Lightspeed Retail POS Review 2023: Features & Cost

With excellent features, integrations and customer service, Lightspeed is a good match for retail businesses with multiple locations.
Hillary Crawford
By Hillary Crawford 
Edited by Sally Lauckner

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3.5

NerdWallet rating 

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.

LightSpeed POS

Lightspeed
NerdWallet rating 
Shop Now

on Lightspeed's website

Deciding factors

Payment processing fees

  • 2.6% plus 10 cents per in-person transaction.

  • 2.6% plus 30 cents for manually keyed transactions.

Monthly fee

  • $89 for Lean plan ($69 if billed annually).

  • $149 for Standard plan ($119 if billed annually).

  • $269 for Advanced plan ($199 if billed annually).

Prices are higher if you don’t use Lightspeed as your payments processor:

  • $119 for Lean plan ($99 if billed annually).

  • $179 for Standard plan ($149 if billed annually).

  • $299 for Advanced plan ($229 if billed annually).

Hardware cost

Undisclosed/quote-based.

Contract length

Annual contracts required for lower pricing.

Customer service

  • 24/7 support via phone, email and chat.

  • One-on-one training sessions.

  • Online knowledgebase.

Lightspeed 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

Plan

Pricing

Features

Lean

  • $89 ($69 if billed annually).

  • $119 ($99 if billed annually) if you don’t use Lightspeed for payments processing.

  • One-on-one onboarding.

  • Free training for you and your employees.

  • Dedicated account manager.

  • Lightspeed Payments integration.

Standard

  • $149 ($119 if billed annually).

  • $179 ($149 if billed annually) if you don’t use Lightspeed for payments processing.

Lean plan capabilities plus:

  • Accounting integrations.

  • E-commerce integrations.

Advanced

  • $269 ($199 if billed annually).

  • $299 ($229 if billed annually) if you don’t use Lightspeed for payments processing.

Standard plan capabilities plus:

  • Omnichannel Loyalty for syncing marketing campaigns and customers’ rewards programs online and in-store.

  • Analytics Core for in-depth reporting.

Hardware cost

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.

  • If you don’t want to use Lightspeed as your payment processor, the system integrates with a variety of other options, such as Worldpay and Zettle.

Features

  • Employees with iPads can bring the POS to the customer to complete checkout from anywhere in the store.

  • Refunds can be performed without using the customer’s credit card, and Lightspeed Retail can accept other forms of tender, including checks, gift cards and cash.

  • Import your product catalog into Lightspeed Retail by uploading a CSV file. Once your catalog is uploaded, you can categorize items by size, color and more, and assign unique serial numbers for stock-keeping purposes.

  • You can upload vendor catalogs and order new stock directly from your POS. Transferring stock between stores is possible too.

  • Stores can add new customers to the CRM database and build out their profiles, add notes and save information.

  • The database lets you view customer sales history to help determine purchasing habits, and assign customer “types” (VIP, employee, etc.) to automate special discounts.

  • Businesses can create loyalty programs so customers are awarded points each time they shop.

  • Lightspeed Retail features a basic time clock for employees, allowing them to punch in and out via a PIN number, as well as a log of employee sales and performance.

  • You can assign custom roles to your staff, giving them unique back-end permissions.

  • For onboarding new employees, there's a series of webinars to help users get acclimated with the interface and functions of the POS.

  • More than 40 reports available to analyze data on sales, inventory, staff performance, marketing effectiveness and more.

  • The system integrates with popular accounting platforms like QuickBooksand Xero to help with bookkeeping too.

  • Merchants can use Lightspeed Loyalty to offer customers redeemable points on purchases.

  • You can automate marketing campaigns and group customers together based on their buying habits.

  • Lightspeed Loyalty comes with the Advanced plan, and business owners with the Lean or Standard plan can bundle it into their subscription for an additional cost.

  • If you operate a brick-and-mortar store and also create an e-commerce website, Lightspeed lets you manage both from the same place.

  • You canupload your products and design your own website using 50 customizable templates. Once your site is live you can streamline sales and inventory data across all physical and digital locations.

  • Lightspeed’s e-commerce platform comes with the Standard and Advanced plans. Clients with the Lean plan can bundle it into their subscription as an add-on.

Lightspeed pros

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.

Customer service

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.

Integrations

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.

Lightspeed cons

Price

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

Pricing:

  • 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.

Square Retail POS

Square
Shop Now

on Square's website

Shopify for Retail

Pricing:

  • 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.

Shopify Retail POS

Shopify
NerdWallet rating 
Shop Now

on Shopify's website

FAQs

Lightspeed eCommerce fully integrates with Lightspeed POS so that small-business owners can streamline their in-store and online sales and manage them from one place. The software lets you combine inventory and transfer it, sell gift cards, organize shipments and build a professional online store, among other capabilities.

Lightspeed and Shopify both offer e-commerce platforms and in-store POS solutions to small-business owners. They each have 24/7 support, inventory management capabilities and in-house payment processing. Shopify has historically been more focused on developing clients’ online presence, whereas Lightspeed is better known for its in-store POS systems. The latter is better for businesses with multiple brick-and-mortar locations, and Shopify is better suited for businesses that have a tighter budget and prioritize online sales.

A version of this article was first published on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.

Methodology

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.

NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

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