Cloud-Based vs. Locally-Installed
Lightspeed Retail is a hybrid system, although it is technically cloud-based, which means data is stored on Lightspeed’s servers and synced over the cloud to your platform. You don’t have to install any programs on your computer because Retail is browser-based.
You can install the Retail POS app on your iOS device. In this case, Lightspeed offers most of the benefits of a locally-installed system without the need for large, expensive hardware or on-site software update issues.
Any enterprise size will probably work well with Lightspeed Retail, though the target market appears to be companies that require custom elements and added flexibility or medium-sized enterprises.
The software is appealing to even the biggest retailers thanks to its wealth of features, with functions to support every part of the retail cycle, from selling to ordering and purchasing to stocking as well as extensive staff management and CRM capabilities.
Companies, for which cost is not a major issue might like Lightspeed for its wide array of add-ons and integrations. The system also features a sleek design and regular updates.
If you’re looking for standard features like deep analytics reporting, solid inventory management, and marketing campaign management, as well as the ability to give customers a somewhat more intimate experience and highly customize the software, this POS should be top choice.
Lightspeed Retail is not industry specific – it is adaptable to practically any type of retail industry. It also offers features for selling physical items and services. The software is useful in a variety of settings with the ability to create quotes and estimates, service and repair orders, and define labor costs.
LR is really outstanding in the apparel industry but can meet the needs of virtually any type of retail environment (especially if you have opted for one of the more advanced packages). The scope of register functionality offered really makes this software stand out. This is not readily available with similar POS system providers.
LR offers a desktop POS hardware kit featuring a Lightspeed scanner, an APG cash drawer, a USB receipt printer, and receipt paper. The computer itself is not included. The second bundle is the iPad POS Hardware Kit with a Vault Simplicity Base iPad stand, an APG cash drawer, a Bluetooth socket scanner, receipt paper, and a LAN receipt printer. The iPad itself is not included.
You can buy a peripheral separately if you don’t need a whole bundle. Turn to customer service representatives if you have hardware issues.
This POS system makes efforts to ensure customers understand what they are getting and know best how to use it. A customer success representative will help you set up your store and give you instructions about how to use the system after you’ve purchased it. Both the front- and backend of the software are extremely intuitive.
The initial setup involves a step-by-step process which includes a catalog of products retailers can use to populate their inventory. It is completed in the in-browser software (though you can manage it from your POS).
The management area is organized in a basic, yet superb manner. The creators have grouped all of the functions into categories on the left-hand side. The most visible options are those most commonly used. Lots of POS dashboards hide the most important functions.
Users can begin, continue, or refund a sale with reasonable ease, set a customer display for when they are not at the register, and create special orders.
The system can accept all payment types: credit, cash, check, debit, store credit, and gift card. Store credit is accepted either from established house credit accounts or exchanges. Gift cards and certificates also have a barcode for ease of use and can be reused by changing their balance.
Discounts are applied through the register, and you can hold and pause sales and return to them later or switch to another device. Items can be placed on layaway for customers to pick up at a later date. You can add new and existing customers to a sale directly through the POS interface easily. It’s also easy to perform returns and exchanges.
The POS system makes it possible to transfer inventory between locations and offers full visibility of all inventory from warehouses and stores. You can check to see if another store has the product a client wants.
It’s almost impossible to get anything wrong on the interface. Screen navigation is simple and easy to master with brief training. There are great capabilities of inventory customization, customer tracking, and reporting options, which inevitably lends the software a certain level of complexity.
Processing reporting, for example, is fairly hard, with dozens of compiled reports to choose from. Most POS back-end systems are naturally a bit complicated and anyone with a bit of management experience should be able to learn the ropes quickly.