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Lightspeed review

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A comprehensive POS provider with powerful tools for inventory management, order tracking, customer loyalty and more.

Lightspeed is a cloud-based POS system with solutions for retailers, restaurants and golfing facilities. It’s got a wide range of features and can outfit you with all the necessary hardware, but it might prove pricey or overwhelming for entrepreneurs in need of a simple system.

  • Choose Lightspeed if you need a customized, full-service POS system.
  • Consider something else if you’re a small business looking for no-fuss payment processing.
  • It offers a 14-day free trial.

Details

ProductsPayment processing, POS hardware, Inventory tracking
Monthly fees start at$69/month
Contract required?No
HardwareProprietary
IndustriesRestaurant, Retail

Business types that Lightspeed doesn’t work with:

The following businesses are known as “non-serviceable business types,” according to a representative at Lightspeed. If you own a company that matches an industry on this list, you’ll need to look elsewhere for your payment processing needs.

  • Arts and crafts studios
  • Arcades
  • Auto dealerships
  • Businesses that require weight scale integration, expiration date tracking or fractional quantity tracking
  • Clinics
  • Computer repair services
  • Confectioners
  • Consignment stores
  • Convenience stores and gas stations
  • Dispensaries
  • Fabric shops
  • Flower shops
  • Food and drink retail
  • Food trucks
  • Furniture Stores
  • Drop-shipping businesses
  • Greengrocers and delis
  • Kebab shops, cafeterias and snack bars
  • Nurseries
  • Home improvement and hardware stores
  • Marinas
  • Laundromats and dry cleaners
  • Museums and art galleries
  • Sports facilities
  • Medical Device VGM member
  • Opticians
  • Services
    • Legal services
    • Veterinary services
    • Travel agencies
    • Coworking spaces
    • Accountant services
    • Consulting services
    • Printing services
    • Tattoo parlors
    • Catering services
    • Graphic design services
    • Pet grooming
    • Pet boarding
    • Insurance services
    • Mechanics
    • Car washes
    • Hairdressers and salons
  • Pawn shops and antique stores
  • Pharmacies
  • Pizza delivery restaurants
  • Storage facilities
  • Trade shows
  • Warehouses
  • Wholesalers

Lightspeed’s services

Lightspeed provides the following services:

  • Payment processing
  • POS hardware
  • An e-commerce site and app
  • Inventory management
  • Tools for sales reporting and analytics

It can also outfit your restaurant with a system for order tracking and more, and has a full suite of services aimed directly at golf courses.

What hardware is available?

Lightspeed partners with third party providers to offer a wide range of hardware. You can purchase bundles or individual pieces, depending on your needs.

  • Cash drawer. A model from Star Micronics can connect to one of Lightspeed’s supported printers.
  • Bluetooth barcode scanners. It has a wireless barcode scanner for restaurants, or a heavy duty scanner with a table stand for retailers.
  • Label printer. Make labels for your products using a Zebra label printer.
  • USB barcode scanner. This handheld tool integrates with Lightspeed’s POS system.
  • Receipt printers. Choose between five different Epson models with a variety of features, including thermal or ink printing capabilities.
  • Backup server. It maintains a local database of your back office info, with automatic backups to Lightspeed’s servers.

It also has a kitchen buzzer available for restaurants that connects to your kitchen printer to alert cooks when a new order comes in.

Lightspeed features, pricing and fees

Lightspeed is a pay-as-you-go service, which means you can cancel any time without penalty. Its pricing tiers are structured differently, depending on if you’re a retailer, a restauranteur, or in the golf course biz.

But when it comes to transaction rates, here’s what to expect — regardless of your industry:

2.60% + $0.10 per card-present transaction, and 2.60% + $0.30 for card-not-present transactions

How do I sign up with Lightspeed?

To sign up, you’ll start with a 14-day free trial.

  1. Click Free Trial
  2. Choose your industry and click Start now
  3. Fill out the brief form with info about your business, including phone number and business type
  4. Click Get Started

Next, it’ll walk you through the process of setting up your account, customized to your business type. You’ll need tax information handy to complete the setup process.

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Pros and cons

If you’re looking for a provider with build-your-own rewards programs, customized inventory matrices and a centralized spot to order new merch right from vendor catalogues — Lightspeed might be for you.

That said, it’s not the best POS system for all companies. Weigh the pros and cons before signing up, including:

Pros

  • Accessible customer support. Chat with a support rep over the phone 24/7 during the week, and during the day on weekends. Its customer service team also has positive reviews overall around the web.
  • No early termination fees. Its billing runs on a monthly basis, and you can cancel at any time without penalty.
  • Dozens of integrations. Lightspeed is designed to mesh well with a variety of other software, including QuoteMachine, RapidBar, Mailchimp and Lendio.
  • No other products needed. Lightspeed offers everything you need to accept and process payments.

Cons

  • Pricier than some competitors. If all you need is straightforward payment processing, you can use software from Square or Stripe for free — though you’ll still pay a per-transaction fee.
  • May be too complex for small businesses. Its range of powerful tools could be overwhelming to entrepreneurs who don’t need such a comprehensive system.
  • The cost will increase if you need add-ons. Your monthly bill could end up being more than you initially expected, especially if you add more hardware to your account.

Lightspeed reviews and complaints

As of October 2020, Lightspeed has a 4.3 out of 5-star Excellent rating on Trustpilot, compiled from over 500 reviews. Its happy customers state that the software meets their needs without too much hassle, and that customer service is available to help in a timely manner. A few disgruntled customers report confusing pricing and billing errors, but Lighthouse has responded to every complaint.

It’s not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and only has one customer review that gave it 1 star out of 5, which isn’t enough to go on.

Lightspeed generally has a positive reputation in business forums around the web, though some users report they ended up spending more money on add-ons than they had planned. For example, when adding extra employee logins or multiple registers to the plan.

How do I contact Lightspeed support?

Call 866-932-1801 to get in touch with Lightspeed customer support. It’s available 24 hours a day on weekdays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET on Saturdays and 12 a.m. to 8 a.m. ET on Sundays.

You can also contact Lightspeed customer support via:

  • Email. Submit an online form through the help center, and an agent will respond via email.
  • Chat. Log into your online account and click Help to initiate a live chat with an agent. Note that this option is only available for retail memberships.
  • Twitter. DM or tweet @AskLightspeed.

What is Lightspeed?

Lightspeed is a Canadaian payment processing and e-commerce provider that was founded in 2005. It went public in 2012 and operates in 100 countries worldwide, with 14 offices around the world.

Compare other POS providers

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Products Monthly fees start at Processing fees start at Industries Hardware
ShopKeep
Payment processing, POS software, POS hardware, Inventory tracking
Around $69/month
Varies
Restaurant, Retail
Third-party
Shopkeep offers all-in-one payment processing and POS solutions.
Square
Payment processing, POS software, POS hardware, Website builder, Inventory tracking, Shopping cart software
None
2.9% + 10¢
Restaurant, Retail
Proprietary
Square is a one-stop shop with both e-commerce and in-person solutions.
Talech
POS software, Inventory tracking
$35/month
N/A
Restaurant, Retail, Services
Third-party
Offers a feature-rich tablet-based POS system.
Toast
Payment processing, POS software, POS hardware
$79/month for POS software
2.49% + 15¢
Restaurant
Proprietary
Toast offers restaurant-specific POS solutions, including kitchen display systems, online ordering systems and a restaurant podcast.
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Bottom line

Lightspeed offers flexible and comprehensive memberships to meet your POS needs, but it isn’t best for businesses that only need straightforward payment processing services. Browse other resources to help launch, optimize and manage your business.

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