We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links. Advertising Disclosure

Lightspeed POS Review for Retail, Restaurants & Golf [2024]

Ivana Shteriova Ivana Shteriova Finance Specialist

Lightspeed serves restaurant, retail, and golf businesses, standing out as a feature-rich POS solution with advanced inventory, multi-location, and omnichannel capabilities. It provides e-commerce functionality exclusively for higher-tier plans. This means brick-and-mortar businesses only pay for necessary features. Lightspeed is ideal for established businesses and those prioritizing long-term value over short-term savings.

Overview

POS equipment iPad and Desktop POS kits, a variety of terminals, card readers, and accessories available to purchase
Payment methods accepted Credit and debit cards, gift cards, and digital wallets
Payout times 2 business days, optional instant payouts within 30 minutes for an additional fee
Contract length Monthly or annually (early termination fee applies)
Customer support 24/7 English customer support via phone and live chat, variable support hours for other languages
Security Level 1 PCI-compliant and SOC-2 Type 2 compliant, end-to-end encryption, tokenization, 24/7 server security monitoring, and free chargeback assistance

All-in-One POS System for Restaurants, Retail, and Golf Businesses Seeking Long-Term Gains

ightspeed homepage
Lightspeed offers POS and commerce solutions for every business

Lightspeed provides a complete POS system for restaurant, retail, and golf businesses. This versatile POS solution can serve businesses of any size, but if you’re a small store or restaurant with basic needs, you might find more budget-friendly alternatives on the market.

The lack of a free plan and higher-than-usual prices might initially seem like drawbacks. However, my weeks-long research, including an extensive analysis of user reviews, shows businesses of all sizes have found Lightspeed’s high-quality POS hardware and software a worthwhile investment in the long run.

Lightspeed provides extensive multi-location management, advanced reporting, and in-house payment processing, with an entry-level plan for brick-and-mortar stores without e-commerce features. If you do opt for a higher-tier plan, Lightspeed’s proprietary e-commerce platform integrates with its POS system for efficient omnichannel business management.

Lightspeed is easy to use, but learning all its features might take time. You’ll get a dedicated account manager to support you through onboarding and beyond. This prevents spending hours repeating information to different support agents.

Lightspeed is available in the US, the UK, Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Germany, France, Spain, Mexico, and Brazil. If you operate in any of these countries, continue reading my comprehensive Lightspeed POS review to determine if it suits your business.

4.9

Features

Robust All-in-One POS Solution With E-Commerce Capabilities

Lightspeed’s POS system, which combines a range of hardware with robust software, is only matched by a handful of other POS systems.

Retail businesses seeking advanced inventory management, analytics, and loyalty programs will find this POS system ideal. It offers services to all types of restaurants, providing endless customization opportunities through built-in features or its 200+ integrations. Lightspeed also distinguishes itself with a specialized POS system for golf businesses.

Versatile and Comprehensive POS Software and High-Quality Hardware

Lightspeed offers feature-rich, cloud-based POS software available for Mac OS, iOS, Windows, Android, and Google Chrome OS in English, French, Dutch, Spanish, and German. While most competitors offer one version of their software, Lightspeed has three retail-oriented and four restaurant-focused “series,” each tailored to different needs. For example, smaller retailers will want the Retail R-Series, while the X-Series targets large retailers.

Lightspeed doesn’t have proprietary hardware but offers hardware kits, individual devices, and accessories from reputable brands like Verifone and Zebra. This means its software might be compatible with any third-party hardware you own. Lightspeed doesn’t lease hardware, making it unsuitable for occasional in-person selling.

As with most POS systems, you can only take cash and manual payments while offline. Lightspeed’s Restaurant L series POS software requires a relatively expensive device, the Lite Server, to work offline. It’s important to note that Lightspeed’s offline functionality serves as a backup for connectivity issues, not as a solution for offline selling.

See More Features by Lightspeed >>

All-Inclusive Retail POS That Supports Both Simple and Advanced Needs

Lightspeed offers all the standard retail features to run a small store. Still, its advanced inventory, multi-location, and omnichannel management capabilities set it apart from many cheaper alternatives.

Some unique features on the inventory side are the ability to easily create composite products and break down and assign relationships for packaged products. Customers can also place special orders for out-of-stock items, helping to support your cash flow. For enterprise clients, Lightspeed can build customized workflows with staff prompts and tasks.

Lightspeed supports omnichannel loyalty, allowing you to offer the same benefits to customers online and in-store. If you need more loyalty features, Lightspeed offers possibly more than any other POS provider. There are dozens of apps on its app market to boost customer loyalty, including Kangaroo Rewards, Perkville, and TapMango.

Lightspeed Retail POS features
Lightspeed’s POS won’t leave you asking for more features

As for multi-location businesses, Lightspeed makes it easy to track your salespeople across locations and motivate them with commissions and bonuses based on performance. Features like bulk price changes and built-in purchase orders across stores make managing multiple locations less time-consuming.

Lightspeed truly shines with its advanced reporting and analytics for retail. You can filter reports based on different categories to quickly determine what to order and how often, identify your high performers, and pinpoint dead stock. Low-stock alerts keep you ahead of inventory, ensuring you’re stocked with your top-selling items. You can also track customer behavior to tailor your marketing efforts and automatically send reports to key stakeholders.

Highly Customizable Restaurant POS for Any Setup

You can tailor Lightspeed’s highly customizable restaurant POS system to any setup, whether you’re running a self-serve café, a bustling fast-food joint, or an elegant full-service restaurant. Lightspeed’s internal tests show its restaurant POS is 40% faster than other leading POS systems in the US.

Lightspeed restaurant POS ordering features
Lightspeed’s restaurant POS offers innovative features to speed up service

Aside from standard features like takeout and delivery, Lightspeed enables contactless online ordering, which lets customers order and pay at the table, eliminating waiting for staff service. You can also opt for a customer-facing display to speed up ordering and reduce errors.

Lightspeed’s efficient kitchen management sends orders to the back of the house as soon as they’re made, ensuring fast service. Besides built-in features, you can access dozens of apps dedicated to streamlining restaurant operations, including specific categories like food costing, reservations, and employee scheduling.

If you’re managing multiple locations, Lightspeed’s restaurant POS centralizes gift cards, provides location-specific reporting, and allows access to customer data between locations. Lightspeed also stands out with its Property Management Systems (PMS) integration, ideal for hotels with restaurants.

Comprehensive Golf Management Software and POS System

Lightspeed is one of the few POS providers that offer a specialized POS system for golf businesses. It pairs golf management software, formerly known as Chronogolf, with golf-centric retail and restaurant POS systems that allow you to manage all aspects of your golf business from a single platform.

As with all its POS solutions, you’ll also gain access to third-party integrations to streamline your operations and boost consumer engagement for your golf business. For example, you can use Booxi for online booking, QuoteMachine for event and tournament quotes, and LoyalAction for customer loyalty.

Seamlessly Integrated E-Commerce Capabilities

Lightspeed e-commerce
You can start with one of the 30 professional templates or connect an existing site

Lightspeed has a proprietary e-commerce platform and website builder that enables you to sell through your own online store, social media, and popular marketplaces. I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re primarily selling online as there are platforms with more robust online support, such as Shopify. Lightspeed may also not be ideal for occasional in-person selling, but it’s a good option for brick-and-mortar businesses expanding into e-commerce.

Alternatively, Lightspeed enables instant connection of existing websites built on platforms like WordPress and Wix. With ShopApp by Lightspeed eCom, you can turn your online store into a downloadable mobile app for an affordable price.

4.0

Ease of use

You Might Need Some Time To Master All Its Features and Functionalities

The setup and onboarding process with Lightspeed POS is straightforward, but you may need more time to master its full range of features. During my research, I noticed some complaints about the interface – it’s intuitive but can feel clunky at times.

Getting Started With Lightspeed

To start with Lightspeed POS, select the plan that matches your business needs. This step requires you to provide details about your business, including its type and annual revenue.

Unlike many POS providers that allow immediate plan purchases, Lightspeed requires your contact details before you can make a plan selection. Representatives will typically contact you to offer a lower quote for longer-term contracts, discuss upselling other products, and present its proprietary payment processing solution, Lightspeed Payments.

Dedicated Account Manager

Upon signing up, Lightspeed will connect you with a personal account manager. A rare benefit among POS vendors, your dedicated account manager is the primary contact for onboarding guidance and future queries. The manager provides personalized assistance, ensuring you get the most out of Lightspeed’s hardware and software. This feature is beneficial for new and established businesses owners alike.

Flexible Proprietary Payment Processing Solution

Lightspeed Payments pricing structure
Lightspeed lets you negotiate processing rates that work for your business

Lightspeed Payments allows you to avoid separate monthly fees from third-party payment processors. Like its competitors, Lightspeed Payments enables you to accept credit and debit cards, as well as digital wallets. You can also choose a third-party processor, but this will result in higher monthly fees for Lightspeed’s POS software, as well as additional transaction fees.

Feature-Rich Apps for Each POS Software Series

Lightspeed POS app for iPad
Lightspeed’s apps make almost all its POS features available on the go

Lightspeed stands out by offering distinct POS apps for each software version. Some of these can turn an iPad into a fully-featured POS system. You’ll be able to interact with customers and check them out directly on the floor, pull up client information on the go, and monitor inventory levels from any location.

4.1

Pricing

Advanced Features for a Higher-Than-Average Cost

Regardless of your chosen plan, Lightspeed requires you to speak to the sales team first. While you can sign up for a monthly plan, you might get offered lower pricing in exchange for a long-term contract. During my research, I found complaints that it’s hard to cancel after signing a contract, so carefully review all the terms and conditions.

You can also use Lightspeed’s generous 14-day free trial to test it before committing. Hardware is not included in any of the plans, though. If you want to save on hardware and have basic needs, cheaper POS solutions like Square provide a reader.

All plans do include Lightspeed Payments at no additional cost, which gives you access to discounted pricing. Flat rate transaction fees are pretty standard – 2.6% + $0.10 (in-person) and 2.9% + $0.30 (online). If you opt for a third-party processor, you’ll pay an additional per-transaction fee on top of your payment processor’s fees.

Lightspeed offers three retail POS plans, starting at $89.00/month for the Lean plan. The entry plan is primarily suitable for brick-and-mortar stores and doesn’t include e-commerce features, something that’s commonly available on cheaper entry plans elsewhere. Higher-tier retail plans include advanced inventory management, multi-store capability, omnichannel features, loyalty programs, and in-depth reporting.

All Lightspeed restaurant plans include highly customizable POS software, menu, floor management, CRM, payment processing, and advanced analytics, among other features. Monthly prices start at around $149.00, which is pretty reasonable.

My research shows that Lightspeed includes certain features, like takeout, delivery and loyalty programs, in its entry-level restaurant plan. These are typically available as extras or on more expensive plans elsewhere. Unlike its retail plans, Lightspeed’s restaurant POS plans fall within the average pricing in the industry. Advanced features like online ordering and multi-location management are available on its higher-tier plans.

Moreover, Lightspeed Golf is a unique combination of a comprehensive POS and golf management system. It includes tee sheet management, online booking, membership handling, and more, available at quote-based costs.

My analysis of Lightspeed’s software and hardware places it in the mid- to high range. This reflects its focus on feature-rich, high-quality, specialized solutions.

5.0

Compliance & Security

Built-In PCI Compliance and Fraud Prevention

All Lightspeed hardware is PCI compliant and equipped with firewalls, data encryption, passwords, and endpoint protection.

PCI Compliance & More

Lightspeed boasts the highest Level 1 PCI compliance by default. This means you’ll avoid fees and lengthy verification processes for PCI compliance that some POS providers require you to complete.

Unlike some that stop at PCI compliance, Lightspeed actively incorporates advanced data security and privacy measures. It aligns with standards like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for European customers. It also consistently maintains high data protection standards, adhering to security standards like ISO 27001, FIPS 140-2, and NIST SP 800-717.

Lightspeed’s POS is EMV compatible and lets you generate detailed reports showing sales timing, employees who performed the sale, and details about who issued discounts, voids, refunds, and more. You can assign employee permissions and roles as well as protect your POS with PINs from unauthorized access. You can also set up multi-factor authentication (MFA) with a password and a time-based, one-time six-digit passcode required for system login.

Additional Security Features

Lightspeed’s proprietary payment processing solution offers end-to-end encryption, encoding your data and making it inaccessible to unauthorized parties. Additionally, it uses tokenization to replace sensitive data, such as credit card numbers, with unique identification symbols.

Lightspeed also has a public bug bounty program. It invites experts to test the system’s defenses, encouraging continuous security improvements and identifying potential issues before they cause harm.

5.0

Customer Support

One of the Fastest and Most Attentive in the Industry

Lightspeed offers a range of support channels, including 24/7 phone and live chat assistance in English, with varying availability in other languages. I tested both channels and connected with a real person in less than two minutes, a notable efficiency in an industry known for long customer support queues.

Both the live agent and the representative on the phone were fast, attentive, and knowledgeable. One even offered to connect me with a dedicated account manager while I was on the free trial.

Conversation with Lightspeed live agent
I was connected to a live agent faster than at any other POS provider I tested

Lightspeed’s customer support boasts a comprehensive Resources section, including a blog and industry-specific free tools. It also actively hosts events and webinars. This variety provides insights and practical learning opportunities to enhance your business.

Lightspeed’s Help Center is another asset that stands out among competitors. It has all the latest updates, detailed articles, guides, and video tutorials. Alternatively, you can access video tutorials through its YouTube channel, which hosts hundreds of videos. There is also a community forum for peer-to-peer support. This comprehensive approach ensures you have access to step-by-step instructions and can quickly troubleshoot any issues.

Comparison

How does Lightspeed POS match up to the competition?

Clover POS SystemsCompareOur Score4.8Compare
PaySafe POSCompareOur Score4.7Compare
Lightspeed POSCompareOur Score4.6Compare
Epos NowCompareOur Score4.4Compare

Lightspeed POS REVIEW: BOTTOM LINE

Lightspeed’s higher prices are offset by its comprehensive POS software, quality hardware, and dedicated account manager, which is especially beneficial for busy businesses. While smaller companies might opt for more affordable alternatives, larger ones will appreciate its personalized support, sophisticated POS functions, and detailed reporting.

Retail stores will benefit from its advanced inventory and multi-location capabilities, while restaurants and golf businesses can take advantage of its customization option and integrated management software. Its e-commerce platform, website builder, and proprietary payment solution will save you time and money in the long run.

Here’s Lightspeed at a glance:
Pros Cons
  • Advanced inventory and multi-location management
  • Many customization and app integrations for restaurants
  • 40+ detailed sales and analytics reports
  • Dedicated account manager
  • No free plan and higher-than-average prices
  • No e-commerce features on entry plan

FAQ

Is Lightspeed POS free?

Lightspeed POS is not free. It uses a tiered pricing model for its plans, meaning the cost varies with the features and business scale you require. Discounted pricing is available with Lightspeed’s payment processing services and larger businesses can ask for custom quotes.

How does Lightspeed POS work?

Lightspeed POS is a cloud-based system designed for retail, restaurant, and golf businesses. It allows you to manage sales, inventory, customer relationships, and access reports from anywhere. Getting started with Lightspeed POS is straightforward and you’ll have a dedicated account manager to assist with setup, onboarding, and ongoing support.

How do I get paid by Lightspeed?

You can use Lightspeed Payments to process credit, debit, and gift cards, as well as digital wallets. Lightspeed automatically deposits funds into your linked bank account within two business days. Alternatively, you can connect to a third-party payment processor. In this case, your chosen processor will determine accepted payment methods and payout times.

Does Lightspeed POS work offline?

Ideally, a stable internet connection is necessary to fully utilize its functionalities, but Lightspeed can operate offline with limited capabilities. You can process sales offline but will only be able to accept cash and other manual payments. You also won’t have access to real-time features such as inventory management or customer data until you restore your connection.
Ivana Shteriova Ivana Shteriova
Ivana is a full-time content writer and expert reviewer passionate about tech, finance, business, and too many other things to name. After getting her bachelor’s degree in Economics, she decided to ditch a career in accounting and turn her passion into a full-time writing affair. You can find her listening to finance podcasts, reading self-help books, glamming up, and rocking bold outfits. She’s also advocating for animal welfare and women’s rights.
User reviews
Be the first user to leave a review about Lightspeed POS in English!
Write a Review
Reply to review
Reply
Visit Lightspeed POS
reply
en
Error
onclick="trackClickout('event', 'clickout', 'Visit User Reviews', 'lightspeed-pos', this, true );"
View 1 reply
View %d replies
Family sharingMulti User SharingExpert SupportBackupSmart syncPersonal SolutionBusiness SolutionTeams optionsOffline foldersFile history and recovery
Lightspeed POS Alternatives
Clover POS Systems
Our Score
4.8
Read Review
PaySafe POS
Our Score
4.7
Read Review
Square POS
Our Score
4.7
Read Review
POS Pros Systems
Our Score
4.6
Read Review
3225530