Lightspeed vs Shopify — Which POS Solution is Better for Your Business?

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Written by Matt Walsh | Reviewed and edited by Chris Singleton

'Lightspeed vs Shopify' — the Lightspeed and Shopify logos on a light blue background

Lightspeed vs Shopify — which POS solution is better? In this detailed comparison, we walk you through the key features, pros and cons and pricing of these two well-known POS platforms — and help you decide which one is right for your business.

The quick verdict

Reasons to use Lightspeed over Shopify

If you’re 100% focused on point-of-sale transactions and don’t require an online store, Lightspeed may be a good option for you. Its POS system is user-friendly, handles all key POS tasks and comes with personalized onboarding for new users.

Lightspeed is also the more obvious choice for businesses in the restaurant and hospitality sectors, thanks to its software specifically tailored to meet the needs of hotels, golf clubs and food and drink businesses.

Reasons to use Shopify over Lightspeed

Shopify is the better option for businesses looking to sell both online and in person. Its ecommerce features are considerably more sophisticated than Lightspeed’s, and its POS tools are better value too.

It’s also the better POS solution for retail businesses that require the use of multiple in-store registers. While Lightspeed charges you extra if you want to use more than one register, there are no additional charges from Shopify for using multiple registers.

At-a-glance feature comparison

Payment gatewaysDepends on plan105+
Payment processing availability5 countries23 countries with Shopify Payments; 175+ countries via third-party payment providers
Offline paymentsCash and credit cardCash only
POS staff permissionsOn all paid plansOn all paid plans
Registers per POS locationExtra charges for more than one register per locationUnlimited registers per location
Wastage trackingYesNo
Professional reportingAvailable on the $269 per month ‘Advanced’ retail planAvailable on the $105 per month ‘Shopify’ plan
Supported languages on mobile app4 languages21 languages
Customer support24/7 on all paid plans; and includes 1-2-1 onboarding for new users24/7 on all paid plans
Free trial14 days3 days (but extendable for $1 per month for first month)

An introduction to point of sale

Before we dive into the full details of Lightspeed vs Shopify, it’s important to understand exactly what a ‘point of sale’ or ‘POS’ system actually is these days.

The Lightspeed platform.
The Lightspeed platform

Until quite recently, POS systems were a mix of software and hardware used exclusively for facilitating in-person transactions — in retail shops, restaurants, or market stalls, and so on.

However, due to the surge in online shopping over the last few years, the scope of POS solutions has expanded significantly. Nowadays, POS systems typically offer tools that enable businesses to sell products not only face-to-face but via online stores too.

Modern POS systems usually let you:

  • accept in-person payments
  • use a range of POS hardware items tailored to different selling environments
  • oversee and monitor inventory
  • create an online store
  • sync data from in-person and online sales
  • set different staff permissions.

In this comparison, we’ll explore how both Lightspeed and Shopify handle all of the above tasks.

Lightspeed vs Shopify — key business model differences

Lightspeed and Shopify are both leaders in the ecommerce and POS sector, but focus on different market segments.

Lightspeed is a ‘POS-first’ platform, primarily designed for brick-and-mortar businesses. It offers a comprehensive POS system with features like inventory and employee management, and has a focus on providing good in-store experiences.

Lightspeed Restaurant POS
Lightspeed POS for restaurants

Lightspeed is particularly well-suited to use by medium to large-sized retail and restaurant businesses, and it provides customizable POS solutions to meet specific business needs. While it does offer software to help you build an online store too, its main strength is serving physical retail stores and restaurants.

By contrast, Shopify started out as an ‘ecommerce-first’ platform that aimed to let users build an online store without coding. It’s very easy to use, and popular with small businesses and ‘solopreneurs.’

Shopify home page
Shopify home page

But over the years, Shopify has evolved to offer very comprehensive and flexible POS features too — and these are now tightly integrated with its powerful ecommerce infrastructure.

As a consequence, Shopify is increasingly being used by larger retail businesses to faciliate point of sale transactions.

Shopify POS
Shopify POS

Lightspeed POS vs Shopify POS — key features

When it comes to the basics of selling in a physical location, Lightspeed and Shopify’s entry-level plans cover most essential POS tasks.

These entry-level plans are as follows:

  • Lightspeed’s ‘Lean’ retail POS plan, which starts at $69 per month.
  • Shopify’s ‘POS Lite’ plan. This is bundled with all Shopify subscriptions, which start at $5 per month.

Both these plans let you:

  • accept in-person payments via a wide range of payment methods, including credit cards, mobile wallets, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and Tap to Pay with iPhone
  • use a wide range of POS hardware devices
  • manage and track inventory
  • issue receipts to customers via print, email and text
  • offer discounts
  • facilitate returns on goods
  • cater for local delivery and local pickup of goods
  • manage custom sales
  • add notes to orders
  • accept fixed and custom tip amounts
  • create customer accounts for repeat purchases
  • transfer stock between inventory locations
  • provide secure and encrypted payment processing that complies with ‘PCI’ card payment security standards.

If you want more features, you’ll need to upgrade to a premium POS plan.

With Lightspeed, there are quite a few of these to choose from, including specialized plans for specific market sectors such as restaurant businesses and golf clubs.

You’ll usually need one of these more expensive plans if you want to do any of the following:

  • get access to advanced data analytics and the most detailed POS sales reports on your POS sales
  • manage inventory across multiple locations
  • work with an unlimited number of staff accounts.
Advanced reporting in Lightspeed
Advanced reporting in Lightspeed

With Shopify, you can add advanced POS functionality to your account by investing in an $89 per location, per month ‘POS Pro’ add-on.

Among other things, this lets you:

  • manage POS staff permissions
  • create automatic purchase orders
  • perform detailed inventory counts
  • perform stock adjustments
  • facilitate exchanges
  • provide custom printed receipts
  • save and retrieve customer carts.

I’ll discuss these pricing options and their value for money in more depth later on in this comparison. But for now, let’s look at some of the fundamental differences between Lightspeed and Shopify.

Key differences between Lightspeed and Shopify’s features

Some of the key differences between Lightspeed and Shopify are as follows:

  • Shopify’s built-in payment processor, ‘Shopify Paymentsworks in 23 countries; Lightspeed’s equivalent in-house payment gateway, ‘Lightspeed Payments’ only works in five.
  • Lightspeed lets you take card payments when you are offline; by contrast, Shopify POS only works online.
  • Shopify’s online store builder is significantly better than Lightspeed’s, beating it comprehensively when it comes to store design, selling digital products, shipping options, abandoned cart saving, email marketing and international selling.
  • Lightspeed’s inventory management system includes several tools that you don’t get in Shopify POS — examples include layaway functionality, wastage tracking, kitting features and vendor catalogs.
  • ALL Shopify plans include POS features. By contrast, to avail of POS tools on Lightspeed’s ecommerce plans (‘Lightspeed eCom’), you’ll need to be on its most expensive ‘Unlimited’ plan, which costs $99 per month.
  • Lightspeed includes one-to-one onboarding sessions on most of its paid plans.

Let’s take a deeper dive now into some of the key features of both systems’ point of sale systems, starting with inventory management.

Inventory management

Both Lightspeed and Shopify provide comprehensive inventory management features that help store owners monitor and control the flow of goods in and out of their businesses.

Both systems let store owners keep track of their stock in real time, with inventory levels automatically updated in both tools as sales are made in store or online.

Shopify inventory management features
Shopify inventory management features

In addition to the day-to-day tasks involved with tracking inventory — like scanning new products into your stock and monitoring inventory status — both POS systems also include lots of other features to help businesses with inventory management requirements.

Both platforms let you:

  • set reorder points to avoid selling out of products
  • receive demand forecast reports on specific products in your inventory
  • receive automatic alerts when stock runs low
  • get suggestions on which items to sell at discounted prices

Lightspeed’s POS system has an edge over Shopify’s in terms of the sheer number of built-in features, however.

Its ‘out of the box’ features include smart pricing tools, wastage tracking reports, work order tools and vendor reports. By contrast, with Shopify, you’ll need to use an app to add these features.

Using Lightspeed to track inventory wastage.
Using Lightspeed to track inventory wastage

You’ll find a summary of Lightspeed vs Shopify inventory management features in the table below:

Online / In-store inventory syncingYesYes
Purchase orderingYesShopify POS Pro only
Smart pricingYesVia paid app
LayawaysYesVia paid app
Vendor catalogsYesvia ‘Stocky’ app

Online store building features

If you’re considering using Lightspeed not just as a POS system but as an ecommerce solution too, you’ll need to bear in mind that not all Lightspeed plans include access to its online store builder.

With its ‘Retail’ plans, you’ll need to be on a $149 per month ‘Standard’ plan or higher to access it; and with Lightspeed’s restaurant plans, restaurant-specific ecommerce features (e.g., online ordering tools) are only available on its $189 per month ‘Essential’ plan or higher.

A Lightspeed online store
A Lightspeed online store

Now, despite Shopify having the much richer heritage as a store builder, there are a few areas where Lightspeed beats Shopify as an ecommerce platform.

First, it offers a well-featured free ecommerce plan that lets you sell up to 5 products on your store without having to pay for a subscription. With Shopify, although you can avail of a free trial to try the platform out, you’ll always need to pay for a plan in order to start selling.

Additionally, Lightspeed is more generous with the size of digital products you can offer, letting you sell files up to 25GB in size; Shopify’s equivalent limit is 5GB.

That said, Shopify is ultimately the clear winner over Lightspeed as an ecommerce platform.

Here are just a few of the reasons why:

  • Shopify lets you sell an unlimited number of products on all plans. By contrast, Lightspeed limits the number of products you can sell on all but its most expensive ecommerce plan.
  • Shopify has a much wider range of store templates available, with 192 templates to choose from versus 50 or so in Lightspeed. Additionally, its template editor is much more powerful than Lightspeed’s.
  • All Shopify plans come bundled with Shopify’s free ‘POS Lite’ plan, meaning that you can get an online store and POS from Shopify quite cheaply. To do the same with Lightspeed will involve a minimum outlay of $105 per month (for its ‘Ecommerce’ plan).
  • Shopify’s multi-currency selling tools are more comprehensive and, unlike Lightspeed’s, let store visitors check out in their own currency (Lightspeed can display prices in local currencies, but visitors have to check out in the store’s default one).
  • Shopify provides far more options for working with dropshipping companies and print-on-demand suppliers.
  • The SEO tools and features in Shopify are considerably stronger.
The Shopify theme store.
The Shopify theme store features 190+ ecommerce store templates

Here’s a table containing a side-by-side comparison of Lightspeed and Shopify’s store building features:

POS on ecommerce plans$105 ‘Unlimited’ ecommerce plan onlyAll plans
Free ecommerce sellingYesNo
Unlimited products$105 ‘Unlimited’ ecommerce plan onlyYes
Customizable templates51192
Maximum digital product file size25 GB5 GB
Ecommerce apps21800+
Multilingual features12 available languages20 languages (130+ available)
Real-time shipping ratesYesYes

Lightspeed versions

There are several versions — or ‘series’ — of Lightspeed POS on the market.

There are currently 2 retail versions, 2 ecommerce versions, 5 restaurant versions and one ‘golf’ version of the platform available.

(Each version of Lightspeed comes with its own feature list and series-based limits).

The Lightspeed help center (pictured below) provides a dropdown selector that lets you access relevant information based on the version of Lightspeed you’re using.

Accessing version specific information in the Lightspeed help center
Accessing version specific information in the Lightspeed help center

Mobile POS

If you don’t do enough in-person selling to justify paying for dedicated POS hardware equipment from Lightspeed or Shopify, the good news is that both tools let you carry out many basic POS tasks via mobile apps.

Lightspeed comes with quite a few mobile POS apps — a different one for each of its different products (‘X-Series,’ ‘S-Series,’ etc.). With Shopify, you’re dealing with one app for point of sale — the appropriately-named ‘Shopify POS’ app.

Now, Shopify’s mobile POS app is much more ‘smartphone-friendly’ than any of Lightspeed’s equivalent apps.

It lets you scan barcodes using your phone camera, and it also lets you take payments via ‘Tap to Pay with iPhone’ (which removes the need for a physical card reader).

The Shopify POS app
The Shopify POS app

(With Lightspeed, you’ll need to download a separate app for barcode scanning.)

The one advantage Lightspeed’s mobile apps have over the Shopify POS app (and it’s a significant one) is that they come with an ‘offline mode’, which lets you take card payments without access to WiFi. This isn’t currently possible with Shopify POS.

But otherwise, Shopify is by far the better option for selling in person without dedicated hardware.

User reviews of Lightspeed and Shopify mobile apps

Shopify’s POS app is the winner over Lightspeed based on user ratings among iPhone and Android users.

It’s is rated 4.5 in the iOS store and 2.9 stars out of 5 in the Google Play Store.

By contrast, Lightspeed’s retail POS app (‘Series S’) is rated at just 2.7 stars out of 5 among Android users, and its Android retail app (‘Series O’) fares even worse, with only a 2 star rating.

Apple users give the Lightspeed ‘Series R’ app a 2.2 stars out of 5 rating and the ‘Series X’ app 3 out of 5. Lightspeed’s restaurant POS app fares slightly better, being awarded an average 3.3 stars out of 5 by iOS device users users.

(Sources: iOS app store and Google Play Store).

Here’s a summary of mobile POS features in Lightspeed and Shopify:

Barcode scanningRequires extra appYes
Offline paymentsYesCash only
Android user ratingsLightspeed Retail — 2.9 stars
Lightspeed eCom — N/A
Shopify app — 4.3 stars
Shopify POS app — 2.9 stars
iOS user ratingsLightspeed Retail — 2.2 stars
Lightspeed eCom — N/A

Shopify app — 4.6 stars
Shopify POS app — 4.5 stars
App languagesLightspeed Retail — 4
Lightspeed eCom — 8
Shopify app — 20
Shopify POS app — 20

POS hardware

Both Lightspeed and Shopify let you use a wide range of POS hardware — card readers, barcode scanners, tills, receipt printers etc. — to help you sell in physical locations. These are available from both companies’ respective hardware stores.

Shopify hardware store
The Shopify hardware store

Shopify’s hardware store features transparent pricing for all items, making it very straightforward for merchants to assess costs for devices quickly and easily.

By contrast, to ascertain the price of much of the Lightspeed hardware, you’ll need to contact the company for a tailored quote.

One useful aspect of Lightspeed’s hardware store however is the fact that you can buy iOS devices (iPads and Mac minis) direct from the company (Lightspeed is an authorized reseller of Apple products).

To equip yourself with iOS devices for Shopify POS, you’ll need to source them yourself from Apple or one of its resellers.

Lightspeed POS hardware store
Lightspeed hardware store

However, serious Shopify merchants may prefer to skip the third-party hardware entirely and opt instead for Shopify’s new all-in-one ‘POS Go’ handheld device.

Costing $299 in the US, this handheld device comes pre-loaded with Shopify’s POS software; includes a built-in barcode scanner; and lets you take tap, chip and swipe card payments.

Shopify POS Go
Shopify’s POS Go device

Note: Shopify’s POS GO device is currently available in the US, Canada, UK and Ireland only.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of key Shopify and Lightspeed POS hardware costs.

‘All-in-one’ POS terminalContact for quote$299
Card reader$99 — $299$49
iPad stand$199$149 – $185
Barcode scanner$199 — $399$199 to $289
Cash drawer$129$129 — $139
Label printers$189 — $439$119 — $499
Receipt paper$29 $29 — $109

Apps and integrations

Shopify POS is a clear winner over Lightspeed when it comes to adding functionality to your point of sale system via apps and integrations.

The Shopify app store contains 13,000+ apps — around 50 times as many as Lightspeed’s, which has approximately 200 integrations on offer.

In terms of apps that focus exclusively on point of sale, Shopify’s app store features 640+ POS apps, over 90 of which have been specifically designed to extend the capabilities of Shopify POS.

POS apps in the Shopify app store
POS apps in the Shopify app store

These apps offer additional features like appointment scheduling, loyalty programs, product bundles and personalized product pickups.

One Shopify POS app worth a particular mention is the ‘Stocky’ app, which offers a particularly large amount of additional features to ‘POS Pro’ users.

Stocky app
Shopify’s Stocky POS app

You can use Stocky to handle purchase orders and communicate with suppliers; undertake inventory assessments and make necessary adjustments; receive suggestions for products grounded on profit margins; and facilitate the movement of stock across different inventory sites.

Now, it’s worth pointing out that given Lightspeed’s foothold in the hospitality POS market, many of the available integrations in its app marketplace are unsurprisingly related to this sector. You can expect to find reservations apps, online ordering apps, food pricing apps and tools to help create digital menus in its app store.

Reservation apps in the Lightspeed app library
Reservation apps in the Lightspeed app library

But Lightspeed’s app library also features a good selection of more general tools — chat, accountancy and employee management add-ons etc.

Users of Lightspeed’s ‘R-Series’ and X-Series’ retail plans can avail of individual app libraries dedicated to these two products, with 78 integrations to choose from for ‘R-Series’ users and 40 or so for X-Series ones.

Below you’ll find a table summarising the apps offering from Lightspeed and Shopify.

Total apps available200+ apps10,000+
POS apps100+ apps640+ apps available
Inventory management apps30+ apps1,200+ apps
Staff POS apps20+ apps
460+ apps
Hospitality apps40+ apps31 apps

Pricing and fees

Shopify POS pricing

In order to use Shopify POS, you’ll need to pay for a Shopify subscription. There are five of these available:

  • Starter — $5 per month
  • Basic — $39 per month
  • Shopify — $105 per month
  • Advanced — $399 per month
  • Shopify Plus — custom pricing

Shopify provides a 25% discount on the ‘Basic,’ ‘Shopify’ and ‘Advanced’ plans if you pay for your first year’s service upfront — doing so brings the costs of these three plans down to $29, $79 and $299 per month respectively.

There’s also a free trial available.

Once you’ve signed up to Shopify, you’ve then got two Shopify POS plans to choose from: ‘Shopify POS Lite‘ and ‘Shopify POS Pro.‘

The good news is that ‘POS Lite‘ is included on all Shopify store subscriptions, which means Shopify POS can be used from as little as $5 per month via Shopify’s ‘Starter’ plan.

Shopify 'POS Lite'
All Shopify users can avail of the ‘POS Lite’ plan

However, the ‘Starter’ plan only allows for one user per account and doesn’t let you manage inventory in more than two locations. Accordingly, most users will be better served by the POS features that come with Shopify’s ‘Basic’ plan or higher.

As previously mentioned, these plans all allow for multiple users and inventory management across 1,000 locations.

Shopify’s ‘POS Pro‘ option — which lets you work with an unlimited number of POS staff, facilitate exchanges and provide custom printed receipts — costs $89 per month, per location when coupled with Shopify’s ‘Basic,’ ‘Shopify’ and ‘Advanced’ Shopify plans.

(Users on Shopify’s enterprise-grade solution, Shopify Plus, get their first 20 POS Pro locations included as part of their plan.)

Shopify ‘POS Pro’ pricing and features
Shopify ‘POS Pro’ pricing and features

Paying annually for a ‘POS Pro’ subscription gets you an 11% discount, bringing the monthly fee down to $79 per month.

Shopify POS credit card fees

In order to take in-person payments with Shopify POS, you’ll need to connect your account to a ‘payment gateway.’ This is a piece of software that processes credit card transactions.

Shopify provides its own in-house payment gateway — ‘Shopify Payments’ — for just this purpose. This is currently available in 23 countries, including the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Hong Kong SAR, Japan and much of the EU.

Shopify Payments
Shopify Payments

In the US, when you use Shopify Payments to process in-person credit card sales with either ‘POS Lite’ or ‘POS Pro’, the following credit card fees apply to each sale:

  • Starter — 5% + 0¢ USD
  • Basic — 2.6% + 0¢ USD
  • Shopify — 2.5% + 0¢ USD
  • Advanced — 2.4% + 0¢ USD

(Cheaper rates are available in other countries.)

These credit card fees will apply regardless of whether your customer pays with a physical credit card or via a tap payment (using Google Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay etc.).

Now, it should be noted that Shopify POS doesn’t force you to use Shopify Payments as your payment processor — the platform can be integrated with over 105 third-party payment gateways too.

These give you the option to process payments in 175+ countries and to shop around for preferential rates for your business.

By contrast, your options for using third-party payment processing with Lightspeed will depend on which version of the platform you are using.

For example, its retail X-Series only lets you use 17 third-party payment providers, while its ecommerce E-Series product allows you use over 80 different gateways (via the Lightspeed-owned Ecwid ecommerce platform).

Lightspeed pricing

Lightspeed currently has 4 sets of pricing plans to choose from:

Retail plans

Lean — $89 per month

Standard — $149 per month

Advanced — $269 per month

Enterprise — Custom pricing

Ecommerce plans (store builder plans)

Free — $0 per month

Venture — $25 per month

Business — $45 per month

Unlimited — $105 per month

Restaurant plans

Starter — $69 per month

Essential — $189 per month

Premium — $399 per month

Enterprise — Custom pricing

Golf club plans

Custom pricing only

If you pay annually for a Lightspeed retail or ecommerce plan, you can avail of discounted pricing on some of these plans — these range from 22-26% on retail plans and 16%-26% on ecommerce ones. No discounts are advertised for Lightspeed’s restaurant plans.

Pricing for Lightspeed's retail POS plans
Lightspeed retail POS pricing

Another key thing to note about Lightspeed’s retail plans above is that you can only operate one POS register as part of your plan — even on the plan costing $269 per month! If you want to use additional register devices in your sales venue, you’ll have to contact your Lightspeed sales rep for a custom quote.

As for Lightspeed’s ecommerce plans — the ones that let you build an online store —  it should be noted that inventory tracking is only available on its ‘Business’ plan and higher; to engage in full in-person POS, you’ll need to be on the $105 per month ‘Unlimited’ plan.

Lightspeed POS credit card fees

Like Shopify, Lightspeed provides an in-house payment gateway — ‘Lightspeed Payments’ — for processing credit card transactions.

Lightspeed Payments is currently available in 5 countries: Australia, Belgium, Canada, the UK and US.

Credit card fees for in-person payments with Lightspeed payments are 2.6%+ 10c per sale on most Lightspeed plans.

Lightspeed in-person credit card fees
Lightspeed in-person credit card fees

However, users of Lightspeed’s restaurant POS product can get access to cheaper rates so long as they are on the ‘Premium’ restaurant plan.

(Once again, this involves contacting a Lightspeed sales rep to get the best deal.)

So, which is cheaper, Lightspeed or Shopify?

Well, when it comes to getting started with point of sale for less, Shopify takes the win. You can use POS for as little as $5 per month via Shopify’s entry-level ‘Starter’ plan, while Lightspeed’s cheapest plan that caters for POS is its ‘Venture’ ecommerce plan ($25 per month).

And, taking the various Lightspeed and Shopify plans as a whole, Shopify is also generally quite a bit cheaper when it comes to accessing the more professional POS capabilities of the two platforms.

(While the $89 per month ‘Lean’ Lightspeed retail plan is technically cheaper than combining a Shopify ‘Basic’ plan with the ‘POS Pro’ add on, it’s important to note that the ‘Lean’ plan doesn’t let you build an online store.)

When you combine full POS selling with an online store component in both platforms, Shopify comes in $21 per month cheaper than Lightspeed.

(This is based on using a Shopify ‘Basic’ and ‘POS Pro’ combination — which costs $128 per month — against Lightspeed’s $149 per month ‘Standard’ retail plan, which includes a store-building component.)

Shopify is also cheaper if you need to use multiple registers in your selling location. While Lightspeed charges additional fees for doing this, you can add as many registers as you like with an $89 per month Shopify ‘POS Pro’ location.

So in the pricing head to head, it’s a clear win for Shopify.

You’ll find a summary of Lightspeed vs Shopify pricing in the table below:

Monthly POS subscription$89 — $399 per month$0 — $89 per month
Additional countertop devicesContact Lightspeed for quoteNo additional charge
Monthly ecommerce store subscription$0 — $105$5 — $399
In person credit card fees2.6% + 10 cents2.4% + 0 cents — 2.7% 0 cents per transaction
Online credit card fees2.9% + 30 cents per transaction2.5 + 30 cents — 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction
Tap to Pay with iPhone fee2.6% + 10 cents per transaction2.4 + 30 cents — 2.7% + 30 cents per transaction

Lightspeed vs Shopify: conclusion

Lightspeed and Shopify both provide professional POS solutions that can be used by businesses of all types, whether that’s a one-person operation or a large chain of retail outlets.

If you’re simply looking for a POS system to facilitate selling goods in person, and you don’t need an online store, then of the two platforms, Lightspeed is the better choice. Its entry-level ‘Lean’ retail plan gives you all you’ll need for in-person selling and it includes a formidable range of inventory management features.

Lightspeed is also the better choice if you’re looking for a POS system tailored for restaurants or food businesses. Its restaurant POS packages are specifically designed for the dining industry, offering powerful features for table coordination, menu creation, customer orders and overseeing restaurant layouts.

However, if you’re looking to operate both an online shop and a POS system, Shopify is undeniably the superior choice. Its store building functionality is much better than Lightspeed’s, and it provides considerably more apps to extend this further.

Shopify is also a better value POS solution for businesses that require the use of multiple in-store registers in their premises. While Lightspeed plans only include one register per location as standard, Shopify lets you add as many registers as you like with no extra cost being involved.

You’ll find a full list of the key reasons why you might pick either Lightspeed or Shopify over the other below.

Pros and cons

Advantages of using Lightspeed over Shopify

  • Lightspeed’s inventory management system comes with more tools, including built-in layaway functionality, wastage tracking and kitting features.
  • You can take card payments with Lightspeed POS when you are offline; Shopify doesn’t let you do this.
  • Lightspeed offers sector-specific POS software for restaurant, hospitality and golf businesses.
  • Lightspeed offers personalized onboarding on most of its POS plans.
  • You can sell up to 5 ecommerce products for free with Lightspeed (via its ‘Free’ ecommerce plan).

Advantages of using Shopify over Lightspeed

  • Shopify’s pricing is fully transparent and available on its website. By contrast, Lightspeed requires you to contact a sales rep to receive a ‘custom quote’ for many of its hardware options and additional POS functions.
  • All Shopify plans let you sell an unlimited number of ecommerce products, even its $5 per month ‘Starter’ plan. By contrast, you can only sell an unlimited number of ecommerce products on Lightspeed’s most expensive ecommerce plan (which costs $105 per month).
  • Shopify’s POS apps work extremely well on smartphones and have received mostly positive reviews from iOS and Android users. The equivalent feedback from Lightspeed users is not as good.
  • Shopify’s built-in payment processor, Shopify Payments, works in considerably more countries than the Lightspeed equivalent.
  • Shopify works with a lot more payment gateways.
  • Shopify’s app store is much better stocked than Lightspeed’s.

Alternatives to Lightspeed and Shopify

The POS market is a competitive one and there are lots of alternative POS systems to Shopify and Lightspeed available — well-known competing products include Square, Vend, Clover, EPOS Now and Springboard Retail.

Of these Square is arguably the most significant competitor — if you’re interested in learning more about this solution, we’d encourage you to read our Shopify POS vs Square POS comparison.

You may also find our list of Shopify alternatives relevant.

Now…over to you!

What are your views on Lightspeed vs Shopify? Are you thinking of using a different POS system? Just leave any thoughts in the comments section below. We read all user comments, and will do our very best to help answer any queries you may have.

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