LightSpeed, an Accel-backed company offering tools for physical retailers to both manage their business and engage their customers, is aiming at a new audience today. It’s launching LightSpeed Cloud, a new product powered by LightSpeed-acquired point-of-sales software maker MerchantOS.
Until now, the company’s product lineup has been Apple-centric, with software for Macs, iPads, and iPhones. However, LightSpeed founder and CEO Dax Dasilva acknowledged there are merchants who “are not going to replace backend systems with Macs,” which is why LightSpeed Cloud is an HTML5, web-based product that can be used from any computer.
As with earlier LightSpeed products, the company is trying to make retailers’ technology more up-to-date and mobile-friendly. For now, it seems like the emphasis here is on replacing older point-of-sales and inventory systems for “inventory-centric” stores. LightSpeed Cloud (which Dasilva also described as a “leaner” product) lacks some of the features available in the existing version of LightSpeed, like Show and Tell, where retailers can show off products that aren’t available on the selling floor.
Not that LightSpeed is entirely abandoning Apple products. For one thing, even LightSpeed Cloud can be accessed via an iPad app. Plus, the company is continuing to offer its existing tools under the new name LightSpeed Pro, which Dasilva said is the “more visually rich, omnichannel” product that’s particularly suited for retailers who want “the full Apple aesthetic.”
Over time, Dasilva predicted that there will be more “cross-pollination” between the Cloud and Pro products.
“If I opened a store today, I would use Pro, but that’s because I’m going to want to run my back office on a MacBook Pro,” he said. Not every retailer feels that way, and there are plenty where “the back office is Windows machines.” He added, “We want to be able to say yes to everybody.”
LightSpeed is now used in 15,000 store locations, doubling from a year ago. (The MerchantOS acquisition adds 2,000 locations.)