Shedding Light on the Latest Retail Technology

The team at Lightspeed discusses how the right point-of-sale system can help even small retailers succeed against big competition.




Tell us about Lightspeed and its retail technology offerings. What makes your company stand out from other POS system providers? Lightspeed is an end-to-end retail technology solution for independent retailers. We provide independent business owners with smart technology solutions that simplify the complex customer experience. Point of sale, e-commerce, loyalty, payments, reporting and analytics—we’re the one-stop shop, providing retailers with everything they need to manage and grow their business.


Lightspeed is differentiated by its comprehensive omnichannel solution that facilitates business growth both online and off. And, as your business scales, so does Lightspeed.


Whether you’re running your first, second or hundredth location, seamlessly manage your inventory, accounting data and customer relationships with a single view. Gain instant clarity into your sales and operations at home, in-store or anywhere in the world.


On average, customers increase their revenue by more than 20 percent in their first full year using Lightspeed.


Beyond providing a full suite of retail tools, Lightspeed is just as invested in the success and growth of its customers. All Lightspeed users have their own dedicated customer success manager and benefit from free onboarding sessions and 24/7 support.


Lightspeed recently introduced a payment solution for retailers called Lightspeed Payments. How does this new offering benefit pet stores? Today, a POS system needs to be able to handle a lot more than just sales—a solid inventory management system and integrated payment processing, especially for pet stores, are must-have features.


Without built-in payments, retailers are forced to coordinate between two different systems for each transaction paid by card. The more you have to interfere with your systems, the higher the chance for human error—and when it involves revenue, you want to avoid possible errors at all cost!


When pet stores switch to Lightspeed, they get a POS that communicates to their payment terminal for them, which eliminates the need for any manual intervention. With Lightspeed, you benefit from one rate for all transactions, no hidden fees, built-in PCI Compliance, 24/7 support and fraud protection, and chargeback assistance. You can manage your entire business and financials all in one place, saving you time and closing security loopholes.


Modernizing your pet store can be challenging, which is why it’s important to choose tools that can easily adapt and be customized to fit your specific needs in order to grow.


Lightspeed also recently added some new features to its inventory management software. How does Lightspeed’s inventory management help improve retail operations? Pet stores have inventories stocked full with niche products for a wide range of animals. Depending on how specialized it is, a pet store may carry thousands of different SKUs. A powerful inventory management system is a key concern for any pet store.


Lightspeed leads the point-of-sale industry with unparalleled inventory-management control. From tracking stock transfers, work orders and vendor returns to managing negative inventory levels, Lightspeed offers retailers insight into how their business is truly performing.


Negative inventory visually shows you that something is off with your stock—it’s not adding up. It also makes it very fast and easy to detect what areas of your inventory require your attention without you having to do any lengthy digging or analyzing.


Now more than ever, no one does inventory like we do. With our newly released report, Lightspeed users can detect and correct stock discrepancies fast, and save their cost reports from inaccurate data.


Customer loyalty programs are a huge resource for independent pet specialty retailers. How can working with Lightspeed help make this type of program more successful? Every pet store owner knows that word-of-mouth is one of the most effective forms of advertising. To compete with big-box stores and e-commerce giants, your loyal customers need to feel appreciated, catered to and recognized.


To that end, a loyalty program can boost sales and customer satisfaction. The challenge is finding an affordable, easy-to-use platform that benefits both you and your customers equally. Too bare bones and you won’t have anything attractive enough to bring your customers back to your store more often; too obtuse and you’ll need to dedicate far too much time maintaining it.


Lightspeed makes it easy for merchants to set up and implement a new loyalty program with Lightspeed Loyalty.


Easily set up a points-based reward program with your own custom parameters.


Use automated marketing tools, like a built-in email and SMS sender, to target customer segments. Dog owners and cat owners have different product needs—maximize your effectiveness by contacting them with relevant communications.


Benefit from your own customer insights dashboard that tells you what to keep selling and what to stop wasting your time and resources on.


What are some of the other key aspects of Lightspeed’s retail technology offerings? Lightspeed’s built-in reporting capabilities will provide you with a full overview of your business. From sales to inventory to staff reports, Lightspeed shines a light on all of your important data. We’re dedicated to continuing to bring you more and more comprehensive reports.


Our POS is fully mobile. Pet stores, even when specialized, offer a variety of product types, which can lead to a segmented staff based on their expertise. Being untethered to anything but an iPad means you can better leverage your staff’s expertise to turn each dedicated section into its own contained store and ring customers up on the spot.


Help out pet adopters at the back of your store while a sales associate serves shoppers buying toys at the front, and let Lightspeed help you cut down on wait times at checkout. You can even sell outside the store if you host sidewalk sales or other events.


Grooming appointments are a significant source of revenue for many pet stores. Lightspeed’s work orders allow you to bill your customers for the services you offer and the products you sell, which means you don’t need to coordinate multiple billing systems to manage multiple revenue streams. With easy integrations to programs like Booxi for taking appointments, switching to Lightspeed could open up opportunities for extra revenue for any pet store.


What are some common mistakes that retailers make when selecting or working with a new POS system? How can they avoid/overcome these mistakes? The No. 1 mistake we see? Choosing a retail technology provider based on price alone.


Your ideal POS should certainly be affordable, but price shouldn’t be your only deciding factor. Naturally, a bare-bones, pennies-a-month POS won’t cost you much, but you won’t get much out of it, either—not to mention you’ll be stuck having to switch to another system in order to grow your business.


Price should just be one factor when making your decision—other important factors include smart inventory management, built-in payment processing, add-on tools, like a loyalty platform or analytics, the flexibility to integrate with your other favorite business tools, and last but certainly not least: 24/7 support.


Another mistake we see stems from forgetting to consider your future needs. You may not need omnichannel or multi-store options right now, but if your business succeeds, you may in the future. When shopping for a POS, be sure you pick one that scales.


No matter how powerful or easy-to-use, lack of training can make any POS flop, and unfortunately, staff training for a new POS isn’t always easy to get! At Lightspeed, we offer free onboarding so you can get transactional without issues fast.


What does the future hold for Lightspeed? Personalization and automation.


The retail industry is going through a revolution; consumer behaviors and expectations are constantly changing. Lightspeed is and aims to continue to be at the forefront of this evolution, leading the way with smart technology solutions that enable businesses to thrive—through actionable insights, unparalleled efficiency, and superior customer experiences.  PB


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