There are several different options you can use if you’re getting ready to open an e-commerce store.
It’s an exciting time. You’ve got dreams, and you’ve got goals. So to hit those goals, you need to make sure you’re equipped with the best tools possible.
By now you’ve done some research, and I’m guessing one of the first e-commerce platforms you’ve heard of is Shopify. But there is a little lesser-known platform, yet just as powerful, called Lightspeed eCommerce.
Today we are going to look at these two different options that you have for your store and look at the differences between each one. In the end, it will all depend on what works best for what your needs are.
So let’s begin with analyzing Lightspeed eCommerce.
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The Lightspeed company is based in the UK, but they provide plenty of support for its US, Canadian, Netherlands, and Germany customers. They have four products including Lightspeed Onsite, Lightspeed Retail, Lightspeed Restaurant, and then Lightspeed eCommerce.
Today, we are focusing strictly on Lightspeed eCommerce.
Set Up and Ease of Use
One of the biggest factors when it comes to picking the right software is how easy it is to set up and use, especially if you’re a beginner. Immediately after you sign up, an associate will call you and help walk you through getting your store set up.
The dashboard is a very user-friendly, simple design that makes beginners feel like an expert. They have plenty of support to get you started as well, which is vital as you’re working your way through your new e-commerce platform.
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The inventory management system is fantastic and easy to follow. It allows you to put all of your products in one place and you can quickly import or export items that may have come from other sources. So much of the order processing system is automated as well, which really helps in saving time and keeping things in order.
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Lightspeed eCommerce has over 50 professionally designed themes to choose from. All of the themes have optimized website navigation, are mobile-responsive, have an HTML and CSS template editor, and come with customizable templates.
There is a nice filter option that lets you select different options such as popular features, omnichannel features, design features, conversion boosting features, branding features, and price.
Lightspeed eCommerce makes your job much easier when it comes to shipping and tracking all orders. The software has the ability to give you real-time updates as the orders come in so that you don’t let anything slip through the cracks.
For each order, your customers will receive automatic status updates along the way.
Lightspeed eCommerce shipping tool comes with the following tools:
- Order processing
- Discounts and Promotions
- Customizable Checkout
- Streamlined Shipping Process
As you start your new online store, you will notice that to take your store to the next level, you are going to need to add apps onto your existing Lightspeed eCommerce store. Lightspeed eCommerce integrates with over 250 partners to bring the best experience to not only you but the user who is shopping on your site.
They have several categories of integrations including social media & reviews, accounting & administration, marketing & customization, customer service, and loyalty.
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Tracking & Analytics
The tracking system that comes with this e-commerce platform is crucial when analyzing your sales. Firstly, you will be able to analyze all of your financial data so you can see what you are making versus what you are spending.
Here are some other key features that you will find with the financial data:
- See an overview of your revenue, net or gross
- Check your total costs
- See the average value of orders
- See your average daily net revenue
Secondly, you will be able to track conversion rates, which is the life-blood of gaining more sales. The conversion chart in your dashboard will show you how you are doing and let you know what you can do to get better conversions in the future.
Other key features include:
- You can view the numbers of orders you received
- You can check and see how many unique visitors have visited your store
- You can see the amount of page views your site has received
Thirdly, you can experiment and do some A/B split testing with different checkout pages. It can help in reducing shopping cart abandonment.
Other key features include:
- See the number of visitors who go to your checkout page
- Get the percentage of people who complete the checkout
- Bounce rate percentage
Built-In SEO Tools
Lightspeed eCommerce comes with great marketing tools including several built-in SEO options, which ultimately helps drive more traffic to your store. The first thing I would recommend you do is to connect your store with all of your social media accounts using Lightspeed’s tools.
You can display your store on Facebook and Instagram, as well as use the Instagram tagging feature for your profile. You can create promotions and discount codes to post on your profiles as well.
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Pricing and Customer Support
Lightspeed eCom is a cloud-based software requires that you pay a year-long contract. The plan starts at $59/month, but you can call to get an enterprise quote if you’re a bigger company.
Lightspeed has wonderful 24/7 customer support and one-on-one onboarding if you need help during the setup process. There are also a ton of video tutorials to help as well along the way.
Shopify is one of the best e-commerce software platforms on the market. It allows you to sell across multiple platforms, has an amazing inventory management system, multiple sales tools to market your store, integrations that will cover all of your needs, and drop shipping capabilities to find any products you want to sell on your store.
Set Up and Ease of Use
Both Lightspeed eCommerce and Shopify are very user-friendly on the front end. I really can’t say that I enjoy one over the other. They both are easy to navigate and have an easy-to-read layout.
When it comes to the setup process, Lightspeed eCommerce is a little easier to figure out plus they have onboarding support which helps tremendously if you are new to e-commerce software.
Shopify has a world-class inventory management system that’s easy to use. When uploading product images, you don’t have to worry about resizing images. It’s all done for you which is a big help.
You will have the ability to easily write your product descriptions, enter the product weight, manufacturer, size, color, and any other details you may need to add. You can add your products one-by-one if you’re a smaller store, or for larger stores, you can do a bulk upload using a CSV file, eBay, or Magento.
With their inventory editor and order tracker, it makes managing inventory for your store simple.
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Shopify has 10 free themes and over 50 themes that range between $140 to $180. You can view all of their themes by going to their theme store. You can shop by industry, such as health and beauty, toys and games, home and garden, furniture, and much more.
The only problem is that the content doesn’t automatically reformat if you switch to a different theme so remember that when picking your theme. Find something you like and stick with it from the beginning.
When it comes to shipping, Shopify has you covered with their many shipping apps available on their app store. Having a shipping strategy is vital before your e-commerce store goes live.
From the first order that’s received, you need to know how to seamlessly get it to the buyer. You will need to consider your packaging, packing suppliers, shipping options, taxes, shipping rates, shipping labels, etc.
And if you need to find products to sell, Oberlo is one of the best drop shipping apps that you can find, and Shopify has it.
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Applications and Integrations
Shopify has over 1,200 apps and integrations that you can choose from to help you succeed with your business. You can sort by various categories or collections.
Some of their categories include marketing, store design, orders and shipping, trust and security, finding products, and places to sell.
Shopify also lets you find apps by collections such as launching your store, growing your business, apps in French, and sales channels.
Whatever your needs are, you will have no problem finding it on Shopify.
Shopify has over 100 payment gateways to choose from for your store. These include some of the common ones that you are used to such as Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay, and Amazon Pay.
The one thing I love about Shopify is that they are the only platform to enforce its own transaction fee with Shopify Payments.
If you use Shopify Payments, you will not get charged any additional fees that you would otherwise be charged through a 3rd party payment gateway system.
Also Read: Ecwid vs Shopify
Tracking & Analysis
With the Shopify dashboard easily see figures such as total sales, online store sessions, returning customer rates, conversion rates, average order value, and total orders.
In addition to this, you can run any type of report that you want including sales and acquisition reports, profit margin reports, and customer analysis reports.
All of this is designed to make sure you are on track to hit your goals.
Shopify also allows you to market your store with a Google Smart Shopping campaign.
It’s very simple to set up, set your budget, and Shopify does the rest. Everything from your Google campaign is synced in your Shopify dashboard so you can track everything from one place.
If this all sounds overwhelming to you, you can try Shopify Kit. It’s like a virtual assistant that alerts you to marketing opportunities.
With other tools such as their Abandon Cart Recovery, you can’t go wrong with Shopify’s marketing mix.
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Shopify has a 14-Day Free Trial, but it doesn’t have a free plan, such as Ecwid does. They offer three different pricing options to get your store started. You can see the full pricing plans and what they offer by clicking on the pricing page of their website.
Conclusion – Lightspeed eCommerce vs Shopify
Both Shopify and Lightspeed eCommerce are fantastic e-commerce platforms to use for your business. If you’re a smaller business, I would recommend using Shopify as it is a little easier system to use.
Lightspeed eCommerce may be better suited for larger, more complex stores that need more customization. Either way, both are excellent choices and will help you succeed in your business, no matter what products or services you decide to sell.