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Lightspeed: Exceptional POS Features

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Lightspeed: Exceptional POS Features

Updated: January 3, 2024

Lightspeed is a financial software company that aims to provide merchant businesses with the best point of sale (POS) and payment platforms and tools. They were founded in 2005 and headquartered in Montreal, Quebec. Lightspeed offers products to several types of businesses that tackle everything from in-store to online sales, marketing, software integrations, and so on. But can they fulfill your specific POS needs?

In this review, we explore their products and features, costs, perks, disadvantages, and customer feedback. We will discuss everything that may help you decide if they hold the solution for you. Read on to find out!


Robust inventory management
24/7 customer service
Compatible with many devices


Issues take long to be resolved
Transaction fees are a bit high
Can be a bit slow at times

Quick Stats

Business Size Supported
Small and medium businesses (SMBs)
Trustpilot Score
4.4 out of 5
Customer Experience
Transparent Pricing
Pricing Model
Monthly fee, flat rate processing
BBB Rating
Starts at $69 a month

Lighspeed POS in Brief

Lightspeed is a cloud-hosted platform that caters to retail, restaurant, golf, and eCommerce businesses of all shapes. They boast that they have served small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) at about 168,000 locations in over 100 countries via one unified platform that facilitates day-to-day operations while allowing your business to reach its potential. For each of the three industry categories they serve, Lightspeed has tailored solutions that address their specific environments and criteria. They have acquired Vend, which has now been absorbed as Lightspeed's retail management platform, further bolstering their already considerable capabilities.

Their general offerings include software and hardware tools for in-person sales and e-commerce, as well as for managing inventory, team members, suppliers, and store locations. They also boast fast and knowledgeable 24/7 support and real-time analytics and reporting capabilities to help you run your business. Other features like marketing tools, third-party integrations, and API access may also be offered. This company also strives to keep your data safe by having a team of dedicated IT security experts that ensure they comply with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS), Level 1, and keep the network monitored and safe. They have PCI-compliant third-party providers handle transactions, and they are assessed annually and audited for SOC 2 Type 2 compliance, among many other measures.

Lightspeed is fairly well-regarded by their peers and clients and has been placed on some industry leader lists by the likes of G2 and FinancesOnline. However, they are not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Lightspeed Features

Depending on your type of business, Lightspeed has tailored features designed to take your business to the next level of success. However, in general, those features are:

  • All-in-one platform: Their software incorporates all the features you need in one platform, accessible via iPad or desktop devices, and offers customizable menus, screens, and floor plans to optimize workflows. You can easily manage your operations from anywhere with fast checkout, inventory management, customer data, and more
  • Streamlined payments: Lightspeed aims to provide a flexible, multilocation payment processor that unifies your operations with payment hardware, software, and customer support in one place. With simple and predictable processing fees, you can accept payments with confidence, save money with simple pricing, and enjoy free chargeback assistance
  • E-commerce and delivery: You can manage your physical store and e-commerce website simultaneously with Lightspeed POS, get access to 50 customizable templates to design your website, and streamline all sales and inventory processes across all stores. Additionally, you can get an eCom manager for retail clients that seamlessly integrates with your POS software
  • Industry-specific hardware: They provide leading terminals and equipment, with customized choices to suit different store and venue types, that accept all major credit and debit cards, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. You can enjoy increased mobility, tipping functionality, and other built-in features. Equipment they offer includes iPad and desktop package kits, customer-facing displays, mobile and contactless payment readers, mobile terminals, cash drawers, barcode scanners, stands, printers, and so on
  • Omnichannel sales: Lightspeed's POS system synchronizes online and physical store inventory, provides sales reports across all channels, offers customer purchase history, has built-in SEO, and integrates with Facebook and Instagram. Retailers can measure marketing campaigns, ship items, offer pickup, and manage their business from a centralized product catalog. Lightspeed's platform integrates with accounting software, ERP systems, marketing tools, and more, making it a versatile solution for retailers operating across multiple sales channels and stores.
  • Multi-location inventory management: Lightspeed's easy-to-use tools and workflows streamline your operations across different store locations. With robust inventory management capabilities, you can handle complex product ranges and fulfillment requirements, and transfer stock and items between your locations. Customize workflows to speed up checkout, make data-driven decisions, and oversee all your stores, teams, and sales channels from one single source
  • Integration: The Lightspeed app marketplace has many apps that can integrate with your ERP system to streamline finance and operations. You can connect your system with accounting, payment processing, e-commerce, marketing, CRM, reporting, invoicing, and payroll applications. You can sync accounting applications like Quickbooks, Xero, and MYOB to keep your books in check, integrate rostering and workforce management systems to simplify staff management, and expand your business by going multi-channel with Lightspeed eCom or by connecting it with Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce
  • Customer management: One of the best features Lightspeed offers is customer management; the system provides multiple features to help you strengthen your relationship with your customers. You can create databases at your stores to build profiles for your customers and save their payment info (with their permission). You can also view the sales history of each customer to determine their habits and give them discounts accordingly. You can also create a loyalty program with a reward system to provide customers with points each time they buy something
  • Employee management: Lightspeed offers a feature where employees can enter a PIN to punch in and out. This system tracks employees' working hours, sales, and overall performance. You can also assign custom roles for each employee and decide their system access level. As for new employees, the system has multiple webinars to help them understand and get familiar with the POS
  • Reporting: Merchants and managers can analyze data on sales, inventory, staff performance, and more through more than 40 templates. Data comes through real-time reports that give an overview of the findings and analyze everything in detail, laying out the facts and numbers in front of the responsible people 
  • Loyalty programs: You can use Lightspeed's loyalty programs to offer your customers points in exchange for their loyalty; they can receive points every time they buy something. You can also send one-time custom deals on birthdays or to VIP shoppers. This feature may come with an added cost
  • Open API: This API enables merchants and developers to create custom integrations and workflows. This can simplify, optimize, and scale your retail operations, save time and costs, and lead to innovative solutions to business challenges
  • Capital services: As an add-on, they offer financing and cash flow services designed to remove roadblocks many retailers face when searching for funding. The team pre-screens for eligibility and creates a tailored cash advance offer for your business

Lightspeed Plans & Pricing

Lightspeed's plans for each of the three categories are different, which means that plans for restaurants come with different features and costs than those for retail and golf. There are three separate plans each for Lightspeed retail and restaurant solutions, with an extra plan option for clients who want a customized package. However, there are no advertised golf POS plans, and if you own such a business, you must request a quote.

Restaurant POS plans

Lightspeed advertises the following packages for food and beverage establishments, which do not seem to include any free hardware:

  • Starter: This basic plan comes at $69 a month and includes, among other things, their customizable POS, menu manager, advanced insights, takeout and delivery, and CRM and loyalty tools. You also benefit from accepting payments of all types, in-location or away, at a flat rate of 2.6%+ 10¢
  • Essential: With this option, which costs $189 a month, you receive the same payment processing rate and everything else found in Starter, as well as online and contactless ordering, order and pay at table, the Lightspeed Live app, multi-location management, and advanced inventory management. You also have the option of paying to receive dedicated, personalized support and consultation services
  • Premium: This plan costs $399 a month and features customizable processing rates. You will receive all features included in Essential, along with the option to create multiple revenue and cost centers in your POS system, which can be consolidated into your F&B reports, and API access to customize your integrations. As with Essential, you may add dedicated support and planning assistance with this plan
  • Enterprise: This option allows you to customize your package to your hardware and software needs, and includes consultation and launch services; with a dedicated customer success manager (CSM) and support team. You have to contact them for a quote for your unique costs

You may also add gift card capabilities and integrations to delivery services, accounting software, and Portfolio management services (PMS) for hotel management. Additionally, there are many hardware options you can choose from, such as kitchen display screens (KDS), order pickup screens, and customer-facing displays.

Retail POS plans

Lightspeed advertises the following plans for retail stores, all with one register included, and which all offer lower costs if you choose an annual contract instead of a monthly agreement:

  • Lean: This introductory plan starts at $69 a month for one location and register if you choose to be billed annually, or $89 monthly. Their cloud-based platform, Lightspeed B2B purchases, a dedicated account manager, 24/7 support, and free training resources are included. You may also choose to add one-on-one onboarding assistance
  • Standard: This plan starts at $119 a month if taken annually, or $149 monthly. You get everything included under Lean, as well as accounting and e-commerce integrations
  • Advanced: This plan starts at $199 a month on an annual contract, or $269 a month on a monthly contract. This plan supplements the above features by also including omnichannel loyalty plans, as well as advanced insights and reporting capabilities
  • Enterprise: This plan comes with all the features of the Advanced plan, as well as additional benefits such as unlimited personalized onboarding and launch services, personalized consultation services, a dedicated premium support team, API access and support, a dedicated customer success manager, and preferred rates for Lightspeed Payments. You must request a quote to get your unique pricing

Remember that the above prices are for US-based stores with one location and cash registers. Your costs will change depending on your location, number of branches, and amount of registers needed. For example, if you have a global business with ten stores and need 20 registers, you would pay $1780 a month for the Lean plan or $3,080 for the Advanced plan, provided you opt for an annual agreement. Note that any additional retail POS equipment may be billed as extra.

The Perks of Lightspeed POS

There are many benefits to going with Lightspeed as your point-of-sale solution. Some of these are:

  • Free trial: Not only can you watch a demonstration of their system, but you are also given a 14-day trial period to truly test out the platform and see if it works for you— risk-free
  • Highly specialized solutions: Their solutions are specifically geared for your industry, which means that you will not be paying for a service you would not find useful
  • Retail account management: All retail POS plans come with a dedicated account manager to assist you with all your system and payment processing needs, and you may even add on one-on-one onboarding help
  • Flat-rate processing: With transparent flat processing rates with Lightspeed Payments, you know exactly what you'll be charged and can more easily budget for it with your other expenses
  • Always available support: Their customer service is available 24/7 as standard, with no extra fees charged. That being said, you also have the option of paying for dedicated premium support, or a CSM for restaurant clients
  • Robust inventory and analytics tools: Their inventory and reporting features are known to be quite extensive and impressive, although they may only be fully available for mid-tier and higher-tier plans

The Disadvantages of Lightspeed POS

However, they may not suit your needs for the following reasons:

  • Restaurant features come at a premium: Not only do you not get a dedicated account manager for most restaurant POS plans, but many of their other features, such as API access and creating multiple revenue centers for reports, are reserved for higher, much pricier plans
  • May have to pay for integrations: Many useful third-party integrations, such as those for delivery, may require you to purchase them as add-ons. Also, API access is reserved for the highest-tier plans, meaning that you cannot build integrations without being tied to a pricey contract
  • Contracts can be lengthy: While you can choose month-to-month payments, you get better pricing if you opt for an annual contract model, at which case you may be required to commit to a long-term contract

The Lightspeed Customer Experience

Lightspeed generally gets glowing feedback, with the great majority of reviews carrying five stars. They receive a 4.5 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot for their general solutions. They get 4 out of 5 stars on G2 for their retail POS and 4.5 out of 5 for their restaurant POS. On Capterra, their retail solutions get 4.1 out of 5, while their restaurant solutions get 4.4 out of 5. However, they receive some complaints on the BBB, although they are relatively few, where they have an F rating.

Positive feedback

Most customers express satisfaction with the services provided, especially the exceptional customer support, prompt and efficient assistance, and knowledgeable support team. Several users praise the exceptional customer support they received, specifically mentioning dedicated support specialists who have gone above and beyond to resolve technical issues and provide guidance. Users appreciate the prompt and efficient assistance and emphasize the knowledgeable and helpful nature of the support team.

Most Lightspeed customers are happy with the company's services, particularly the platform's functionality, ease of use, and customer support. Lightspeed Restaurant POS users appreciate the software's simplicity, reliability, and features, although some have highlighted specific cons. Similarly, Lightspeed Retail POS reviews reveal a generally positive sentiment, with users praising the system's excellent integration capabilities and cost-effectiveness. Although some users express dissatisfaction with Lightspeed Payments and business practices, most customers are satisfied with Lightspeed's services overall.

Many users also mention their reasons for choosing Lightspeed, including its iPad-based system, cloud-based integrated system, robust analytics tools, and positive online reputation.

Critical reviews

There have been mixed reviews about Lightspeed, with some users criticizing the company for charging bundled loyalty program fees, providing poor customer service, and refusing refunds. Some have pointed out limitations in pricing models and the need to improve certain features. In contrast, others described a terrible implementation experience, dissatisfaction with customer support, discrepancies in equipment quantities, false claims about compatibility with existing hardware, and unexpected charges.

Others experienced dissatisfaction with Lightspeed Payments. One user expressed frustration over unresolved issues and perceived unfair treatment, while another raised concerns about Lightspeed's business practices. However, some users did note relatively minor issues, such as difficulties adjusting sync times for local time zones, and expressed a desire for improvements, including more detailed reporting features and enhanced time management integration.

Lightspeed does respond to most of the complaints on the BBB fairly promptly. Their replies are professional but concise and written with an eye to resolving the issues satisfactorily.

Lightspeed Support Options

Lightspeed provides one-on-one support from industry experts who have worked in retail, hospitality, and golf, and they are available 24/7 for personalized service via call, email, or chat. They offer various support channels for their different products found at the general help center.

Their English chat support is available 24/7 for all services directly from the specific product page in the help center. You can also reach support in the following ways:

Final Thoughts

Lightspeed offers a comprehensive, cloud-hosted platform boasting tailored solutions for retail, restaurant, and golf businesses, with solutions for in-location and e-commerce sales. With features such as an all-in-one platform, streamlined payments, extensive integrations, and robust customer and employee management, Lightspeed caters to many diverse locations globally. Lightspeed's pricing plans vary for retail, golf, and restaurant solutions, each offering different features at different costs.

While generally praised for functionality and customer support, criticisms from users include additional program fees for necessary features and issues with Lightspeed Payments, as well as challenges with pricing models, unexpected charges, and some unsatisfactory customer service experiences. Despite mixed reviews, the platform's positive overall sentiment and responsive customer service contribute to its standing as a widely used solution for businesses seeking integrated POS and management tools. Additionally, it's encouraging that Lightspeed addresses complaints professionally and collaboratively.

Lightspeed will likely more than suit your needs if you run a business within the previously mentioned industries. That being said, we recommend exploring various POS systems and service providers by visiting our reviews page featuring top providers. If you have several options that you're deciding between, pit them against each other using our comparison tool to make an informed decision. Check out our blog articles for valuable insights if you require assistance with industry-specific standards and terminology. Choosing the right POS for your business can be daunting, but our goal is to simplify the process for you.

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