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Lightspeed Retail is a cloud-based point-of-sale system for retailers. Its inventory management capabilities are excellent, letting business owners track items across multiple locations, add product variations and use integrated vendor catalogs to order inventory.
Lightspeed is a good match for more established small businesses with multiple locations. Newer small businesses with less complicated operations could be better served with a simpler, less expensive product.
For information on the brand’s POS solution for bars, cafes and restaurants, read NerdWallet’s review of Lightspeed Restaurant.
Payment processing fees
Prices are higher if you don’t use Lightspeed as your payments processor:
Annual contracts required for lower pricing.
If you’re not going to use Lightspeed Payments for payment processing, monthly subscription prices are significantly steeper. If you have more than one retail location, it might be wise to get a personalized quote in case you can get a discount.
Software monthly cost
Lean plan capabilities plus:
Standard plan capabilities plus:
Lightspeed Retail’s hardware pricing is quote-based. Businesses can choose between an iPad hardware kit or a desktop hardware kit, both of which come with a receipt printer, cash drawer and scanner. Note that iPads and desktops must be purchased separately. The company sells individual hardware items such aslabel printers, contactless card readers and iPad stands as well.
Payment processing cost
2.6% plus 10 cents per in-person transaction.
2.6% plus 30 cents for manually keyed transactions.
Other fees and costs
Lightspeed Payments comes with free PCI compliance and fraud prevention.
Funds will arrive in your business bank account within two business days.
There is a $15 chargeback fee.
The company provides quote-based rates for businesses processing more than $250,000 per year.
Robust inventory management
Lightspeed Retail’s inventory management features offer an impressive level of functionality that lets business owners customize how they track items. This platform allows you to manage multiple locations, send notifications when it’s time to reorder an item and add customized fields for categorizing inventory. You can also create a purchase order for a single vendor or a master order for multiple vendors in the platform.
Lightspeed offers exceptional customer service for all plan tiers. It includes a free onboarding session, 24/7 phone and chat support, guides and webinars. This type of support doesn’t come standard with all POS systems, and the fact that clients are matched with a dedicated account manager can help you get in touch with the right person sooner.
Lightspeed Retail allows you to extend the functionality of your POS via a wide variety of applications available in the Lightspeed app marketplace. These include accounting, e-commerce, payment processing, reporting, marketing, invoicing and payroll integrations among others.
The price you pay for Lightspeed Retail is tied to the fact that you have a broad range of features at your disposal. However, if you own a new small business, having all those extra bells and whistles probably isn’t necessary. In that case, you might be better off trying free or cheaper options.
Annual contracts required for lower pricing
Monthly subscriptions to Lightspeed Retail are less expensive if you pay annually versus monthly.
Lightspeed POS alternatives
Square for Retail
2.6% plus 10 cents for in-person transactions (2.5% plus 10 cents with Retail Plus plan).
2.9% plus 30 cents for online transactions or invoices without a card on file.
3.5% plus 15 cents for manually keyed transactions or card-on-file invoices.
Why we like it: Square for Retail charges similar processing fees and offers free and paid plans. The Plus plan includes a handful of features you won't find in the Free plan, such asadvanced inventory management tools, advanced reporting capabilities and Square Team Management. Loyalty programs are available as an add-on. For more information, see NerdWallet's Square for Retail review.
Shopify for Retail
2.4%, 2.6% or 2.9% plus 30 cents for online payments for Advanced, Shopify or Basic plan, respectively.
2.4%, 2.5% or 2.7% for in-person payments for Advanced, Shopify or Basic plan, respectively.
Why we like it: If you like Lightspeed Retail because of its e-commerce store integration, consider Shopify for Retail. You can get a Shopify e-commerce store and 24/7 support. The Basic plan is for businesses that do most of their sales online. Businesses that do in-store and online sales might consider one of the company’s other plans, which also includes lower processing rates. For more information, see NerdWallet's Shopify Payments review.
A version of this article was first published on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.
NerdWallet’s ratings for point-of-sale system providers reward companies whose products and services are priced well and work in a variety of payment scenarios, among other criteria. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including cost, system capabilities, contract requirements, customer service and integrations and add-ons. Learn more about how we rate point-of-sale systems providers.
These ratings are a guide, but services, hardware and pricing can vary widely from business to business and provider to provider. We encourage you to shop around and compare several providers.
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