• Retail Round-Up: What The Gap is Doing to Turn Things Around, and the Power of Email Marketing

    What can The Gap do to change the course of its downwards spiral? As part of the effort to turn things around, the iconic brand hired Wendi Goldman as executive vice president of product design and development. With 25 years of experience and the successful creation of Victoria Secret’s PINK brand, there might be some hope for the declining company. (Fast Company)

    Email marketing proves to be super effective for retailers, especially in the apparel industry. With open rates of 72%, it’s no wonder that emails are one of the most effective promotional tools. (eMarketer)

    Stores like T.J. Maxx and Wal-Mart are finally seeing quarterly increases after a period of decline. So why are Americans spending more? Lower gas prices is one factor, but convenience is perhaps a more interesting reason for why people are flocking to brick-and-mortar stores: Many retailers are now offering in-store pickup or returns for online purchases. (Fortune)

    The departure of Target might shake up the structure of “anchor tenants” in malls across Canada. The disappearance of Target locations could push vacancy rates up by 28%–leaving room for some interesting options. (Financial Post)

    Retailers are being very conservative in their outlook for 2015. While holiday season profits in 2014 were up, many companies think Americans will continue to spend cautiously. Even T.J. Maxx lowered their forecast for the year, as increasing their minimum wage could reduce profit. (The Dallas Morning News)

  • Fast Stats: Where Do Retailers Look to Discover Brands and Designers?

    This year’s New York Fashion Week treated our eyes to an explosion of innovative designs and bold texture, and inspired us to ask: how do apparel and accessories retailers stay up to date with the hottest trends?

    Many of the independent apparel retailers we work with carefully curate their offering to stand out from the crowd, but with so many fast-fashion stores such as H&M being able to manufacture runway-inspired loooks in just a few weeks, how do independent stores stay ahead of the trends? We conducted a flash survey of independent retailers to get a better idea of how buyers are sourcing the best styles.

    Continue Reading >>
  • Happy Hour! How can you make it work for you?


    Happy Hour — a modern term used to describe that magical period of time directly following your work day before night sets in. No matter what name you give it, Happy Hour or 5 à 7, it’s recognizable all the same  — drinks are cheaper and pubs aren’t quite as full as they’re going to get as the evening creeps on.

    Where did Happy Hour come from?

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  • Customer Facing Display and Multi-Store Pricing – Now Available for Lightspeed Retail

    Two of the most popular features requested for Lightspeed Retail – Customer Facing Display and Multi-Store Pricing – are now available to all customers!

    Continue Reading >>
  • End of Life Notice — LightSpeed OnSite

    For Lightspeed customers using version 3.6.X or earlier, please be aware that your version of Lightspeed will no longer be supported as of June 20, 2015. For those running 3.8.X or earlier, your version will no longer be supported as of January 2016.

    What does this mean for you?

    Phone support will no longer be offered, for issues like troubleshooting Quickbook exports, hardware issues and inventory counts. Technical support will only be able to assist you with upgrading to the latest available version of Lightspeed or releasing your license key.

    By upgrading to the latest version of Lightspeed, you’ll have access to the many new features and enhancements that we’ve added since the 2011 release of version 3.6.X:

    • Dashboards – gives you a visual representation of all your store’s key metrics

    • Sales Events – gain complete control over what discounts are being applied, to which products they are applicable, and for how long they run

    • ReportMaster – a customizable reporting engine that helps you see your sales and inventory data, across all your sales channels

    • StoreMaster – a revamped store browser with a high-level analytics dashboard, preview pane, customizable columns and smart finds

    • Performance Improvements – our latest release, Lightspeed OnSite 2015 2.0, is up to 80x faster at creating orders, purchase orders, quotes, and invoices

    • Advanced Reporting – activation of this add-on enables deeper insights into your business through this web-based reporting engine, including a mobile dashboard for your iPhone

    • Apple Pay readiness and much more!

    We’re here to help

    Lightspeed Maintenance gives you easy access to new features, updates and improvements. Our team is here to ensure that your store always runs smoothly; having an active Maintenance Plan gives you around the clock access to our dedicated Support team, whether you experience any issues or have questions on how to get the most out of your POS.

    Please refer to the information below to learn how this announcement affects versions that are reaching End of Life status and important dates that may impact your business.

    June 20, 2015
    End of Life for versions 3.6.X or earlier

    January 2016
    End of Life for versions 3.8.X or earlier

    If you have further questions regarding Lightspeed compatibility, click here.

     

  • Retail Round-Up: New Shopping Apps and the Future of Retail (According to Toms)

    Traditional brick-and-mortar retail is due for a major makeover, or so says Blake Mycoskie, the founder of Toms. In this interview, he explains why stores need to step up their omnichannel game, and realize they need to focus on the customer, and not necessarily on one specific channel. (Inc.)

    Best Buy’s omnichannel strategy just took a step forward, with the addition of curb-side pick-up. By teaming up with mobile shopping app Curbside to give shoppers’ legs a break, they now enable consumers to shop on their smartphone then have their parcels delivered right to their cars “curbside”. Now that’s convenience! (TechCrunch)

    Michael Kors is turning to Snapchat as a new platform to attract their target market in an effort to seem cooler and in-the-know. While Snapchat might seem like an unlikely platform for a luxury brand, Michael Kors is facing the reality that they have mass market appeal. (DIGIDAY)

    Why are Americans unsatisfied with shopping in brick-and-mortar stores? According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, scores have been dropping for the first time in four years, possibly due to higher prices. Nordstrom, however rose four percent, while Wal-Mart dropped by four percent. (NBC News)

  • How is technology affecting the restaurant industry?


    Modern technology is affecting absolutely everything as the world comes to rely on accessibility and mobility — the restaurant industry is no exception. Technology has touched every aspect of the dining experience for both the customer and restaurateur.

    We’ve put together a list of 6 good (and maybe not-so-good?) ways that technology is changing the restaurant industry.

    Continue Reading >>
  • Introducing Lightspeed OnSite 2015 2.0

    Up to 80x faster. And more reliable than ever.

    When the time came to work on the next version of Lightspeed OnSite, we shelved the crazy feature ideas. Instead, we wanted to focus on the fundamentals of your workday; that meant finding ways to make everything quicker and more reliable.

    The result is the best on-premise point of sale we’ve ever released.

    Countless hours saved with faster processing

    Our biggest focus for this release was making StoreMaster way faster than it’s ever been — orders, purchase orders, quotes and invoices in particular. To do this, we’ve modernized the software by ripping out tons of old code and replacing it with tasty new Cocoa code.

    How much time will you save?

    • Saving an invoice with over 318 new products — down from 1m19s → 11 seconds
    • Saving an invoice with 31 new products — down from 7.4s → 1 second
    • Saving a PO with 491 new products — down from 2m55s → 2 seconds

    A lot.

    “Lightspeed OnSite 2.0 is amazing! All previous issues regarding stability and performance have been addressed leading to vastly superior workflows! If you have used Lightspeed OnSite in the past, you won’t be disappointed!”

    - Jeff Bryson, Next-Gen Games, Los Angeles

    Small changes, big improvements

    The smallest changes can make a huge difference when they impact the everyday. We’ve enhanced some things in ways that we think you’ll love.

    • You can now void an invoice in POS mode, so no more Owing Invoices for incomplete sales
    • Product label barcodes now print with the product ID by default, putting an end to unscannable barcodes that could potentially be printed in smaller labels
    • The much-beloved drag-and-drop functionality has returned to every part of StoreMaster

    A ton of bugs quashed

    Dozens of bugs have been eliminated in 2015 2.0, including some of the most annoying ones:

    • Fixed an issue where the keyboard would become unresponsive on OS X Yosemite
    • Fixed an issue where a Magic Mouse would cause Lightspeed to crash on OS X Yosemite
    • Fixed an issue where Lightspeed Server may not start upon reboot of a computer running Mavericks
    • Fixed an issue when using a Moneris Terminal would display a declined message when the transaction was approved

    See the complete list in the OnSite 2015.2.0 release notes.

    More coming soon — OnSite 2015.2.1

    Even though we’re releasing 2015 2.0 today, we’re not resting. An update will be coming later next month including:

    • Vastly improved checkout speed in POS mode, due to both technology and workflow changes
    • Even more bug fixes and performance optimizations

    Web Store 3.2.2 — A checkout worth checking out

    Designed specifically to put an end to “shopping cart abandonment,” our new cart and checkout process is now available to all Lightspeed OnSite Web Store customers.

    Innovations like pop-up carts, always-available shipping estimates, optimized account registration, combined with an easy-to-understand interface, make Lightspeed Web Store the best shopping experience you can provide to your customers. Learn more about the new cart and checkout.

    Start using it today

    Lightspeed OnSite 2015 2.0 is available as a free upgrade to all Lightspeed OnSite customers with active Maintenance Plans, and can be downloaded here (make sure to backup your previous system before upgrading!). In addition, all new trials and purchases of Lightspeed OnSite come with 2015.2.0.

    If you’re an existing Lightspeed OnSite customer with an inactive Maintenance Plan, give us a call at 1-866-932-1801 or try a demo here.

     

  • Retail Round-Up: Supermarket Goes Digital, and Stores Love Apple Pay

    Asda shoppers in the UK can do away with their scissors–the supermarket giant will soon be digitizing their in-store coupons. It means more possibilities to gather consumer data, and better opportunities for brands to tailor their offerings. (The Grocer)

    Great news for Apple Pay: new studies claim that 38% of large retailers will accept the newest form of payment by the end of the year. Right now, PayPal is ahead of the game, with Google Wallet and Softcard trailing behind. (Venture Beat)

    Estee Lauder’s Origins brand is successfully pointing out the skin problems of 20-somethings, and launching their campaign #quarterlifecrisis targeting this age group. The cosmetics brand is helping millennials discover how they can improve their aging skin using an app, social media, partnering with BuzzFeed, and more. (DIGIDAY)

    Retailers understand the importance of going mobile, but many aren’t opening up their wallets and investing in the movement. Very few large retailers have developed successful apps, and are still lagging behind trends despite the fact that 28 percent of sales now flow through mobile devices, mostly smartphones. (CIO)

    Shopping mecca SoHo, in New York City, will soon welcome a 22,000 square foot Michael Kors store. The 3-storey shop will house a floor dedicated to menswear, as well as screens throughout the space featuring clips from their fashion shows. (Luxury Daily)

  • To Spot a Shoplifter

     

    Thieves come in all shapes and sizes. All kinds of people can turn out to be shoplifters, from a suburban mom with her baby to an A-list celebrity, or more often than you’d like to believe, your own staff. How shoplifters are caught and brought to justice will depend on you and your local laws, but what remains constant is the inevitable possibility of shrinkage due to theft.

    There are lots ways to prevent your merchandise from being stolen by employees and shoplifters. Here are a few things to look for when watching out for thieves, and preventing theft from making a significant dent in your inventory.

    Continue Reading >>
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