Lightspeed POS Review: Overview, Features, Pricing, Pros, Cons and Alternatives

Image showing a woman wondering if she should choose Lightspeed POS system as her next POS solution.

This is a comprehensive review of Lightspeed POS, a popular cloud-based POS solution designed for retailers, restaurants, and golf courses.

The review covers Lightspeed’s pricing tiers, key features, strengths, and weaknesses, as well as the typical businesses it serves. It also compares Lightspeed to alternative POS solutions, like KORONA POS, and answers frequently asked questions about the software.

Whether you’re considering adopting Lightspeed POS or just want to learn more about it, this detailed review provides all the essential information for making an informed business decision.

Lightspeed POS Review: Our Verdict

Lightspeed: Our Verdict


Lightspeed POS is a cloud-based POS system designed for retailers and restaurants. One of its major strengths is its flexibility—it can be customized for different industries and business sizes.

The user interface is intuitive and easy to learn, with a clean design that makes it easier to manage sales, inventory, customers, employees, and reports.

The software integrates with popular accounting tools and eCommerce platforms and offers advanced inventory management capabilities, including low-stock alerts, bundling, and variants.

Lightspeed also allows businesses to sell across multiple channels, such as online, in-store, and mobile. Customer relationship management tools help build loyalty programs and target marketing campaigns.

Quick Pricing Info

  • Restaurant: Starting at $69/mo (no annual discount)
  • Retail: Starting at $89/mo (if paid annually)


  • Versatility
  • User-friendly interface
  • Scalability
  • Integration


  • Cost
  • Learning curve
  • Customer support


Lightspeed POS seems like a strong contender for retail and restaurant businesses, particularly those looking for a scalable solution with a comprehensive feature set. Retail stores like clothing stores, sporting goods stores, etc., can greatly benefit from Lightspeed’s inventory management.

Lightspeed doesn’t offer a free tier, but a 14-day free trial is available. It does not provide great flexibility in terms of payment processing. And customer support isn’t always great, which can be an important factor for many businesses.

What Industries Does Lightspeed POS Work For?

Image illustrating the hardware options of Lightspeed POS. This image is part of the Lightspeed POS review blog post.

Lightspeed POS caters to a few main business verticals: retail, restaurants, and golf courses.


Lightspeed offers a POS system specifically designed for the needs of retail stores,  whether you have a single location or multiple branches. Here are some examples of retail businesses that can benefit from Lightspeed POS:

  • Apparel: Clothing stores, shoe stores, accessory shops
  • Specialty: Bike shops, sporting goods stores, jewelry stores, home and garden stores, pet stores, electronics stores, gift stores, health and beauty stores, and toy stores
  • Others: Vape shops, CBD stores, liquor stores
  • Online retail stores: eCommerce businesses selling a wide range of products from fashion to electronics
  • Omnichannel retailers: Businesses that operate both physical stores and online shops, providing a unified shopping experience


Lightspeed POS offers features tailored to the hospitality industry, such as table management, menu customization, and customer loyalty programs. The types of businesses it serves in this vertical include:

  • Restaurants: Fine dining restaurants, casual dining, quick service restaurants, cafes, and bistros
  • Bars and nightclubs: Pubs, cocktail bars, wine bars, and nightclubs
  • Hotels and resorts: Hotel restaurants, room service operations, and resort dining facilities
  • Food trucks and pop-ups: Mobile food vendors, food trucks, and temporary dining establishments
  • Cafes and coffee shops: Coffee houses, tea rooms, and specialty coffee shops
  • Bakeries and pastry shops: Artisan bakeries, pastry shops, and dessert cafes

Other Specialty Businesses

Apart from the main verticals, Lightspeed POS also serves a variety of specialty businesses that may have unique requirements. One example is businesses running golf courses, including multi-course, public, and private ones.

Lightspeed POS Reviews: Pricing

Lightspeed Retail and Lightspeed Restaurant POS offer various pricing plans tailored to the needs of different businesses. Here’s a general overview:

Lightspeed Restaurant Pricing

Lightspeed Restaurant offers three tiers for its POS system: Starter, Essentials, and Premium. Here’s a breakdown of what each tier includes:

Starter ($69/mo + 2.6% + 10¢ per transaction):

  • Ideal for single-location restaurants with basic needs
  • Includes features like managing tableside ordering, payments, inventory, and staff management
  • Offers basic reporting and analytics

Essential ($189/mo + 2.6% + 10¢ per transaction):

  • Suitable for restaurants needing more advanced features
  • Includes everything in the Starter plan plus:
    • Online ordering and delivery management (may require additional fees)
    • Customer relationship management (CRM) tools
    • Loyalty programs
    • More in-depth reporting and analytics

Premium ($399/mo + Custom rates available)

  • Designed for multi-location restaurants or those with complex needs
  • Includes everything in Plus, along with:
    • Advanced features for enterprise-level operations (exact features not publicly available)
    • Custom pricing based on your specific needs
    • Advanced workforce management like detailed scheduling, tip pooling, and payroll integrations

Enterprise (Contact for pricing):

  • Aimed at multi-location restaurateurs or those with complex needs
  • Includes everything in the Premium plan, along with the:
    • Advanced features for large-scale operations 
    • Custom pricing based on your specific business needs and requirements

Lightspeed Retail Pricing

Lightspeed Retail offers three published pricing tiers for retail stores, with the possibility of an Enterprise plan for more complex needs:

Basic (Starts at $89/mo billed annually + 2.6%+ 10c):

  • Designed for the essential needs of independent retailers.
  • Includes core functionalities like:
    • POS system for checkout and sales processing
    • Basic inventory management
    • Customer management
    • Employee management with basic permissions
    • Reporting on sales and inventory

Core ($149/mo billed annually+ 2.6%+ 10c):

  • Targets established retailers seeking advanced features
  • Includes everything in Basic, plus:
    • Advanced inventory management with features like purchase orders and low-stock alerts.
    • Employee time tracking
    • Built-in marketing tools like email marketing and promotions
    • More in-depth reporting and analytics

Plus ($239/mo billed annually+ 2.6%+ 10c):

  • Tailored for established retailers requiring advanced customization and scalability
  • Includes everything in Core, plus:
    • Matrix inventory management for handling variations of products (size, color, etc.)
    • Advanced reporting and analytics with features like customer segmentation and sales forecasting
    • Open API for integrating Lightspeed with other business applications


Lightspeed offers pre-configured hardware kits for iPad and desktop setups. These typically include a receipt printer, cash drawer, scanner, and stand.

Lightspeed doesn’t directly publish prices for individual hardware items on their website. Call their sales team and discuss the hardware you’re interested in. They should be able to provide a quote.

What Businesses Can Expect From Lightspeed POS?

Businesses can expect several benefits from Lightspeed POS, depending on their specific needs and industry (retail or restaurant). Here’s a breakdown of some key areas:

Lightspeed POS Key Features or Deciding Factors

Demo Image
Inventory Management
Centralized inventory management across locations, multi-variant product handling, and purchase order creation
Sales Channels
Supports in-store, online, and omnichannel selling (including click-and-collect)
Payments Processing
Integrated payment processing with popular methods (credit, debit, cash, contactless) and built-in fraud detection. Lightspeed has its own payment processing plateform called Lightspeed payment. 
Reporting & Analytics
Real-time sales reports, customizable dashboards, and advanced customer data
Customer Management
Customer profiles, tiered loyalty programs, and marketing automation tools
Staff Management
Staff scheduling, permission controls, and unlimited user accounts
Integrates with various business tools and accounting systems. Lightspeed integrates with Orderhive, Zoho Inventory,  Xero, QuickBooks, Mailchimp, DoorDash or Uber Eats, and many more. 
Accessible from any device with an internet connection

Pros of Lightspeed POS

User-friendly interface

Lightspeed POS is celebrated for its user-friendly interface, making it accessible to users of all technical skill levels. This ease of use ensures that businesses can quickly train their staff, minimizing downtime and enhancing overall productivity.

The intuitive design allows for swift navigation through various functions, streamlining daily operations and reducing the learning curve typically associated with new technology.

Efficient inventory management 

One of Lightspeed POS’s standout features is its efficient inventory management capabilities. The system simplifies the process of tracking stock levels, managing product variations, and handling orders.

Although the API between retail and eCommerce is one-way, which can be seen as a limitation, the retail inventory system itself is robust and reliable. This feature is particularly beneficial for businesses looking to maintain accurate inventory records with minimal effort.

Comprehensive and intuitive POS system

Lightspeed POS offers all the essential features required for effective retail management. It supports matrixes for product variations, allows for easy SKU setup, and is generally intuitive to use.

These features ensure that businesses can efficiently organize their products and manage sales, contributing to smoother operations and better customer service.

High performance and data management

Lightspeed POS’s key strength is its performance, as it operates entirely online and delivers fast processing speeds.

Additionally, the system facilitates easy data management, allowing users to import and export data seamlessly between Lightspeed and Excel. This capability is crucial for businesses that need to handle large amounts of data, perform detailed analyses, and ensure that their records are always up to date.

Cons of Lightspeed POS

Difficult customer service experience

Many users report that their experience with Lightspeed POS has been overwhelmingly negative right from the start. The lack of effective support and unresponsive onboarding personnel has compounded the problem, creating a challenging scenario where businesses are left without a functional POS solution despite being under contract.

The threat of hefty fines for contract termination makes this problem even more alarming, essentially trapping customers in an unsatisfactory arrangement.

Risky chargeback policies

Lightspeed POS’s handling of chargebacks poses a significant risk to businesses. A critical flaw is that the system allows debit card chargebacks to proceed without requiring the return of the merchandise.

Misleading sales tactics

Lightspeed POS’s customer service has been widely criticized as subpar, with customers reporting unresponsive and unhelpful support teams.

Adding to the frustration, the company has been accused of aggressively promoting and selling add-ons that fail to deliver their promises, further eroding trust and confidence in the platform.

Furthermore, accessing meaningful reports, such as inventory valuations, incurs additional costs, adding to the dissatisfaction with Lightspeed’s sales team and the product’s value proposition. These additional costs can make Lightspeed a more expensive choice compared to Square or KORONA POS.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Lightspeed a good POS?

Lightspeed is considered a good POS system by many businesses and reviewers. It is praised for its comprehensive feature set, user-friendly interface, and flexibility to suit various types of businesses, including retail stores and restaurants. Lightspeed does, however, have many negative user reviews across third-party software review websites.

2. How much does Lightspeed POS charge per transaction?

Lightspeed POS typically charges a payment processing fee of around 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction for card-present transactions and 2.9% + $0.30 for card-not-present transactions. However, these rates can vary based on the specific agreement and volume of transactions. It’s best to contact Lightspeed directly for precise details tailored to your business.

3. Is Lightspeed payment legit?

Yes, Lightspeed Payments is a legitimate and secure payment processing solution integrated with the Lightspeed POS system. It offers reliable and compliant payment processing services, ensuring transactions are handled safely, though the fees are slightly higher than industry averages.

4. Does Lightspeed POS include hardware in its plans?

Lightspeed POS plans typically do not include hardware by default. Hardware, such as iPads, receipt printers, barcode scanners, and cash drawers, must be purchased separately. Lightspeed does offer hardware bundles and leasing options to accommodate various business needs.

5. Does Lightspeed POS require a contract?

Lightspeed POS offers both monthly and annual subscription plans. While the monthly plans do not require long-term contracts, opting for an annual plan can provide cost savings. It’s important to review the terms and conditions of the subscription plan to understand any commitments or cancellation policies.

6. Is Lightspeed better than Shopify?

Whether Lightspeed is better than Shopify depends on your business’s specific needs. Lightspeed is highly regarded for its robust POS features tailored to the retail and restaurant industries, while Shopify is renowned for its eCommerce capabilities and integration with its online store platform.

KORONA POS: An Alternative to Lightspeed POS

KORONA POS is a robust alternative to Lightspeed POS, particularly for high-risk retail stores such as liquor, vape, CBD, smoke, and tobacco shops. This system is designed to handle the unique challenges these industries face, offering features like advanced age verification, compliance tracking, and scalable inventory management.

Its robust reporting and analytics tool and customizable dashboard allow store owners to monitor sales trends, track stock levels, and manage promotions effectively. Additionally, KORONA POS is processing-agnostic, which means you have the flexibility to choose your preferred payment processor without being locked into a single provider.

For quick-service restaurants like coffee shops and bakeries, KORONA POS provides a seamless and efficient POS experience. Its user-friendly interface supports quick order processing, table management, and customer loyalty programs, ensuring smooth operations during peak hours.

Moreover, KORONA POS offers comprehensive support and training, making it easy for staff to get up to speed quickly. The flexibility to integrate with various payment processors also allows quick-service restaurants to negotiate the best transaction rates and terms, enhancing overall profitability.

Lightspeed POS Review: Conclusion

Lightspeed POS is robust and feature-rich POS software that meets the needs of retail stores and restaurants. Its user-friendly interface, strong inventory management capabilities, and support for omnichannel selling are major advantages. However, users have reported issues like poor customer service, risky chargeback policies, and misleading sales tactics that should not be overlooked.

Ultimately, whether Lightspeed POS is the right fit depends on your specific business requirements and priorities. Alternatives like KORONA POS may be better suited for certain high-risk retail verticals.

As with any major software investment, it’s crucial to thoroughly evaluate your options, read reviews from real users, and ensure the chosen solution aligns with your operational needs and budget. With careful consideration, you can find a POS system that optimizes efficiency and profitability for your business. Click below to try or get a demo of KORONA POS if you want to learn more.

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Written By

Mahougnon Martial Amoussou

Passionate about SEO and Content Marketing. Martial also writes about retail trends and tips for KORONA POS. He loves NBA games and is a big fan of the Golden State Warriors.