Thursday, July 15, 2021

Lightspeed point of sale (POS) review

Lightspeed is a Canadian company that offers point of sale (POS) solutions for retail and restaurant businesses. It has been delivering custom e-commerce solutions for the last 15 years or so. 

While it does have off-the-shelf packages to choose from on its website, Lightspeed is most appealing as a POS provider because it can tailor individual POS systems to suit your business. Lightspeed are a company who care about providing the best POS solution for your business needs. 

Get a quote for a POS system today.

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Wondering what the best POS systems for restaurants, small businesses, and retail are? 

We've written all about how to choose the right POS system for your business, and 9 inspiring ideas on how to use POS system customer data to help you get the most from your point of sale solution. 

That ultimately means you get a more personalized and bespoke technical setup. Equally, it also requires you to invest time talking to the company about how best to configure it. 

Depending on your staffing resources, Lightspeed POS might not be for the smaller business but it has the potential to add real benefit for any ventures that are growing at pace. Lightspeed has recently released a new product called Payments, which is a fully integrated system that protects business owners against fraudulent payments, and provides everything a merchant needs to process sales and get paid in one place.

Competitor products include AirPOS, Shopify, EposNow and Square POS.

Lightspeed's iPad and desktop POS solutions

Lightspeed's iPad and desktop POS solutions (Image Credit: Lightspeed)

Lightspeed POS pricing

Lightspeed's user-friendly website makes it pretty simple to pick one of their POS systems to support your business operations. The company divides its packages down the middle, with either retail or restaurant options to choose from. 

However, dip into these two choices and you’ll find that there’s a little more to getting set up with a Lightspeed POS system than meets the eye. Although that’s not a bad thing, as Lightspeed POS packages can be carefully tailored to meet the needs of individual businesses. 

Therefore, for restaurant focused POS systems the price currently starts at $59 / £59 per month, but you’ll need to speak to them in order to get a more personalized price. 

Retail pricing follows a similar theme, which currently equates to these monthly baseline charges: 

Basic $69 /£69

Starter $99 / £99,

Standard $119

Advanced $169 / £129 

Pro $229 / £199

You can make savings by paying annually rather than monthly and bear in mind there will be other incidental charges due to the more custom approach of Lightspeed.

Check out the Lightspeed POS website to find the right POS system for your business (link is for US-based business only). 

Lightspeed POS restaurant pricing

Lightspeed POS restaurant pricing (Image Credit: Lightspeed)

Lightspeed POS features

A Lightspeed tailored POS software solution will come configured with everything you need: from getting your business up and running, to transforming it into a scalable, efficient business venture. 

Naturally, Lightspeed POS supports all payment types, including:

✔ Cash

✔ Online payments

✔ Credit and debit cards

✔ Checks

✔ Gift cards

✔ Store credit variants

Retail benefits 

Building out and managing your stock inventory is a core feature on the retail front and that’s covered suitably well by the Lightspeed POS system. Other highlights for retail businesses include built-in fraud prevention, real time batch reporting, automated integration and more. 

Hospitality benefits

Restaurant's in need of a flexible POS system are presented with multiple benefits for customers and both front of house and back of house staff alike when it comes to Lightspeed POS. Below are just a few of their hospitality POS business features:

✔ Contactless payments

✔ Digital menus

✔ QR code ordering 

✔ Delivery, pick up and dine-in mobile ordering

✔ Staff tip and customer tab options

Golf Course benefits

To take payment straight from the tee sheet via a user friendly POS interface is exactly what you'll get with Lightspeed POS's software and hardware solutions for a golf business. Other golf POS features include: 

✔ One-click checkout add-ons

✔ Transaction history reporting

✔ SMS and email receipts

✔ Multiple payment methods

In fact, Lightspeed offers such a full-service range of features for its retail, golf and restaurant POS systems that you really need to see their website for the full breakdown. It’s extensive to say the least.

Lightspeed's POS software running on an iMac and iPad

Lightspeed's POS software running on an iMac and iPad (Image Credit: Lightspeed)

Lightspeed POS performance

Lightspeed has invested a lot of time in having some very decent Mac-based kit available to help your business get the best from its systems. There’s an iPad POS hardware option for example, with a PG cash drawer. 

Indeed, all of the Lightspeed POS software has been engineered to run on:

✔Apple’s iOS for its tablet POS system  

✔ Mac OS for its desktop POS system

As a result, businesses who favour the Apple route for daily operations will find much to make them feel at home within the Lightspeed POS environment. 

And, if you’ve got employees who like the slick way Apple ticks then they might be happier using Lightspeed POS over Microsoft Windows or Google Android-based POS systems.

Lightspeed order on an iPad

Lightspeed order on an iPad (Image Credit: Lightspeed)

Lightspeed POS ease of use

As with any POS system, setting up your Lightspeed POS system is where most work will be needed initially. 

Lightspeed have staff on hand to help guide you through this process. Support begins with the first consultation, which helps you to define exactly what you need for your business. 

From there, Lightspeed will implement the POS hardware setup needed on site while you’ll be able to get yourself and your staff familiarized with the in-browser software systems. 

Due to Lightspeed being a more bespoke design, this might be more challenging than some basic off-the-shelf solutions. But the trade-off for getting to grips with Lightspeed's more complex POS hardware, is you’ll have a much more potent POS solution at your disposal.

Lightspeed inventory management

Lightspeed inventory management (Image Credit: Lightspeed)

Lightspeed POS support

What's nice is that their "call you back" function works. You don't have to spend ages on the phone. You can request that they call you and get on with other tasks while you wait. It works. They call you back rather quickly.

Trustpilot reviewer

Support is plentiful once you’re signed up with Lightspeed POS, and forms part of the package that comes with having an account with them. With healthy Trustpilot Lightspeed POS reviews, you can see the many satisfied induvial café, hospitality and retail writeups. 

One reviewer specifically references a favourite feature: "What's nice is that their "call you back" function works. You don't have to spend ages on the phone. You can request that they call you and get on with other tasks while you wait. It works. They call you back rather quickly."

A modern business, Lightspeed have the expected POS customer help center on their website for you to reference. It is divided into different core sections, based on individual POS packages. 

Better still, thanks to Lightspeed's global offices everywhere from America to Geneva, Paris and Australia, there is also 24/7 support available. This is alongside: 

✔ Online training delivered live, plus Q&A with a Lightspeed POS specialist

✔ Fast, simple software setup

✔ An optional one-on-one follow up

Lightspeed also has a cool blog area within its site too, which adds another interesting dimension to how and why its products and services are used. Combining these components together means that the support aspect of Lightspeed seems to be of a very good standard indeed.

Lightspeed mobile card reader

Lightspeed mobile card reader (Image Credit: Lightspeed)

Lightspeed POS: final verdict

Assuming you’re happy with only being able to run it on Mac-based hardware, Lightspeed POS systems have a lot going for them. 

If you are, then Lightspeed POS solutions can be used in lots of different ways, particularly if you work in a retail or restaurant environment.

Personalized packages can help you squeeze more out of your Lightspeed POS system and you’ll find that they pack in lots of reporting and analytics to further beef up their POS offering. 

Bottom line? If you’re running a business that has outgrown its existing POS solution, or if you’re looking for something that employees will be able to master with ease, it's likely Lightspeed will tick many of the right boxes. 

It’s not cheapest out there, but it does come with plenty of helpful business POS tools. From inventory management, sales insight and even digital advertising assistance features, there is a well executed POS solution behind the Lightspeed POS price tag.


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