ShopKeep POS by Lightspeed Review for 2022

ShopKeep was acquired by Lightspeed and is no longer available to new customers.

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ShopKeep is no longer available to new customers, and is now Lightspeed. For more information, read NerdWallet’s review of Lightspeed Retail or Lightspeed Restaurant.

ShopKeep by Lightspeed, formerly known as ShopKeep POS, is a popular point-of-sale system that streamlines the most important business functions, including inventory, employee and customer-relationship management. In 2020, the platform was purchased by Lightspeed, another POS provider, and is no longer available for new customers.

However, Lightspeed has committed to maintaining ShopKeep’s functionality for businesses that already use it. That means if your business already uses a ShopKeep system, you will have access to help articles, live customer support and all of the existing features that came with your original software purchase.

If you’re looking for a new POS system, ShopKeep is no longer an option. Instead, you can choose from a variety of other popular choices, including Lightspeed, which still offers ShopKeep-brand hardware and can provide similar benefits.

LightSpeed POS

Lightspeed
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on Lightspeed's website

Deciding factors

Price

No longer available for new customers; Lightspeed plans start at $69/month.

Ideal for

Small- to medium-size businesses, including retail shops, coffee shops, restaurants and bars.

Integrations

Built-in capabilities for integration with MailChimp (email marketing), QuickBooks Online (accounting) and BigCommerce (e-commerce).

Ease of use

App-based, intuitive and user-friendly. Compatible with iPad and other tablets.

Live support

ShopKeep offers 24/7 customer service via phone, email and live chat. The website also features articles that document how to use all the different ShopKeep products.

How does ShopKeep work?

ShopKeep is a comprehensive point-of-sale system that runs on an iPad or other tablet through a POS app. It helps manage all of the essential features of a business, from transactions to inventory to customer service. It's cloud-connected, so you can access your business data locally or from another device. It can also run cash sales offline in the event of an internet outage, but requires an internet connection to process credit cards.

ShopKeep POS comes with built-in reports and inventory monitoring, as well as specific features like QR code ordering for restaurants and tiered customer rewards programs for retail stores.

The company provides in-house payment processing, which means that you can use the platform to process all of your credit card transactions.

Capabilities

Here is a comprehensive list of everything you’ll get when you use a ShopKeep POS system:

Payment processing

The most important thing your POS system can do is process payments. With this platform, you have the option of keeping your payment processing in-house with ShopKeep Payments. This service allows you to accept most types of credit cards and swipe, dip and contactless methods of payment. You’ll also be able to acquire your card reader from ShopKeep through its hardware store.

If you already have a payment processor or would prefer to explore other options, ShopKeep works with most third-party payment processors.

Software

ShopKeep offers three versions of its POS software, so the specific features you receive vary based on which of the three plans you choose. In general, even its most inexpensive plan is comprehensive enough to handle the basic needs of a retail or food service business.

Here is a breakdown of the features that come with ShopKeep POS software based on the plan:

  • Ring up sales.

  • Accept contactless payments.

  • Use one register.

  • Get a free credit card reader.

  • Accept sales on your phone.

  • Take unlimited transactions.

  • Get paid via text message.

  • Receive 24/7 customer support.

  • Add unlimited inventory items.

  • Track inventory.

  • Modify items.

  • View detailed sales reports.

  • Get real-time sales data on your phone.

  • Track all transactions.

  • Track your top sellers.

  • Manage your employees.

  • Add unlimited employees.

  • Reward your best employees.

  • Access more customer information.

Everything included in the Basic plan, plus the ability to:

  • Access e-commerce store features.

  • Take online orders.

  • Integrate with QuickBooks Online.

  • Make gift cards.

  • Track all sales on your mobile device.

  • Send invoices.

  • Set custom permissions.

  • Set sales restrictions.

  • Integrate email marketing with MailChimp.

Everything included in the Essential plan, plus the ability to:

  • Use unlimited registers per location.

  • Access customer loyalty program.

  • Use tools to manage your presence on Facebook, Google, etc.

  • Get priority phone support.

Hardware

ShopKeep runs best on an iPad (6th gen), iPad Pro or iPad Mini 4 running iOS 10 or above. Lightspeed still features the ShopKeep hardware store on its website, offering a range of hardware accessories, from labels to printers to credit card readers. You can filter its products for compatibility with specific iPad models, Bluetooth connection and more.

However, ShopKeep no longer offers its “Starter Kit” bundles, so all accessories must be purchased separately. Note that with all iPad-compatible enclosures, you will also have to purchase your iPad separately.

Pricing

ShopKeep’s former software plans started at $49 per month. However, prices for existing customers may vary by account. You can visit the company’s "Manage Account" support article to view the billing rate for your individual account. Your plan likely falls into one of the following price points:

  • Basic: $49 per month (billed annually); $69 per month (billed monthly).

  • Essential: $79 per month (billed annually); $99 per month (billed monthly).

  • Advanced: $179 per month (billed annually); $199 per month (billed monthly).

Regardless of your plan, existing users still have access to ShopKeep Payments for payment processing. ShopKeep Payments uses an interchange-plus model instead of a flat rate, although it used to offer both options. This means that it carries over each brand’s card fee and adds a markup. Rates can vary and can be estimated by requesting a quote tailored to your business.

Pros

Customer reviews

A POS system needs to offer the whole package — including intuitive design, lots of helpful features and top-notch customer service — in order to win the customer reviews game. ShopKeep is well-reviewed on many different websites, which should give small-business owners who use the platform peace of mind.

Hardware options

ShopKeep’s variety of hardware accessories are still available on the company's website. With so many options, it's easy to mix and match to create a POS setup that meets your business’s needs.

Cons

No longer available for new customers

ShopKeep is still functional for the businesses that already use it, but if you’re looking for a new POS system, you’ll have to choose from a variety of other options on the market, including Lightspeed, which owns the platform and manages its upkeep. There are other competitors, such as Square and Clover, that offer a similar product for a cheaper cost.

Can be glitchy

One of the most common customer complaints you’ll see when it comes to ShopKeep is that the software is glitchy or experiences bugs. These reviews seem to have increased post-merger with Lightspeed, as the software is no longer being updated for new customers.

Alternatives

Lightspeed

Since Lightspeed acquired ShopKeep POS, it’s the closest alternative to ShopKeep. Lightspeed offers tailored hardware and software options for restaurants and retail stores, with a broad range of features and a user-friendly interface. It comes with solid 24/7 customer service and live support.

With plans starting at $69 per month for retail and $59 per month for restaurants (billed annually in both cases), Lightspeed’s price point is hefty compared to other POS systems on the market. It’s a great option for well-established small- to medium-size businesses, but budding ventures might want a simpler, more affordable choice.

LightSpeed POS

Lightspeed
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on Lightspeed's website

Square POS

Square POS offers both free and paid options for restaurants and retail. It's also NerdWallet's choice for best POS system, and for good reason: The system is easy to learn, mobile-friendly and comes with dozens of useful features, such as sales reporting, customer management and inventory tracking tools, even on the free version.

Square's paid Plus subscriptions are $60 per month, per location. There are also custom-priced packages for businesses processing more than $250,000 per year. The company's POS hardware is also reasonably priced, with a hardware kit that includes a Square stand, card reader, cash drawer and receipt printer starting at $739.

Square POS

Square
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on Square's website

Clover POS

Like ShopKeep and Square, Clover offers several standalone POS hardware options that work without tablets or smartphones. With plans starting at $14.95 per month for software, it's an affordable option for many businesses. It also allows you to build custom promotions and marketing campaigns, in addition to its basic POS functions.

Clover

Clover
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on Clover's website

Maddie Shepherd, a former Fundera writer, contributed reporting to this article.

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