A 2023 Review on PayKickStart: Is it the Best Cart?

Launch Your Online Business in Just 7 Days

Are you searching the digital shelves for the best shopping cart tool?

We don’t blame you — according to Statista, there are over 2 billion people buying online in 2023.

With cart optimization and affiliate marketing, PayKickStart promises to help you bag more sales.

But is PayKickStart the best cart to kickstart your online selling journey?

This review will help you answer this question.

1. What is PayKickStart?

PayKickStart logo

PayKickStart's logo

PayKickStart is a shopping cart and affiliate management platform that was founded by Mark Thompson and Matt Callen in 2016.

PayKickStart aims to help online businesses manage their affiliates, and provide their customers with an exceptional experience.

From several payment models and integrations to dunning management, cart recovery, and more — it surely does pose as a capable tool.

But a one-size-fits-all solution simply doesn’t exist — so let’s get into what PayKickStart has to offer you and your customers.

2. PayKickStart’s features

PayKickStart’s Features

PayKickStart's features

2.1. The checkout experience

To bag those sales, it’s important to give your customers a smooth checkout experience — PayKickStart lets you do this with:

  • Embeddable checkout forms for your pages, or checkout pop-ups for when your buy button is clicked
  • Over 50 customizable, one-step and multi-step checkout templates
  • Checkout support for 20+ languages and 135+ currencies

You can also create your own unique checkout experience with PayKickStart’s API.

2.1.1. Conversion optimization features

Apart from offering your customers coupons for one-time or recurring discounts, promotions, and special offers, PayKickStart also lets you:

  • Offer one-click upsells to customers who have placed their order
  • Offer order bumps to let customers add complementary products to their orders
  • Use exit intent pop-ups to urge those leaving your site to continue with their purchase
  • Use retargeting Facebook and Google ads to win over customers you thought you’d lost

All of PayKickStart’s checkout options are mobile-optimized.

This is important for your conversion rate considering that over 60% of all ecommerce sales are made on a mobile device.

To determine which checkout form converts best, built-in A/B testing is essential.

Unfortunately with PayKickStart, you’ll have to manually integrate A/B testing, as this isn’t a built-in feature.

2.2. Payment processing

Payment Processing

To offer a suitable payment solution to each of your customers, PayKickStart offers the following payment processing options:

  • Credit, debit, or prepaid cards
  • Recurring bank debits (from customers in the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia)
  • Apple Pay for digital wallet payments

Connect™ is PayKickStart’s own processing service which is unfortunately only available in the USA and Canada.

With Connect™ you can:

  • Accept payments from over 135 countries
  • Get processing fees as low as 2.5% + $0.25 per transaction

PayKickStart also integrates with 5 payment gateways, including PayPal, Stripe, Braintree, Authorize.net, and EasyPayDirect.

PayKickStart also integrates with Taxamo which makes your life easier with everything tax-related.

Support for crypto payments isn’t available — but Google Pay and invoicing are currently in development.

2.3. Subscription management

Subscription Management

PayKickStart's subscription management

You can offer coupons, free trials, add-ons, overages, and prorations to nurture your customer relationships and maximize your revenue.

You can also select a pricing model that’s most suitable for your customers — and track and manage your subscriptions at scale.

2.3.1. Pricing models

With PayKickStart you have a variety of pricing models at your disposal, including:

  • Fixed-price subscriptions
  • One-time fees and payment plans
  • Usage-based billing Tiered, quantity-based, or metered
  • Setup fee — Charge a one-time fee that rolls into a fixed subscription
  • Trial management — Offer free or paid trial periods

If you need a structure that’s more suited to your business, PayKickStart’s API offers a means to create your own unique billing system.

If needed, you can also update your customers’ billing method, or they can update it themselves through the self-service portal.

The self-service portal is great for building trust and minimizing the need for customer subscription-related queries.

2.4. Dunning management

Dunning Management

PayKickStart's dunning management

Sometimes even the most loyal folks forget to renew their subscriptions, and this is where dunning comes in.

PayKickStart’s dunning management lets you recover lapsed payments, send reminders, and even create a database of “at-risk” customers.

You can automate reminders for when your customer’s trial is ending or their subscription is due for renewal — and you can send recovery emails.

Although the number of online shoppers is a whopping 2.14 billion, the average cart abandonment rate is unsettling — at just under 70 percent.

By automating your cart recovery emails you can recover at least 15% of your abandoned carts, so this is a welcomed feature.

2.5. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate Marketing

PayKickStart's affiliate marketing

PayKickStart’s affiliate program is one of its best features, but unfortunately, it comes at a price.

The Starter plan doesn’t let you run and manage your own affiliate program, for this you’ll need to be on the Growth plan for $199/month.

PayKickStart’s Marketplace has a community of 100,000+ affiliate partners — here you can find new affiliates and promote your products.

You can offer your affiliates 1st and 2nd tier commissions, lifetime commissions, or you can set up custom commissions for each affiliate.

Use advanced sales and lead tracking to ensure that your affiliates earn their commissions for each referral.

2.6. Analytics and reporting

PayKickStart lets you gain the insight you need to make informed decisions to improve and grow your business.

Regardless of your plan, PayKickStart gives you access to all of your reporting and analytical data.

Here are some of the insights you’ll have access to:

  • Transactional reports
  • Subscription analytics
  • Performance reports
  • Event and activity logs

3. PayKickStart’s pricing

PayKickStart’s Pricing

PayKickStart's pricing plans

With PayKickStart you have the option to pay monthly or annually — below are the monthly fees for each of the 3 plans:

  • The Starter Plan — $99/month
  • The Growth Plan — $199/month
  • The Scale Plan — $299/month

PayKickStart also offers a 14-day free trial but unfortunately, no free plan, which would be ideal for small businesses that can’t afford the $99/month.

3.1. The Starter plan

The Starter plan will cost you $99/month, this is quite expensive considering that this plan is intended for new businesses just starting out.

You’re also limited to earning $10k/month before your account is charged with 0.9% in overage fees.

The Starter plan gives you access to:

  • 1 payment gateway
  • Support for 1 language
  • 3rd party integrations
  • Multiple pricing options
  • Checkout templates
  • Subscription management
  • Sales conversion tools
  • Reporting and Analytics
  • Basic dunning management

If you use Connect™ on this plan the processing fees are 2.8% + $0.25 per transaction.

With this plan, you get only 1 integration for each of the following — email automation, membership, and webinar services.

This plan doesn’t give you access to:

  • The Affiliate Center
  • Phone support
  • Customer retention tools
  • API and webhooks
  • Custom checkout fields
  • Uptime monitoring

PayKickStart is known for being a shopping cart and an affiliate management platform — yet for $99/month you only get a shopping cart.

3.2. The Growth plan

The Growth plan will cost you $199/month.

With this plan, you’re limited to earning $50k/month before your account is charged with 0.7% in overage fees.

With the Growth plan you get everything in the Starter plan, plus:

  • Access to the Affiliate Center
  • Advanced dunning management
  • Customer retention tools
  • API and webhooks
  • Custom checkout fields

If you use Connect™ with this plan the processing fees are 2.7% + $0.25 per transaction.

This plan doesn’t give you access to phone support and uptime monitoring.

3.3. The Scale plan

For $100 more, the Scale plan will cost you $299/month.

With this plan, you’re limited to earning $200k/month before your account is charged with 0.5% in overage fees.

This plan gives you everything in the Growth plan, plus:

  • Unlimited users
  • CRM integrations
  • Advanced customer insights
  • Phone support
  • Uptime monitoring

If you use Connect™ with this plan the processing fees are 2.6% + $0.25 per transaction.

4. PayKickStart’s pros and cons

PayKickStart’s Pros and Cons

Let’s be honest, nothing is all sunshine and roses — every tool on the market has its flaws, let’s weigh up PayKickStart’s Pros and Cons.


  • Conversion optimization features for a smooth checkout experience
  • Several payment models and payment processing options
  • Useful integrations
  • Dunning management for subscription management
  • In-depth reports and analytics on every plan


  • The plans are costly for what’s on offer
  • Affiliate program is only available on the $199+ plans
  • No support for crypto payments
  • Short 14-day free trial and no free plan
  • Each plan has an earnings limit with overage fees if exceeded
  • Connect™ is only available in the USA and Canada
  • No built-in A/B testing capabilities

4.1. Recommended if…

PayKickStart is recommended if:

  • You’re willing to pay $99+/month to start selling and marketing online
  • You’re looking for flexible billing and subscription management features
  • You’re looking for a tool that’s mostly focused on the checkout experience
  • You’re willing to pay $199+/month for affiliate marketing

4.2. Not recommended if…

PayKickStart isn’t recommended if:

  • You’re looking for a more affordable shopping cart and affiliate marketing solution
  • You’re looking for a solution that isn’t limited to just cart and affiliate marketing capabilities
  • You’re looking to try a free plan until you’re comfortable with committing to a paid plan
  • You’re looking for a tool that won’t charge you overage fees depending on your earnings

5. Systeme.io: The best PayKickStart alternative

Systeme.io logo

systeme.io's logo

For what’s on offer, PayKickStart seems unnecessarily expensive for a solution that’s somewhat low on features.

When it comes to getting more bang for your buck, systeme.io is the best PayKickStart alternative, and we’ll show you why.

Systeme.io offers affiliate marketing and a means to sell your physical or digital products online.

What sets systeme.io apart is that we’re an all-in-one business-building solution — this means that the magic doesn’t end here.

Here’s a taste of what our feature-rich tool has to offer:

  • Sales funnels — Create converting funnels in a matter of minutes to guide your customer through the sale
  • Email marketing — Send unlimited emails, create campaigns, and segment your email list
  • Website builder Craft the perfect website with our simple drag-and-drop editor
  • Evergreen webinars — Run your own evergreen webinars to grow your audience and increase your sales
  • Online courses Build your own online courses, manage your students, and offer full or drip access to the content
  • Blogging — Create your own blog to increase traffic to your website

You may be thinking that more features mean an expensive price tag and a steeper learning curve — but this definitely isn’t the case with systeme.io.

Our customers love how simple our platform is, and we offer 4 price plans — including a freemium plan!

Our freemium plan lets you use systeme.io, for free — without ever putting in your credit card details.

We also offer the following 3 paid plans:

  • Startup — $27/month
  • Webinar — $47/month
  • Enterprise — $97/month

Click here for more information on what’s on offer with each of our plans.

6. Conclusion

For $99/month, you get a pricey shopping cart tool that lacks some essential features.

Only for an extra $100/month will you actually start to benefit from what PayKickStart has to offer — and even then...

To make matters worse, every plan also has earning limits with certain overage charges if the limit is exceeded.

It seems that with PayKickStart, you really do need to pay to kickstart your business.

You can get far more, for far less with an all-in-one tool like systeme.ioclick here to kickstart your business for free, today.

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