How To Evaluate POS Systems: Lightspeed vs Shopify

With many a POS system offering seamless payment processing in today’s highly competitive market, selecting the right software for your organization is a challenge. With all of them possessing more or less  similar features, there are however, minor variations that could make all the difference to your business. One way of getting an objective view is to compare the metrics of each and gauge how popular each one is amongst businesses similar to yours. This can give you an idea of what kind of businesses choose each one and why. However, you know that each business has its own unique requirements and that what one business needs, even while in the same sector, may be significantly different from what another business needs.

What Buyers Look For

Some of the features that buyers of a POS system want is to know the finer details like total implementation price, the kind of features available and reliability. They also want user feedback and reviews and the pluses and minuses of each product.

Lightspeed vs Shopify

Two of the leading players in this sector are LightSpeed Retail and Shopify. Let’s do a comparison on major points to help you decide what’s right for your business.

LightSpeed is available in English and Dutch, while Shopify is available in English. Shopify has around 80,000 retailers on board while LightSpeed has 17,000. Shopify has a transaction volume of $3.5 billion while LightSpeed pegs at $6 billion. LightSpeed is iOS compatible, while Shopify is Android and iOS compatible. Shopify offers a variety of free and paid-for customizable and/or mobile-friendly themes, enabling ecommerce while you’re at it. This is helpful because all you need to do is populate the pre-set themes with your own products and you’re ready to go. Customer-rating and recommendations are almost on par for both, with Shopify faring marginally better. This could be because Shopify provides more than 100 payment gateways that are categorized as major, international and additional payment gateways for each country. Since it also has its own payment processor, Shopify fares much better than other similar products.

Selecting the right POS system for your business
Selecting the right POS system for your business

LightSpeed is supported by on-premise, cloud and mobile while Shopify is cloud and mobile supported. Shopify offers tools for business set-up and customization while LightSpeed offers front-counter and back office management. Both systems target a variety of customer sizes, from businesses with 1-50 employees to businesses with more than 1000 employees. LightSpeed is specifically designed as an easy navigation POS system for restaurants and retail stores and configurations where a single entity has to control multiple locations. Shopify offers a strong presence both in-store and online and if your business fits this description, Shopify can be the right choice for you.

You can get your price quotes and product demos online for both POS systems. LightSpeed focuses on large and medium sized business models, with a pre-established brick-and-mortar presence. It was designed to benefit active traders and the main advantages of this solution are centralized inventory management, customizable themes, in-built SEO features and tools. LightSpeed offers a free, no-obligations 14-day trial with attractive subscriptions that begin at $59. Shopify has a wider range of pricing options: These include Shopify Lite, Basic Shopify, Shopify and Advanced Shopify. The main difference between these options is the number of accounts that can be handled and also certain additional features based on the nature and revenue model of each business. Shopify also provides a free, no-obligation 14 day trial for new users to get a feel of the software. Go ahead and take each POS system for a spin!

Similarities and Differences

  • Non-English speakers may have a problem with both platforms, though LightSpeed is available in Dutch, which makes it more popular in the Netherlands.
  • Though both platforms are ideal for freelancers, small and medium sized businesses and enterprises, there are certain important differences. Shopify focuses on small e-tailers and offers a wider variety of customization options. It has a wide array of options that can be scaled up or down according to your changing business needs. There are different functionalities available with the Shopify platform. These include different amounts of records that can be maintained. You can avoid stress about the website loading speed, server performance, etc, because this is a hosted shopping cart configuration.
  • LightSpeed is rated intuitive and integrates well with various website designs. Shopify has a simple interface that’s ideal for less agile users.
  • Shopify provides a large number of plugins and is mobile-friendly, but may be more expensive as it charges processing fees for third-parties who don’t use the Shopify payment gateway.
  • Current surveys show that Shopify is the choice of many more businesses, numbering more than 200 categories  apart from shopping, business, industry, clothes, art and entertainment.
  • Shopify is the market leader in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia besides another 194 countries while LightSpeed is popular in the Netherlands, Gabon and Mali.
  • LightSpeed and Shopify both offer 24×7 tech support.
  • LightSpeed integrates well with accounting software tools.
  • Both platforms provide access to training material that includes instructional videos and detailed guides.

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