LightSpeed unveils iPad retail app on heels of $30-million VC deal

Montreal-based LightSpeed has released a new mobile commerce app for the iPad, an encore to a $30-million round A financing deal the company announced two weeks ago.

The new LightSpeed For iPad app is designed for sales people in retailstores who want a mobile, quick way to show and promote products toshoppers, as well as complete actual buying transactions.

According to a statement released by LightSpeed CEO Dax Dasilva, thecompany is trying to recreate the e-commerce shopping experiencemostpeople have on their home computer, while marrying it withthe in-store expertise provided by retail sales people and mobilepoint-of-sale capability.

The LightSpeed iPad app marriesthe e-commerce shopping experience with in-store mobile point-of-salecapabilities.

“(It’s) to help retailers bring the access, value and speed of theonline shopping experience into the store through engaging customerinteractions,” Dasilva said.  

The move to merge the convenience of online browsing with thetraditional in-store shopping experience meshes with Canadian researchreleased late last year. An IBM study found that although many peopleare now using the Internet to browse for items they want and compareprices, 79 per cent of Canadians still prefer to visitbricks-and-mortar stores to make their actual purchases. 

A new feature of the LightSpeed iPad app called Button Mode lets salesassociates browse through several products with customers on the iPadso they don’t have to run around the store. Products carriedby theretailer but not available in the store can also be viewed with theapp. In addition, the app can automatically bring up related items onthe screen so sales people can cross-promote those products and quicklyadd them to the shopper’s invoice with their original purchase.

Once shoppers are ready to check out, the sales person can create aninvoice for the purchase with a single tap on the iPad. Retailers canuse an iPad to process credit card payments, accept signatureson-screen, and email orwirelessly print receipts fromanywhere.

The app is available as a free download from the iTunes App Store butto use it retailers must already own or purchase a LightSpeed Serverwith oneavailable user license per iPad client.

LightSpeed was founded in Montreal in 2005 but also has operations inOttawa. Earlier this month it announced a series A financing worth $30million from Silicon Valley VC firm Accel Partners.  

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