At the present moment, there's no such thing as running a thriving retail business, in the absence of a solidly built and cloud-based POS system. Well, if you can hack without one, high chances are, it won't last for long. For that reason, the Lightspeed Retail system has been kitted out with all-inclusive features which we'll dig into in a moment.
Every so often, a retailer is confronted with overwhelming tasks in the course of running a business. While there's no guaranteed accuracy whatsoever when you manually do things like inventory, Lightspeed is designed to thrash out such mishaps. Or better still, automate all your retail transactions.
Fact is, a booming retail business needs overarching goals and objectives. Here's a case in point. You need a clear-signed plan to manage your back office. What do I mean? You ought to get a little curious about how you'll be at the helm of your accounting tasks, inventory, and most significantly, your staff.
In the grand tradition, things were a bit hefty for retailers. But with the prevalence of advanced POS systems, you can now cut above the expected threshold. By the same token, Lightspeed boasts of being savvy enough to handle such transactions from one single point.
Arguably, you'd expect a system which keeps an eye on all operations such as processing payments, tracking all your revenues, and posting order notifications, accordingly. This review gives an exhaustive rundown on Lightspeed. You'll get to apprehend the POS's ins and outs when it comes to reporting, inventory tracking, integrations, card processing, and many more of its features.
So, let's get the full particulars.
Lightspeed Retail Review: Brief Overview ⛳
Just like any other POS system, Lightspeed is built to relieve the retailer from demanding tasks.
💡 Lightspeed is a cloud-based point of sale system which brings on board, versatile functionalities in the retail space. It strives to lash out its competitors by use of ultra-modern technology to optimize a retailer's stock which in turn, drives towards making more sales.
Lightspeed cuts across so many of retail setups in the market. By the look of things, it appears as a suitable POS system for a couple of niche stores. The POS can run retails such as pet stores, jewelry shops, home decor stores, apparel stores, and many more. With that said, it seems like a perfect solution for retail shops of all sizes, taking into account, it has in store, diverse integrations to couple up with your business.
Since its inception, back in 2013, Lightspeed has tremendously revamped most of its basic elements. In a bid to keep up with innovations and mainstream trends, a retailer can now go bricks and clicks via Lightspeed's ecommerce platform. The channel lets you build an online store. By so doing, this gives you the ideal prospect to elevate your customers' shopping experience.
The interface is quite alluring and user-friendly. In that way, Lightspeed demonstrates a sensible and practical idea of how to successfully run your business from both ends.
So what we've got here is a POS worth a closer look.
Let's get started.
Lightspeed Retail Review: Ease of Use
First off, Lightspeed stores your data in the cloud. This implies you can monitor all operations wherever you are. After all, it's equally important to get what you paid for. On that note, Lightspeed clearly understands that picking the uttermost POS system is never a cakewalk.
For that reason, the company takes bold moves to help new customers out on all layouts and configurations. Of course, this depends on the size and type of business. Once the sign-up process is done, a customer is promptly assigned an assistant who clarifies any issues which might seem puzzling at the first instance. The customer assistant lends a hand to the retailer by giving clear instructions on how to set up the entire POS system in the store.
The back-office is quite straightforward, yet groundbreaking and future-oriented. In actual sense, you don't need an expert to set up the catalogs for your items. But if need be, you can hinge on the free customer assistance so sort all your inventory. You can figure out how to complete the initial setup in two uncomplicated ways. As a retailer, you can either use the ‘Zebra' Browser Print software, or your POS to sort out your inventory.
The POS displays the most used options on one section which is easily accessible to the user. In other words, managing your items from the dashboard is a no-brainer. To a great extent, this makes Lightspeed step up a notch higher than its rivals. You'd be dumbstruck to find how burdensome it's to do simple tasks from other POS systems which are in the same market range as Lightspeed.
💡 Lightspeed makes it inch-perfect for retailers if they want to fulfill an order, issue a refund, do inventory customizations, or generate intuitive reports.
Lightspeed Retail Review: Business Compatibility
On the whole, Lightspeed is meant for the retail industry. It brings forth a whole new breed of convenience for store owners via its virtual POS which is flexible enough to help a retailer sell both tangible items and services quite extensively. Lightspeed‘s software isn't just built to do the bare minimum.
There's more to it.
To work with faultless numbers, Lightspeed's Retail POS system, for instance, allows you to create and send invoices for any labor costs to your customers for any work done. This suggests that the software can literary fit in any retail space. What I like most about this POS is the evident fact that the size of your business doesn't matter.
Whether or not your business needs special customizations, Lightspeed is open to change and adaptable to any kind of retail demands. On paper, it tends to appear like a POS designed for standard business setups which require the capacity to personalize some of the features. In that way, Lightspeed lets the user take the lead.
Principally, a retailer can use the POS to handle purchase orders, update all stock levels, gain access to automated reports, and make the most out of Lightspeed's employee management components.
Lightspeed Retail Review: Notable Features
Lightspeed knows from the word go that your top objective is to see your sales grow evenly. Its beautifully designed dashboard lets you harmonize all purchases and gives you a high-end catalog management plan. Therefore, a retailer can cut corners with the help of its integrated catalogs while handling orders.
From a single entry point, the merchant can add product descriptions, set multiple variants of the same item, and customize the inventory classification to make it plain sailing when searching for a specific product. This is appropriate to the occasion where retailers want to sell tiered and unique items, yet at the same time manage several variations.
Ideally speaking, being privy of where you're spending your money in business matters. Lightspeed gives you an exquisite platform where you can visibly track down all the unit costs. What makes it go beyond an ordinary POS system, is its stocks alert notification. Put differently, Lightspeed lets you have it your way when it comes to identifying the low stocks.
Other than that, you can schedule an item into negative availability. Just to be on the same page with the physical inventory count.
The best part?
You can change all your prices in bulk with the help of a single button. This relieves you from the burden of having to do the tough grind. Alongside that, Lightspeed can adjust the price rules which on the other hand, let you automate the product discounts. Lightspeed's inventory system is smart enough to give you real-time notifications anytime you need to track down all unit costs and profit margins.
What's more engaging, is its forecast method of working which enlightens a retailer more about future customer trends. Take it or leave it, you'll not come across such intelligent insights from ordinary POS systems. With such unique pointers, the merchant is in a better position to manage the inventory costs and predict future outcomes in regards to the shopping trends.
The retail POS system is laid out to manage your stock by following through all orders made. Besides the product variations, the retailer can uniquely identify all items in the inventory via a serial number.
💡 Lightspeed is crafty to the extent that it allows you to tie up products which are frequently bought together, and sell them as a single package.
If at all you need to manage several in-stores, you can speed everything up with Lightspeed Retail POS. It goes against all odds to get hold of all inventory levels and SKUs from all your different locations. Lightspeed Retail POS lets you manage multiple stores from one point. This might seem impossible at first glance, but in fact, it's not.
For the most part, the retail iPad app is the most ideal tool for such a scenario. Since it uses cloud-based technology, the retailer can observe the inventory from the various stores or warehouses. At times, it's sort of generous to give juicy offers to your potential customers. Needless to say, the offers ought to be in line with the customers' preferences or if you like their special needs.
Lightspeed gives you the best possible technique to deal with returns. As you may know, a retailer might have to deal with returned items now and then. The product might be damaged or didn't match the description. Whatever case it may be, the best practice is to do as a retailer, is to honor the guarantee which goes along with the product.
In a broad context, the purchase order management option allows you to keep a close track of all vendors whom you buy your products from. Keep in mind, Lightspeed has integrated vendor catalogs. This means you can straight away import products from over 3000 preset catalogs via CSV file.
By doing so, a retailer can suitably hang on Lightspeed's functionality to accommodate efficient order fulfillment. Its dashboard lets you bring together all purchases, transfers, and orders in a logical way.
Loyalty Program Support
To be forthright, this is a tried and tested technique to maintain your regular customers. With Lightspeed, rewarding your clients has never been easier. You don't necessarily need to have prior skills on how to run an effective loyalty program. Moreover, it doesn't require any efforts from your end. All you need to do is talk to one of Lightspeed's experts and get a glimpse of how to go about it.
If you want customers to come your way over and over again, this is the right way to go. Not forgetting how paramount it's to strengthen the bond with customers.
So how charming is Lightspeed‘s loyalty program?
One feature which overrides the rest is its capacity to build up a customer profile. You might be wondering. How will the retailer access the customers' details? Good question. You can get hold of the requisite information during the checkout process. The web app, on the other hand, can be easily customized to capture your brand. Think of it as a marketing hack to count on. Here, a customer can track down the total points which they've earned over time in the shopping experience.
The loyalty tool is impressively brainy, for lack of a better phrase. Lightspeed is not just proficient with the basics but can help you out with email marketing by all means possible. To illustrate further, you can create automated campaigns via SMS or email, whichever way you like it.
💡 If you must know, Lightspeed Retail POS comes with sturdy integration features. This explains the basic reason why it's possible to do campaign automation. Speaking of which, we'll delve into integrations in details later in this review, just so you know. Let's suppose, you want to want to study the customer behavior, Lightspeed furnishes the retailer with intelligible insights.
The same is quite evident when you sketch its methodical reporting in your mind. In all honesty and candidness, Lightspeed is way ahead of its rivals if we are to calibrate everything by its intrinsic brilliance in the manner how it generates real-time and accurate reports.
Thereby, the POS leaves no chance to inconsistencies and false signals about your customers' spending. What does this imply? Well, you're always on the know, anytime you need to discern between your high paying customers and the less-frequent visitors, as well as spot the low selling products.
Do the math. How will you retain your most loyal and reliable customers without giving back? After all, the objective in issue is to bolster your sales tremendously. You need to be a little shrewd here. Spend some money to make more money. But you just can't reward everyone aimlessly. You certainly need a strategy.
Long story short. This is where exactly Lightspeed's loyalty program comes into play. A customer gets rewarded according to the number of points earned. As simple as it sounds. Such data is meaningful and considerable whenever you want to get a rough idea of the customers' shopping experience in your physical store.
To avoid hitting rock-bottom with finances, retailers can cling on the very same statistics to make well-informed decisions when they want to issue coupons and special deals to their esteemed customers.
Lightspeed is certainly skillful enough to include different reward categories. Worry not. It's not rocket science. Lightspeed's Retail POS system creates factual and authentic customer groups based on the total value of orders purchased by each client.
Hold onto the fact that Lightspeed records customers' profile information. Among the few particulars include their respective dates of birth. Such being the case, Lightspeed creates the most ideal opportunities to surprise your customers with irresistible and enticing deals during their special calendar days.
How your campaigns appear before the eyes of potential customers matters most. This is not meant to make you panic though. There's absolutely no reason for that. To say the least, Lightspeed lets you take the wheel by giving you a leeway to automate custom marketing campaigns.
All things considered, the POS has an industrious and contemporary loyalty program to get you moving with the speed of light, as the name suggests.
Lightspeed's Ecommerce Platform
Lightspeed appears to race up against e-commerce giants like Shopify and 3dcart by running close together in the same direction. It gives a retailer who wants on to run an online store, comprehensive and well-organized platform to sell their products.
Just like any other 3rd party app, Lightspeed's e-commerce channel brings on board, a smooth way to organize your stock. The cheapest plan goes for $59 a month. Going by facts, the price tag is a bit high, if we put into consideration, what Shopify charges for the basic plan ($29). At this price, however, a retailer wouldn't complain at all if they factor in, all the features and perks it has in store.
If you decide to go with the basic level plan, the import tool lets you add 250 products in your online store. In the event where you need to place a couple of variations for the same product, Lightspeed's ecommerce channel gets things done for you instantaneously.
While issuing discounts might seem a bit burdensome and blurry to some retailers, Lightspeed gives you an automated option to create discount rules. Each transaction here is well calculated before its execution.
And my point is?
It's always in the best practice to sort your products symmetrically to give your online customers a clear depiction of what exactly you're selling. Having that in mind, Lightspeed Retail POS powers up your online store by giving you the right spot to include the product descriptions and various categories simultaneously.
Spoiler alert! You'll be lost in the entire fishing expedition while trying to land on the most glossy and applicable theme for your online store. With over 50 professionally built themes, this is certainly, the right place for a retailer to begin their e-commerce venture. More often than not, you'll find the same with other 3rd party channels. But there's one eccentric thing about Lightspeed. Even a newbie can play around with the layout designs to optimize the navigation for potential visitors.
From a practical point of view, if an interface isn't anything close to being user-friendly, then you ought to brace yourself for exceedingly high bounce rates. It's such a nerve-draining experience you can't afford to be part of. Fortunately, Lightspeed gives you first-string and excellent templates which are mobile-responsive. In simple words, you can make a killing from customers no matter the device they use to access your online store.
Lightspeed's Ecommerce Support
If you land into any hurdles in the course of running your online store, Lightspeed comes to get you off the hook via its 24/7 customer support. In a bid to enhance your store's visibility, Lightspeed's integration capacity gives a retailer the option to link their store to social media platforms like Facebook. In this manner, it's much easier to monitor all marketing campaigns' productivity and ROI status.
Bearing in mind that Lightspeed syncs your online store with the inventory in your POS system, you can have no misgivings with your stock levels. Quite apart from that, the retailer gets to view the order status in real-time and can fulfill an order by use of an array of integrated shipping options.
Depending on the customers' needs, Lightspeed allows you to professionally make an ordered product reach a buyer's doorstep without any sort of hitches whatsoever. Take my word for this. You're in a better equipped and in a favorable condition when it comes to delivering products to your customers on time.
Payment processing on Lightspeed's online store is just like riding a bike. It has listed some checkout options which are open to your potential customers. You can set the shipping costs and integrate straight away with trusted carriers. Everything here is unswerving, unambiguous and ingenious. In other words, you don't need to panic that much about cart abandonment issues.
Since Lightspeed sets forth an integrated shipping process, it's much simpler to do order processing from this angle. From this very same end, you can offer free shipping for products which are above a specific amount.
As an alternative, you can display ‘but 1 get 1 promotions' on your online to boost your sales. It's quite fortunate and appreciable that retailers don't necessarily need to first give a run on Lightspeed ecommerce with their pockets. There's a free trial version which you can hang on to see if it's the right fit for you.
Reporting and Analytics
Well, if you need to be well-briefed and cognizant of all the happenings in your site, Lightspeed makes sure that there's nothing left behind. It feeds you with whip-smart information which guides you towards making well-grounded business decisions. The financial related data, for instance, is descriptive and carefully arranged to enlighten the retailer on all relevant transactions within a stipulated period.
It calculates the average order value and shows you the highlights of your revenues, gross, and net earnings. For all that, you can make adjustments to get reports updates on a daily, hourly or weekly basis, whichever suits your needs.
It's nearly impossible to run an online store without accurate insights. Be that as it may, Lightspeed steps in with a chart which captures all the conversion rates staggeringly. And why is that? It shows you the total number of orders received. With such useful notifications, a retailer can't miss out on any order fulfillment task.
From the very same end, you can get acquainted with the exact number of unique visitors as well as see the total number of page views on your site. Ordinarily, a retailer might experience a couple of cart abandonment issues. To keep off the alarming numbers, Lightspeed helps you determine the total number of visitors who reach the checkout page. Out of the that, it's easy peasy to figure out the number of visitors who entirely complete the checkout process by successfully making a purchase.
Indeed, I'm head over heels for this feature. Lightspeed has in-built SEO tools to make your marketing, a smooth cruise. Well, if you put them into good use, it just so happens that your online store reserves a strong possibility to rank up high on the search engine. Building up traffic for your website is one task which seems inevitable at this particular time.
If you don't want to go near the high bounce rates, your website ought to have fast loading pages. Fortunately, there's more than enough reason to put your mind at ease. Lightspeed‘s Marketing assistant is designed to push your online store closer to expected conversion rates.
And not only that.
The SEO tags allow you to create compelling meta descriptions. This way, it's easier to give a snippet of what you sell in your store by use of appropriate keywords and phrases. In retrospect, a retailer should think of this strategy as a means to make their store visible to online shoppers. But the errand to tweak your store doesn't here.
Lightspeed has more tools than you can imagine. Aside from the meta descriptions, the retailer can optimize their store by making changes to the page headers. Fair enough. Alongside that, you can tag your products and add illuminating product descriptions.
Just like other e-commerce platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce, Lightspeed's very own online store comes along with a blog section. If you've been in this venture for a while, you must realize how salient it's to engage with your customers at a personal level. Oftentimes, winning content comes in handy if you incorporate requisite SEO optimization hacks. If you start at the base, Lightspeed captures the nitty-gritty for you via its stunning tools which shape up your content to catch the eyes of your target audience.
In the general run of things, there's one remarkable thing you end up with. A published article on your blog page.Many thanks to the built-in blogging tools which are crafty and shrewd enough to get you going.
💡 As noted earlier, Lightspeed's integration capacity is somewhat versatile and conclusive. But I know you might be wondering. But how can I sell on social media apps? No sweat at all. You'll be done without even thinking about it. As an illustration, you can integrate your store with an app like Facebook and gain access to an online social presence. From this stage, you can market your products and go the extra mile to make sales.
Take it as a method of working which allows you as the retailer, to share your products with an extensive and far-reaching audience in the social platforms. Simply put, you can make this your start point to build traffic for your website. Not to mention that Lightspeed has tools which help retailers tag their products on Instagram.
Integrations and add-ons
A retailer doesn't need to be tech-savvy to integrate Lightspeed's POS system with any third-party app of their choice. To optimize your marketing goals, the system automatically syncs with your Mailchimp account. If you need to vie for customers' attention, then look no further. To this end, Lightspeed successfully keeps you on the radar if you want to reach the elite level of email marketing.
Looking at Lightspeed's retail POS integration support, it seems like it has a symbiotic relationship with nearly all notable, or if you wish, profound and most dependable software in the market. No coding guys. Just a click of a button and you're linked to any relevant app.
👉 In case you want to come to terms with the facts above, have a look at some of the basic applications and services which Lightspeed is competently compatible with :
- Reporting- As it's the case with nearly all accomplished POS systems, Lightspeed brings to light, a high degree of efficiency by hooking your account up with elite reporting tools. That's not to mean that Lightspeed's very own reports aren't broad and extensive enough to lead you towards your goals and objectives. It can sync with Beesly, an app which generates reports on an hourly, daily or even monthly basis. Due to the basic fact that there are so many different niches in the retail business, this app allows you to fine-tune the reports to your liking. By placing reliance on such detailed data, a retailer is in the right spot anytime they want to make comparisons between the best selling products, and those which are not doing well as anticipated.
- Ecommerce -To all WooCommerce merchants, the good news is, things happen the easy way. On the face of it, Lightspeed's Point of Sale keeps the inventory synchronized and on the same page with a retailer's online store. WooCommerce, in particular, updates all stock quantities from your POS system. Uploading the plugin to your e-commerce store requires no efforts at all. Besides the reputable WooCommerce, you can join hands with other useful apps such as Hyperspace, BikeExchange, SkuVault, just to name a few.
- Accounting- As a retailer, going wrong with numbers is the worst nightmare you can ever imagine of. To fend off any possible inconsistency and inaccuracy, Lightspeed syncs your POS with exceptional apps like Quickbooks and Xero.
- Inventory Management- Lightspeed lets you manage your inventory by syncing your account to apps like ‘i Merchandise' and ‘DataQlick'. Interestingly, you can arrange your shipping strategies with Amazon FBA by use of the above applications to process all orders.
- Rental Management- The POS can connect to Booxi, an app which keeps a track of your rental inventory almost immediately. You can juggle between accepting a full or partial payment for rented equipment, and sending automated reminders to customers.
Lightspeed Retail Review: Payment processing
Lightspeed offers a sound integrated payment solution. Retailers who operate Brick and Click stores can align and speed up all payments from customers. It's worth noting that the point of sale is PCI compliant. This means it enhances secure payments. If all you need is a safe and secure payment method, then you better join the bandwagon. Anything you need to be processed while handling sales is done from one single place.
Lightspeed promises not to include any hidden fees in any sort of transaction you might wish to do. Since the entire setup process might seem a little frightening, the retailer gets reliable support without the need of procuring third-party services.
So why do retailers need to place their hands on Lightspeeds' payment processing system? It's far and wide, a solution to possible human errors and discrepancies. Lightspeed records all previous transactions and generates real-time reports single-handedly. Since the retailer is prone to troublesome chargebacks, the system puts forward, an amicable dispute resolution mechanism. The chargeback experts are just one call away.
Not forgetting that integration is part of the equation, Lightspeed connects to considerable payment processing platforms like iZettle, and Cayan. Customers are allowed to pay using Europay, Mastercard, and Visa (EMV) cards. As a further matter, since Lightspeed keeps all the PCI requirements in check on your behalf, it takes an overhead stance to watch out for any fraudulent activities.
What does this imply? It protects customers' information from unscrupulous individuals via end-to-end secure data encryption in all payment transactions.
Payment Transactions Fees
Lightspeed comes with a flat rate of 2.6% plus 10¢ for each card which is swiped, dipped, or tapped. If a retailer processes the transaction manually, Lightspeed charges a fee of 2.6% + 30¢ per transaction. To make further clarifications, it's accurate to talk to one of Lightspeed's experts.
Lightspeed Retail Review: Hardware
It's pretty much admirable how Lightspeed stretches its arm to give retailers hardware equipment which is second to none. The compatibility requirements ain't that stringent either. A retailer only needs a 3rd generation(and above) iPad to leverage off the wireless transactions.
👉 The iPad Hardware kit, for instance, includes the following components:
- LAN receipt printer
- Cash drawer
- Bluetooth scanner
- Lightspeed iPad stand
- Receipt paper
👉 On the other hand, the second bundle, which is the Desktop hardware kit comes with:
- A cash drawer
- USB scanner
- USB receipt printer
So what if don't need the entire bundle? I know you might have asked yourself the same. Well, don't worry about it. Working with a budget, of course, is often high on the bucket list. In that case, you can purchase a single periphery if you like. The pricing for each bundle will need you to make consultations via Lightspeed's official page.
Just in case you're hit with annoying glitches while operating the hardware, Lightspeed's support team is more than willing and handy enough to save you the distress. Right at this moment, the company sells other expedient accessories like the famous Zebra label printer, Bluetooth barcode scanners, cash drawers, and many more devices.
To be candid, I don't have much expertise in hardware parts but from my digging, I believe that Lightspeed meets the demands of many retailers.
Lightspeed Retail Review: Pros
- Reliable Integration capacity
- Suits businesses of all sizes
- A comprehensive e-commerce platform
- The register flexibly operates across various retail setups
- Prompt customer support
- Its order management creates realistic work-flows
Lightspeed Retail Review: Cons
- It's a bit costly for small merchants
- Its e-commerce platform supports fewer integrations if we compare it to other channels (Shopify and the likes)
- A couple of glitch complaints
Lightspeed Retail Review: Conclusion
Having regard to all, it's error-free to regard Lightspeed as a retail POS system which ultimately serves the demands of so many retail settings. If you're yearning to run a brick and clicks store, there's nowhere else you'd rather be. Its e-commerce platform is robust and magnificently delivers like a midwife. Anything an online retailer needs from an ordinary 3rd party channel is right here on Lightspeed.
Unlike other self-proclaimed POS systems, Lightspeed seems to have nearly zero flaws when it comes to its perfomance and precision. Its ease of use deserves a standing ovation. Arguably, a rookie can jump right in and get started with the POS retail system. If we assess it by its instructive reporting, inventory management, and back-office alone, it's justifiable to say that Lightspeed isn't a highly-priced POS system.
One more reason to consider Lightspeed as the perfect tool to reach your potential is its responsive customer service. Whenever you use this POS, keep in mind that you're not alone. I would recommend it to any retailer who needs a cloud-based system which works smoothly and comes with trendsetting functionalities.