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Lightspeed Alternatives: 3 Options Available on the Market

Conal Yarwood-Frost
1 Nov 2022

Since the beginning of the 21st century, digital point of sale (POS) systems have become a familiar sight in both the retail and hospitality industries. These marvels of modern transactional technology can now be found everywhere, from sporting goods retailers to restaurants and everywhere in between.

Once you understand the many benefits a POS system can bring to a business, it's easy to see why they're so popular. Inventory management tools, intuitive integrations, and other advanced features have helped retailers and business owners the world over. Investing in a POS system is a no-brainer for businesses looking to improve their workflow and boost sales.

Choosing the right POS system for your business can be difficult if you're unfamiliar with the technology and available options. There are several different POS companies out there and they all offer different point of sale systems.

Lightspeed is one of the market leaders in the POS industry. Despite the popularity of their systems, their POS software and hardware leave much to be desired. In this blog, we'll look at a number of different Lightspeed POS alternatives and give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

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What is a POS system?

In short, a point of sale system (commonly referred to as a POS system), refers to an all-in-one system of hardware and software that a business runs on. POS systems are advanced pieces of technology that process transactions, collect sales data, and sometimes act as payment processors for small businesses.

In recent years, the technology has progressed to include more advanced features such as to-the-minute inventory management tools, marketplace integrations, and cloud-based software. While POS systems are traditionally terminals installed in a fixed position on the shop floor, mobile point of sale options like the Epos Now Pro+ are available.

Why should you invest in a point of sale system?

For many businesses, admin such as accounting and staff management take up an inordinate amount of time. Point of sale software and hardware can eliminate the majority of this busy work and give you more time to spend optimizing your business.

Most systems can also integrate with a variety of helpful apps. Some companies, such as Epos Now, offer their own in-house and third-party apps that can handle anything from food delivery for restaurants to accounting for vape shops.

Lightspeed alternatives

Since 2015, Lightspeed has firmly established itself in the POS industry. While their big selling point is ease-of-use thanks to the unified register, this actually gives their users less control over their point of sale. 

POS software and hardware can be confusing, so to help you make an informed decision about your system, we've evaluated several leading POS options that make great Lightspeed retail alternatives.

Epos Now

Founded in 2011 in the English city of Norwich, Epos Now has been providing affordable POS systems to hospitality and retail businesses for over a decade. Jacyn Heavens, Epos Now's founder and CEO, founded the company with the goal of giving companies access to POS that might otherwise not have been able to afford it.

Flexibility is a central tenet of Epos Now's mission. Epos Now users have an unrivaled level of control over their systems so that they can run their business the way they want. This flexibility includes being able to configure their system to focus on the specific sector of their industry thanks to dedicated software modules. A clothing store has different needs from home decor company. Epos Now can serve both.

Integrations

In the same vein of customization, Epos Now users have access to hundreds of award-winning integrations via the AppStore. With these integrations, you can build your own workflow and create a system that works exactly the way you want. For instance, restaurants can synchronize their front and back of house with staff and inventory management apps and get into the delivery game with Epos Now Delivery.

Software

Epos Now's flexibility extends into its software and hardware. Epos Now's software works across Windows, IOS, and Android operating systems. This flexibility means that their customers can use any compatible device to run their business, no matter theoperating system. If you've already invested in your hardware, you can keep it with Epos Now.

Epos Now operates on cloud-based software. Operating on cloud-based software means your system stores all your important information in off-site servers. Not only does this free space up in your business, but it also adds an extra layer of security. Data safety is essential to Epos Now, and their cloud system keeps your information safe from hackers and accidental damage.

Payments

Through Epos Now Payments, Epos Now acts as a payment processing system. Everything is done in-system and all customers can apply for this service. Unlike other payment processing services, Epos Now Payments is available without a long-term contract and charges one flat rate for transactions. These set charges means Epos Now customers will never be surprised by unexpected charges or fees.

Hardware

Speaking of hardware, Epos Now is an industry leader. The company offers a full suite of hardware options that work seamlessly with each other. 

The Epos Now Complete Solution is the standard package that costs $0 upfront (a small subscription fee is required for continued service.) The Complete Solution comes with a touchscreen featuring an intuitive interface, a cash drawer, a card machine, and a receipt printer. Epos Now customers have the option to add extra accessories to their package such as barcode scanners, card machines, and more.

Complete Solution Hero Right Hospitality Pound v4

Gain all the advantages of a POS system with detailed, flexible, downloadable reports, and so much more:

  • Manage and update products quickly with easy-to-use software
  • Expand your business into multiple channels and integrate with a variety of online platforms
  • Manage multiple locations and salespoints with multi-site management
  • Keep queues short with streamlined, modifiable sales processes
  • Choose a setup that suits you with software and hardware options

Software      Hardware

Square

Square, founded by entrepreneurs Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey, is a US-based POS company aimed at small and medium-sized businesses. It is one of the largest Lightspeed retail alternatives currently on the market but has been dogged by several controversies over its 13-year history.

Hardware 

Square's basic card reader comes for free in the US and for a fee everywhere else. This reader works by plugging into an IOS or Android smartphone. This free card reader can be useful and cost-effective for business owners that own one of these a smartphone. Businesses that are looking for a full POS system will be left to pay a much higher price.

Software

Like Epos Now and Lightspeed, Square operates on cloud-based software. While this does come with the benefits of these sorts of systems, Square POS imposes a paywall on many of its features. This paywall means that while features like an online point of sale come for free, other useful features like inventory management will cost extra.

Clover

Since its founding in 2010, Clover has quickly positioned itself as one of the leading companies in the POS and payment processing industries. Clover POS is focused mainly in the US (the company is based in California) but has offices worldwide.

Hardware

Clover's hardware operates much in the same way as Epos Now. Users can choose from a basic package that is just a card reader or invest in a bigger system with a touchscreen terminal, cash draw, and receipt printer. Users can buy additional accessories at further cost. While this may seem flexible, users with the basic package are limited in terms of features such as inventory management.

Software

As a cloud-based system, Clover stores data on its own servers. While this has benefits, it does mean that their customer's data is ultimately under Clover’s control. Its software comes with features like online ordering and allows users to manage their business. As with Square, some features and sales tools are locked behind a paywall.

The leader in Lightspeed retail alternatives

While each of the POS companies we've evaluated here come with their pros and cons, Epos Now stands apart as the clear leader. Their retail POS and hospitality POS options are winners in each category and provide an important service to retailers and hospitality business owners.

The Epos Now Complete Solution includes everything a business needs to stay ahead of the pack. With the Complete Solution, business owners can take payments, use powerful inventory management tools, and give their customers the best possible service.

As a POS provider and payment processor, Epos Now is here to help.

If you'd like to read more reviews from Epos Now, check out our other articles:

If you're interested in hearing more about how Epos Now can help your business, get in touch with our expert team below.

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