Lightspeed vs Shopify
Whether you're looking to launch a new eCommerce store or need to expand your current online store, Shopify and Lightspeed are two of the best eCommerce platforms on the market today.
Both systems use a wide range of streamlined tools to secure and optimize online sales while enhancing the overall customer experience.
For that reason, choosing between them takes serious research.
We've conducted an in-depth comparison of these two top-tier POS systems and after reading this review, you'll know for sure which is the right choice for you!
Choose Lightspeed If...
If you run a hybrid brick-and-mortar business with complex needs, Lightspeed is the better choice. With high-end loyalty tools, inventory management features, and intuitive software, it's one of the best omnichannel solutions for retail stores.
Choose Shopify If...
If your business mainly focuses on eCommerce, Shopify has got what you need. Their features are geared toward online stores. With superior eCommerce features, including a drag-and-drop store builder, an in-depth dashboard, and automatic updates for tracking and shipping, Shopify POS has become the pillar of many online businesses.
Shopify POS vs Lightspeed POS Comparison Chart
Brick-and-mortar retailers and restaurants with a hybrid eCommerce focus
Pure eCommerce businesses with a need for robust online storefront solutions
$830 to $1,550 (quote-based)
$49 to $299
$39 per month starting
$5 per month starting
2.7% flat rate
24/7 Customer support Monday-Friday. Weekend support from 10 AM to 6 PM EST
24/7 customer support through phone, live chat, and email
Monthly and annual
No contract required
Robust site-building tools, shift scheduling, virtual terminal, and eCommerce in lower-tier plans
Industry-specific features for food-service businesses, robust reporting on lower-tier plans
Digging Into The Details
Lightspeed's Best Features:
Reporting and Analytics
In the Lightspeed vs. Shopify POS debate, one place where Lightspeed really shines is its reporting and analytics suite. With these quality tools at your disposal, you gain insight into your sales and performance. Data is power nowadays, and Lightspeed delivers all of the data you could possibly need.
While both of these POS system solutions cover basic reporting, such as individual product performance and general flow of finances, Lightspeed offers data beyond what you'd find in Shopify. You can produce daily, weekly, or monthly reports for employees, inventory, and customers, which can help you determine whether or not your store needs to change gears.
Lightspeed has a slightly more robust inventory management system than Shopify, even though both of them are excellent systems. You can process and track work orders from start to finish, providing your customers with unique serial numbers they can use to track orders along with you.
It's an excellent system for businesses with multiple locations, as you can track inventory across every store from a single device. Lightspeed POS system comes loaded with more than 3,000 inventory categories to get you started.
One of the things we love most about this system is that you can consolidate large batches of orders, transfers, and purchases, which can be very helpful when you're trying to deal with consistently changing prices.
Lightspeed acts as a centralized brain, helping business owners to manage multiple locations from a single place. Whether you're looking to track multi-location inventory, get access to customer data, or create gift cards, the robust multi-location tools are some of the best on the market.
The ability to transfer inventory from one shop to the next can reduce waste, while detailed reports can give you an idea of how each location is performing.
If you run a store, then you already know the customer comes first.
With Lightspeed's CRM tools, you can maintain good relationships with your customers to keep them coming back.
The customer profiles keep track of customer data, providing insight into what different customers like.
You can assign a unique status to each customer profile for special orders or services or craft unique discounts and promo codes for your regular customers.
The CRM tools are made to integrate seamlessly with your loyalty program solutions too, limiting the amount of work you need to put in to reward your best customers.
While Shopify has a pretty tight grip on the eCommerce world, Lightspeed still offers some of the most in-depth POS system marketing tools. Its deep integration with social media helps business owners scale their business by targeting new audiences and advertising with a bundle of intuitive POS tools.
Connect your product feeds to Instagram for advertising in Reels or Stories, advertise on Facebook with automated optimization, or launch unique ads on TikTok from the Lightspeed dashboard.
Lightspeed also builds automated Google ads, getting your products to the top of the world's most powerful search engine.
Shopify's Best Features:
There is a reason that the Shopify POS solution is one of the most popular eCommerce platform services today.
It offers some of the most intuitive tools for business owners with no site design experience to craft beautiful, professional storefronts that align with their brand.
The drag-and-drop store builder offers more than 70 themes to work with, perfect for business owners who want to build a relevant customer journey platform.
The in-depth dashboard helps you analyze your storefront's online sales as well, which is hugely important for growth.
The secure shopping cart is one of the best Shopify POS features this eCommerce platform has to offer. With Shopify's shopping cart, you can accept credit card payments, Apple payments, PayPal payments, and more. In fact, there are more than 100 payment processing gateways, making Shopify POS one of the most versatile systems on the market.
The shopping cart makes your business easier by automating shipping and fulfillment, calculating shipping rates, recovering abandoned shopping carts, and detecting when customers go to checkout using mobile to optimize the cart for on-the-go use.
It also utilizes certified level 1 PCI-compliant payment processing for additional security, so you and your customers can always rest assured any online store purchases are safe.
Shopify POS rises the ranks when it comes to third-party integrations. You can integrate with just about any tool you could ever want, as the Shopify POS app market is one of the most reputable and extensive markets in the industry.
As one of the biggest online store eCommerce platforms in the world, many SaaS want to integrate with them.
Overall, there are more than 4,100 apps available for integration across a wide range of categories, including on-site notifications, forms, inventory management, inventory planning, marketing automation, branding, customer service, accounting, and more.
Some of our favorite integrations for Shopify include Glow Loyalty for loyalty program creation, Staffy for payroll management, Wekbul for table management, and Stocky for inventory management and appointment bookings.
One unique feature Shopify POS offers is local delivery. From planning out routes to sending out delivery updates, Shopify POS can help you turn your online sales into quick local deliveries in the blink of an eye.
This unique feature comes integrated into Shopify's system, while you'd have to get a third-party integration to perform this same action with Lightspeed.
While both Lightspeed and Shopify have excellent mobile capabilities, Shopify comes out on top. The mobile app is very intuitive, allowing you to manage inventory, fulfill orders, and access your Shopify dashboard, all from your phone.
It's excellent for on-the-go business owners that need 24/7 access to real-time performance data. Shopify provides the app for both Android and iOS users, and the app is completely free from the Apple and Google Play stores.
Being able to respond to real-time information and manage your store on the go is one of the reasons Shopify consistently ranks as one of the best mobile POS solutions for business owners.
One of the main drawbacks of Lightspeed is the price. Most new or small business owners can't afford to pay the Lean plan price of $79 per month. It gets more expensive from there, with the Advanced plan at $239 per month plus $29 for each additional register.
While you certainly get a lot of bells and whistles with the Lightspeed POS system, many of them aren't necessary to have, meaning you end up paying for a lot of features you never use.
Beyond that, you get sucked into annual contracts if you want lower pricing. Lightspeed Retail POS software monthly fees are less expensive if you sign up for an annual contract. For example, if you sign up with Lightspeed's Standard plan and go with the annual contract, you'll pay $119 per month vs. $139 per month with a monthly subscription.
One of the main drawbacks of Shopify is that it is VERY eCommerce-focused. For eCommerce businesses, there is no disadvantage. The feature set is advanced and provides just about everything you'd need to run a successful online business. However, if you are a brick-and-mortar retailer, you might find many of the features less appealing. These businesses types would be better off finding an alternative POS solution that's more affordable.
In the same vein, Shopify POS lacks high quality industry-specific features for restaurants and other food-service businesses.
Which is A Better Value?
When it comes to sheer value, Shopify POS comes out on top. While the Shopify POS system certainly doesn't offer the best value on the market, when compared to Lightspeed, the $29 per month cost that you'll get with the Shopify POS Lite plan seems like a bargain.
With that said, both of these POS systems offer brilliant software. With excellent inventory management tools, online store builder tools, and POS hardware.
So, what's the verdict in the Lightspeed eCommerce vs. Shopify POS debate?
For pure eCommerce businesses, we Shopify POS is the way to go. This all-in-one solution provides everything you need to build a highly functional, feature-rich online store.
On the other hand, if you need an omnichannel platform with industry-specific features and a top-tier inventory management system, all of which are preferred when running a retail or food service establishment, Lightspeed is the system that will work best for you.