Lightspeed is a complete ecommerce solution that is ideal if you are also active in the retail or hospitality industry. From one platform you can manage stocks, shipments and marketing. In this review we'll tell you more about Lightspeed, what makes Lightspeed good or a lesser fit and why Lightspeed could be something for you.
Here we go!
- Lightspeed is interesting for those looking for a complete omnichannel solution. This can be for a physical store as well as for a restaurant. It is especially in these latter categories that Lightspeed distinguishes itself with floor plans and meal delivery integrations.
…and whether it can be something for you
Lightspeed is a provider of POS systems and other point of sale (POS) solutions for retail and restaurants. In addition, Lightspeed offers a webshop builder with which you can create a webshop that is optimized for Google without technical knowledge.
Lightspeed is based in Montreal, Canada and was founded in 2005. The company is now active in 100 countries and has offices in 14 countries. Lightspeed has made many local acquisitions in recent years, which has enabled the company to grow significantly
Lightspeed in data
- Lightspeed has indicated to us that around 9000 e-commerce sites run through their system.
- Lightspeed claims it is serving over 21 thousand businesses and a revenue of $8,2 billion.LightSpeed now services more than 21,000 businesses worldwide, Techcrunch.com
What does it cost to use Lightspeed?
Lightspeed works with 3 different e-commerce packages, the cheapest of which starts at €49 per month. With this, Lightspeed has positioned itself somewhat more expensively in the market than other webshop builders. For all ecommerce packages, you can add extra Lightspeed retail for €79 per month.
|Eu Creditcard kosten
|1.9% + € 0,25
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- Lightspeed lets you try the software for free for 14 days. That is useful to see if the software is something for you. Although it may seem that you first need to contact an account manager, it is not, and you are in a test environment within 2 minutes.
- 250 product variants
- 1 employee account
- Only national Additional sales channels (including social media)
- E-mail support
- SEO optimization
- Reporting tool
- Import & export tool
- Training session (available with annual payment)
This package is interesting for entrepreneurs who have a webshop that already generates some turnover. An important reason to choose ‘Advanced' right away is because you can also sell internationally immediately. In addition, it is also helpful / nice to have access to telephone support when building the webshop.
In our opinion, two other important reasons for choosing this package are html/css adjustments and the possibility of extensive blogging. A blog is an excellent way to get visitors to your online store in a competitive market by posting interesting articles that target long-tail search traffic.
Lightspeed Advanced offers the following extras compared to the Essential subscription:
- Add a total of 5000 product variants
- Two more user accounts
- International selling is possible in this package
- Phone support
- Extensive blogging options
- Product filters (also good for SEO)
- A/B split testing
- Returns Management
- Access to API
- HTML/CSS customizaton
The main reason for choosing professional will probably be the amount of products. This goes from 5,000 to 15,000. An extra interesting addition is that you can create discount rules and add product bundles in this package.
With discount rules you can create rules for automatic discounts on products, features and situation selected by you. For example, you can provide returning customers with a discount on their next purchase, or you can give a discount for a minimum order value. In this way you can create 9 different types of rules.
Compared to Lightspeed Advanced, the professional package offers the following advantages:
- Add 15,000 product variants
- 10 user accounts in total
- Discount Rules
- Wholesale options
- Product bundles
This package will be sufficient for most webshops. But do you also want, for example, abandoned cart recovery? Then you can take a look at SquareSpace's most expensive package: Advanced Commerce – it has some additional features that the other plans lack.
For a large number of transactions, it is possible to contact Lightspeed to make separate agreements about the credit card and iDeal rates.
If you are going to work with lightspeed, it is useful to know that there are quite a few monthly fees for the templates that often form the basis for the design of the webshop. That can go up to €22.50 per month.
Although Lightspeed's templates are very nice, this is a considerable extra expense for those who are starting a new shop and still have little income.
Also some apps require an extra monthly payment.
Lightspeed admin panel and builder
Lightspeed has an extensive admin environment with an integrated eCommerce builder. It is immediately apparent that a lot is possible. This can sometimes make it hard to find where you can adjust things.
Elements of the webshop management and the webshop design are a bit more mixed up than is the case with Shopify, for example. This sometimes makes it less clear and we sometimes get lost. It also doesn't help that the submenu's look the same as the main menus.
When working in the builder, the pages don't load very fast. This makes it a bit harder to navigate through everything. This, in combination with the many functions means that it can take a little more time to make a webshop, than it would in other builders.
It is probably a matter of getting used to and working a lot in the system before you get the hang of it.
It is also noticeable that the layout of the design is in a different section than the content. These often go hand in hand and it is nice to be able to place the right content directly within the design. On the other hand, it is helpful & handy for international sites to be able to fill all languages on 1 page in text fields. So we understand the thinking here as well, and it might actually save time in the end.
Lightspeed templates / thema's
What we absolutely love about Lightspeed are the templates. These give a very good idea of how good your webshop can become.
Most templates aren't cheap because they have a monthly fee. With other builders you often pay an one-time amount. Over time, Lightspeed is therefore quite expensive.
As an example, we have added a number of themes that we thought stood out.
Also nice about working with the hosted solutions and SaaS systems is that you can also choose from different themes or templates. We'll give a bit more information about themes below.
What are Lightspeed's possibilities?
Enough tools to get ahead with when you start a webshop, it is also useful to know what you can do with it.
Payment methods Lightspeed
Lightspeed payments charges €0.29 for iDEAL, €0.39 for Bancontact and €0.25 + 1.9% for other debit and credit cards. This makes them quite competitive with the other payment providers that you can link to Lightspeed.
These payment providers can be linked to Lightspeed: PayPal, Cayan, Stripe, 2Checkout, Authorize.net, Mollie V2, Klarna, Ogone (Ingenico), MultiSafepay
Payment methods Lightspeed
Lightspeed offers the possibility to include digital products and services in your webshop. You can think of: ebooks, online courses, music, software or tickets. A separate module is available for the latter product.
In the admin you can easily select from which countries you accept orders. You can then specify shipping methods per country. This is an important step because without setting this, customers will not be able to continue ordering.
You will therefore have to look for a shipment party that ships internationally for each country. There are various delivery options for Lightspeed and apps from companies that take care of this for you.
In the admin it is easy to add multiple languages. An extra text field is added for each page and product that is easy to fill in.
You can manually set VAT rates per country.
Third Party Apps
The Lightspeed app store offers several apps in their apps store. It is not as much as Shopify for example, but still a decent amount.
How easy is dropshipping with Lightspeed?
Dropshipping is possible within Lightspeed with various apps/dropship suppliers:
Wave, EDC dropshipping, NEDIS, QWERTY, and more.
Lightspeed is not immediately known as the Valhalla for dropshipping. That honor goes to Shopify, which simply offers a lot more features and apps.
Bricks & Clicks
Does Lightspeed offer good POS material?
If Lightspeed distinguishes itself from other webshop builders, it is because of the excellent omnichannel options. As a retailer or restaurant owner, you can manage both store and webshop sales from one central place. Lightspeed has three parts for this:
Retail and eCommerce work together seamlessly thanks to the Lightspeed POS system and the software makes the link between the store and web store.
The same applies to the Restaurant POS systems: Online you create a reservation module, menus and links with UberEats, Deliveroo and JustEast/Takeaway. You will receive these orders directly in your own cash register system. There are special themes that are specially tailored to restaurants.
How does Lightspeed assist you with selling more?
Marketing is an important part of the success of an online store. After all, visitors have to come to the web store. Whether that is organic search results in the search engine, or in other ways. Providers of webshop software develop additional products for this to make it easier for you. That often starts with a good webshop structure, following Google's guidelines and simple methods to create content that attracts visitors and potential customers.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
In Lightspeed, the SEO basics are pretty good. It used to be called SEOshop for a reason 😉 It is therefore often up to the administrator/user himself how this is implemented. To do this properly, some basic knowledge of SEO is useful.
This is a piece of code that indicates to Google which country and language the webshop page is aimed at. This is a tricky piece of SEO that is important to do well. In case of a serious roll-out abroad, it is therefore important to take a good look at the situation.
A good way to bring in visitors organically from the search engines, is to properly format the category pages. Today, Lightspeed offers good options for this. Tags also make it easy for visitors to navigate. It could be wise though not to let tags compete with other pages on which you want to rank.
Email is often an important communication channel for webshops. Discount code, the sale period, etc. can be made known by e-mail to customers who have bought something in the webshop before.
With Lightspeed Loyalty you can format email templates easily. That will look something like this:
What else is interesting to report?
Lightspeed also offers SMS marketing. That way you can send short text messages to (part of) your member base. For this you must first contact an account manager.
Conclusion of our Lightspeed Review
You don't have to go to Lightspeed for a quick and easy webshop. Lightspeed has a strong focus on larger companies that have the manpower to build and maintain professional and large webshops. In combination with a normal shop or restaurant, Lightspeed can be a great total solution.
Lightspeed is also highly recommended for online retailers who aim for a professional shop in the long run. Take into account a somewhat more expensive lead time than other webshop builders such as Shopify. Lightspeed is not cheap, and you have to pay extra for many extra functionalities. This is often not a one-off, but a subscription. A large Lightspeed webshop can therefore be expensive and the question is whether you feel like it if you start from scratch (without income from a store that can cover this investment)
Lightspeed scores very high for us on how the shops are in the final stage. The designs of the templates are of very good quality and contain many trust features. Something that is very important for a webshop. (example)
Other webshop builders that come close to Lightspeed are Shopify, which is slightly simpler and cheaper, and maybe Bigcommerce. The latter is particularly suitable (just like Lightspeed) for bigger companies.
|LightSpeed now services more than 21,000 businesses worldwide, Techcrunch.com
|SEO for Lightspeed: 5 things to watch out for, Yellowlab.nl