In November of 2020, Lightspeed POS Inc., one of the largest providers of cloud-based, omnichannel eCommerce software in the nation, announced that it would be acquiring ShopKeep Inc., another frontrunner cloud-based commerce platform.
The plan to acquire ShopKeep was a clear strategy from the team at Lightspeed to maintain its standing as the leader for restaurant and retail business owners looking to optimize their daily operations during an unprecedented digital era.
So, what does this mean for business owners?
Which of these two POS systems should you get for your business?
Come dive in as we explore the ins and outs of both ShopKeep POS and Lightspeed POS.
ShopKeep By Lightspeed
If you already use ShopKeep POS, you may be wondering what this acquisition into the Lightspeed family means for you and your business.
The good news is that you will still have access to the same point-of-sale system, though it will now be integrated into the Lightspeed family.
Rather than ShopKeep, Lightspeed will now be the company maintaining your system, providing access to high-quality, 24/7 customer support, so that you keep growing and managing your business with ease.
With this new acquisition, ShopKeep POS users will now have access to sleek and modern POS hardware offerings. Lightspeed's S-Series Hardware is some of the most versatile on the market, great for retail stores and restaurants.
The company provides a wide range of S-Series starter kits and credit card readers, depending on the needs of your business. You'll also find a wide range of peripherals, including receipt printers, iPad enclosures, gift cards, cash drawers, barcode scanners, and label makers.
ShopKeep's hardware store was quite limited before the Lightspeed integration, so this is certainly a step up for independent businesses with more complex needs.
Lastly, ShopKeep system users will now have access to unique Lightspeed POS tools, including:
If you aren't working with either ShopKeep or Lightspeed, though you're interested in the features and ecosystem that they offer, we'll guide you through some of the top features that you can expect to find.
Mid-sized businesses, multi-location businesses, and Hybrid eCommerce retailers
$830 to $1,550 (quote-based)
$39 per month starting
24/7 Customer support Monday-Friday. Weekend support from 10 AM to 6 PM EST
Monthly and annual
Wide range of third-party integrations, virtual terminals, shift scheduling, and low-tier eCommerce plans.
Digging Into The Details
While we would typically do a ShopKeep vs Lightspeed comparison as we do with many other POS systems, it wouldn't be relevant with both of these systems under a single umbrella.
So, instead, we'll look at a few of the best features found in each of these POS system offering to give you a better idea of what you might receive when you sign up.
ShopKeep's Best Features:
Prime Customer Support
If you run a business that operates during unconventional hours, you may be left out to dry if you team with other POS providers. With its recent acquisition, ShopKeep now comes with Lightspeed support, which is available around the clock.
Many POS providers have limited business hours for customer support. However, with access to the BackOffice support that Lightspeed offers, you'll be able to get answers when you need them.
Plus, you'll still find a large database of information online for troubleshooting common POS system issues.
ShopKeep has long been known for its sleek and modern hardware options, and with recent Lightspeed integration, the offerings are even better than before. There are plenty of great bundles to choose from, depending on the size and operational style of your business.
ShopKeep POS software runs on iPad, iPad Pros, and iPad Minis that are sixth-gen or higher. However, they also have a wide of standalone software that you can use to hook up hardware peripherals, including printers and credit card readers.
Reporting and Analytics
If the reporting and analytics tool suite wasn't already extensive, it now comes with even more capabilities due to its ties to Lightspeed's reporting and analytics software. You can find plenty of real-time information including sales numbers, product popularity, customer data, and more.
All of the reports found in your ShopKeep reporting and analytics software can be printed using your adjacent receipt printer for physical data storage. Whether you need in-depth variant reports or simple overviews of your daily sales, ShopKeep works to provide.
Shopkeep Pocket App
The ShopKeep App is still up and running for Android and iOS users. With a streamlined design, you can use this app to take your POS system offerings with you on the go. No matter where in the world your business takes you, you'll always have a bird's eye view on the most important aspects of your operations.
You can set the ShopKeep App up to send you real-time notifications about your business when you're out of town or on vacation, limiting worry that things may go awry while you're away.
The Pocket App also provides payment processing, allowing you to make transactions while you're on the go. The amount of flexibility this POS app offers is almost unprecedented.
Lightspeed's Best Features:
One of the main reasons business owners rejoice over the recent Lightspeed and ShopKeep acquisition is that they now have access to Lightspeed's wide range of marketing tools.
For quite some time, Lightspeed has had a tight grip on the realm of eCommerce, offering a wide range of in-depth marketing tools to help you scale your business online.
If you need to target new demographics on social media, Lightspeed tools can help.
The POS software gives you the ability to connect your product feeds to Instagram's Stories or Reels, launch custom TikTok ads, or run automated advertisements on Facebook with all of the best optimization tools. The best part is that all of this can be done from your Lightspeed dashboard.
Inventory management tools found in Lightspeed are stronger than what you find in most point-of-sale systems, one of the reasons it consistently ranks as one of the top POS systems for retail. All work orders can be tracked from point A to point B in real-time. To take it a step further, customers can track orders along with you, limiting the need for interaction.
The Lightspeed POS system comes integrated with more than 3,000 inventory categories, giving you a diverse system to start.
The ability to consolidate large order batches and make transfers between stores is one of our favorite elements of this system. When you're dealing with prices that change consistently from location to location, this can be very helpful.
If you run a business with multiple brick-and-mortar locations, consolidating your operations can prove tricky. Luckily, all you need is a good internet connection for Lightspeed to become the brain of your multi-location business.
You can track inventory, create gift cards, or access unique customer data from multiple locations, all from a single store.
If you run multiple coffee shops, for example, you can see which products are selling best at certain locations and automate your inventory ordering accordingly.
Plus, you can transfer your inventory between shops at the click of a button, eliminating waste and helping you get the most out of every product you have in stock. This can be especially useful for items with shelf lives.
Your customers are the bloodline of your business.
Luckily, Lightspeed offers a number of essential features for customer relationship management, helping you maintain great relationships with your customers while making decisions that benefit them the most.
Log into your system and get access to customer profiles, which provide in-depth insight into the things that your customers like most. You can assign unique statuses to each of your customer profiles, create special discounts for loyal customers, and track points.
If you run a loyalty program that is popular with your customers, you'll be able to integrate your CRM tools with it to automate your platform, allowing you to focus on more important business matters.
With a newly signed definitive agreement to make ShopKeep part of the Lightspeed ecosystem, the capabilities of each platform are better than ever. The goal for Lightspeed was to enhance the overall flexibility and functionality of the current solution, and the company did just that.
Whether you run a hospitality business, an e-Commerce business, a restaurant, or a retail shop, you'll find all of the features you need to streamline your most important operations.
Overall, if you need an omni-channel platform to scale your business and give you top-tier tools for inventory management, marketing, CRM, and reporting, there are no other options with the same level of functionality.