Lightspeed is one of the first companies to develop a point of sale system on a Mac. They bring a vast amount of POS experience and focus on a variety of retail environments. Lightspeed excels in providing a beautiful user interface tied to a powerful backend. Inventory management, detailed reporting, customer tracking, employee management is just the beginning of the long feature list Lightspeed offers. The Lightspeed Retail app can take orders and view sales history. More advanced functions, such as reporting, have to be done via the online console that can be accessed from your computer or iPad.
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WHO IS LIGHTSPEED A GOOD FIT FOR?
Lightspeed Retail starts at $99/month which includes, one register, up to five employee accesses, omnichannel capabilities, personalized onboarding, 24/7 support, free updates, secure cloud backup and basic reporting.
To use Lightspeed on more than one iPad, ect Lightspeed must be contacted directly for a quote. For an additional $59/month, an eCommerce plug in is available to allow users to sell online.
The Lightspeed Retail app is very simple to use. To complete a basic sale, items from the inventory can be searched by name, description, categories, tags or brands, then added to the order. For businesses with a lot of items, using a barcode is easier. Named discounts can be applied to orders as well as multiple tax rates
New or existing customers can also be linked to the orders. Lightspeed does not have the ability to save orders, all orders must be cashed out at the time of creation. Since they are focused on retail, this is not a big deal but it would be a nice feature to have. The customer can be prompted to sign on the iPad and once the sale is complete, the receipt can be printed or emailed to the customer.
The online console can also be used to complete sales, which is helpful if the iPad is not available.
The online console also has features that can be used by staff on the floor including managing work orders. Creation of work orders is helpful for repair/custom shops that require labor charges. Specific employees can be linked to each item on a work order, which is helpful for businesses that have employees with differing technical roles.
Special and layaway orders can also be created. This is useful for transactions that will be completed at a later date. Deposits and payments can be made towards these types of sales.
The management console is a web app accessible via any browser. Features exclusively available on the online console include inventory management, which allows user to manage all aspects of their inventory in one place. Unit costs, inventory levels and SKUs across multiple locations can be tracked. Product variations such as size and color can also be managed via matrix inventory settings.
Purchase orders can be placed from the web app, so users can place orders with their vendors from Lightspeed. Vendor returns can also be managed, adjusting stock inventory.
Employee key performance indicators (KPIs) can be set and tracked, which allows business owners to recognize excelling staff members and identify those who need extra training. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the staff pool generates more sales, lowers employee turnover and improves the overall profitability of the business.
Lightspeed Retail has the ability to integrate with Quickbooks and other accounting platforms, as well as their own eCommerce solution, to keep business going 24/7.
Lightspeed is compatible with a variety of hardware from experienced POS hardware manufacturers. Lightspeed sells complete hardware kits for iPads and desktops,as well as individual hardware items.
For receipt printing, Lightspeed supports the Star Micronics TSP100, TSP143 and 100IIIW series thermal printers. The USB version of the printers works with desktops, while the ethernet (LAN) version works with the iPads.
For label printing, Lightspeed works with the Zebra ZD41022-D01M00EZ for use with a desktop and the ZD41022-D01W01EZ model for use with desktops and iPads. The APG Vasario series is their cash drawer of choice, but other drawers that are compatible with the Star printers will also work.
Lightspeed is compatible with a number of credit card processors, including Cayaan and Vantiv, and they all offer their own encrypted readers. Lightspeed staff will help you pick a processor and reader based on your unique needs.
Lightspeed with only provide support for their list of approved hardware.
Lightspeed is very easy to setup. Users can import inventory, vendor and customer information through a CSV (Excel) file or enter it manually. For transitioning from a different POS software, exported information from previous systems can be used as models and converted into Lightspeed format.
Support articles are available to go step by step through the import, which is ideal for small business owners who have the time. For those larger, busier businesses without spare time, users submit to Lightspeed to complete the data import within 5-7 business days, for a fee.
Lightspeed offers 24/7 phone and email support. Users can also create a help ticket on the online app and the support team will respond via email. Online support center also provides articles and demo videos for assistance on different topics.
Lightspeed is the original point of sale provider on the Mac platform with a laser focus on retail. They offer a robust solution that meets the needs of small and large retail businesses. There are also a variety of add-ons and professional support services ideal for the large retailer that needs a customized solution. We recommend Lightspeed as the go to point of sale for retailers with a complex set up.