FAQ – Retail
We recommend LightSpeed Pro and LightSpeed Cloud for retail stores.
There are many similarities and a few significant differences:
- Where Data Is Stored / Offline Considerations:
- LightSpeed Pro uses a Mac computer at each of your stores to act as a “server” where all of your data is stored. The advantage with this approach is that your data is on your location, and you don’t need an internet connection to use your system, with the exception of credit card processing. The disadvantage is that you (or a consultant) need to maintain and upgrade that server, as well as make sure it is backed up.
- In contrast, LightSpeed Cloud houses your information in a secure data center that you can access from any web browser. An active internet connection is required to use any part of the system, but you do not need to upgrade and perform backups yourself.
- Pricing and License Considerations:
- As of December 2, 2013, LightSpeed Pro and Cloud share the same monthly-subscription pricing model, and are priced at the same levels.
- Feature Considerations
- Features between the two are remarkably similar, including robust sales, purchasing, inventory management, customer tracking, reporting, and multi-store capability.
- LightSpeed Cloud adds a 3rd component to the size/color matrix, meaning you can have products with Size, Color and Width, for example. With LightSpeed Pro, it would be Size/Color.
- LightSpeed Cloud can be more easily deployed at trade shows and offsite locations than Pro, due to built-in networking and security.
- LightSpeed Cloud offers add-ons such as a customer loyalty program (Perkville) and email newsletter management (Mailchimp).
- LightSpeed Pro uses product images heavily on-screen and on printed materials. The benefits are:
- Easier to train employees on products due to visuals
- Easier to spot mis-tagged items or tag-switching at the time of checkout
- Any images stored on your Retail side automatically go up to your optional eCommerce web store without double entry
- Staff can create beautiful Quotes with product images, and provide a print or email copy to prospective customers
- LightSpeed Pro offers more advanced and customizable reporting options than Cloud
LightSpeed Pro allows you to use your own processor. However, we strongly recommend using the integrated processor Merchant Warehouse. Think of it as ‘one less cook in the kitchen’ dealing with delivery of your money, because you won’t need a third-party gateway such as Authorize.net to interface with your bank (sold separately). Merchant Warehouse offers no setup fee, 24/7 support, no cancellation fee, and next-business-day deposit to a US bank account of your choice when batched by 5pm.
LightSpeed Cloud is only compatible with Merchant Warehouse, Mercury, or Element Payment Systems.
Absolutely! Our default setup package includes:
- Pre-installation prep and analysis
- Physical installation of the hardware
- Configuration of 300+ settings including custom information about your products/suppliers
- Configuration of credit card processing
- Live training
In addition, we include proprietary Digital Reality videos and exercises that your staff can review at any time.
In the words of little chef Remy from Disney/Pixar’s Ratatouille, “anyone can, that doesn’t mean anyone should.” In all seriousness, we wouldn’t try to repair our own cars or do our own corporate taxes, so we don’t recommend installing a POS on your own. We have achieved every possible certification in this field since 2008, and make it our business to get your system up and running properly the first time. If up-front money is a concern, we are happy to customize our package with less training or menu setup on a case-by-case basis. We also offer convenient monthly financing packages for LightSpeed Cloud and LightSpeed Pro.
Everything except the Apple-branded hardware (Macs, iPads, etc), but we’ll help you partner with a local Apple Store for those pieces. You are always welcome to purchase hardware elsewhere, but please ensure it matches the exact specifications to avoid unnecessary labor charges.