Michael Zagari

LightSpeed POS, Block & OMNI Channel Experience

For the past 2 years, the pandemic has been difficult for many especially entrepreneurs. Today, small business owners who found a way survive, are even more eager to reconnect with new and existing customers.

With retailers ready for business, they will need a strategy to help them stay relevant in the new digital economy and the only way to do that in a scalability solution is by using technology.

How will this technology work and what does the new generation of retailers look like? You’re about to find out.

Small business owners have many competitors including big brand companies so using technology in the right way, is more of a necessity than it is a luxury. This is where point of sale and omnichannel technology comes into the picture.

A one-stop commerce platform both as hardware and software, designed to help small business owners manage, grow, and scale their businesses on a level that traditional methods including pen and paper, simply can not.

So, let’s discuss what exactly are point of sales systems and omnichannel platforms.

A point of sale, also known as POS, is a place where a customer executes the payment for goods or services. This can be done in person or online at checkout where consumers provide their means of payment to finalize their transaction. The POS is the final step in the sales cycle.

POS systems are increasingly interactive, particularly in the hospitality industry, and allow customers to place orders, make reservations and pay bills electronically. For many restaurants, customers can view menus and place orders on terminals located at their table. Most POS systems today are now cloud-based.

The omnichannel approach provides customers with a seamless experience whether the client is shopping online from a mobile device, a laptop or in a brick-and-mortar store. Basically, Omnichannel allows retailers to achieve more availability, drive sales and traffic, and integrate multiple digital touchpoints. The more touchpoints and the easier the experience, the more likely a customer will finalize their transaction and repeat the sales cycle in the future.

The best point-of-sale systems do far more than handle customer payments. A system with the right features can improve daily business operations by helping business owners smoothly manage sales, track inventory and boost revenue with customer loyalty programs.

This brings us to LightSpeed POS, a Montreal based company that works with merchants around the world.

The Lightspeed Retail POS is an all-in-one sales system that caters to both online and brick-and-mortar businesses including apparel companies, pet supply shops, golf courses, hotel, bar, and restaurants. Products under the Lightspeed’s POS system manages the e-commerce, analytics, customer loyalty, payments, financing, and accounting aspects of the business.

Lightspeed works with over 21,000 merchants across the world including Hudson Bay, Five Guys and Nordstrom.

Over a short period of time, Lightspeed went into full acquisition mode by purchasing companies including Shopkeep, Upserve, Ecwid and NuOrder. The combination of these acquisition has elevated the company’s POS ecosystem and now includes a variety of new features for merchants including loyalty programs.

Other new features include supply chain visibility which provides direct supplier access and inventory visibility through a single platform. This is an important feature because low inventory could mean a disruption in sales.

A new streamlined omnichannel experience where product details and photos are imported into the POS with the click of a button, making selling online quick and easy.

Another interesting POS feature is the supplier insights that provide suppliers with real time data on goods sold by merchants.

There are a few competitors in the POS and Omnichannel space including square.

Square and Lightspeed both offer fully featured POS systems for retail, restaurants, and online use. Both offer their own payment processor, although Lightspeed lets merchants select a third-party processor if they prefer.

Square is more known for their microbusinesses, solopreneurs as well as small and medium size businesses where as Lightspeed is best known for medium-sized businesses, multiple locations, inventory management, sales of age-restricted items, and golf courses.

What is clear for both Square and Lightspeed POS systems is the more data merchants can get about what their customers like or don’t like or analytics on what they are likely to spend their money on, the better the experience merchants can create for their customers.

The global POS software market is witnessing vast revenue growth. The adoption of POS solutions across industries is happening at an even faster pace. The demand for efficient management of associated data between POS systems, online marketplace, and purchasers are also rising.

Business owners who digitize their businesses by incorporating these POS type platforms could significantly benefit from both a top and bottom-line perspective.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Talk soon,

Michael Zagari, FCSI, CIM, CIWM

Investment Advisor with Mandeville Private Client Inc.

Financial Security Advisor with Zagari + Simpson

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