"Lightspeed's solution can truly grow with your business. "
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Pros
  • Payments, POS and eCommerce all in one place
  • Wide hardware compatibility makes customization easy
  • Interface is intuitive and simple to use
  • Lots of support options and helpful tutorials
Cons
  • Some desirable features only included in the top tier plans
  • Add-ons can ramp up the cost
  • You are tied in to an annual contract
Company Background

Founded in 2005, Lightspeed is a well-known player in the world of point of sale. Well over 20,000 businesses use Lightspeed solutions, from SMEs to big names like Adidas.

Lightspeed is particularly focused on POS systems for retail outlets and restaurants. Following the acquisition of Chronogolf in 2019, Lightspeed also offers comprehensive solutions for golf courses and resorts.

Plans & Pricing

LIMITED-TIME PROMOTION

Save up to $1,000 on our retail digital bundle*

+ 2 pieces of free hardware (any)

POS + eCom + Omni Loyalty + Accounting + Payments – US$99/month vs Regular $169

Promo Dates: Nov 8, 2021 – Dec 3, 2021

*Terms and Conditions apply. Offer applies to North America and is contingent on the customer committing to at least a 1-year term subscription to Lightspeed before December 3, 2020. Offer excludes Apple products.

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Lightspeed offers a comprehensive range of packages for businesses of all sizes, and there are different service offerings for retail and restaurants.

Pricing starts out at $69/mo, and there’s a free 14-day trial available. Like many companies providing digital services, Lightspeed offers lower prices for those willing to pay annually up-front.

Lightspeed has a broad product range. As well as pricing tiers that add extra functionality as you progress through the range, there are various hardware and software add-ons available.

 

Restaurant POS
$69/mo
14-day FREE trial
Monthly plan
Basic (Retail)
$79/mo
14-day FREE trial
Monthly plan
Starter
$119/mo
14-day FREE trial
Monthly plan
Standard
$139/mo
14-day FREE trial
Monthly plan
Advanced
$189/mo
14-day FREE trial
Monthly plan
Pro
$259/mo
14-day FREE trial
Monthly plan

Restaurant POS

Lightspeed’s POS for restaurants starts at $69/mo when billed monthly, and this drops to $59 for annual payment. This pricing covers one register, with extras costing $34/mo each. The restaurant option has a whole host of available extras, from self-service kiosks to kitchen displays.

Basic (Retail)

The “Basic” retail package costs $79/mo with the monthly plan, or $69/mo for their annual plan. For this, you get the core retail POS system, and a free payment terminal. Registers, if needed, cost $29 per month extra, and this also applies on the other pricing tiers.

Starter

“Starter” builds on the “Basic” package with the ability to sell online. It includes an eCommerce system, and is ideal for those combining bricks and mortar retail with online sales. This package costs $119/mo with the monthly plan, or $99/mo with the annual plan.

Standard

“Standard” adds accounting integration. It costs $139/mo on their monthly plan, or $119/mo when paid annually up-front.

Advanced

The “Advanced” package from Lightspeed includes everything above, and also bundles the company’s customer loyalty functionality. This is comprehensive and supports both in-person and eCommerce-based loyalty schemes. It’s $189/mo on their monthly plan, or $169/mo for annual payment.

Pro

“Pro,” at $259/mo for their monthly plan or $229/mo, which is paid annually and includes adds on Lightspeed’s advanced Analytics module.

Features & Functionality
Best For
Features
  • Retail Store
  • Coffee Shop
  • Nightclub
  • Quick Service
  • Bars
  • Restaurants
  • Food Truck
General Features
Loyalty Support

With the “Advanced” and “Pro” packages, Lightspeed includes everything you need to run your own customer loyalty scheme. You can offer discounts, point collection and custom coupons. The loyalty scheme works across both bricks and mortar and online stores.

Analytics

Lightspeed provides features that can give valuable insights into business performance. The Analytics module (included with the “Pro” package) can help you analyze everything from staff performance to product popularity and customer buying patterns.

eCommerce

Lightspeed does eCommerce as well as point of sale, and includes all you need to set up a fully-functional online store. There’s a wide range of website themes for businesses of all kinds. Some are free and others are charged as a monthly extra.

Integrations & Add-Ons

Integrations are a major strong-point with Lightspeed. There’s a large library of supported software, in categories ranging from payment processing to marketing and ERP.

Notable examples include loyalty schemes like AppCard and TapMango, email marketing with Mailchimp, and support for various rental and reservation schemes.
On the restaurant side, there’s support for lots of online food ordering services, and several table booking and kitchen management solutions.

Features
  • Inventory Management
  • Loyalty Program
  • Mobile Compatibility
  • Online Ordering
  • Reporting
  • Split Checks
  • Manage Tips
  • Staff Scheduling
  • Offline Payments
  • Customer Profiles
  • Multidevice Payments
  • Gift Card Support
  • Accounting Integration
  • Tableside Ordering
  • Floor Plan Management
  • Customer-Facing Display
  • Self-Service Kiosk
Hardware & Software
Hardware Requirements

Lightspeed is incredibly flexible when it comes to hardware. For small retail businesses, Lightspeed suggests a package with one iPad-based register. This works out to $99/mo with annual up-front payment. It’s worth noting that Lightspeed is iPad-based. There is no support for Android tablets.

If you wish to build on this basic configuration, there’s everything from fixed, desktop-style setups, to custom server systems supporting multiple registers.

Lightspeed showcases a range of selected hardware, but there’s also a much bigger list of supported products from a range of manufacturers.

Extensive Hardware Integration

As well as working with its own registers, Lightspeed also hooks into a wide range of third-party point of sale hardware. Options range from a simple iPad-based setup, with the option of Bluetooth scanners and receipt printers, right up to fixed desktop hardware including cash drawers.

Lightspeed is particularly versatile for restaurants, with options that include kitchen order printers, and displays that face the customer so they can verify their orders.

Features
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Cloud-Based
  • On-place Installation
  • Windows
  • Mac
Pricing Options

Lightspeed offers its own payment processing service, as an alternative to hooking into third-party providers. Lightspeed takes a set rate of 2.6% on transactions, plus a fee of 10 cents for in-person payment or 30 cents for remote payment. Lightspeed Payments offer its users a fully integrated system (POS + Payments + hardware). However, this processer is available in the US and Canada only. Not located in these regions? Not a problem. You can still use a integrated payments solution with Lightspeed. 

Features
  • Free Trial
  • Freemium
  • Monthly Subscription
  • Annual Subscription
  • One-Time License
Ease of Use

With such a wide range of possible configurations and add-ons, Lightspeed can be quite involved to set up. That said, there are many resources to help you along the way, as well as 24/7 access to support (more on that below).

Once configured, Lightspeed’s learning curve is shallow, making it easy to get the hang of and explain to staff. The system is intuitive, which isn’t something every POS provider manages to get right.

The interface is highly customizable. This means you have the choice of giving as little or as much functionality to you team as seems appropriate. This can prove especially useful in fast-moving restaurant environments.

Customer Support

Lightspeed takes its technical support seriously. 24/7 help is available to everyone. This is refreshing to see, as some companies hold back the best of their support for the people who pay the most. As well as help from “real people,” there are lots of useful self-service resources to assist with both setup and day-to-day use.

Additional customer support:
Community Forums
Lightspeed has its own user community where you can compare notes and best practices with other Lightspeed users.

Blog
Lightspeed’s blog is busy and active, with lots of new content posted each month, and sometimes more than one article each day. The articles cover industry news, deep dives into the software, and support and advice for related businesses.

24/7 Help & Support
24/7 Help & Support
Available to all Lightspeed customers
Phone Support
Phone Support
Offered with all Lightspeed packages, 24/7
Live Online Chat
Live Online Chat
Available for ten hours each day, Monday to Friday.
Email
Email
Lightspeed is equipped with a ticket-based email support system
Video Tutorials
Video Tutorials
Large collection of high-quality YouTube videos available
FAQ
FAQ
Expansive online "Help Center" available on Lightspeed site
Final Word

Lightspeed pulls off a tricky combination of providing something that’s user friendly and approachable but still highly scalable and easy to customize. It’s a solution that can truly grow with your business. Where Lightspeed impresses most is in its support. Between the self-service resources and the huge list of support options, you’re certainly not going to feel lost with what to do next at any point. Integration is strong too, making it easy to bolt Lightspeed on to innovative extras like loyalty schemes and booking systems. Alternatively, if you’re starting from scratch, you can use Lightspeed for everything – from POS to payments and even eCommerce. Lightspeed’s pricing tiers do ramp up quite quickly, and it’s a shame things like loyalty support and analytics are saved for the more premium packages. However, this is a great overall POS package, which manages to serve everyone from startups to corporates with equal finesse.

Ben Taylor
Author: Ben Taylor
Ben Taylor has worked in technology since the turn of the century. He produces articles on a range of technical subjects and has specialist knowledge in Point of Sale systems, cyber security and small business IT. When he’s not writing or fixing computers, he helps out other freelancers.