Montreal startup Lightspeed is aiming to combine the best of online shopping with the best of the brick-and-mortar experience. The company unveiled a new retail app that lets in-store sales staff use Apple iPads to help customers browse inventory and pay for wares as they walk around the store.
IT Business reports
the Lightspeed app comes quickly after the startup received US$30 million in venture capital. The app features a capability, called Button Mode, that lets sales staffers browse products with customers on the iPad, obviating the need to run around the store. It also lets customers view products that are in retailers’ inventory but perhaps not on the store floor, and it automatically brings up related items, encouraging cross-sells. Once a customer decides on a purchase, sales staffers simply tap the iPad, generate an invoice and process card payments. The app is free from the Apple iTunes store, but it requires the store already have a LightSpeed server in place.
Yankee Group Research Director Sheryl Kingstone comments
“Leading service companies such as Nordstrom’s are already embracing similar technology. It’s about creating a differentiated customer experience that not only enhances the salesperson’s efficiency with the right information at the right time, but also effectiveness in expanding revenue opportunities. Linking the information to point of purchase also eliminates customer frustration and wait time at checkouts. This type of solution should also be extended to kiosks for self-service for times when customers prefers to be left alone to browse. Customers who engage kiosks are actively seeking help and information. In certain scenarios, such as a hotel lobby or an embarrassing aisle in a pharmacy, this less-intrusive form of support should not be undervalued.”