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.
Lightspeed eCommerce is a powerful, yet easy-to-use eCommerce platform that enables businesses of all sizes to create beautiful online stores.
Built on the same technology as the award-winning Lightspeed POS system, Lightspeed eCommerce provides all the features and functionality needed to run a successful online business, including built-in SEO tools, abandoned cart recovery, customizable templates, and much more.
As a scalable platform, Lightspeed eCommerce seamlessly integrates with several third-party apps thereby facilitating a robust selling experience.
The Lightspeed company is based in the UK, but they provide plenty of support for its US, Canadian, Netherlands, and Germany customers. They have three products including Lightspeed Retail (eCommerce), Lightspeed Restaurant, and then Lightspeed Golf.
With Lightspeed eCommerce, you can create a beautiful online store that’s optimized for search engine visibility and conversion rates.
Plus, it’s easy to use, so you can get started quickly and without any headaches.
Here’s how to get started with Lightspeed eCommerce:
- Create an account
- Choose a template
- Customize your store
- Add your products
- Start selling!
It’s that simple. Just follow the steps above and you’ll be up and running in no time.
If you need any help along the way, their support team is always happy to assist you.
Today, we are focusing strictly on Lightspeed eCommerce.
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.
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.
Lightspeed eCommerce has about 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.
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
Lightspeed eCommerce comes with great marketing tools including several built-in SEO options, which ultimately helps drive more traffic to your store.
Although it doesn’t incorporate advanced SEO features like SEMrush, Lightspeed eCommerce is optimized for search engines.
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.
Lightspeed has POS Solutions that allows you to manage your business’ inventory and sales.
With Lightspeed, you can keep track of your inventory in real-time, so you always know what’s in stock and what needs to be ordered. You can also process sales and accept payments quickly and easily.
Lightspeed offers a variety of features to help you run your business smoothly, including product management, order management, customer management, and more.
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. Apart from facilitating experts’ assistance, they also have community forums for each of their products.
Lightspeed eCommerce customer support is available 24/7 to help you with any issues you may have. You can reach them by phone, email, or chat.
Lightspeed eCommerce is a cloud-based software that requires you to pay a year-long contract. They have three eCommerce products with different pricing, which includes:
- Lightspeed Retail (eCommerce) – Starting from $69 per month
- Lightspeed Golf – Starting at $200 per month (custom quote)
- Lightspeed Restaurant – Starting at $39 per month
Shopify is a platform for businesses of all sizes to create an online store.
Shopify provides users with everything they need to get their online store up and running, including payment processing, shipping, and customer management tools.
Shopify is one of the best e-commerce software platforms on the market, and it is used by businesses of all sizes, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.
Notably, Shopify is one of the best WooCommerce alternatives, another popular eCommerce website builder.
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.
To get started with Shopify, you’ll need to create an account and select a plan.
Once you’ve done this, you can start building your store by adding products, customizing your theme, and configuring your checkout process.
You can also use Shopify’s app store to add additional features to your store.
Whether you’re just getting started with eCommerce or you’re looking for a new platform to sell on, Shopify is a great option.
With its easy-to-use interface and wide range of features, it’s perfect for businesses of all sizes. All you have to do is to focus on boosting your Shopify store CX.
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.
Shopify has about 10 free themes and over 70 themes that range between $180 to $350. 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, you can search for the best drop shipping apps that you can find, and Shopify has it.
Shopify has over 7,200 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.
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 use the best Shopify apps to boost eCommerce sales.
With other tools such as their Abandon Cart Recovery, you can’t go wrong with Shopify’s marketing mix.
Shopify POS is a point-of-sale system that allows businesses to sell products and accept payments in physical stores.
The Shopify POS system includes a hardware interface, software, and payment processing capabilities. In fact, it allows you to turn your smartphone into a POS system.
The system is designed to be used with Shopify’s eCommerce platform, but can also be used as a standalone POS system.
The Shopify POS system has a number of features that make it an attractive option for businesses, including:
- Ease of use: The Shopify POS system is designed to be easy to use, with a user-friendly interface.
- Flexibility: The Shopify POS system is flexible and can be used in a variety of settings, including retail stores, restaurants, and pop-up shops.
- Integration: The Shopify POS system integrates with Shopify’s ecommerce platform, making it easy to manage inventory and track sales.
- Payment processing: The Shopify POS system includes built-in payment processing capabilities, making it easy to accept payments in store.
If you’re looking for a POS system that is easy to use and integrates with your Shopify ecommerce store, then Shopify POS is a good option to consider.
Shopify offers 24/7 customer support via email and live chat.
They also have a large knowledge base and community forums where you can find answers to your questions.
Overall, Shopify’s customer support is very helpful and responsive.
There are five main Shopify pricing plans. The price of each plan depends on the features and services you need.
Here are the Shopify pricing plans:
- Lite – $9 per month
- Basic – $29 per month
- Shopify – $79 per month
- Advanced – $299 per month
- Shopify Plus – Starting at $2,000 per month
- Excellent user interface
- Customizable features
- Built-in marketing and SEO tools
- Integrates with third-party apps and platforms
- 14-day free trial
- Loyalty programs for customers
- Streamlined shipping with shipping track codes
- Supports email and social media marketing
- Excellent customer service available in multi-languages
- Steep learning curve for new users
- It needs regular patching to fix minor bugs
- More expensive than other eCommerce solutions
- Difficulty in getting out of lock-in contracts
- User-friendly interface
- Vast repository of attractive and mobile-optimized themes
- Automatic and sophisticated tax calculation tools
- Multi-currency and multi-payment platforms
- 14-day free trial
- Abandoned cart-saving functionality available for all plans
- No transaction fee is charged for using Shopify’s built-in payment processing system.
- Requires purchasing and installing plugins for limited functionalities
- Basic email marketing functionality
- Uploading product images can be complicated
- Transaction fee is charged when using third-party payment solutions
- Both Lightspeed eCommerce and Shopify are eCommerce platforms
- They both offer a trial version for 14 days
- Both platforms have monthly subscription plans
- With either Shopify or Lightspeed eCommerce, you get excellent, multi-language customer support
- They both have third party integrations
- Lightspeed originally started as a POS solution, while Shopify started as an eCommerce platform.
- Unlike Shopify which has only a monthly subscription option, Lightspeed Ecommerce allows both monthly and annual subscription.
- Lightspeed helps physical retailers to move their businesses online, while Shopify focuses on dropshippers and online merchants.
Both Shopify and Lightspeed eCommerce are fantastic ecommerce 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.
Not to mention, Shopify has relatively affordable pricing plans than Lightspeed eCommerce.
Lightspeed eCommerce may be better suited for larger, more complex retail 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.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.