To start an online store, a good eCommerce platform can make things a lot easier. If you are planning to develop your online store, you surely have heard about two major platforms: Lightspeed and Shopify.
Both can make it possible to sell online and offline with a POS solution internationally. POS refers to ‘Point of Sales’. It is a digital solution that lets you process orders or transactions across various channels.
Lightspeed vs. Shopify has always been a topic of debate since the eCommerce trends have become popular. Both are the best POS providers on the market and offer seamless eCommerce integrations.
At first glance, it is hard to find differences between both due to various similarities between them. Both Canadian Internationally active companies offer cloud-based software solutions and are focused on eCommerce.
So, how to decide which one is well-suited for online store development? Should you invest in Shopify development services or consider Lightspeed web development?
Despite various similarities, both are different from each other. Let’s compare both platforms to understand which one is well-suited for developing your eCommerce website.
Lightspeed vs Shopify: An Overview
Before diving deeper into the comparison, it is better to be familiar with both platforms.
Lightspeed commerce is an eCommerce software and POS solution. Founded in 2005, it offers services to retail, restaurant, and hospitality businesses.
Lightspeed functionalities are geared toward retail firms like grocery stores, pet shops, toy stores, and much more. It lets shop owners create an online presence by processing sales occur at their website and physical store location.
There are various benefits of using Lightspeed like inventory management, vendor returns, work orders, varied item types, and more. This one-stop eCommerce platform connects retailers to their online and physical operations. Features like employee reporting, customer tracking, robust reporting, and inventory management set it apart from other eCommerce platforms.
A full-fledged eCommerce platform that lets you start, grow, and manage a business. Founded in 2006, Shopify lets merchants build and customize an online store.
It is completely cloud-based and hosted, enabling access from any connected compatible device. It includes everything you require to turn your eCommerce website development idea into reality.
Shopify comes with various tools to help you set up and run your online store. With this, you will have everything to showcase your products online, process payments, and make your store work for you.
Now, let’s see a feature-based comparison of both platforms and choose a relevant one for online store development.
Lightspeed vs Shopify: Feature-Based Comparison
Reporting and Analytics
Reporting and Analytics include information on your employees’ performance, stock items, and other real-time data. In this aspect, Lightspeed performs better than Shopify. Although both platforms cover the basics, reporting on sales, individual product and category performance, and others.
Lightspeed provides you with more reporting tools on labor and software users. It can help you produce daily, weekly, or monthly reports useful for businesses to constantly monitor their trends.
On the other hand, Shopify offers its own in-built analytics tool that is included in all Shopify plans. It provides data about your store performance, like traffic, history, and referral URLs.
Both eCommerce platforms offer extensive inventory features to help to manage your business.
But when it comes to Lightspeed vs Shopify, then, Lightspeed is better suited to businesses that have a lot of fixed items that they sell. It lets you process and follow work orders and give products a unique serial number.
Conversely, Shopify lets you create inventory transfers and count your inventory across various locations. Lightspeed has a slightly wider inventory feature, whereas Shopify takes the edge in its inventory locations.
Lightspeed offers you the basics to start selling online. It provides you with customizable mobile-responsive website templates. Moreover, Lightspeed’s international shipping rates let you sell in multiple languages and multiple currencies.
In contrast, with these features, Shopify offers more than that. It comes with a drag-and-drop store builder perfect for businesses to personalize their customer journey and create the best online store for their brand.
Here, Shopify takes the lead. Its powerful eCommerce features make it a great fit for businesses, whether they are starting their site from scratch or need to scale that.
Availability of Themes
Now, let’s look at how customizable Shopify and Lightspeed online stores are.
Lightspeed has over 50 customizable themes to choose from. With a perfect theme, you can ensure that the online store is well-designed and looks professional. To serve your purpose, you can either choose free themes or that are available for a monthly subscription fee. However, the customization is minimal, so you will have to think carefully before selecting one.
Your site functionality depends on your chosen theme. So, make sure the template you choose will facilitate your customers with the kind of features you want on your website.
Conversely, Shopify offers a selection of customizable themes helpful in tailoring the needs of various industries. Here, the downside is nine of them are free. However, you can also buy a theme from any third-party provider.
If you have an exact vision of the look of your online store, you can even hire a Shopify development company to develop a theme tailored to your needs.
So, here again, the winner is Shopify which lets you ensure brand consistency and professionalism with various customization features.
A Shopify store can accept major credit cards. It can be integrated with hundreds of payment gateways. So, with Shopify, you can enable different payment methods on your online store.
Shopify even has its own payment gateway named Shopify payments, which comes with nominal transaction charges. If you want to let your customers pay via credit card, you can either rely on Shopify payments or any third-party provider.
On the other hand, Lightspeed payments is a simpler approach to integrating a payment processing method into your online store. This one-stop payment solution simplifies your operations and helps you create a seamless online shopping experience for your customers.
Moreover, it is PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliant that will protect every single transaction on your online store.
Now, let’s see an essential comparison in this Lightspeed vs Shopify series.
If we talk about the Lightspeed pricing plans, they are divided into three categories that are Retail, Golf, and Restaurants. Let’s see the plans available for the retail programs. Below there are five, and they are calculated on a per-store basis.
- Basic – $69/month. It comes with retail POS and a free terminal.
- Starter – $99/month. Include all basic plan features plus online store functionality.
- Standard – $119/month. Include all starter plan features plus accounting features.
- Advanced – $169/month. Along with Standard plan functionalities, it includes customer loyalty features.
- Pro – $229/month. With Advanced plan functionalities, this plan includes Analytics.
Moreover, you can leverage their 14-day free trial. It provides you unlimited access to all features with no credit card needed.
On the other hand, Shopify has four pricing plans. These are –
- Shopify Lite – $9/month.
- Basic Shopify – $29/month. It lets you sell unlimited products and give you access to Shopify’s online store builder.
- Shopify – $79/month. You will get everything from the Basic Shopify plan and reduced transaction fees here.
- Advanced Shopify – $299/month. This plan includes every functionality of the above plans with an advanced report builder, with up to 74% shipping discounts.
Lightspeed lets users sell products via social media platforms. It offers built-in blogging features that also allow SEO optimization. In contrast, it does not have integrations with different marketing applications.
If we talk about Shopify, it offers SEO optimization and lets users sell products on different platforms, even on Facebook. A user can even send discounts to customers and can set up a blog with this eCommerce platform. It is integrated with over 41,000 apps in varied categories.
Ease of Use
To get familiar with the platform, both offer a 14-day free trial. You can even get online help to fix issues.
Apart from that, Lightspeed provides phone and email support but no live chat support.
Lightspeed analytics is easier and faster to use. You can even hire a Lightspeed development company to effectively leverage the benefits of this eCommerce platform in your online store development.
Shopify POS seems difficult to use for new and experienced business owners. With a modern and intuitive interface, it can be set up easily and quickly. It is well known, and you can have a cookie-clutter online store running quite easily.
However, Shopify’s app has far fewer issues. It also offers 24/7 support and live chat.
When to Use Lightspeed
Lightspeed is well-suited for midsize businesses, inventory management, and golf courses. It has age-restriction tools making it a better choice for selling age-restricted items.
This makes Lightspeed better for bars and for any firm dedicated to selling age-restricted items. Moreover, it can also handle work orders, thus, the best fit for different retailers like bike shops or boutiques.
When to Use Shopify
It will be better to use Shopify for microbusinesses, growing SMBs, and solopreneurs. If you run a large business, it will be the way to go. It helps businesses to build their scalable and feature-rich online store.
Shopify is the right choice for businesses of all sizes and niches. They can consider this platform for online store development. It can also be your way to go if you are looking for custom development. It can be customized to fit your business needs.
Lightspeed vs Shopify: Pros and Cons
Let’s see what is present and what is missing in Lightspeed and Shopify.
|Advanced Inventory Management||Yes|
|Contactless, mobile payments||Yes|
|Complete omnichannel solution on one platform||Yes|
|Purchase order management||Yes|
|Complete multi-store management||Yes|
|Variety of Themes||Yes|
|Online Marketplace Sales||Yes|
|One-click online checkout||Yes|
|Low stock reports||Yes||Yes|
|Unlimited products, in-store, and online||Yes|
|Live chat support||Yes|
So, this was the battle between two major eCommerce platforms, Shopify and Lightspeed. Who wins between them largely depends on your requirements.
Lightspeed offers more choices for payment processing, an inventory system, and robust restaurant functions. Being an expensive platform, its features are well worth the investment.
Whereas Shopify is suitable for every kind of business to build an online store. From small businesses to entrepreneurs who are looking for a custom platform for their purpose, Shopify will be the best. So, you must first be aware of your needs to identify whether you should consider Shopify or Lightspeed for eCommerce web development. In the end, now, it is up to you which one suits you well.