The Lightspeed platform consists of four products.
The first one, Lightspeed OnSite is one that you install on your desktop, while the Lightspeed Restaurant platform is a POS for restaurants. The Lightspeed Retail system is utilized by retail companies, and it's all focused on the cloud. We'll talk a little about those, but the primary platform we're going to look at today is Lightspeed eCommerce, which is the solution they have for online stores.
The Lightspeed company is located in the UK, but they provide support for places like the US, Canada, Netherlands and Germany.
Lightspeed offers an interesting combination of tools for online companies, including a beautiful backend interface and a strong app/theme store. It's clear that Lightspeed has the user experience needed for beginners, but some more advanced developers may find it useful as well.
Keep reading to learn more about the Lightspeed ecommerce platform, and look towards the end of this article for details on the POS and desktop versions.
This thing puts all of your products in one location, and you can quickly import and export items that may have come from another commerce platform. The order processing system provides completely automated returns, making it much easier to handle customers who want to send something back.
Integrated Ecommerce Shipping
The hassle free shipping actually connects you to all of the shipping carriers throughout the world. This means that you don't have to think much about one of the worst parts of ecommerce. The one-click shipping labels ensure that you don't have to go to the post office, while your customers get their products a little faster.
What's more is that the shipping fees are automatically calculated for your customers, and tracking emails are sent to them without you having to do anything.
Sales, Promotions and Discounts
Attracting more customers seems to be a big part of the Lightspeed interface, since they give you tools for setting up flash sales, BOGOs, discounts and more. Give away products for free, setup temporary discounts and implement free shipping whenever you want.
A Customizable Checkout
Sometimes you get stuck with a checkout module because of the platform you choose to go with. That's not the case with Lightspeed, since it lets you choose between three different checkout experiences. An A/B testing module is included for seeing which of the three works best for your particular company.
Multiple Languages, Currencies and Tax Support
Although you need the Advanced plan for international selling, once you get to that point it's easy to connect with customers who don't speak your language or use your currency. Taxes are calculated in the right currencies, and you can even live chat with users in their own language. All of this is translated for the perfect customer experience.
The Lightspeed ecommerce pricing plans are completely different than that of the POS and desktop versions. Although we think the pricing is a little high, you do receive some interesting features for the price you pay. Choose a monthly plan, or go with the yearly plan to get a better deal. Although the pricing is pretty much set in stone, you must still request a quote, slowing down the process. It'd be nice if you could launch a store right from the start, but that's not the case. Oh yea, and there doesn't seem to be a free trial.
Here are the plans you can choose from:
- Essential – Pay $51 per month for 250 products, full support, one user account, national selling, import and export tools, reporting, an app store, SEO optimization and omnichannel capabilities.
- Advanced – Pay $85 per month for 5,000 products, full support, three user accounts, international selling, everything from the previous plan, advanced marketing tools, discounting tools, a customized checkout, return management, API access, HTML/CSS customization and an onboarding session.
- Professional – Pay $171 per month for 15,000 products, full support, unlimited user accounts, international selling, everything from the previous plan and wholesale capabilities.
- Enterprise – You can schedule a call with the company if none of the other plans fit your needs.
The Lighspeed team provides support through a blog and knowledge base. It's actually one of the best knowledge bases we've seen, with beautiful icons and headers for quickly gliding through topics like marketing, orders, settings and products. The company also has some social media outlets for you to reach out to them, and the phone lines are always open depending on the market you're working in.
What's more is that you can send in an email or create a support ticket whenever you want. Our favorite part is the live chat support, which is a form of help you won't necessarily find at competing ecommerce companies.
The Lightspeed POS Software and Desktop App
The Lightspeed POS system is pretty impressive considering all of it is located in the cloud. You can also go with the desktop software, but we don't see much need for this if you're trying to sync all of your POS equipment from multiple locations.
This gives you a single solution with pricing that starts at $89 per month. Addons are available, and the interfaces are extremely intuitive. Choose equipment like iPads, desktop hardware or the preferred bundle which includes everything from iPads to printers.
Who Should be Using Lightspeed?
If you run a restaurant or retail store, the POS, cloud or desktop solutions may seem fitting for you. In terms of the ecommerce system, we like it for companies looking for a true omnichannel experience. For example, a brick and mortar store interested in integrating with an online store should consider Lightspeed. All of your sales and inventory are integrated, and you get some good deals for with the entire combination. As for a standalone ecommerce solution, it's a wonderful system.
If you have any questions about Lightspeed, let us know in the comments section below. We'd also like to hear from people who have experience with it in the past.