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Lightspeed POS Review and Alternatives

Lightspeed has come a long way in the last few years, firmly cementing itself as one of the leaders in POS delivery.

They are an all-in-one commerce platform for retail, hospitality, and golf merchants in particular, and are aimed at mid to large-scale businesses, though do also cater to smaller businesses.

They have separate options and offerings for each area, with an impressive array of features on offer too.  We will look specifically at the retail POS primarily for this review, but in general, Lightspeed has a lot to offer across the board.

They also now offer their own e-Commerce platform as well as integrating with the other big platforms in the market, which is great.

Let’s dive a bit deeper into what they have to offer…

Lightspeed Features 

Lightspeed has an impressive list of features on offer, and really is an all-in-one solution for your POS needs whether through e-commerce or in-store sales.  They also offer inventory management, loyalty programs, analytics, and a lot more.

Retail POS

Their retail-specific POS has some great functionality:

  • Accepted Payment Types – Lightspeed accepts all major payment types including credit and debit cards, cash, gift cards, and store cards.
  • Receipt Printing – you can either print physical receipts or email digital receipts at the push of a button.
  • Offer gift cards – these come with barcodes for easy use, and they can be retained and reused with balance updating available, which is great
  • Discounts – you can easily apply discounts through the register before the sale.
  • Customer Loyalty program – you can reward your customers with Lightspeed Loyalty, which works on a point-based program.  You can automate marketing campaigns, as well as make one-time offers for special occasions like birthdays.

eCommerce

Lightspeed’s e-commerce platform is its most recent offering and also has some great features.  It is an extra cost, but having your e-commerce and in-person POS system work seamlessly together is often a boon.

  • Themes – you have over 60 themes to choose from, all of which can be customized too, giving you plenty of options when it comes to design.
  • Appointments – this is a feature we particularly like as it allows your customers to set appointments for in-store visits through your website.  It will also generate automatic confirmations and reminders too.
  • Wishlists – this is a favored feature for many customers, and Lightspeed lets you set up wishlist capabilities easily.  This lets customers save items they like to purchase at a later date.
  • Returns and Exchanges – these are easy for your customers to set up through Lightspeed as they have direct access to creating return tickets from their profile.
  • Shipping Tools – easy integration with shipping providers like EasyPost and ShipStation, and a fully organizable back end for all your shipping needs, including issuing tracking codes, makes your fulfillment process an absolute breeze.
  • Social media – you can connect your social media channels directly to your e-Commerce platform for running marketing campaigns.  Lightspeed also has some great built-in SEO tools too.
  • Multiple currencies – you can create your store in 14 different languages, and support multiple currencies.  Ideal for international sellers.

Inventory 

Lightspeed also lets you take control of your inventory with their specifically designed inventory management system.

This can be as simple as adding descriptions, category management, etc, or as deep and complicated as multistore inventory, purchase order management, and item variations.

Employee Management 

There is a simple time clock that employees can use to clock in and out using a simple pin.  You can also customize roles within the employment management settings too.

Reporting

Lightspeed POS offers no end of reporting options, with hundreds of printable presets.  You can view profits by revenue or margin, track how your promotions are performing, end of day accounts, filter reports by day, week, month, and year, the list goes on.

You can also export any of your reports in excel format through the desktop browser.

Credit Card Processing

Lightspeed also offers payment processing, though you don’t have to take it.

Their rates are pretty competitive at 2.6% plus 10 cents for card payments, or 2.6% plus 30 cents for keyed-in transactions, and if you are processing more than $250,000 a year then you can negotiate custom rates.

Lightspeed also sells terminals that integrate perfectly with their POS.

Lightspeed Pricing

Pricing packages vary depending on what you need, but the barrier for entry was lowered by Lightspeed in the last couple of years making it far more affordable for smaller and newer companies.

They also have annual and monthly rates.  The annual rates are paid in one go and are overall a lower monthly amount.

Let’s have a look at the options:

Lean – this is Lightspeeds basic plan and comes with the core of what you need and no more:

  • POS platform
  • 1 register (additional devices are an extra $29 per month)
  • Integrated Payments

You also get access to the following services:

  • Payment card preset rate of 2.6% plus 10 cents
  • 24/7 customer support
  • One on one onboarding support
  • Free training
  • Dedicated account manager

The cost is $60 per month if paid annually or $79 per month on a month-by-month basis.

Standard – this is their recommended package and as well as all of the above it also includes:

  • Accounting
  • eCommerce

The cost is $119 per month if paid annually or $139 per month on a month-by-month basis.

Advanced – this is their next level and comes with a couple more features including:

  • Omnichannel Loyalty
  • Analytics Core

The cost is $199 per month if paid annually or $239 per month on a month-by-month basis.

Enterprise – this is specifically for high-volume merchants and larger businesses and requires you to get in touch with their team in order to get a quote.

In addition to everything above you will also get:

  • Unlimited personalized onboarding and launch services
  • Personalized consultation services
  • Dedicated premium support team
  • API consultation and support
  • Dedicated customer success manager
  • Preferred Lightspeed Payments rates
  • And more

Industry-Specific POS Options

As mentioned above, they do have different solutions for retail, hospitality, and golf.  While this might sound limiting, the reality is that their platform will suit just about any type of retail.

In addition to facilitating the selling of physical products, it also has features for selling services.  You can create estimates and quotes, define labor costs, and much more.

Their dedicated hospitality options are also great, and very thorough, offering everything from floor plan layouts and kitchen displays, to full self-service kiosks and ordering ahead.

The rates are also lower starting at $59 a month (if paid annually).

Ease of Use 

Lightspeed goes above and beyond to make sure that your setup is as smooth as possible and that you have a full grasp of their systems before you get going.

Once you sign up a customer service rep will get in touch to help run you through everything and answer any questions you might have.

Their systems are fairly simple and intuitive, and you’ll be an expert on the system in no time.

Lightspeed Customer Service

Premium 24/7 customer support comes as standard with all packages and you can access them through phone, live chat, or social media.

There is also an excellent community forum when you can find many answers to the questions that may come up.  It’s almost certainly the case that someone has been through it before.

There are also extra resources with training videos, documentation, and manuals.

Our thoughts 

Lightspeed is a great option for your POS needs.  It’s easy to use, has great customer support, and has a robust list of features.  Their specialized POS categories give you the chance to get the right system for your industry.

Pros

  • eCommerce platform
  • Multiple payment options
  • Great inventory management

Cons

  • On the more expensive end of POS options

Alternatives

Clover – is a very popular choice and is great for small businesses.  Clover also grows well with your business, offering more features as you need them.  We have a great review and overview of Clover you can find here (link)

Stripe – is a leader in the online space that also has great in-person POS options too.  Their API offerings are second to none and if you are looking for a solution that blends online and in-person and can be tailored to your brand then Stripe is a great option.  We have a great review and overview of Stripe you can find here (link)

Square – is an incredibly customizable POS that is built for businesses of all sizes.  They work well across eCommerce and in-store selling too.

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