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  • 7 Ways A POS Can Help Bike Stores Gear Up For Big Business

    More and more, people in both urban and suburban areas are embracing cycling, and independent bike stores are at the heart of this movement. For years now, we’ve been working with bike shops to help them manage inventory and create more efficient workflows that affect their whole business. Interbike – America’s largest bike trade show – is just around the corner, and we’re excited to meet bike enthusiasts that are passionate about making their businesses thrive.

    If you’re a bicycle retailer looking to install a POS, here are 7 reasons to drop by and visit us at Interbike or start a free trial online:

    1. Direct access to 700,000+ bike products

    When a POS comes with a bike-centric catalogue already incorporated into the system, it makes ordering parts a whole lot simpler. This pre-populated list of bike products saves managers the time they would normally spend creating purchase orders and adding product after product into their system. LightSpeed Cloud is actually the only POS of its kind that is so deeply integrated with the bike supplies industry.

    2. Easy to setup & use

    Are you a bike wizard but a tech novice?  Setting up a POS shouldn’t take away from time spent making sales. Even someone who isn’t tech savvy should be able to get started fairly easily, be it on a Mac or PC.

    Web-based POS systems dont require any extra servers or external hard drives—a great Internet connection is all you need to get started!

    3. Make sales, create work orders & special purchases

    Unlike like other retail businesses, bike shops very often have repair services. Montreal-based Fitz & Follwell uses features such as Service Repair Order help track the process from when a customer first drops off their bicycle, to the time they pay the invoice.

    It’s also easy to create an order for something you don’t have in stock, and to add it to a PO for a vendor. From the customer request till delivery, the Cloud POS tracks the process.

    4. Serialized items

    For warranty purposes, bicycles and many of their parts come with serial numbers. Serial support is important, because it helps you easily trace back defects to the manufacturer. A user can see all of the serialize items they’re ever purchased in a list, and can look up purchase history by customer to track down an item. If you’re a bike store looking for the right POS, make sure it has this capability.

    5. Real-time sales & inventory reporting

    Some bike stores sell thousands of products—it’s essential to keep track of them all. Moreover, for businesses with more than one store, or a web store in addition to brick-and-mortar, it must be possible to see inventory numbers in real time—where online sales immediately deduct from overall inventory.

    6. Sell online

    Let’s face it, your physical store is the heart and soul of your business, but you can’t neglect the possibility to make extra dollars by selling online. Building a web store with LightSpeed makes it easy to set up online and integrate with the physical store’s inventory. In fact, we’ve partnered with Smart Etailing, a service that allows consumers to look up a bike product online, and be directed to the closest store that sells it.

    7. Access anywhere

    A physical store can extend its reach by having their point-of-sale on a tablet. In Florida, for example, the managers at Ultrabikex bike shop bring an iPad POS to triathlons and local cycling events—creating awareness of their business and the ability to make sales on the spot.

    A busy manager can’t always be on the sales floor or in the workshop. Once they’ve built a super reliable team, they have more freedom to expand their business outside of the store. With a web-based POS, they can see real-time sales, employee performance, stock levels and more—wherever they are.

    We love that bike shops contribute so much to communities and hope to meet many of these inspiring entrepreneurs at Interbike! If you can’t make it to Vegas, but are still interested in seeing what a POS can do for you, try LightSpeed Cloud for free.

  • Retail Round-Up: Australia is Home to New Retail Tech, and Winning Back Teen Consumers

    What will shopping look like in the future? At the Gen2 Retail Evolution lab in Australia, you can get a glimpse at new technology that could have a big impact on the retail industry. Think hyper-advanced touch screens that allow customers to place orders while the store is closed, electronic labelling in supermarkets, and specialized fitting room tablets. (Mashable)

    Fashion isn’t the only segment of retail that has had to adapt to rapidly changing consumer trends. Fad diets, and the millennial affinity for “foodie” culture have given grocery stores food for thought when it comes to how they will respond to these burgeoning tastes. (The Washington Post)

    The Juicy Couture brand is rooted in brick-and-mortar, but their high-end customer base has big expectations when it comes to mobile shopping. The company has gone full-force with their mobile strategy, including a partnership with Snaps, an app that lets consumers share photos with Juicy content overlaid on top. (Mobile Commerce Daily)

    Teen-oriented brands such as Abercrombie&Fitch are having to make changes to turn around declining sales. They’re trying to better hit the mark on fashion trends in order to compete with fast fashion retailers, and are implementing new inventory practices to avoid an excess of discounted items. Teens’ tastes are changing when it comes to brand affinity, and only time will tell if the once-popular teen retailers will be able to win them back. (CNBC)

  • Simplicity Made Powerful – LightSpeed Cloud for iPad 1.2

    When we created LightSpeed Cloud for iPad, our goal was to create something that was as much a great sales assistant as it was a great point of sale. Our focus has always been on streamlining the sales process to make it both fast for you and fun for your customers.

    With our latest release – LightSpeed Cloud for iPad 1.2 – we’ve kept that streamlined sales process intact, but added a ton of features to ensure that when you need more flexibility, you’ll have it.

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  • How to Thrive in New York City’s Retail Scene

    Manhattan is home to innumerable retail businesses, including hundreds of jewelry stores and watch repair shops. Danielle B., a fine jeweler and well-known authorized TAG Heuer dealer, has been thriving in New York City since 1980.

    Their selection of jewelry includes brands such as Crivelli and Jovane Milano, and the 300 square-foot store is a favorite for locals, tourists, celebrities and foreign dignitaries. Some of their brands can be found at other stores, so what’s their secret to retail success? We spoke to manager Ariel Bruck, who revealed their formula for surviving the times.

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  • Retail Round-Up: Back-To-School Fever!

    The time to send emails promoting a new fall collection is now. With colder-than-usual August temperatures in North America and the UK, and the first day of Fall (September 22nd) approaching, major department stores like Selfridges and Neiman Marcus are taking advantage of the season to drive their colorful email campaigns. (Luxury Daily)

    Back-to-school shopping has changed dramatically. This year, mobile shopping has skyrocketed, whereby consumers are using their mobile devices in every facet of the retail experience. (ADWEEK)

    According to this research in the U.K., back-to-school shopping is often left to the very last minute. After a long summer holiday, it’s no wonder that parents and students procrastinate when it comes to gearing up for school. For retailers, those who are able to blend online and offline components will get top grades for handling the last-minute rush. (Breed Communications)

    What are the top back-to-school shopping trends this year? Looks like over half of this school-bound group in the U.S will head to department stores for their supplies, followed by discount stores, clothing stores, and office supplies stores. Macy’s, Wal-Mart, and Target all have extensive promotions to entice students. (NRF News)

    For retailers who might not have had strong sales this summer, this period should be a reason to be more optimistic. JC Penny has reported healthy sales so far, as have Kohl’s and Wal-Mart. (CNBC)

  • 5 Ways to Boost Profits With Proper Inventory Management

     

    How you manage your merchandise can mean the difference between smooth sailing, and missing out on sales; between having a healthy amount of stock, or running out of space and cash because you bought too much. Managing inventory perfectly is an art form, but with the right tools, it can be reduced to a science. Here are 5 ways a POS can help you get it right.

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  • How to Find the Perfect Space for Your Pop-Up Shop

    This is a guest post by Hunter Kubryk of Storefront

    E-commerce may provide a home base for brands, but consumers still seek the in-person retail experience of interacting with products. Pop-up shops fill this void by creating unique brand experiences for short periods of time. If you decide to open your own pop-up for a product launch or trunk show, the location of your event will set the tone for this experience. Here are some tips to help you choose the right retail space for your brand, from pop-up expert Hunter Kubryk:

    1. Know your pop-up goals

    Pop-up shops can serve many purposes, from generating sales to raising brand awareness. Deciding why you’re opening a pop-up will help you best determine the best type of space for your event.

    2. Know your target demographic

    Knowing your target demographic is crucial, as you’ll want to pick a neighborhood that fits your brand. Researching the demographics of neighborhoods that you’re considering for a pop-up will help you get the right kind of foot traffic in the door.

    3. Research locations

    For a pop-up shop, location is key to ensure that your shop gets the foot-traffic it deserves. Talk to nearby businesses and walk the streets to make an informed decision about the right space for your brand.

    4. Be strategic about your hours of operation

    After determining your goals, target, and location, set hours of operation that will bring you the most success. For example, SK-II’s pop-up studio in San Francisco offered half-hour lunchtime facials for women on the go. These details can go a long way, especially if you know who your customer is.

    5. Find a space

    Once you’ve considered these goals & needs, head over to our online marketplace to look for a space in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Chicago. We make it easy for you to quickly search by location, space type and price to find a space that fit your needs.

    6. Communicate your needs

    When you’ve chosen a space, submit a request for the space you want to rent. Be clear in your request: let the space owner know what you’re looking to do in their space, when you’re planning on popping up, how much inventory you’ll bring, and any other special needs you may have. If the space owner decides you’re a match, you’ll be fully insured and ready to pop up!

    Storefront allows you to find stores on the right streets, in the right neighborhoods, to get you the most foot traffic and drive transactions. Find the perfect space for your brand today and show the world what you’ve got.

  • The new LightSpeed Cloud is coming to everyone

    Last year, MerchantOS joined the LightSpeed family with the goal of building the best cloud-based point of sale system for our customers. On launch day, almost half of MerchantOS customers upgraded to the new LightSpeed Cloud interface, and during the past 12 months we have been working hard to bridge the feature gap between the two, in order to ease the transition for everyone.

    Over the next 8 weeks, the new interface will remain as an optional upgrade, giving you the flexibility you need to try it out in your own time, test it with your employees, and voice any concerns you may have. Following this period, on October 15, 2014, all customers will be upgraded to the new interface, creating a single, better user experience for all LightSpeed Cloud customers.

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  • Retail Round-Up: The Magic Mirror, and Solutions to Fit Problems

    Imagine a mirror that can analyze your face, remember your past cosmetics purchases, and suggest a flattering lipstick color. The Magic Mirror is just one of Maxus’ new technologies that are elevating the in-store experience. The iShelf and an app called Wayfinder are also designed to better interact with today’s hyper-connected consumer. (MediaTel)

    In Philadelphia, the Rittenhouse district is currently undergoing a retail makeover—and it seems to reflect the city’s buying habits perfectly. Brands like Vince, MAC Cosmetics, Uniqlo and Nordstrom Rack offer a better selection of affordable luxury and fashion-forward basics for a population whose fashion personality is described as “a little schizophrenic”. (philly.com)

    Celebrity endorsements are coming to an Instagram feed near you. Aritzia is using celebs and well-known fashion bloggers in their latest fall campaign for the popular social media platform. They understand that their customers turn to Instagram for style inspiration, and are using it to tell stories about their brand. (Marketing Magazine)

    Millennials constitute a super important consumer segment. With daily articles about their shopping behavior, it can be confusing to paint an accurate portrait of this group. This easy-to-follow infographic in Melissa Hoffmann’s article breaks it down into digestible stats. (ADWEEK)

    Shopping online can be a frustrating experience when the item for which you waited a week finally arrives—only to be a poor fit. Several tech start-ups have set out to solve the problem by creating advanced fit recommendation algorithms, and have been raising millions of dollars to do it. So far, the solutions have been difficult or expensive for companies to implement. (Business of Fashion)

     

  • 4 Ways to Compete with Fast Fashion Retailers: Become a Fashion Hijacker

    This is a guest post by Jill Sherman, CEO & Co-Founder of Modalyst

    Watch out – we’re in an era of ‘fashion hijackers’! With the quick turnaround of fashion trends from Catwalk-to-Main Street, it is becoming harder and harder for independent retailers to compete with those who mimic and sell runway collections quicker and cheaper. There is no better time to talk fast fashion – fast!

    Fortunately, in here lie some interesting lessons on how independent retailers can stay ahead of the curve, bringing fashion to their racks even faster. And we, at MODALYST, have built the very tools that independent retailers need to grow strong and compete with the changing trends of the times. Now you can become the fashion hijacker.

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