Lightspeed Review 2020 – businessnewsdaily.com


 

Editor’s note: Looking for inventory management software? Fill out the questionnaire below and our vendor partners will contact you with more information.

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Pricing

Lightspeed has five pricing tiers, with monthly rates ranging from $69 to $229. Each includes retail POS systems and payment terminals, but only higher tiers include some of the most important inventory management features. Here’s a breakdown of each tier.

  • Basic: The lowest tier costs $69 per month and mainly consists of Lightspeed’s POS system, so businesses looking for inventory management features should consider upgrading to Starter or beyond.
  • Starter: This tier costs $99 per month and introduces Lightspeed’s e-commerce product, which is where the POS system becomes truly useful from an inventory management perspective. It enables retailers to import stock to e-commerce shops and monitor remaining quantities as transactions occur.
  • Standard: This tier costs $119 per month and builds on the Starter tier’s offerings. It includes the e-commerce solution and adds an accounting software integration. Joining inventory management, POS and accounting systems together can give you a holistic view of business operations and the financial impact of inventory on the bottom line. Most businesses that need to use Lightspeed largely for inventory management (not just as a POS system with a few inventory features) should opt for this tier or higher.
  • Advanced: This tier costs $169 per month and adds customer loyalty features, such as discounts and promotions for frequent shoppers. With the loyalty tools, you can establish a rewards program and enhance your marketing to regular customers. You can also set certain shoppers as VIPs or offer one-time discounts to them for their birthday or other special event.
  • Pro: The highest tier costs $229 per month and adds Lightspeed’s useful analytics module to the mix. You can use this analytics tools to better manage inventory down to individual items, cataloged by size, color, material and more. It also allows you to tag items in categories. For example, if you sell apparel, you can tag an item by name as a hat, shirt or pants for easy lookup. You can also tag items by colors or more abstract categories like “hot sellers.” The analytics tab also helps you keep track of how quickly individual items sell, informing your order planning and ensuring you keep enough stock on hand without over-ordering. If it is within your budget, we recommend the Pro tier for you to get the optimal inventory management experience with Lightspeed.

Key takeaway: Lightspeed offers five pricing tiers, all competitively priced. The Standard tier is likely the bare minimum needed for inventory management, while the Pro tier offers robust reporting to optimize the process.

Features

Lightspeed is a relatively simple software solution that still includes many of the useful features we looked for in inventory management software.

Inventory tracking

Lightspeed has the core tracking functions we expect of inventory management software, including batch tracking and serial tracking of stock. It also allows you to create a catalog of items by characteristics such as size, color and material. Another useful tracking tool is inventory bundling, which can be used to sell products as a package. For example, if a dress shirt, sports coat and dress pants are part of an outfit you want to sell as a set, simply bundle them in the system in order to track them as a single product instead of three separate items.

Order management

Another mandatory feature for inventory management software in our review is the ability to create and send purchase orders to suppliers. Lightspeed’s order management tools are their best at the Pro tier, which includes an analytics system to give you insight into your hottest-selling products. This can help you set reordering points more effectively, ensuring you always have the optimal quantity of each item on hand. The order management tools are still available at lower tiers, though; to make the most of them, track your sales manually and review your historical sales data to determine the best time to reorder individual items.

You can also use Lightspeed to combine purchase orders and branch transfers across multiple vendors into one centralized document. This means the many moving parts of your supply chain can be reviewed and archived in one place, making it easy to keep tabs on your wider business operations.

Point of sale

Lightspeed is primarily a POS system, so it shines in this area. It integrates with most leading e-commerce platforms and unifies your sales in one system, so you don’t need to navigate away from Lightspeed to collect payments and monitor sales data. Additionally, the platform incorporates PCI compliance and fraud prevention, helping you meet regulatory considerations and secure lower payment processing rates from the card networks.

Employee management

Lightspeed lets you assign individual user permissions, so employees only have access to the data they need to do their jobs. You can also restrict employees’ ability to offer refunds or discounts, revise pricing, or view historical sales data. For example, if you want store managers to have the option to issue refunds or alter pricing, you can give it to them without allowing associates to do the same.

Customer loyalty tools

Lightspeed lets you reward frequent customers with loyalty points, discounts or promotions. These rewards can be set up directly within Lightspeed, meaning they’ll be automatically accounted for at the point of sale. At higher pricing tiers, integrations with e-commerce platforms and accounting software mean your entire ecosystem is updated with these customer loyalty programs, reducing the need for manual data entry and the likelihood of inaccurate information in the system.

Integrations

Lightspeed maintains integrations with more than 250 third-party software vendors. These are some key options:

  • Accumulated
  • Homebase
  • Kimoby
  • Lendio
  • Mailchimp
  • SkuVault
  • TSYS

Key takeaway: Lightspeed offers the core features we looked for in inventory management software, some extra features that are especially effective for retail businesses, and 250 integrations with useful third-party programs, such as e-commerce platforms and employee scheduling software.

 

Editor’s note: Looking for inventory management software? Fill out the questionnaire below and our vendor partners will contact you with more information.

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Limitations

Lightspeed’s largest limitation is its narrow focus on retail, which makes it a great solution for small retail businesses but not functional for large, centralized warehouses or manufacturers. It is primarily a point-of-sale system, so it lacks some advanced inventory management features that are nice to have – though its integrations with inventory management products like SkuVault can compensate somewhat for this.

Key takeaway: Lightspeed is a great choice for small retail businesses, but it lacks features for warehouse management and manufacturing.



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