Lightspeed Ecommerce Shop System
Multi Channel Shop Builder Lightspeed with Retail POS
What kind of shop builder is Lightspeed HQ?
Unlike WIX, Strato or Jimdo, Lightspeed is also suitable for large shops. Lightspeed has been on the move in eCommerce since 2008. Lightspeed is an international company with its roots in Montreal, Canada. In 2015, the seofocused shop system SEOshop was acquired by Lightspeed and integrated into the company. Amsterdam, the original location of SEOshop, was retained as the company location.
Lightspeed HQ vs Shopify
If you go to the english homepage of Lightspeed, you will see 3 product areas: The Lightspeed eCommerce platform, the restaurant POS system and the retail POS system. We are not interested in the restaurant checkout system. After all, this is about eCommerce. The retail POS system, however, sounds interesting. Because there are enough stationary retailers who also operate an online shop. A retail POS system that can be linked to the online shop could be interesting for such a business model. If you then click on the free demo of the POS system, you will be disappointed. Because the POS system is only available in Switzerland. If you are looking for a shop solution with a checkout system, take a look at Shopify or VersaCommerce.
Test the features with the free demo account
We want to have a look at the free eCommerce Demo. For 14 days you can test the free demo including all templates. To start the eCommerce demo, you have to enter your company name and email address in the first step. In the second step you have to enter your phone number. You can also skip this step. Payment details are not necessary for the free demo. In the next step after the login you will be asked to choose an industry. I decide, the system loads briefly and then I land in the backend of the shop software.
How to create products
The backend looks tidy and well structured. At a glance I can see which steps are necessary to create the shop. The creation of the products is self-explanatory and should not be a problem even for an absolute beginner. Nevertheless, there are plenty of functions. Variants, product bundles, wish list, statistics, ratings, etc. You can create the products individually, but of course you can also simply import a product list. Lightspeed's target group is not only small retailers, but also medium-sized and large online shops. You can add up to 10 images per product.
24 payment options for your online shop
In the next step I determine the payment options. Here I count 24 payment providers that I can add to my demo shop. Mollie, Paypal, Klarna, Skrill, Sofortüberweisung, Heidelpay etc. Amazon Payments is strangely missing. To finish the shop, you have to specify the shipping and the design template. After that you can contact Lightspeed Support to get the shop live.
Why you don't need to chose a Design Templates
If you want to start as fast as possible, you don't need to select a template. Why? A template with variants is already pre-installed. The template is called Conform Plus. Optically appealing and professional. There is also a template store where you can find about 150 shop templates. You can customize practically everything in the templates with a few simple clicks. You can use 10 of the templates for free. The other templates are fee required. The prices are between 10 Euro and 22,50 Euro monthly.
My Test Shop
For my test I choose one of the most popular templates. The free template Starter. As default I choose Fashopn. Via the menu item Design I can adjust the look of the Test Shop. Next, I can select which products and categories are displayed on the start page via the menu item Home Products. The definition of the categories for the start page and the setting of the products turns out to be dimpel. Here you can see that a software with the target group bigger shops doesn't have to be complicated in handling. The users of Jimdo or Wix would be stuck. Only in a few places do I have to look for something before I find the solution. Alternatively, I could have contacted support.
At Lightspeed you'll find a range of features to help you run your online store professionally. In the customer administration you will find functions to create customer groups, the possibility to create tickets and a DSGVO Center to manage and delete customer data. There are also functions for order management, stock management, products, suppliers, statistics and marketing.
Lightspeed App Store
In the Lightspeed App Store you will find over 100 eComerce Apps. The apps are about:
- more Traffic
- conversion optimization
- shop management
- customer service
- Social Media
- KPI reports
- search function
Some of the apps are free. Free apps include Simply Translate, freshdesk, TWENGA, easymarketing, Facebook Messenger and Happy Email. The majority of the apps, however, involve additional costs.
Lightspeed promises to be Omnichannel software for online business. In terms of POS, this promise is only partially true because the POS system is not available in Germany. But Omnichannel does not just mean linking retail and online business. Omnichannel also includes the use of online platforms, because a considerable part of the turnover is generated via these platforms.
So what about the Lightsspeed interfaces to platforms?
The search function doesn't help. After some clicking through the various channel apps I discover EffectConnect. With EffectConnect your shop gets a connection to Amazon, which is a bit pricey. Staggered according to the number of products it starts at 49,- Euro per month. Just for this app. An interface to Ebay is not included with Effect Connect. For this you need another Business App. For example the Ebay connector app. With this you can connect your Ebay Business Account with your Lightspeed Shop. Again, there are extra costs. The app Effect Connect costs 30,- Euro per month.
Is blogging with Lightspeed HQ possible?
Does a blog still make sense in 2018 to generate traffic for a shop? You can be divided about this. If you want to add a blog to your shop, it's easy at Lightspeed. However, the blog function is only available for advanced users.
Prices and Packages
Lightspeed HQ offers different packages depending on your location. In Germany there are 3 standard packages offered. In the US you will find just one price on the website. Below you see the prices for Germany. Go to the Lightspeed HQ website to get the price for your location. What's really important: Take a look at the prices for the apps. Depending on which apps you need, this will increase the monthly costs for your shop.
- Up to 250 products
- 1 user account
- one language
- 49,- Euro /month
- up to 5.000 products
- 3 user
- 3 languages
- product filter
- 89,- Euro /month
- 15.000 products
- 10 user
- 7 languages
- product filter
- 189.- Euro /month
Summary of the test
The target group of Lightspeed are medium and large online shops. It is therefore not surprising that numerous Prodi functions can be found in the software. At the same time, the backend is easy and intuitive to use, so that you can set up a professional shop without the help of an agency. So that Lightspeed is also interesting for small shop operators. Not quite so nice are the additional costs that can arise through the use of apps and premium templates. That's why you should consider during your own Lightspeed test which apps you need to run your shop, because only with this info you can calculate a real price.