own domain (more power to you!), you can make that happen through PayKickStart.

Webinar Integrations

Here are the webinar third-party integrations currently available through PayKickStart: Demio, EverWebinar, GoToWebinar, Webinar Ignition, WebinarJam, WebinarJeo, and Zoom.

Paykickstart Webinar Integrations

I haven’t sold webinars myself, but I have a buddy whose business revolves around selling small-group training products through Zoom. I invited him to check out PayKickStart and share his impressions.

Generally, he was impressed. Setting up an integration with a webinar service takes just a few minutes, and he was able to use SDK Credentials (a feature not available through his current platform) to integrate Zoom directly into an app or protected page on his site.

He liked that a lot.

The webinar sales pages he set up through PayKickStart’s template looked professional and authoritative, and the process of product promotion through to final sale was smooth.

Looking at it from a potential customer’s perspective, I’d definitely buy through that page.

For people selling training courses or software, the ability to smoothly combine a robust subscription payment model with your webinar integration of choice makes PayKickStart particularly attractive.

Customer Support Desk

I’m going to just come out and admit that I probably rely a little too heavily on support.

Whether it’s my rapidly advancing age or my dwindling patience with the abstractions of doing business online, I tend to hit the support button roughly five seconds after realizing I don’t know how to do something.

All the better if I can jump into a chat session and get a guru to tell me what to do (and maybe get a bit of free training along the way).

A good support desk is a big deal for me – especially with shopping carts. I’ll invest in a software that does support well, and I’ll kick a software to the curb if it doesn’t.

PayKickStart excels at its support and knowledge base.

Paykickstart Customer Support
Knowledge Base

It’s probably the most intuitive support process I’ve come across. The knowledge base interface itself is the same deal you’ve seen a dozen times before when you didn’t know how to do something.

It’s a simple pop-up window giving you a few support choices, including chat (which so far has never been unavailable!) and a “Resources You Might Find Helpful” section.

What makes PayKickStart’s support great is the real work that’s gone into making these help assets truly helpful. It isn’t an afterthought. You can get a ton of training through this platform’s support pages.

Take “Setting up One-Click Upsells” in the funnel builder as an example. This section is less than 200 words long. It’s broken into three steps, each with an annotated screenshot.

At the end of the page, they’ve included a few notes about how one-click upselling can impact your overall strategy, and then they list off some related knowledge base articles.

Paykickstart 1 Click Upsells
One-Click Upsells are part of the Funnel Builder

It’s how support documentation should be done. It’s completely relevant, well-written, and I can absorb the whole shebang in under two minutes.

This isn’t going to be as important for the vast majority of PayKickStart users, but I have to give a shout out to their request/roadmap portal.

Their development process is extremely transparent, and more than a few times, I’ve delved through their planned updates to get a sense of future feature enhancements. It’s reassuring.

PayKickStart Pricing

PayKickStart Pricing
View the most up-to-date PayKickStart Pricing Options here

So before you reach for your credit card, let’s go over PayKickStart pricing.

PayKickStart offers 3 pricing plans:

  • Basic Plan: $29/month
  • Professional Plan: $99/month
  • Premium Plan: $149/month

The Basic tier costs $29 per month. This allows you to sell 5 products and gives you full access to PayKickStart’s template library, which is actually pretty generous given that it’s not uncommon for similar products on the market to offer pared-down template offerings at the entry-level.

All the PayKickStart third-party integrations (including a ton of membership integrations) are also available at this tier, so even on a basic account you have a real opportunity to develop a complete customer journey around your product.

In my opinion, this makes PayKickStart’s basic tier a viable option if you’re starting out. This is not something I’ve found universally true of shopping cart platforms, and I think it’s a clever move by PayKickStart to give starting customers full access to these resources.

If you’re just getting your feet with online sales, this basic tier will tick all your boxes now and offer a scalable solution that can grow with you over time.

Then we get to PayKickStart’s Professional and Premium tiers, which cost $99 per month and $149 per month, respectively.

  • The Professional tier allows you to sell unlimited products and gives you access to a handful of additional powerful tools, including order bump, an affiliate center, and the option to manage multiple account users.
  • The Premium tier ushers in a raft of enhanced marketing and site management tools, including enhanced demographics analytics, an audience builder, the option to run surveys, and detailed uptime monitoring.

Now, it probably goes without saying that the additional cost for these services only makes sense if you make full use of them. All pricing plans come with a free trial so feel free to give PayKickStart a test run.

That said, if you perform a head-to-head comparison with the competition, PayKickStart is extremely competitive at the basic level, and reasonably priced for what you get at its professional and premium tier.

You will, however, probably find equivalent products at these enterprise levels, and if you’re willing to cut corners a bit, you may find cheaper options.

The bottom line is, if you love the interface and ease-of-use of PayKickStart (and I’ll come out of the woodwork and admit at this point that I do!), you’ll get great value for money through this platform.

Bear in mind also that you can save over 20 percent if you take the leap and opt for one of their yearly payment plans instead of paying by the month.

Is It the Right Choice for You?

OK — so now you have my take on the PayKickStart shopping cart, from strengths and weaknesses, through a few use cases, to good old fashioned value for money.

But should you use PayKickStart? Is PayKickStart the right choice for you?

Recommended IF:

If you’re just starting out, I haven’t encountered a better product than PayKickStart. Its Basic tier has so much to offer. You’ll be struggling to find another tool that can compete with PayKickStart both in terms of features and ease-of-use. For $30 per month, it’s hard to walk past this option.

Not Recommended IF:

PayKickStart is only available via a monthly subscription payment. If you prefer to keep your credit card statement free of recurring costs, you’ll want to check out ThriveCart – one of the only lifetime pricing cart options.

If you want the cheapest product on the market, at the Professional and Premium tiers, this product ain’t it! Now, it’s not overpriced either — and you undoubtedly get great bang for your buck, especially if your business model requires affiliate software. All that said, you will find competing software at a lower monthly price.

Pros and Cons

To bring together the strands of this review, here’s my take on the good and the bad of this software.



The Final Verdict

If you’re reading this review because you’re looking for that elusive combination of powerful features and ease-of-use, I’ve got a good feeling you’ll be happy with PayKickStart.

Other Shopping Cart Alternatives

A lot of the PayKickStart reviews out there that don’t provide alternatives. I’ve written reviews for the top shopping cart software in the market. Each of the shopping carts below has its pros and cons.

Shopping Cart


Starting Cost

Free Plan?

Included Course Platform?

Embeds & Popups

Learn More






14 Days





30 Days





14 Days





14 Days





14 Days





Switching from one cart software to another is not uncommon. Just the other day I saw the transition of a vendor’s affiliate program move from SamCart to ThriveCart.

Some online/physical product sellers go from Gumroad to ThriveCart, SendOwl, or SamCart, but sadly, I don’t hear about transitions to use PayKickStart.

The competition is becoming fierce in this market with ThriveCart and SamCart both now having drag and drop page builders for their checkout pages – something PayKickStart needs to catch up on.

My shopping cart recommendations are to check out ThriveCart if you want a powerful cart with no recurring costs.

Check out SendOwl if you want a simple, but elegant on-page checkout experience (meaning they stay on the same URL page while they complete the purchase).

And check out GumRoad if you’re just starting your journey of selling products online.

pks logo

An advanced cart software with a small learning curve. The only downside is it there’s no lifetime pricing.

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